Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert on ‘Astonishing Spiderman & Wolverine’ [Interview]
Some things just go great together. Like peanut butter and jelly. Some things don't go so great together. Oil and water have never been that popular, as random acts of dammit are so keen to remind us. Back in black-and-white times the most feared combination was hydrogen balloon plus match, and after Hitler blew up the Heisenberg, can you blame them? Occasionally, though, things that don't go together don't go together so well that they actually do go together. It's rare, but it happens. Whoever discovered cobras and mongooses was a genius!
It is into this category that we place Spider-Man and Wolverine. Men who, despite their distaste for one another, make an awesome team in the new "Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine" series out this week from Marvel Comics. Hand-picked to communicate the awesomeness of their dynamic: Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert.
On Cinco de Mayo (May 5th, gringo), Aaron and Kubert held a release-day signing at Elite Comics in Overland Park, Kansas, a store Aaron likes so much he had it immortalized in "Who Won't Wield the Shield?" John Parker performed this interview in 90-second bursts between clumps of autograph seekers while audio from an AC/DC concert DVD chugged and thudded in the background. Angussss!!!
CA: The first time you worked together was the two-part "Wolverine" story?
Jason Aaron: That's right.
CA: And in my opinion the parts with Spider-Man were the best, when everything really popped. Did "Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine" spring directly from that?
JA: Probably. We did that, and I think Adam [Kubert] had a lot of fun doing that even though I was a little worried, it was a weird story. The first half was very much a lot of quick bits, jumping around to different stories, tons of characters thrown in there. The second story was the exact opposite. It was mostly just two guys sitting at a bar talking, but we had a lot of fun with that and people really seemed to like it, and then from that next thing I knew, Marvel had offered me this book.
And I think when they offered it to me it was almost like I'd already said yes... I never even thought about saying no. Then it was just a matter of figuring out what we wanted to do, and I think what we did is something very different from that first story. It's the same because it focuses on these two characters and how they bounce off each other and rub each other the wrong way, but kind of pulls them through an adventure that gets into all sorts of crazy corners in the Marvel Universe along the way.
CA: Adam, did Marvel just come and ask if you wanted to do this specifically, or were they throwing a bunch of projects at you?
Adam Kubert: No, they asked me. They said, "do you want to do a new Spider-Man/Wolverine book," and I said "that sounds interesting." Then they said "Jason Aaron is going to be writing it," and I said yes. It was really that quick.
CA: This is part of a new line Marvel's doing, the "Astonishing" books. Does that mean they're not set directly in the Marvel Universe?
JA: No, it is set directly in the Marvel Universe. Just like "Astonishing X-Men" has always been within Marvel continuity. It just doesn't necessarily reflect what's going on at exactly that point in Marvel continuity. It's a little more freedom. But as you saw, like in Joss Whedon's run on "Astonishing X-Men," that had ramifications on the Marvel U. Kitty Pryde went away, and Colossus came back and those things carried over. So this is the same thing. It's not a book that ties in directly to anything else going on in the Marvel Universe right now. It's standalone, but it'll still have ramifications that will play out for the characters in the Marvel U.
CA: The "Heroic Age" that all these books are touting, does that mean things are going in a super-optimistic direction, or -- ?
JA: No. Not necessarily. I mean, nothing I ever write is really going in that super-optimistic direction, you know? I'm doing a Wolverine story that's a "Heroic Age" tie-in of Wolverine going to Hell. So the "Heroic Age" doesn't mean that things are all rosy and everything's going to be great. It's a change in direction, and the story has wrapped-up that started in "Civil War," and "Secret Invasion" and all that stuff. That story's wrapped up and there's no big one event driving the Marvel Universe right now. It's really a collection of these smaller stories that really get back to the heroes kinda doin' what heroes do.
This wasn't taken during the signing. This is FCBD, and too awesome not to post.
CA: What do you think makes Spider-Man and Wolverine such an interesting team to do a comic about, visually? They're pretty juxtaposed figures; does that make them fun to draw together?AK: Well visually they're completely different. They're completely different personalities, so they act different. They stand different, they walk different, they talk different, they look different. But in a weird way...they don't get along but they kinda have to get along.
CA: Is it a love-hate relationship? Buddy cop?
AK: Not even. I mean it's a weird one, it's not even a good cop-bad cop or even a buddy thing. It's like Jason's throwing them together in a story where they have to get along, and they're not getting along, but they manage to get along.
CA: So we don't get to hear Wolverine say "I'm too old for this sh-t?"
Laughing JA: No, we don't get that. We get to see him say a lot of other things that aren't so nice, but not that.
CA: Adam, you've been around the industry for a while now and have worked with a lot of writers. And though Jason's profile continues to rise, he's still relatively new.... What do you think of the collaboration you two have? How well do you think you work together?
AK: In the past, I would say, five-ten years I've been really spoiled with good stories and working with good writers. Once you've worked with a good story you realize how much easier your job gets as an artist. You don't want to go back, you want to keep going forward. Working with Jason has been just another step for me working with another great writer. I don't see him as a new writer, you know? I see his work as very seasoned.
JA: I think everything he said was just bullsh-t, he's been horrible to work with.
AK: That goes ditto.
CA: Are you hoping this turns into an ongoing series?
Laughing AK: I thought it was ongoing.
JA: Well it's not ongoing in the sense that it's going to be a sixty-issue run. I mean, I think you'll see more Spider-Man/Wolverine stuff from us than just this. That said, these first six issues are really one contained story. It sets up stuff for another story...but that story, when we do it, will be about as different from this story as it could be. So over the course of all that you'll get a lot of different elements; a lot of different villains, some new, some old; a lot of different kinds of situations that we've thrown these characters into.