Saturday, 30 March 2013

Marvel Comics Presents #38-#50

Marvel Comics Presents ran a Wolverine feature from issues #38 to #47, named "Black Shadow, White Shadow". This was written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by John Buscema. It offers a fairly simple story about monochromatic monsters that turn out to be manifestations of some guy's mind, and emphasises the idea of Wolverine as a someone who is by temperament a family man, but has been prevented from such from fate and his own decisions. I like how Logan starts wearing the Wolverine costume half-way through, and people call him "Patch" (with scare quotes, in dialogue).

#48-#50 runs another story, "Life's End", by Erik Larsen. This is one of the first Wolverine/Spider-Man team-up stories (the first was I believe Marvel Team-Up #117 from 1982). It's a combination that will later form (with Luke Cage) the core of the New Avengers, and I kind of like their chemistry here. The comedy aspect might be a bit too much for some, though: the story is a fairly simple team up to defeat a villain, but with added fourth-wall breaking. In particular: Spider-Man has become aware of how amazingly improbable his life is, and how all his supervillains turn out to be people that Peter Parker happens to know, even though so far as he knows his secret ID is solid. What gives? Having set this up, it then delivers a payoff by having one of the minions of Critical Mass be... Peter Parker's... dentist. Hah. Well-played, Mr. Larsen. Well-played.

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