Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #3

Issue Date: 
September 2010
Story Title: 
Another Fine Mess Part 3

Jason Aaron (Writer), Adam Kubert (Penciler), Mark Roslan (Digital Inks) Justin Ponsor (Colorist), Rob Steen (Letterer), Nick Lowe (Editor), Axel Alonso (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Wolverine slowly walks through the ruins of New York City, pondering all the things he has done in his life. Now that he is about to die, he wishes he had more time. Holding a planet-destroying Phoenix gun, he faces down the massive form of Doom the Living Planet. Spider-Man wakes up and rushes to stop Logan from sacrificing himself. He manages to get to him just in time to see Logan fire the gun and dissolve into bones. Luckily, the bullet explodes Doom and the ape-like Small Folk that now populate this planet are saved. Wracked with guilt, Peter tries to reactivate a dormant Cosmic Cube to bring Wolverine back to life. When he finally manages to do so, Wolverine attacks him in a rage having been so close to obtaining the peace he craved. The two fight and reaffirm their hatred for one another, only to be frozen in time by two mysterious figures. They decide to use their “stick” covered in time diamonds to send the pair to another time period. Logan finds himself in a wrestling match with an early version of Spider-Man, while Peter finds himself surrounded by a feral Wolverine and his wolf pack in the Canadian arctic.

Full Summary: 

Wolverine slowly approaches a group of reverent ape-like Small Folk as they whisper how, at last, their Messiah has returned. Wolverine thinks about how long ago he was born and how he has fought in just about every war there has been, shed blood on every continent and killed more folk than he could count. Wolverine has loved every kind of woman, been to the moon and to hell and back. He has been a soldier, samurai, assassin and an avenger. He has seen the future, saved the world and even invented beer.

The last thought comes as one of the Small Folk holds up a chalice of said “holy” liquid. Wolverine takes a long drink, then wipes his mouth with a hand holding a pistol with the Phoenix symbol. He has done it all. He has had enough sex, killin’, drinkin’, and drama to last ten lifetimes, so as he marches to his death, why does he wonder where all the time has gone?

Crossing through the ruins of New York City, several insect type Doom-bots attack Logan, but he almost casually destroys them with his claws. All the craziness in his past seems a blur to him now; he couldn't seem to focus on any of it since he was always rushing from one fight to the next. All that time just trying to survive, but now he wishes he could slow it all down, savor each breath, sight, sound and moment. As he climbs the broken arm of the Statue of Liberty, he wishes he could stop and just take it all in, but no, he has die like he always lived.

Standing on the tip of the statue's flame, Logan gazes up at the all-encompassing face of Doom the Living Planet. Its surface industrial looking, with gigantic eyes of fire, it manages to take up the entire skyline and makes Wolverine appear nothing but an ant in its presence.

Unimpressed, Wolverine looks up and thinks that he may be harder to kill than most but he never thought of himself as immortal. He wakes up every morning wondering if this will be the day some joker figures out how to put him down for good.

As he ponders, an immense voice fills the sky “DOOM HUNGERS!” causing shock waves to spread. Wolverine merely gazes at his Phoenix pistol and thinks that of all the painful ways he imagined himself dying, being ripped apart by a Phoenix gun that blows up planets never crossed his mind. As he realizes he has no prayers and no goodbyes, he simply points the gun up to the sky and decides to just get it over with.

Back at Spider-Man's secret superhero weapons storage room, Spider-Man groggily returns to consciousness, asking himself what happened and where the gun is. Realization comes quickly and he starts web-slinging across the ruined city to stop Logan. He passes the praying Small Folk and the robotic Devil Dinosaur among destroyed Doom-bots. He almost manages to reach Logan and shouts at him to stop. Wolverine is annoyed that his luck has made Parker be the last thing in the world he hears. Click!

BLAAAM! The backfire of the shot is an explosive fire energy that consumes Wolverine as a helpless Spider-Man looks on in horror. NOOO! Spider-Man screams as Logan grits his teeth and dissolves just feet in front of him. The bullet streaks upward surrounded by immense energy and slams into Doom the Living Planet. Doom explodes into hundreds of pieces in a giant fireball of energy and metal.

Spider-Man crawls to the top of the Statue's flame, hoping Logan is still alive. He finds Logan's remains of a pool of blood, chunks of meat and a flaming skeleton beginning to melt. Peter apologizes to Logan, saying that it was all his fault. He just sits there silently mourning, as pieces of Doom rain down from the sky.

The Small Folk celebrate the memory of their Messiah who saved the world. They are gathered around the beer brew tanks at the bottom of their shanty town, and they lift their glasses high in a toast, shouting “To Six Claws!” Inside his laboratory, Peter still thinks this is all his fault somehow. Logan should not have died and they should be back in their own time, hanging out with the Avengers and getting on each other's nerves.

Next to his feet is a bucket full of flesh and bones that used to be Wolverine. He resolves to fix this. He has a Cosmic Cube, a weapon of indescribable power that can bend time and reshape reality. He putters around in his lab for days using test tubes, welders and electronic instruments as he slowly grows a full length beard. If he could just get the damn thing to turn on. Frustrated to his breaking point, he screams at the piece of cosmic crap to work. Suddenly, the room fills with blinding light-ZZZAKKTT.

