Podcast Review: Wolverine - The Long Night, by Marvel
One of the most interesting things about Marvel's narrative podcast Wolverine: The Long Night is that Wolverine is barely in it.
The story is set in the fictional town of Burns, Alaska, taking place before Logan (aka Wolverine) joins the X-Men but after he's escaped the Weapon X program that lined his bones and retractable claws with adamantium, a nearly unbreakable metal alloy. Instead of following the gruff anti-hero as he struggles to find a new purpose, however, The Long Night is (mostly) told from the perspectives of two federal agents trying to find him.
This approach provides a slow-burn introduction to Logan that isn't entirely necessary—anyone pressing “Play” on the podcast probably already knows something about Wolverine (one of Marvel's most-popular characters). But the secondhand vantage allows for a compelling mystery while the agents sort out whether the shredded bodies piling up in Burns are the handiwork of Logan, a grizzly, or something more sinister.
The production values are excellent. The Long Night is written to be heard and brought to life by strong voice talent and atmospheric sound effects. Since there's no narrator, the agents direct the story, often via flashback as their reports to each other turn into dramatizations of key scenes.
I'm not sure I loved the ending. It left a few threads dangling and resolved others in a way that made their earlier prominence feel unjustified. But the big twist is fun (although ironically, it may not have been foreshadowed enough for those who aren’t familiar with the X-Men universe), and the first season's arc kept me engaged through a long car ride. I'll definitely give season two a listen once it's complete; tracking Wolverine through someone else's point of view turned out to be an experience well-worth repeating.
Listen to Wolverine - The Long Night on: Stitcher