Marvel Team Up #1


Reviewer: Tim Stevens
Story Title: N/A

Written by: Robert Kirkman
Art by: Scott Kolins
Colored by: Studio F
Lettered by: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics

The book that is saved by the art is, for me, a rare experience, a sort of blue moon occurrence. Still, rare does not mean nonexistent and this is one entry in that rare pantheon. Scott Kolins art has clicked with me from his collaboration with Geoff Johns on Flash. I love his linework, his sense of detail, his ability to show both the chaotic and tragic in the world of comics as well as mining its light and comedic moments. All of this skill is on display this month in MTU #1 and every last bit of it is needed. His art looks great. For those who felt that his work on Avengers (the main title, not Eart’s Mightiest Heroes) was weaker on Flash (a group I do not count myself amongst) this should assure you that he still has the goods.

There are a few problems with the book, but it is difficult for me to say which undermines my enjoyment of it the most. I admit to a certain bias against Wolverine. I get the attraction for fans. At his purest form, as he was portrayed in the films, Wolverine is an incredibly intriguing, involving character. I get it from a business sense. Wolverine is the single most popular member of the most popular family of titles that Marvel publishes. For me, however, Wolverine is kind of like Marvel’s Tasmanian Devil. He is on all the merchandise, he is always a headliner, every kid recognizes him, but it never feels to me like he deserves it. Truth be told, regardless of my love for Spidey, I would not have picked up this first issue had I not been assigned to review it.

I will, however, give credit where credit is due. Kirkman does a nice job of building the Spidey/Wolvie relationship. It is all very buddy cop movie-esque, but cliché or not, when a relationship is done well, it is enjoyable. The hero interactions are easily the strongest part of Kirkman’s script.

Beyond that, the Marvel Kirkman (he of Jubilee, Captain America, and 2099) continues to demonstrate a disconnect from the Image Kirkman (Invincible, Walking Dead) that so many people have raved about. His writing is good, but not great. There is, thankfully, a gravity here to his work that was missing from Captain America, but the script still fails to make any sort of deep impression. Even the final page, well illustrated by Kolins, lacks the sort of shock and emotional wallop you expect that the moment is designed to induce. In the end, there is nothing bad about the story Kirkman is telling, but there is not enough to persuade that I was wrong to be disinterested in a Spider-Man/Wolverine team-up. I’ll keep my eye on the book for the future less traditional team-ups, but this will be a selective purchase, not a month-to-month guarantee.