Spider-Man / Wolverine #1

Issue Date: 
August 2003
Story Title: 
Stuff Of Legends

Brett Matthews (writer), Vatche Mavlian (pencils), Virtual Caligraphy’s Paul Mounts (colors), Cory Petit (letters), Nick Lowe (assistant editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Nanci Dakesian (managing editor), Kelly Lama (editor), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Peter Parker finds himself in a dark room, interrogated by a shadowed figure. This person wants to know what happened to Peter for being late. Peter begins telling his story, but warns it’s a long one. The day started like any other, and he taught his students at school. When the new principal assistant, Kelly Cox, disturbed the class with a mysterious package containing pictures of him as Spider-Man, Peter left the class for a rendezvous on the school’s rooftop. There, Nick Fury gave Peter a new mission: a government asset had been taken hostage on a private island in Japan, and needed their help. Despite the fact that Fury hadn’t the proper jurisdictions on sending Spider-Man to Japan, he goes for it before it’s too late and they can’t correct the mess. Once on the island, Spider-Man fights some soldiers and their leader, who reveals that his hostage has disgraced something, and that he waited twelve years for some payback. Spidey defeats all of the soldiers and rescues the hostage, who is revealed to be none other than… a naked Wolverine! More soldiers arrive to take on the two heroes and Logan snikts his claws out, ready for a battle. At the interrogation table, the person wants to know what happened next. Peter honestly doesn’t know, as everything happened so fast after that. For that, they’ll have to ask their second witness… Wolverine himself.

Full Summary: 

Somwhere, in a dark room…

As a bright light shines in his eyes, Spider-Man, not wearing his mask, admits he doesn’t know where to start telling his story. There’s just so much… and it’s a strange tale. Even for him. He doesn’t know how to make the story make sense to his interrogator. In the end, it all comes down to one simple truth: he is Spider-Man.

Sitting right across of Peter on a table, while his Spider-Man mask lies on it, the interrogator jokes it’s quite obvious Peter is Spider-Man. But Peter disagrees with that. His identity is supposed to be a secret. Which is a big part of why his life is so completely messed up and he’s sitting across the interrogator like this. He stops talking when he sees the questioner placing an hourglass in front of him, and asks about its meaning. The person says it’s the exact amount of time Peter has to make himself clear. And perhaps he should start at the beginning. “Right,” Peter sighs, “the beginning…”


Just a couple of days ago, things were normal. Or, at least the kind of thing that passes for that in his life. As his alarm clock goes off, Peter, still wearing the pants of his Spider-Man costume, gets out of bed and heads for the living room. There, he eats some breakfast cereal and watches some TV. He was happy. And sad, when he reads in the Daily Bugle that the war on terrorism escalates. When he stares at a picture of Mary Jane, he was happy and sad at the same time. Like he said… it was a normal day.

Peter takes a shower, during which he signs the song “Roxanne.” Getting dressed and putting his Spider-Man costume underneath his regular clothes, Peter gets a phone call from Aunt May. She just wanted to remind him about dinner next Sunday. And she doesn’t want to hear any cancellations. If Peter plays his cards right, she might even bake a pie. Peter wouldn’t miss it for the world. “Good,” Aunt May smiles on the other side of the phone, because that’s the excuse Peter normally uses. She mentions she’ll see Peter at eleven and hangs up.

Peter concludes that, if he knew then what the day was going to bring, he would have crawled back into bed right then and there.

Later, at school…

Peter explains to his students what the membrane does, making a comparison that it’s kind of like the whole Billy Bob/Angelina Jolie thing. Kelly Cox, the school’s new and cute assistant principal, interrupts Peter’s class. She just got a package that came for him and thought it would be best she brought it by herself. Silently, Peter reminds himself Kelly is still young. And he has to focus on that part really hard when Kelly gently touches Peter’s hand when she delivers him the envelope. Peter feels something tingling, and it’s not the spider-sense. Kelly whispers to Peter that she took the liberty to throw her phone number in the envelope, in case he has any questions. It’s her home number.

