Owsley, James C.


3 out of 5

(1 book)

Spider-Man Vs. Wolverine

(Art by Mark Bright and  Al Williamson )

The investigation of a series of murders leads Peter Parker and journalist Ned Leeds to Germany where they become embroiled in the revenge of a former freelance KGB agent.  Added to the mix is Wolverine, also pursuing the former agent but from the angle of having been their best friend and seeking to help them.  With competing agendas Spider-Man and Wolverine conflict with one another whilst caught in the crossfire of the international intelligence community.

I really like the idea of this book, with Wolverine's past as a secret agent having him already deep in the Cold War and Spidey's naievete getting him in over his head among the murky world of international espionage.  Although I have to admit that it took me a moment to get to grips with the fact that this isn't a throwback Cold War story; the Cold War was still very much a thing when this was written in the late 80s.

Unfortunately the execution isn't as strong as the premise.  It requires both heroes to do stupid or out of character things in order to lead them into conflict.  Wolverine is handled the better of the two, but there's a real disconnect from his thought processes and his actions (I know that's Wolverine's whole thing, man versus beast, thought versus instinct, but that's not exactly how its played here).  He absolutely recognises Spidey as a good kid in over his head and yet still treats him like he's secretly working for the KGB.  Spider-Man is handled much worse, however, with him acting like a total rookie as if it's the first time he's ever done superheroing.  There's also a scene where he lashes out and kills a woman, which we shall never speak of again apparently.

So, a great idea pretty clumsily executed.

3 out of 5

Collaborations & Anthologies:

Indiana Jones: The Further Adventures - Volume 2 (here)

Marvel Platinum: The Definitive Wolverine (here)


Indiana Jones (here)

Marvel Comics (here)