Home » The Two-Part Wolverine Audio Drama

Right from the beginning, “Wolverine: The Long Night” is different from other super hero audio dramas. The first episode builds up a murder case where Logan becomes the primary suspect by the end of it. The Long Night itself is tonally different from the second season on a different feed titled “Wolverine: The Lost Trail.” This review will focus primarily on The Long Night. The first Wolverine audio drama from Stitcher

Wolverine: Subverting Buddy Cop Tropes?

The story’s primary focus on two federal agents as they investigate a murder in Alaska. The first episode doesn’t’ feature Wolverine at all. It’s not what most would expect from a super hero audio drama with Logan as the titular character. Most of the drama comes from the police procedural aspect. It’s very “Fargo” in a way. The two agents are perfectly written foils for each other. The male agent, Tad Marshall, feels like a combination of two character traits commonly found in buddy-cop stories. What makes Marshall and his partner, Sally Pierce, different from the tropes of the genre is that they each take one quality from each character archetype.

Using the movie “Seven” as an example, Agent Pierce acts like the old withered veteran that Morgan Freeman plays in David Fincher’s psychological thriller. She also has qualities of Brad Pitt’s character in her hot-blooded attitude toward the people related to the investigation. Marshall’s character takes the calm and collected attitude found in the senior of the pairing. His renegade attributes are more in line with Wolverine, as both are anti-heroes.

The Sirius XM Marvel Audio Drama Universe

Sirius XM was the second big network to capitalize on the Marvel craze. While there had been other licensed audio dramas in the 1990s and going back as far as 1967 with a Doctor Strange radio drama. The first modern audio drama using Marvel characters was “Wolverine: The Long Night.” The Sirius XM Marvel universe is different from Stitcher in that XM emulated MCU’s phase 1 plan. That of building up to a crossover. Stitcher told a story without the need to connect it with other Marvel characters that aren’t part of X-men lore. That’s refreshing in a surplus of connected world syndrome.

One thing the Stitcher Wolverine audio drama does borrow from the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the two-part story. The Long Night shares a lot in common with “Avengers: Infinity War” when looked at through the lens of point of view. The writers of Infinity War and Endgame have said that Thanos is the main character for the first part. It’s his movie. The roles are then reversed and the heroes become the protagonists in “Avengers: Endgame.”

The Wolverine Audio Drama: Adapting Back to the Source

Here’s an interesting tidbit about this audio drama. The popularity of Wolverine: The Long Night spawned a comic book adaptation of the same story. I’m not sure if the comic book strays from the podcast in any way. Going from a comic book to another medium, back to a comic is one interesting path for a lot of stories, but especially rare in an audio drama. There are plenty of instances of a TV show or movie’s take on a character that influenced a decision made in the comics. Harley Quinn and John Diggle from “Arrow” come to mind. While it’s common to go one way, going backward isn’t as typical.

Listening to both shows after “X-Men ’97” wrapped up its first season on Disney Plus, there were some similarities in what both shows do with the source material. The twist during the last episode of “The Long Night” recontextualized everything regarding the two federal agents. The foreshadowing was too subtle for most to catch, focusing on certain character eccentricities and not on anything external. Aside from something brief in the penultimate episode, the foreshadowing is lacking in how effective it is. I’ll have more to say the last week of July 2024, when “Deadpool and Wolverine” comes out in theaters.

8.5+/10 Stars