Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #1

Issue Date: 
July 2010
Story Title: 
Another Fine Mess

Jason Aaron (Writer), Adam Kubert (Penciler), Mark Morales with Dexter Vines (Inker) Justin Ponsor (Colorist), Rob Steen (Letterer), Nick Lowe (Editor), Axel Alonso (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

In modern day, New York City a bank alarm goes off, alerting Spider-Man, while Wolverine chases a street thug who claims to have lured him there before ending his life. Inside the bank, the Orb is robbing the bank and one of his henchmen finds a bag of glowing diamonds. These diamonds get knocked to the ground when the heroes show up and cause the two to travel back to the time of the dinosaurs. Trapped in the ancient past for several months, Peter Parker realizes the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs will be impacting his location shortly. He reflects on what his life has become and decides he has to warn the only other person trapped here with him. Peter travels to the Valley of Fire that Logan has claimed in the name of the savage Small Folk whom he now rules. They are in the midst of a battle with another tribe but Logan and his people defeat them. Peter shows up at the end, chastising Logan for the potential catastrophic effects living with these people could cause to the timeline before finally warning Logan of the impending impact. With both men trying to make peace with their impending death, Spider-Man tries to find a way to survive while Logan confronts a mysterious figure in the bushes. Neither can finish their task before the asteroid impacts. However more of the diamonds inside the asteroid cause them to travel to a dystopian future ruled by the Small Folk.

Full Summary: 

From atop a tall rock spire, Peter Parker looks up at the night sky through a crude telescope made of bamboo. He thinks to himself that the stars here are different. Some of the constellations are not filled in yet and there are stars in places he is not accustomed to seeing. He didn't notice these things at first because he was caught up in trying to figure out how he had got to this place and how to get home. He doesn't think about that anymore, instead he watches the stars every night after his carving. It isn't because it calms him like he tells himself, but because he is looking for something. He thinks about how over the last few months the scientist in him has been fascinated by all that he has learned, things that a paleontologist would kill for. Too bad he will not live long enough to tell anybody. Peter Parker is the smartest man on the face of the Earth and, as he witnesses two streaks across the sky in his telescope, he realizes that come tomorrow he will be dead.

The scraggy-looking Peter has grown a full beard and wears a part of his Spider-Man mask as a bandana. The only remnants of his costume that remain are most of his pants, boots and gloves, sans fingers. As he climbs down his rock spire, covered in mathematical equations, he laments that this is not how he envisioned going out. He could believe being vivisected by Dr. Doom or the Green Goblin, even skewered by Stilt-man. He had hoped that he would die in his sleep after winning the Nobel Prize surrounded by a Swedish bikini team. Instead, he will be a footnote in history, a late night TV special, “Whatever happened to Spider-Man?” As he enters his house made of bamboo and full of caged giant insects, he answers the question, saying that he turned into the professor of Gilligan's Island and shacked up with a bunch of giant bugs. He figures most people will not be surprised by this outcome.

As Peter continues his morose self-reflection, he thinks about how there was so much more he could have done. So many battles left to fight, sarcastic quips to utter and questions left to answer. Like the answer to who the beautiful woman he keeps seeing in his dreams every night. As he walks out to his back patio, he looks at his many stone and wood carvings of said woman's face. He regrets that he will die never knowing her name, who she is or why he keeps dreaming about her. Further regrets include not knowing how he ended up here and that he will die alone. No, he corrects himself, not alone.

Peter travels through the jungle thinking about how “he” is going to kill him. Their last meeting ended with “him” swearing to cut off Peter's head and do all kinds of NC-17 rated things to it if Peter ever came back to his valley. Peter decides that he must warn him regardless. Looking across this Valley of Fire, Peter views a spurting volcano and hears the sounds of bone-chilling yet still somehow comforting battle cries. This is probably because they are the first voices he has heard in weeks. Peter starts to question his sanity, reasoning that if he were crazy he would be talking to himself. Considering that he talks to himself all the time, he further proves his own sanity by realizing that “he” still scares the hell out of him.

