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Podcast / Wolverine

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"Came here because I was running. Running from myself. But I'm not gonna run again."
— Logan

A scripted podcast written by Benjamin Percy and Marvel's first attempt to get into scripted audio dramas since The Fantastic Four audio drama in 1974. Richard Armitage stars as Wolverine in an investigative mystery.

The first season, called Wolverine: The Long Night, is set in Alaska, where FBI agents Tad Marshall and Sally Pierce investigate serial killings that have been plaguing the small town of Burns, with Logan as the prime suspect. But as the investigation proceeds, the town reveals its layers as the investigators discover more of Logan, the wealthy Longrock family that seems to run Burns, the mysterious Aurora cult and the local mythology...

The second season is called Wolverine: The Lost Trail, bringing Wolverine down to New Orleans where he investigates disappearances with the help of none other than Gambit.

General Tropes in Wolverine:

  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Logan is cynic murderer with a trail of bodies in his wake, but he's effectively a boyscout compared to the sort of menace he goes against.
  • But Now I Must Go: In classic Logan fashion, when the business is dealt with, he tends to leave (to avoid getting in trouble with the authorities when they arrive).
  • Darker and Edgier: The superhero audio drama genre has generally stayed in a more light-hearted and adventure tone (as made famous by the Superman serials that codified the genre). Wolverine: The Long Night is very grim and gritty, approaching themes like drug trafficking and serial killers. This also applies when it comes to mainstream adaptations of Wolverine, as this audio drama is one of the few (alongside Logan) where he's allowed to curse and inflict graphic wounds with his claws.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: Whenever animal cruelty is featured in an episode, this disclaimer is featured in the credits.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The fact it is an audio drama (and obviously you have no visual of anything) is used to make the violence and horror all the more foreboding and disturbing. In season 1, for example, the monstrous killer all the more foreboding, as you only get vague descriptions and animalistic, ominous noises of his presence.

Tropes in Wolverine: The Long Night:

