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Wolverine leaps forward, claws out and teeth bared in Wolverine #33 (2023). Image: Gene Luen Yang, Peter Nguyen/Marvel Comics

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Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

When writer Benjamin Percy and artist Juan José Ryp cranked up the heat on the inevitable clash between Wolverine and a breaking-the-sound-barrier-on-the-slippery-slope Beast, I thought to myself: Oh, man, this is going to be brutal.

Wolverine justice is always of the guts-and-blood variety, after all, and currently in Marvel Comics, Beast has an army of lobotomized Wolverine clones for an army and an advisory board of his own equally intelligent clones.

What I didn’t expect: Hank’s crimes against nature are pure office comedy.

What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)

Wolverine #33

Six clones of Beast sit around a table discussing “analytics on our next target.” The room is rocked by an explosion and they topple over where, pince nez flying, exclaiming “Goodness!” and “Harr!” and “Damn it all.” in Wolverine #33 (2023). Image: Benjamin Percy, Juan José Ryp/Marvel Comics

Wolverine #33 heavily features the “office politics” of Beast’s secret lair — an office where everyone is a clone of Beast, and their “business” is preemptively eradicating anyone who poses harm to mutantkind.

“But,” you say, “what happens when the clones — which Beast made nearsighted on purpose so they’d have to wear old-timey pince-nez — decide they’re tired of playing second fiddle?” Well, Beast has listening devices everywhere, knows when his workforce (beastforce) is unionizing, and just clones five lobotomized Wolverines to execute them and then clones more.

But forget logistics, this is Strangelove rules, we’re here for comedy: Turns out when the Beasts’ secret undersea base gets knocked around all their silly glasses fly off at the same time and it’s incredibly funny.

Murder Inc.: Jagger Rose #1

A scarred man and woman sit in Sunday best in the Vatican. “Dino would shit if he knew this was happening,” the man says. “You still think it’s a setup?” the woman asks. “Oh, for sure. But come on,” he replies in Murder Inc.: Jagger Rose #1 (2023). Image: Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Avon Oeming/Dark Horse Comics

Writer Brian Bendis and artist Michael Oeming’s new globetrotting assassin series has an irresistible hook to it: It takes place in a world where the Italian mafia of 1930s NYC never stopped growing in power. Now it’s a full-on John Wick-style alternate universe where you can smoke weed on commercial airlines, Vatican enforcers have shotguns, and the Pope is a Black woman.

Amazing Spider-Man #25

“Don’t move!” Mary Jane and her companion shout as they bust down a cabin door and draw guns on two small children. “Do you know the Scribble Man?” asks the boy child, in The Amazing Spider-Man #25 (2023). Image: Zeb Wells, Kaare Andres/Marvel Comics

The central question of the latest incarnation of Amazing Spider-Man is “What happened one year ago to make all of Peter’s superhero friends hate him and, more importantly, to make Mary Jane... somehow get a husband and two kids really really fast?” Issues 24 and 25 were publicized as the final big reveal of what went wrong in Peter Parker’s life.

Turns out, MJ got trapped in an apocalyptic pocket dimension where time moved faster, and when Peter was finally able to rescue her, enough time had passed that she had forged a nuclear family unit with another survivor. In this week’s issue, we got to see the whole romance, and... I mean, it’s just not that romantic? There’s very little that happens in #25’s flashback that couldn’t be inferred from #24 (except maybe that the kids aren’t biologically Mary Jane’s; turns out that red-headed moppet was just a red-herring moppet).

Two adults trapped in a hell dimension slowly realizing help isn’t coming and falling for each other is high melodrama, but Amazing Spider-Man #25 doesn’t even have them kiss on-panel. Are MJ and this guy not really in love? Is it all a ruse/fake dating for plot reasons/she’s just staying with him because he’s about to die of an alternate-dimension disease? Smells like a further secret reveal later down the line, if you ask me.


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