Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #4

Issue Date: 
October 2010
Story Title: 
Another Fine Mess Part 4

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: 

Some Knights Templar in the 13th century are assaulted by two thuggish villains, Czar and Big Murder, wielding a baseball bat covered in mysterious time displacing diamonds. After banishing all of the knights into the future, they return to the end of time to relax at their mansion party full of historical figures and women. Wolverine wrestles a young Peter Parker and becomes highly annoyed with his tendency to blabber non-stop. Seeing the bank that housed the stolen time diamonds that began his time hopping difficulties, he starts in to rob it. When Peter does nothing to stop him, Logan sees the tragedy of Peter's uncle's death. Wolverine opens the bank vault and is taken out by Czar's baseball bat. In the Canadian wilderness, Spider-Man is covered in meat and being chased by a wolf pack and a young feral Wolverine. He becomes cornered when Dog Logan shows up and tries to kill his brother, Logan, for killing their father. Spider-Man falls down a mineshaft and beaten by Czar and his bat. Both heroes wake up in the middle of a witch burning bonfire. They suspect they are being watched and it turns out to be Mojo behind their troubles.

Full Summary: 

In an uncertain time period, Logan, wearing a wrestling mask, is pinned by the young wrestler, Peter Parker. As the referee counts down, Peter gloats about how the Spider-Man wins again and Logan can suck it. Logan vows to himself that someone will die screaming for this.

In a different yet still uncertain time, Spider-Man, covered in various types of meat, runs screaming through the arctic while being chased by a pack of wolves led by a much younger Logan with bone claws.

Finally, in yet one more unspecified time period, a group of Knights Templar are riding through a mountain pass. The leader of the group calls a halt and remarks on an unseen, extremely large “Moor” in front of him. Another knight asks if that is a gnome he has with him. Finally, a third knight claims that devilry is afoot, as these two have appeared out of thin air.

Cloaked in shadow, the smaller of the pair thinks that they have spooked the knights. The bigger one believes that it doesn't take much and bets five grand they still think the world is flat. The small guy asks if they should kill some before they feed the stick, but the big guy reveals he wants to hear them talk some of that old medieval crap first.

The lead knight obliges them by declaring to the “Moor” that they are the Knight Templar on a crusade to the holy land on order of Pope Innocent II. They have come to maim and kill all who refuse to embrace his loving grace. He orders the two men aside or they will face the wrath of God.

Unimpressed the big guy mocks the knight, calling him “Lancelot” and claiming the wrath of God is all this crazy old medieval fairy tale crap. He lets the knight know if he wants to see some real wrath of God then he is looking at him. Standing revealed, the large “Moor” is actually a thuggish African American wearing army pants, a bandana, diamond encrusted jewelry, and carrying a huge diamond encrusted baseball bat. The little guy is an African American dwarf absurdly over-equipped with weapons including guns, arrows, morning-stars, explosives, and even a cannon. He also wears a Viking helmet, slot glasses, gauntlets, and an iPod.

The knights all draw their swords, and the big guy, Czar, asks the little guy, Big Murder or B for short, what they have to counter these scary swords. B answers, the Timestick and when pressed to tell them what it does, he explains that it knocks their butt literally into next week. Czar rushes the first knight thinking that a demonstration is an order so that they fully get it. As the first knight is struck on his shield, he simply vanishes in a cloud of sparkles.

Another knight demands that the black devil explain where his sorcery sent the first knight. Czar smugly replies that the stick sent him 800 years into the future to a place called Hiroshima. As he realizes that Hiroshima means nothing to these men, he chastises them for not asking the right question. They should be wondering why he is popping through time messing with fools for no reason. Grinning manically with his diamond studded teeth, he simply replies, “Cause @#$* ya'll, that's why. Any more stupid questions?”

A few seconds later, every knight has vanished and their horses stand riderless. Czar claims he wants to do Indians with bows and arrows or possibly pirates next. When asked where to now, Czar decides on home and they vanish into a green portal. As they exit the portal, they enter a huge room holding a grand party. The guests are almost entirely women from different time period and wearing all kinds of different clothing including Victorian, Egyptian, Japanese, and even Marilyn Monroe herself. A dinosaur roasts over a fire pit in the kitchen and the hall is filled with gold and treasure.