Peter opens the envelope and finds a scrapbook of pictures of himself in his civilian clothes, pictures of him as Spider-Man and photos of Mary Jane and Aunt May. And there is also a note in it, which reads “Meet me on the roof, Mr. Parker.” Kelly notices how distracted Peter suddenly looks and asks if there is something she can do… anything at all. Peter takes advantage of it and runs away, asking Kelly if she can watch the class for him. Before Kelly can refuse, Peter is already gone, and all of the students gape at her.

Peter runs into the hallways and believes this is bad. He means, this is the kind of bad that’s so bad you almost don’t feel it. This is Trickle-Down Economics bad. This is sand-in-the-swimsuit bad. This is Detroit Tigers bad. Hell… this is Phantom Menace bad. Peter runs up some stairs until he is on the roof, where he recognizes a familiar face… but isn’t exactly pleased to see… Nick Fury!

Fury, standing on the rooftop overlooking the city and smoking a cigar, jokes that Peter was probably expecting to see Santa Claus. Fury apologizes for yanking Peter out of his class. Now to the point: there is a matter of national security that needs to be attended to. Peter mocks that’s very unfortunate for Fury, but Fury wants Peter’s help in solving it the problem. His country needs him. Peter thinks Fury just means that he needs him and not the country. “Chicken and the egg,” Fury points out. Fury talks into his headset to another SHIELD agent: “Fury to Magic Momma: put some clothes on,” to explain they’re ready to go.

A huge, white SHIELD spacecraft appears above the school out of nowhere, and Peter is stunned by the magnificent view. Fury wants Peter to hop in, as they need to talk.


Noticing his time is almost up, Peter asks his interrogator if he could get some water. The person gets up and puts some water in a glass. And while his back is turned, Peter turns the hourglass upside down so he has more time to tell his story. He admits that, hearing himself tell this story, he guesses he wouldn’t know what to think if he would be the interrogator. He means, it all seems ridiculous. The person gives Peter the water and agrees with what Peter just said.

In his defense, Peter imagines it feels like to accidentally stick or something. Or get your butt kicked by a nutbag with metal arms. Or have to worry about what temperature to wash your tights in so the red doesn’t bleed with the blue. And he won’t even mention the clones. The interrogator reminds Peter he’s wasting time. The person wants to know about Nick Fury. This amazes Peter, causing him to spit out the water he just drank. With a serious look in his face, Peter thinks that, the only thing his questioner needs to know about Nick Fury, what anyone needs to know, is that the guy is cancer. Your only option is to face it head-on, then pray it never comes back.

Earlier, aboard Fury’s ship…

Fury explains the deal to the webslinging hero. There’s a government asset missing and Nick needs Peter to bring him back in. The plane lands in the hangar of the Helicarrier and, as pliots do a checkup on the plane, Fury and Peter step out of it, while Peter wants to know why Fury would think he’d to this for him. Fury tries to light a cigar, but a tiny mechanic arm coming from the walls yanks it out of his mouth, and puts it out. Fury quietly whispers he hates the taxpayer dollars. He explains to Peter this comes with the costume. And that’s why Nick isn’t wearing one. He rips open Peter’s jacket, revealing his Spider-Man costume beneath.

Nick opens a door and promises to explain what he can. They enter a large room with a big window. Fury looks through it and overviews the city below. He reveals this thing doesn’t technically falls within Fury’s jurisdiction… yet. If it did, Peter wouldn’t be here. The world’s a strange place these days… he knows Peter reads the papers. America isn’t much into the idea of jumping into conflicts that don’t directly involve it, and what stuff it is in deep. It doesn’t have much time for extracurricular activities. Especially as concerns a group of folks that got powers America can’t get their head around. But dandified policy doesn’t change the fact Fury has a job to do. By the time it take the politicians to agree on this thing, the whole deal will be even less manageable than it is right now. Truth to be told, Peter is already in this. Fury just needs to hear the words.

Peter looks disappointed, and asks Fury what will happen if he refuses. Fury picks up another cigar that lies on a table, and reminds Peter that blackmail is a very ugly word. He leaves, leaving Peter alone to think about it.


