Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #5

Issue Date: 
November 2010
Story Title: 
Another Fine Mess Part 5

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: 

Behind the scenes of “the Spider-Man and Wolverine Show,” Mojo stands on a film set, taking all credit for the time traveling exploits of the two main characters. Czar shows up on the set, wondering when Mojo would mention that he and his “timestick” were doing all the work, but is soon cut off by the arrival of Spider-Man and Wolverine using a stolen time diamond. A fight breaks out between Czar and the two heroes that Czar ends by seemingly freezing time. However, Wolverine manifests some hidden Phoenix power to unfreeze time and the fight resumes until it is interrupted by an elderly Czar arriving to warn young Czar to kill Wolverine. While the two Czars argue, Wolverine cuts off young Czar's hand and uses his timestick to take himself and Spider-Man to the time diamonds origin point. They load up on time diamonds and return to fight Czar, only for Wolverine to enter a berserker rage and manifest Dark Phoenix.

Full Summary: 

Behold spineless masses, it's “The Spider-Man and Wolverine Show.” As cartoon versions of the duo descend the show's theme song starts playing over screens displaying flashbacks of the twos misadventures through time.

“Web-slinger and Weapon X! On crazy adventures, loaded with sex! And punching and beer and things that go Boom! Robots and dinosaurs and planet-sized Doom! Watch them act stupid as they're tripping through time! Something something something that rhymes! Best show around, everyone says so! All thanks to the genius of the all-mighty Mojo!”

It's not sexy enough, screams Mojo, who's fat and disgusting face declares that if there is one thing he knows, it's sexy. This show is the most unsexy thing Mojo has ever been involved in and it disgusts him with the lack of disgustingness and depravity.

One of his underlings challenges Mojo that he had said he wanted less sex and more violence. Mojo rants that he said that five whole minutes ago. If this guy can't pull his weight, Mojo will have him deboned and sold as a sleeping bag along with having his children's faces woven into a blanket. Mojo takes a second to command his assistant Domo to make the flayed-face skin blankets happen and to have the underling's family killed to help motivate him.

The underling mentions that there is still the girl that they have been forcing Spider-Man to dream about so as to bring her in as a possible love interest. Mojo commenting on the “originality” of Spider-Man in a long and lasting relationship loves the idea and tells Domo to cancel his last order. Domo tosses away a bloody knife agreeing, “Of course, sir.” Slapping the underling on the back, he tells him to keep up the good work and that he was sorry to hear about his family.

Yelling at Domo, Mojo demands to know who the film crew behind him is and why are they breathing all his air? Domo explains that they are the documentary crew for the behind the scenes feature being made about the show. Mojo berates them for breathing the air that he owns and tells them to stop stealing it. As the crew holds their breath, Mojo is ready to begin the interview.

Mojo monologues his own praises, declaring Mojo Productions to have outdone itself with this new hit series. In all his glory and genius, Mojo has finally unlocked the recipe for television greatness: time travel. Time itself now bends to Mojo's whim and the shooting of entertainment will never again be restricted, with the ability to film in any location in history or future. When the film crew, still holding their breath, fails to respond to his speech, he orders Domo to melt them into paste and slather them on his hindquarters.

At this moment, thuggish Czar and his dwarf friend Big Murder show up complementing their “Boss” Mojo on his speech, but point out that he failed to mention Czar in his explanation. Mojo is peeved that Czar came to see him when he expressly told him to never show up here but decides to discuss matters with his “dear friend.” Czar is confused about how Mojo unlocked the secret of the cosmos when all he did was find Czar and let him do all the work with his “timestick.” Mojo claims that he has more than paid him enough to embellish the facts to the media, and he wants to know why Czar isn't in time making the two heroes lives miserable.

Czar grimly admits that they have a problem, to which Mojo counters that as a television producer there is no problem he can't buy, lie, litigate or murder his way out of. Czar says that they got one of the time diamonds and are now traveling outside of his power. The diamonds have a mind of their own and they may never be seen again.

At this exact moment, there is a crackle of energy and Wolverine and Spider-Man appear out of thin air. “Mojo,” snarls Wolverine and unsheathes his claws. Spider-Man is relieved that everything suddenly makes sense and wants to skip to the part where they punch people until they give up.

Mojo scrambles to order Domo to start the promos for the biggest series finale in television history. Domo informs him that the flayed-face skin blankets have sold over one billion, to which Mojo wants them to add sleeves. Cartoon Spider-Man and Wolverine pop up and claim that they now return to the show which is brought to you by Mojo brand flayed-face blankets, now with sleeves.

Swinging into battle, Spider-Man comes to the conclusion that if they are TV stars now, then he should have his own catchphrase like “Poppycock!” or “Parcheesi!” Wolverine growls “Shut up and fight,” to which Spider-Man claims that is a great catchphrase. Czar and Big Murder join the fight with enthusiasm, claiming that killing someone on live TV is on the bucket list.

Meanwhile, the Mojo lackey informs Mojo that they are introducing Spider-Man's love interest. Mojo wants it to feel organic and doesn't want it to come out of nowhere. Spider-Man suddenly falls over the girl who suddenly appeared out of nowhere and starts stammering his surprise.

Reality TV style interviews of the various characters is next on Mojo's agenda in which Spider-Man reveals he started out in pro wrestling and feels he could always go back if the superhero thing doesn't work out. He is also surprised that Saturday Night Live has never called him to host, as he could be one of the all-time greats. Mojo monologues his narcissism and claims to bring joy to millions at the suffering of a few. Those who don't see his actions as saintly suffer the consequences. Czar and Big Murder insult “Kang the Ain't-Never-Conquered-$#*@.” Orb warns that the Minutemen come for us all. The love interest girl explains she was just a bank teller who found herself bouncing through time and admits Spider-Man is cute for a guy in a mask. Wolverine just menacingly mutters “Cut.”