The location of this mansion is on a floating asteroid near the end of time. Yet, despite the extravagance, Czar claims the party is getting stale. He suggests grabbing Helen of Troy that B seems obsessed with or Joan of Arc again, as she was a real freak. Maybe they can grab a young James Brown with Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis.

Wondering where his harem is, he realizes they are with another version of himself. As they greet each other playfully, the current Czar asks the Czar covered in women if he is the future or past version. The second Czar says he can't keep track anymore. The first Czar asks if he whooped on Spider-Man and Wolverine yet, to which the second one confirms he hasn't. Realizing this is the past Czar, he tells him to have fun and then goes back through the portal with B, declaring they have fools to slap.

Wolverine, still in his wrestling mask, thinks to himself that yesterday he would have answered the question of who is the most annoying blabbermouth he has ever met without even thinking twice. Except he would have been wrong, because there is one person more annoying than a full-grown Peter Parker and that is the teenage version.

Said Peter rambles on about he's sorry if he hurt Logan back there; sometimes he doesn't know his own strength. After continuing on about how he could give Logan workout tips and suggesting he lose the Chuck Norris back hair look. He also suggests they pair up more, since he likes the mask and growling gimmick. Wolverine ignores him and tries to work out if he should try to find himself in this time or possibly Reed Richards. Peter keeps babbling about how he could kick Logan's butt five times a week and asks if the reason he smells funny is because he's French. Peter says it would be awesome if Logan would shower next time they fight and Logan thinks about how he needs to find Reed before he kills this kid.

Or maybe not, Logan realizes as he recognizes the bank where this whole ordeal began. He recalls that the diamonds in there have something to do with all of this and decides he can sort this out if he gets his hands on them. An annoyed and ignored Peter tries to get his attention, claiming that there are many people willing to play punching bag to the Spider-Man. Wolverine tells him to beat it and informs him that he is going to rob the bank.

When Peter has no problem with this, Wolverine is caught off guard. Peter explains that Spider-Man isn't in the stopping-bank-robbers business but the business of looking out for himself. A disturbed Wolverine's eye suddenly flashes an image of fire. Logan suddenly sees Spider-Man's future of failing to stop the burglar that kills his uncle and determines his destiny of becoming a hero. Holding his head, Logan murmurs about Peter's uncle, to which Peter asks what about his uncle Ben. Logan looks at him with pity and just wishes him good luck as he walks into the bank.

As Wolverine ponders the significance of these flashes, he determines he will have to deal with it later. He pops his claws and thinks that it’s time to rob a bank. He yells out that nobody move and nobody gets cut. He yells at the protesting manager to get out of the way and then slices open the vault. Out of the sizable hole swings a diamond encrusted bat, smacking him right in the jaw. Czar steps out and claims that Logan can't have the diamonds since they are his. But he can kiss them if he wants, so pucker up.

AAAGGGGHHH!! yells Spider-Man, running through the arctic woods, still covered in various cuts of meat. He stops a minute near a mine shaft to catch his breath and reflect on the ridiculousness of the situation when a younger feral Logan stalks toward him. He unsuccessfully attempts to reason with the berserker Logan and barely avoids being slashed across the stomach while Logan's wolf pack forms a circle.

Spider-Man yells his frustrations, having had just about enough of being yanked through time, living with dinosaurs and ape people and giant talking planets and some dude with an eyeball for a head. He even grew a beard and he hates growing beards! And he wants to know why he is covered in meat! Also why is there this girl that keeps appearing in his dreams? He knows it all sounds crazy but Logan is the craziest person of all and he can't get away from him. He thought that he and Logan were becoming friends with them both being on the Avengers but Logan just wants to kill him. Now Spider-Man just wants to kill him too. It is officially the worst team-up in his life and he has teamed up with Frog-Man before. He would say that it couldn't get any worse but it always does when one says that.

Immediately after this outburst, someone starts shooting at them. Spider-Man and Logan both dive for cover and Logan's wolf pack runs off. Spider-Man protests that he “didn't” say that it could get worse. The mystery man yells to “James” that he has finally got the little mongrel this time. He wants Logan to come out to see how much his little brother has grown. Dog Logan steps into the clearing, holding a smoking shotgun with three prominent scars slashed across his face.