“No.” That’s what Peter wanted to say to Fury. For once, he wanted someone to figure out their own problem instead of just pointing a finger at him. But every time he has that thought, something he heard a long time ago plays over and over again in his head. The interrogator asks what it is. “Great power,” Peter concludes, “Great responsibility.”

Earlier, Fury’s ship…

Peter puts on his Spider-Man costume and a parachute on his back. Fury asks if he’s ready. Peter wants to hear his mission again. Fury wants him to find the camp, find the hostage and then a way out. Peter jokes Nick makes it sound so easy, but he promises it won’t be. Peter wants to know how he’ll recognize the hostage. Fury thinks he’ll stick out. He ask if they’re clear now. “Whatever,” Peter responds. Before he leaves, Peter wants to know if this place he’s going to, if Fury has ever been there. Fury smiles he has, but never when it wasn’t on fire. He pushes Spider-Man out of the ship and he skydives below…

Later that night, on a privately-held island off the coast of Japan…

A squad of soldiers are partying around a camp fire, while they’ve tied their hostage against a tree. On a hill nearby, a lone soldier stands guard. The soldiers’ leader steps forward to the very hairy hostage. In Japanese, he tells the poor guy he has built an empire for this day. He asks the hostage how long it has been now… twelve years? He gives the hostage a few hard punches in his face, and shouts out it has been twelve years since he disgraced…

Suddenly, a small rock is dropped on the leaders’ head. He looks up, and finds Spider-Man hanging upside down on a web. Spidey sarcastically asks the leader what wears a ridiculous suit covered with spiderwebs. The leader doesn’t know. Spidey answers the riddle for him: “Liberace.” Oh… and the leader himself, of course. Spidey captures the leader into some webs and jumps in front of the hostage. He tries to negotiate with the other soldiers, but they immediately open fire on him. He jumps on a tree and sticks to it, and from above can see a camera on the ground. He finds that weird and fires some webs at the soldier holding it. He also throws webs on the remaining soldiers, but then his webshooters get empty. “Ruh-Roh,” Peter jokes.

The hostage asks Spider-Man to untie his hands. Spidey jumps back down and replies that he doesn’t think there is time to do that. He kicks the small tree apart, which frees the hostage though his hands are still tied up. The hostage repeats his earlier demand, and Spider-Man agrees to do it. More soldiers arrive and point their guns at him, causing Spidy to make jokes about it. However, the hostage, calling Peter “bub,” asks him to shut up for a moment. A “snikt” sound is heard, and Peter realizes who the hostage is… a heavily tortured, and naked, Wolverine!


The interrogator wants to know what happened next. Peter honestly couldn’t tell the mysterious person, because it all happened so fast. They’ll have to ask… Wolverine himself. Logan appears out of the shadows, smiles and takes his hat off.

Characters Involved: 


Nick Fury


Japanse terrorists who have captured Wolverine (all unnamed)

unseen interrogator of Spider-Man and Wolverine

various SHIELD agents (all unnamed)

In Peter’s flashback:


Kelly Cox

Peter Parker’s students (all unnamed)

On picture:

Mary Jane Watson

Aunt May

Story Notes: 

This miniseries is part of the Marvel Knights imprint.

The Phantom Menace is a prequel to the original Star Wars movies, which though financially successful, was panned by even die-hard Star Wars critics.

“Trickle-Down Economics” is a pejorative description of “Supply Side Economics,” which maintains that if taxes are lowered for all, including upper-income earners, those extra funds will be spent or invested, thereby boosting the economy. Critics of the philosophy dismiss the economic boom in the 1980s and early 2000s after such tax cuts were enacted, saying that they were unrelated and unfairly benefit the upper income earners.

By “clones,” Spider-Man is no doubt referencing the “Clone Saga” of the 1990s, derided by fans as being a low-point in Spider-Man publication history.

Liberace was an American entertainer, known for his flamboyant style of dress, jewelry and demeanor.

Angelina Jolie is an actress who at the time of this issue’s publishing was still married to actor/singer Billy Bob Thornton.

“Ruh-Roh” is a written representation for the sound Scooby-Doo made in his cartoon series, when saying “Uh oh” in his speech pattern.

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