Spider-Man & Wolverine

 SPMW   (Marvel, 2003)

™ and © Marvel Characters, Inc.

Created by the team responsible for Spider-Man/Daredevil, Spider-Man & Wolverine #1 hardly lives up to the title of its “Stuff of Legends” storyline. The tale finds Peter Parker as Spider-Man being interviewed by an unseen questioner, detailing an adventure involving himself, a lusty assistant principal, Nick Fury, and, eventually, Wolverine. Fury blackmails Spidey into infiltrating a campsite off the coast of Japan in order to rescue a hostage being tortured by bad guys. Spidey complies due to his “with great power comes great responsibility” mantra, rather than simply giving into the blackmailing, giving readers some insight into the nobility of his character.

The plot is easy enough to follow, and the series holds promise (especially if the art becomes more refined), but the story falls apart in a number of areas, especially in terms of the overly flirty assistant principal (she lays it on way too thick) and the fact that Spidey apparently doesn’t know Wolverine from a hole in the ground. Mavlian has obviously studied the work of such fine craftsmen as Sam Kieth and Todd McFarlane, but his character renderings are stylishly sketchy and disfigured to the point of distraction. At one point, Fury and Parker are virtually indistinguishable, save for Fury’s eye patch and 5 o’clock shadow. It doesn’t help that Fury’s eyes are exactly the same color as Parker’s. Overall, the issue misfires on many fronts.

— Brett Weiss

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