Back to the fateful love interest meeting, the girl recognizes Spider-Man from the bank the day this all started. Spider-Man tells her that she was in his dreams and he carved a bunch of statues of her. When she questions the sanity of the statement, Spider-Man cannot legitimately refute the concern. Just as they are about to touch hands, Big Murder sarcastically feels pity about freezing time just before their moment. Czar replies that God probably never feels bad about the stuff he pulls and what are they, if not gods?

As they search Spider-Man for the missing diamond and discuss just killing the two of them right now, a frozen Wolverine's eyes start to glow with a mysterious fire. The fire explodes out of his body, unfreezing time to the amazement of all. Spider-Man takes out Big Murder and Czar starts using his time diamond teeth studs to summon a robot and caveman. As Czar lists off all the ways he could time kill Wolverine, Logan asks why he doesn't fight like a man. Czar compares fighting Wolverine to swatting a gnat and starts listing off all of his impressive accomplishments in his travels through time. Wolverine slices apart the robot and asks Czar if he seems impressed.

As Wolverine rushes over, he says that, if Czar is half as smart as he thinks he is, he would have come back in time to warn himself of all the things Wolverine is about to do to him. Just then, a flash of time energy manifests and an elderly Czar steps out to warn his younger self.

Czar is in denial that such a frail old man could be him and discounts his warning that if he doesn't kill Wolverine, he will die and the entire world will be at risk. When old Czar tells him to step aside so he can do it himself, young Czar takes offense to the disruption in his own plans. They start arguing about respect, as Wolverine just looks on in confusion.

Spider-Man slams into the back of Wolverine, explaining that the little guy knows kung-fu he's never even heard of and questions how there are two Czars. Instead of answering, Wolverine walks over to where the Czars are arguing and a shout of pain follows a Snikt! Wolverine returns with the timestick still being held by the Czar's severed hand. “Let's go,” he tells Spider-Man and drags him through a portal.

Bloody and furious, Czar demands to know why old Czar didn't warn him about what just happened. Immediately a new time portal emerges and a slightly older version of current Czar, sporting an afro and no hand comes running through yelling out a warning that Wolverine is about to cut his arm off. “Oh damn. My bad,” he apologizes.

Mojo's lackey informs Mojo that they are off script and have lost their stars. Mojo cries in joy, claiming this is the one he wants them to remember him for. Cartoon Spider-Man and Wolverine cut in to inform that they will be right back and that the Spider-Man and Wolverine show is sponsored by Pretty Mouth Pig Peelings and Small Folk Ale.

Spider-Man and Wolverine emerge from the time portal to Spider-Man's confusion. Wolverine claims the timestick diamonds are calling to each other and have brought them to their source. After informing Wolverine that they abandoned an innocent woman back there, he looks around and realizes that the time diamonds grow on trees. Phoenix-eyed Wolverine explains that this planet they are on is unstable and that, when it explodes, the time diamonds spread throughout the cosmos. One of these asteroids will hit Earth in the late Cretaceous period.

After commenting on Wolverine's apparent Wikipedia research skills, Spider-Man starts carefully extracting the diamonds off the trees. He states that these things need to be wrapped in something soft until they can figure out how to use them. He turns around to discover Wolverine casually coating his claws in the diamonds. After throwing caution to the wind, Spider-Man admits he always wanted to bedazzle something.

Back in the Mojoverse, the three Czars are arguing until the current Czar loses his temper and shoots his elderly self for his insults. Afro Czar questions why he would kill his future self, to which they come to an understanding that they would want to be killed if they ever become that pathetic and old. The time portal opens again and Afro Czar says he forgot to tell him that this doesn't end well.

As a diamond-encrusted Spider-Man and Wolverine come barreling out of the portal, Spider-Man laments that, even though they both bedazzled themselves, Wolverine still looks tough and he looks like a horrible Liberace impersonator. Spider-Man kicks Afro Czar with the diamonds on the soles of his shoes. When no one gets the joke, he regrets that nobody appreciates the classics anymore. After Czar asks if Logan expects him to beg, Wolverine tosses Czar his timestick and then the two clash in earnest.

Wolverine enters a berserk mode that involves phoenix flames coming from his eyes and body. As he slices apart the timestick, Spider-Man questions why Big Murder has now turned into a baby. Mojo demands to know if the cameras are rolling, as the inevitable side effects of firing a phoenix gun, coming to life and jumping through time rear their ugly head. Dark Phoenix Wolverine has manifested and this could be the end of all life as we know it. Spider-Man may have just crapped his diamond encrusted underwear.

Please Stand By - Mojovision

Characters Involved: 

Spider-Man, Wolverine

Big Murder, Czar, Domo, Mojo

Mojo Underling

Future Afro Czar, Future Old Czar

Bank Teller Girl

Orb (in Reality TV cut away)

Story Notes: 

Czar and Big Murder were revealed to be the cause of Spider-Man and Wolverine's time traveling woes last issue, apparently hired by Mojo for his TV show.

Orb was robbing a bank vault housing a bag of time diamonds in Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine #1. Orb has been running from the mysterious Minutemen ever since. The girl appearing in Spider-Man's dreams worked as a teller at the robbed bank.

Wolverine fired a Phoenix gun to destroy Doom the Living Planet, killing him in the process, in Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine #3. Spider-Man resurrected him with a cosmic cube in the same issue.

Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes is a song by Paul Simon.

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