Following a string of mysterious deaths in Burns, Alaska, Special Agents Sally Pierce and Tad Marshall arrive to investigate. They soon find there’s more going on than meets the eye.
This is Marvel’s first ever scripted podcast, and it was successful enough to be renewed for a second season! The show follows two special agents investigating Logan in a small Alaskan town, adopting a style similar to Serial or S-Town.
Richard Armitage portrays a darker version of Logan than Hugh Jackman’s interpretation. Logan is haunted by his past actions and looking to start over in Alaska. That said, he’s not the lead character of the story. He’s always in the background, like the shark in Jaws, but only comes to the forefront near the end.
The sound design was incredible, and it’s obvious that Marvel was willing to invest significant money into this project. Oddly enough, having Wolverine take a backseat in a story featuring his name in the title actually works. It’s intriguing and lends an air of mystery to the show. We also get to see just how terrifying Wolverine can be to the average person.
Unfortunately, Wolverine: The Long Night comes off as trying to accomplish too much. When unreliable narrators are interviewing unreliable witnesses, it’s hard to take any single conflict too seriously because it simply might not have happened. In an effort to make both the special agents and Wolverine more mysterious, we don’t learn enough about either to actually care. Character motivations are intentionally obscure, which made it seem like some events were just happening for the sake of it.
The name “The Long Night” is also misleading. Sure, there’s a cult of fanatics trying to bring about the Long Night, but it’s a subplot that gets very little time to fully develop.
It also took a while for the podcast to figure out its ad structure. They’re most likely using dynamic ads, where each “commercial” can be randomized. At the time I listened to the show, there were multiple episodes with gaps of silence instead of ads. Later episodes did contain ads, but they took up nearly five minutes of audio time. In a series with half-hour long episodes, that’s nearing the upper limit of what I’m willing to listen to.
Though I had several notable issues with The Long Night, I’m cautiously excited for what’s to come. It’s possible that Wolverine will be to audio what Iron Man was to cinema, ushering in a connected Marvel Podcast Universe. Something like this would likely introduce a wide number of people to podcasts and audio dramas.
And that can only be a good thing.