A battle rages between two groups of primitive people, the ape like Kill Folk and the slightly more human looking Small Folk. The Kill Folk ride Triceratops down from the north, slinging fire and hunting for meat. They want to eat the children and steal the women, but they don't know these women and children thinks Logan. As every member of the tribe fights back, Logan considers that these people he has sided with have embraced the name of Small Folk. They have a saying that it isn't the size of the folk in the fight, but the size of the fight in the folk. Logan, wearing only a loincloth, pops his claws and leaps into the fray, dismembering members of the enemy.

The battle concludes with bodies strewn about and blood covering the survivors, the Kill Folk bowing down to Logan. He commands them to say “it” if they want to live, to which one of the Kill Folk says that the Small Folk are their betters and that Six Claws is their better. One of the Small Folk informs Logan that the Spider-god has come. Peter appears upside down on some webbing and proclaims himself as the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-god. He then supposes that Logan didn't take his advice about not hanging out with the ape people and causing catastrophic damage to the timeline. He certainly isn't still trying to teach them to make beer he hopes. Logan replies that they are not apes but his people. Peter tries to reason with him that any slight change they do here could radically alter the future, potentially making Dr. Doom president. Didn't Logan ever read any science fiction novels as a kid. Was he ever a kid?

A Small Folk proclaims that Six Claws rules the valley and Logan heartily agrees with him. A child excitedly speaks of killing the Kill Folk and leaving their bones for the Devil Beasts. Logan tells the child that they are not animals like them and that they will go in the cages. He turns back to Peter and asks him what he is doing there. Doesn't he remember what Logan told him last time? Peter jokes that it is so hard to keep track with all the friends that want to decapitate him. Get out and go back to your hole in the cliffs, back to your bugs and your statues, says Logan. They will never find a way to get back to their own time and Peter should make peace with that.

As Logan starts to walk away, Peter tells him that they are all about to die. The Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs, is almost here and they are at ground zero. A grim faced Peter continues explaining that there is nothing they can do, nowhere they can run and that tomorrow they will be ash. Peter says he knows Logan blames him for them being stuck in the past, to which Logan objects. But Peter doesn't want to argue about it, he just thought Logan should know.

Peter walks away from the valley and the child runs toward him, screaming they should kill the Spider-god. Logan stops him, commanding them to let him go, thinking that he would rather be stuck forever in dinosaur times with Shanna the She-Devil or She-Hulk. Even Bruce Banner at his worst would be better than the one guy that can get under his skin more than anyone else alive, Peter Parker. The Small Folk party that night, drinking from what appears to be a crude distillery for beer. Peter has similar thoughts, considering that Son of Satan, Howard the Duck or any Hulk would be better than Wolverine. If it had been Reed or Tony, they would have built a time machine out of bamboo by now. They both regret being stuck there without even knowing who was responsible or what happened at the bank that day.

Months ago in modern day New York City, an alarm is going off at a bank. Spider-Man swings by close to the ground, telling the annoyed New Yorkers to make way for a superstar super hero. Their angry call backs allow Spider-Man to soak in their “adoration” and he offers to sell them autographs and photographs. He continues toward the bank and a bus passes by with an advertisement of lost statues of the Mesozoic age, the very same statues Spider-Man carved in the past.

In a back alley, Wolverine advances, claws extended, on a terrified street thug, assuring him that there is no place to run and that the thug should tell him what he wants to know. As the thug begins to pull out a gun, he taunts Wolverine by proclaiming that he wasn't running but leading him here. Wolverine explains that the gun will do him no good and that his killing spree is over. Obviously insane, the thug rants about how there is still one person left to kill, but it is not Wolverine because “he” still has big plans for him. The thug was paid to bring Wolverine to this spot and he was promised that he will be famous for doing this task. Movies will be made of his life, he tells Wolverine. The bank alarm goes off and the thug tells Wolverine that “he” is calling. The bank is right next door, so he better hurry. Have a great trip, the thug says as he points the gun at his own head.