All is darkness and Logan is convinced that this is death. His form appears clothed in Victorian pajamas and huddled in the fetal position. Logan reasons that there is nothing here but him. Floating in this darkness forever and alone is what he deserves for his sins, he decides. A disembodied voice tells James that she has been waiting for him. Mother?, asks the young and frightened Logan.

Back in Peter's lab, the Cosmic Cube is glowing bluish-white and Peter wonders what to do now. He reasons that maybe he just wishes for whatever he wants. He could end world hunger, plug the ozone layer, make everyone laugh at his jokes, or take away J. Jonah Jameson's ability to speak. Even bring back Uncle Ben. But no, first thing is first, he determines as he looks at the Logan slop bucket.

In the void, Logan searches for his mother, whose voice urges her dear boy towards her. She claims she wants to tell him how sorry she is and to come to her so that she can make everything right again. She wants to hold him. Logan looks to her, tears in his eyes and claims that is all he ever wanted. He reaches up to her, claiming he is so tired and can't reach. She urges him that it is just a bit further and then he can know peace. Just as Logan manages to reach his mother's hand, his hand goes through hers and he screams, “Mother no!”

Peter holds the Cosmic Cube and describes Logan as short, hairy and smells like bacon. His name is Logan and bring him back. The bucket glows red and a screaming, anguished Logan appears amongst the smoke created by the cube. “What did you do!” he howls, attacking a confused Peter. “I saved your life,” Peter claims.

Still in a berzerker rage, Logan hurls Peter across the lab, crashing him into some equipment. Peter responds by webbing up Logan, claiming that a simple “thank you” would suffice. Bringing out his claws to slice off the webs, a furious Logan calls Peter an idiot and tells him he has no idea what he has done. Logan was finally going to be at peace, after all that he had been through. Peter says they should take a long deep breath and then tries to bribe Logan with an offer of a nice cold beer.

“You took it all away,” yells Logan, slicing at Peter with his claws. Peter knocks him to the floor with a punch to the head, chastising him about being ungrateful. What part of saving his life did he not understand? Getting back up, Logan slices at Peter again, chopping off a chunk of his beard. “I was dead!” he corrects. Peter didn't save Logan but brought him back just to make himself feel better. Because having Logan around definitely makes him feel better, Peter remarks bitterly.

Peter suddenly has a change of heart and suggests that perhaps he did make a mistake and that he should have left Logan as a bucket of beef stew. He should fix his mistake right now by wringing Logan's neck. Logan taunts that Peter doesn't have the balls. Peter is sick of Logan's attitude and he is sick of Logan's stupid face. Peter can't imagine anyone, anywhere, at any time being more annoying than Logan. To this Logan claims that Peter sounds like a pathetic little boy every time he opens his mouth. The two leap at each other, screaming in anger... only to be stopped, apparently frozen in time.

Two shadowy figures, a small guy and a big guy holding a baseball bat covered in diamonds, discuss the frozen scene. The bat wielder wants to watch the two of them kill each other a little since he thinks it would be a good fight. The shorter figure reminds him how pissed the Big Man was when he let the hairy one die. Besides, the fight wouldn't be that great, he reasons. The hairy one is just a brawler and the other is all talk. He reminds him of that other loser they killed in the desert who talked all crazy until they ripped out his tongue. Genghis Khan, recalls the big guy.

Guess there is only one thing to do then, says the big guy, they have to use the stick. Where will it send them? wonders the small figure. The big guy doesn't know since the two are bound together in a way only the diamonds understand. He will let the stick decide, he claims as he winds up for the swing.

Grasping his head, Logan wonders what just hit him, when suddenly a man in a suit starts to shove a yellow and black wrestling mask over his face. Mask is part of the deal he tells Logan and shoves him out from behind the curtains into a wrestling ring. Knock 'em dead, he tells him. The wrestling announcer proclaims that in this corner is the undefeated champion, the Amazing Spider-Man! “C'mon punk! You're going down!” taunts this early version of Peter.

In an arctic setting, Spider-Man crouches down, realizing there must have been another time jump. Shivering, he wonders why it couldn't have been Tahiti this time. Also why is he covered in pieces of meat? He hears growling and sees that a pack of wolves has surrounded him. You have got to be kidding me, he exclaims as he stares down a feral Logan, head of a wolf pack.

Characters Involved: 

Spider-Man, Wolverine

Doom the Living Planet

Robot Devil Dinosaur, the Small Folk

Mysterious figures

Wrestling announcer

Story Notes: 

Wolverine became leader of the Small Folk back in prehistoric times. He saved them and taught them how to brew beer, leading to them thinking of Six Claws as their Messiah. They remained in the shadows of humanity and only emerged after Doom the Living Planet wiped out mankind and its civilization.

Victor von Doom transferred his consciousness into a planet upon learning he was on the verge of death.

Spider-Man found the Phoenix gun last issue in one of his superhero item excavation sites. It was also at one of these that he found a deactivated Cosmic Cube.

The mysterious figures were seen last issue and appear to be connected to Spider-Man and Wolverine's plight of being jockeyed around the time stream. They also appear to understand how the time diamonds work.

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