Dog taunts “Jamey-boy” that he should have killed him when he had the chance, since there was no way he was just going to forget what Logan did. Dog certainly remembered every time he looks in a mirror. He also remembers the two of theirs daddy, who may not have been much but was all Dog had. Their father didn't deserve to be gutted like a fish. Logan took him from Dog just like he took everything else that Dog deserved more than Logan. What James mother said just before killing herself was right about Logan being nothing more than a rabid animal. He has come to put him down, Dog explains as he lights a stick of dynamite.

An enraged Logan jumps from cover screaming at Dog just before the dynamite explodes. Spider-Man is caught in the explosion and sent hurtling backward into the mine shaft. Bouncing down the tunnel, lined with time diamonds, Spider-Man is suddenly quickly flashing in and out of different times. First he is back in prehistoric times with his beard, then he's in the dystopian future with Doom the Living Planet, then he's on a picnic with that girl from his dreams. He wants to stop and find out who the girl is but he is back in the present during the bank robbery and sees that the girl is one of the bank tellers.

Suddenly Spider-Man is back in the diamond covered mine shaft wondering what just happened, when he realizes the walls are covered with the same diamonds stolen from the bank. The Czar appears with B and claims he could explain what is happening if he wanted to, but he doesn't. Spider-Man gets slammed into a wall and groggily asks if he missed a fight scene. B claims that they had a fight and Spider-Man didn't do so good. Spider-Man is just relieved to see some honest-to-god super villains because he thought he was going crazy for a minute. He welcomes the inevitable monologue about their origin and master plan but only gets Czar's Timestick to the face.

Wolverine and Spider-Man wake up tied back to back on a post in the middle of a witch burning bonfire. They are surrounded by a gathering of Dark Ages peasants cheering their deaths. Wolverine guesses that Spider-Man was also hit by a guy with a bat and Spider-Man confirms. He also adds that the little guy with nun-chucks totally did not kick his butt. So here they are again, Spider-Man jokes, causing Wolverine to scowl.

Sorry about your uncle, Wolverine tells a surprised Spider-Man. He recalls wrestling Logan now that he thinks about it. Then Spider-Man apologizes about Logan's entire family and tells him that he met Logan's brother. Wolverine cuts him off, not wanting to hear about it. Spider-Man continues describing the events, asking Logan if he really doesn't remember a guy covered in meat.

Logan concludes that they are being toyed with and this is all for somebody's amusement. He bets they are watching them right now. They have been yanked around time to look like fools and they are back to square one. While Spider-Man agrees about Logan looking like a fool, he isn't sure about the last part. He grasps a time diamond in his hand.

The two of them are on a television screen and a voice complains about how camera two looks like crap and they just lost audio. A member of the peasant crowd turns out to be some kind of advanced camera and claims to its boss that there is some kind of interference. The voice explains that they hold themselves to a higher quality of entertainment, that when people hear the name Mojo they think good, clean, extravagantly violent fun. Surrounded by screens covered in all of Spider-Man and Wolverine's time exploits, he says they should give the people what they want.

Characters Involved: 

Spider-Man, Wolverine

Young James Howlett/Logan, Young Peter Parker

Big Murder, Czar

Dog Logan


Knights Templar, Peasants, Various time period party guests

Story Notes: 

Spider-Man and Wolverine have been bouncing through time after they tried to stop the villain Orb from robbing a bank of mysterious diamonds.

Czar and Big Murder have had various conversations alluding to their being the cause of Spider-Man and Wolverine's troubles. Up to this point, they were always cloaked in shadow.

The Knight Templar were sent by the Pope to perform the crusades and take back the holy land in the Middle East. This time occurred between the 11th and 13th century.

When Peter Parker first gained his spider powers, he used them to make money in professional wrestling. It wasn't until his Uncle Ben was killed by a burglar that he let escape, that Peter became the hero Spider-Man.

Wolverine's family history is told in the mini-series Origin, where his rich Canadian parents raised a young sickly James Howlett. Dog Logan was the groundskeeper's son and it is discovered that they are half-brothers. Dog Logan's father was having an affair with his mother and he killed Mr. Howlett in jealousy. In a rage, James sprung his bone claws, killed Mr. Logan and slashed Dog's face. His mother killed herself after these events. A few years later, James, now called Logan, begins living in the Canadian wilderness with a pack of wolves.

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