A gun goes off, but the hand holding it towards the ceiling is that of the Orb, dressed as a stuntman with a giant eyeball helmet. He and his henchmen, wearing eyeball masks, tell the bank customers to get face down on the floor. Nobody looks the Orb in the eye, proclaims the Orb. He then begins to grow impatient with the alarm sounding and asks his “orblings” how the progress in the open vault is coming. Inside the vault, two of the men discuss how they can't believe they are working with a guy that calls them orblings and one of them claims he is going back to Angar the Screamer's crew if they don't get busted on this job. He then asks another henchman, Marty, if he has found any valuables in the vault. Marty pries open a safe deposit box that emits a green glow.

Marty rushes over to his boss to show him the mysterious, glowing diamonds. It is at this precise moment that Spider-Man swings right into Marty, throwing the bag of diamonds into the air. Spider-Man asks when he wakes up in jail if he will have two black eyes or just one. One of the other orblings pulls a gun on Spider-Man, claiming that he will wake up dead. The sound of “Snikt” is immediately followed by the henchman's gun being sliced to pieces. As the diamonds fall toward the floor, both Wolverine and Spider-Man curse that they are in the presence of each other. When the diamonds finally hit the ground, a bright green light envelops everyone and suddenly Spider-Man and Wolverine are alone in a jungle.

As Spider-Man gains his bearings, he asks where the bank went and how they got to the Savage Land. Wolverine sniffs the air and claims they aren't in the Savage Land. Spider-Man starts to realize their predicament, as dinosaurs walk in the distance.

Back to the night of the meteor, Peter releases all of his giant bugs, telling them to go make him proud, but to watch out for falling asteroids and ice ages. He sets out to destroy his house and erase all evidence of his presence, but cannot bring himself to destroy his carvings. She has been the only thing that has kept him sane, despite his tendency to talk to himself. He laments that this is not how his adventures are supposed to end. He is never supposed to die and he should always get the last word. However, as he stares down extinction from the dirt... he can't think of any words.

Logan lets the small folk sleep and enjoy the last victory they will ever know. He releases his caged captives and tells them to go be with their families. He meditates and admits to himself that he shouldn't have been so hard on Parker. He will add it to the list of things he shouldn't have done and hope that at this point his list of good deeds outweighs the bad. Guess they'll know soon enough.

Both men can't take just sitting down and letting it happen. Peter tries desperately to find some last minute scientific way to channel the energy of the impact at his spire while Logan lets his rage overtake his clear mind in his valley. Peter can't come up with the solution he needs and wishes desperately for more time. Logan hears a snap nearby and tackles a hiding figure. This black figure with yellow lines running across its body and a head full of metallic tentacles, pleads for Logan not to kill him, assuring him it's not him. As the meteor streaks toward the surface, the figure tries to tell a screaming Logan that he has not done this thing. He works for-- he does not get a chance to finish his sentence. With the asteroid upon them, the last thought Peter has is to apologize to his Uncle Ben.

Sections of the asteroid burn away in the atmosphere, revealing more of the mysterious diamonds. The two heroes are bathed in the mysterious glow from before, just as the asteroid impacts. A white glow envelops Peter as he contemplates this feeling of death and how it doesn't feel any different. A blurry figure tells Peter to wake up and Peter sees the fact that they know him here as confirmation that he's in heaven. He can't wait to see Uncle Ben and Gwen again. As the image becomes clearer, he sees Logan and realizes that this can't be heaven after all.

Peter starts crying about how he never should have lied to Aunt May about eating all the brownies she made for the homeless. Logan tells him to stop blubbering, he ain't dead. Logan then admits that Peter might have been right about the whole “doing catastrophic damage to the timeline by living with the ape folk” thing. Peter turns around to see a dystopian civilization filled with armed guards and an ape man riding a giant robotic Devil Dinosaur. This man orders his steed to crush these intruders to prove that the Small Folk rule the wasteland.

Characters Involved: 



Kill Folk, Small Folk

Mysterious Man in the Bushes

(flashback, in the present/future)

Orb, Orblings

Street Thug

New York Citizens

(2nd time period)

Robot Devil Dinosaur

Story Notes: 

In the show Gilligan's Island, the Professor made many crude versions of modern devices, such as his coconut radio. Peter made similar devices such as a bamboo telescope and water wheel.

Issue Information: 

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