By Kevin Mahadeo
Get ready for a tale to astonish when writer Jason Aaron joins artist Adam Kubert this May to launch a brand new six-issue series teaming up two of Marvel's most popular characters in ASTONISHING SPIDER-MAN/WOLVERINE.
"I was thrilled when [Marvel Editor-in-Chief] Joe [Quesada] first came to me with the offer," says Aaron. "It's a big thrill to be a part of this at the beginning of the Heroic Age, but also it's a big thrill just to be working with Adam again."
As part of Marvel's new Astonishing line, the project follows in the footsteps of Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's ASTONISHING X-MEN. Each book in the imprint features all-star characters by top-tier creative teams and serves as the perfect jumping on point for both casual readers and hardcore fans.
"It's exciting," exclaims Kubert. "Whenever you're kicking something off, like when I did the ULTIMATE X-MEN comics, you're put in a position where it's exciting and you're worried and you want to do the best job possible. On the other hand, you also just have to put your nose to the grindstone and ignore all that."
The new title teams the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man with the multi-clawed mutant Wolverine, an often-popular partnership due to the two characters' conflicting outlooks on life. Aaron says the two heroes' contrasting personalities makes them much fun to play off each other, admitting he originally approached the series as part buddy-cop film and part old, bickering married couple.
"I think these guys are great in that they're able to push each other's buttons really well," the writer notes. "So, with something like this where we put them in a lot of different crazy situations where they're forced to spend way more time with each other than they'd want to, provides a lot of opportunity to explore that relationship. There's a lot of crazy stuff we mix in along the way, but the fun of the story is with these two characters and putting them together."
Kubert also expresses his interest in visually portraying the characters, from the way the stand to their body language to even their basic physical differences.
"Wolverine is a great character because he looks like the underdog; he's physically shorter than other people," explains the artist. "He's got a lot of attitude and he's darker and grittier, and that's pretty fun. Putting him up with Spider-Man, it's like oil and water. They're not going to mix. They're completely different kinds of characters and you have to draw them differently. They act differently. It's really a fun thing to do."
|ASTONISHING SPIDER-MAN/WOLVERINE by Adam Kubert|
"I'm not a guy most people might associate as a good Spider-Man writer because most of the stuff I'm known for is stuff like Wolverine and Punisher," he says. "But I've always been anxious to do more stuff with Spider-Man. I just had that one short appearance in WOLVERINE and I actually wrote him in one panel in GHOST RIDER. That was a big thrill. It was my first line ever of Spider-Man dialogue."
Both writer and artist also agree that another big benefit of this project will be the chance to re-team with each other. The creators previously worked together on a two-issue arc in WOLVERINE #73-74. Kubert says he enjoys Aaron's character-driven writing style, while Aaron praises Kubert's ability to turn the simplest of scenes in a visual masterpiece beyond his greatest expectations.
"This book is really all about the relationship between these two characters, regardless of what setting they're thrown into," says Kubert. "And Jason's writing, first of all, he crafts an excellent story, not only panel-to-panel, page-to-page, but from the beginning of a series to the end of a series. He does it through characterization. I think that's what's really exciting about working with Jason: the way he develops a character in the story."
"Adam is one of the most talented artists we have working today," reciprocates Aaron. "I always appreciated that as a fan before working with him. Once I worked with him, I appreciate that even more. I told him when we first started talking about this book that if there was ever anything he wanted to draw that he hadn't gotten to draw before, no matter how crazy, this was the book where we can work it in. So, over the course of this series you get to see him draw all sorts of stuff, from Wolverine fighting dinosaurs to Spider-Man in the future to very important periods from these two characters' history."
As for what exactly happens in the story, both creators wanted to save the surprises for readers to discover for themselves. However, each says to expect pretty much anything.
"You'll see a little bit of everything really," teases Aaron. "The story opens in a setting that will be very familiar to fans of Devil Dinosaur and it moves from there to a lot of weird corners of the Marvel Universe. We see everything from tweaks on existing characters-we see a cross between Doctor Doom and Ego the Living Planet called Doom the Living Planet-and we also get a couple of brand new villains. Really one of the main models for what I wanted to do on this book was [writer] Grant Morrison's MARVEL BOY limited series. It's such a great, fast moving [series] that provides a lot on fresh takes on weird corners of the Marvel Universe. There [are] a lot of crazy ideas thrown into the mix over the course of that book and that's exactly what I wanted to do with this. It's the biggest, craziest thing I've ever written."
Look for more on the Astonishing line this week on Marvel.com!
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