  • Abusive Parents: Joseph Langrock does not treat Hudson Langrock very well.
  • Anti-Villain: Of the antagonists of The Long Night, two are more sympathetic than the others. Sheriff Ridge, while an asshole, is ultimately just trying to do what he thinks is best for the town, and Hudson Langrock himself has some sympathy points due the horrible parental abuse he endured.
  • Anyone Can Die: Unless you're Logan (whose inability to die is a source of grief), you're fair game.
  • Apocalypse Cult: Aurora is a cult preparing for the "Long Night."
  • Arc Words: "Goodnight Nobody."
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The Langrocks, the wealthiest family in Burns, is a criminal empire, smuggling narcotics and murdering anyone who got in their way.
  • Bear Trap: A Strawberry Kid gets trapped in one.
  • Beneath Suspicion: The actual culprit turns out to just sneak past the radar of the investigators (and likely the audience), in the form of Hudson Langrock, the least relevant member of the Langrock family who barely shows up before the reveal.
  • Big Bad: Hudson Langrock turns out to be the killer. He's a mutant with the ability to transform into some kind of animalistic creature similar to a werewolf, explaining why the grisly murders were mistaken for bear attacks.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Langrocks are a very wealthy and very distorted bunch, between the antisocial introvert Hudson Langrock, the sociopathic Jerk Jock Brent Langrock and the iron-fisted politician Joseph Langrock.
  • Bittersweet Ending: As befitting of the noir influences, the ending has a bleakness to it. Logan escapes and some measure of justice is done (with the destruction of the Langrock clan), but Logan himself remains a suicidal mess who is forced to leave town after the events attracted such attention to him. Agent Marshall, the Weapon X operative sympathetic to Logan and the town, ends up being executed in cold blood while trying to protect Wolverine. Hudson Langrock, the serial killer with a trail of bodies in his wake, effectively gets away scott-free to commit more crimes.
  • Colliding Criminal Conspiracies: The Langrock Clan, the Aurora religious cult, Logan himself and the Strawberry Kids are all competing factions involved in some form of criminal conspiracy (at least in the legal sense).
  • Crime-Concealing Hobby: The killer's trade helps hide his crimes in the form of his day-job as a taxidermist allowing him to quickly get rid of body parts.
  • The Cult: The Aurora Cult, which worships "the Long Night" and "mystical leylines" in Alaska, seeking to bring upon the titular "Long Night".
  • The Dog Bites Back: After being subjected to abuse for most of his life, Hudson Langrock finally snaps and kills both his brother Brent and his father Joseph.
  • Enhance Button: When Marshall is examining a dark image, he zooms in and presses "clarify" to see the license plate number.
  • Evil All Along: Marshall and Pierce are revealed to be Sentinel androids created by Weapon X to track Logan down
  • Irony: Presumably, Logan came to Burns because it's a tiny town on the edge of civilization, where he could live unnoticed. He couldn't have picked a worse town for hiding. Burns has tons going on.
  • Fantastic Noir: It is a very Noir-esque narrative of crime, moral ambiguity, interwining criminal conspiracies and gruesome murder, but with mutants and other fantastical elements in it.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: The locals really don't like Logan. A few want him dead just for existing.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Sally Pierce and Weapon X.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Marshall lets Logan escape so that he can do some more good, but is executed by Pierce shortly after.
  • The Hermit: Logan is living as a recluse in the woods.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Logan is despised by most of everywhere he goes, but he is overall fairly well-intentioned (if prone to collateral damage, as he points out).
  • Humanity Ensues: Marshall attempts a Heel–Face Turn due to being programmed to empathize with others.
  • Implausible Deniability: Sheriff Ridge is adamant the crimes were committed by a bear, but the main investigators keep pointing out the crimes involve things a bear could not do (most memorably ripping off a car door or walking on its hind legs).
  • Jerkass: Sheriff Ridge is prejudiced towards outsiders and has been trying to get Marshall and Pierce to leave Burns despite there being a serial killer on the loose. He even sent his deputy to spy on them.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: There's a general rift between the regular police and the FBI.
  • Karma Houdini: The ever-ruthless Hudson Langrock is recruited to Weapon X to become one of their weapons, allowing him to freely continue butchering people like he wants to, just for an employer now.
  • Killed Off for Real: In the final episode, Pierce terminates Marshall.
  • The Kirk: Marshall is this to Pierce, being polite and compassionate, but always remaining professional.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Marshall erases his memories so that his claim of killing Logan seems more credible.
  • Let Off by the Detective: In the very end, Marshall lets Logan go.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: One wouldn't call "11 people found mutilated in a boat" a "Minor" crime normally, but it is definitely minor in comparison to the sort of thing Marshall and Pierce end up uncovering about Burns.
  • Red Herring: The story sets up Brent Langrock as the likely culprit, only for him to turn out dead and the culprit turn out to be someone else.
  • The Reveal: There are two. The first being the real identity of the killer (Hudson Langrock), and the second being that Pierce and Marshall are actually androids sent by Weapon X to retrieve mutants.
  • Sequel Hook: The story ends with Pierce figuring out Logan is still alive and deciding to still pursue him. Logan seems to be aware this is how things usually go and decides to skip town.
  • The Spock: Pierce is this to Marshall, being cold and blunt to the point of rudeness. Makes sense, considering she's a literal robot programmed to be a sociopath.
  • Spotting the Thread: There appears to be some effort (on the part of the culprit) to frame the killings as having been done either by a feral bear or Logan, but as the story progresses several clues start to bring down those possibilities: the animalistic killer displays much more intelligence than a bear is supposed to (and walks on two legs) and is described as being at least six feet tall (when Logan is notoriously small in stature).
  • Stealthy Colossus: The main creature turns out to be surprisingly hard to track, for such a huge being.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Burns has several.
  • Tragic Villain: The killer has a very sympathetic background. Hudson Langrock having lived under parental and fraternal psychological and physical abuse.
  • Wild Child: The Strawberry Kids, the town's local feral children.
  • Wretched Hive: As the episode unfolds, more and more dark facets of Burns become clear to the point you realize the city is just a rotten place to be in general.
  • You Just Told Me: Pierce convinces Marshall that a fisherman told her what actually happened to Logan. Marshall is confused because the fisherman promised to corroborate his story, but it turns out Pierce had tricked him into revealing the truth.

Tropes in Wolverine: The Lost Trail:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Logan tells Master Mold he is about to end Weapon X.
    Master Mold: If I was capable of laughter, this would be it.
  • Adaptation Expansion / Adaptational Badass: Maureen is a take on Logan's wife during Old Man Logan (whose death is the driving role in the climax), but here she has a much larger role in the narrative, in Logan's life and a plot of her own as a former member of the Weapon X like him, plus is also a fearsome mutant.
  • Affably Evil: "The Man of Whispers" ( a.k.a Jason Wyngard/Mastermind) is shown as a extremely suave, cordial gentleman who never falters in his nice manners. He's also kidnapping people.
  • Arc Words: "Weapon X is authority", the code-word Agent Pierce (and others) use to respond to Weapon X, comes up a lot in varying levels of significance.
  • All Bikers Are Hell's Angels: Season 2 involves "The Cold-Blooded", a gang of xenophobic, violent bikers that hunt down mutants. They're probably inspired by the notorious history of bigotry in One-Percenter biker gangs.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: There's a general conflict brewing between Weapon X and "The man of Whispers" ( later revealed to be Jason Wyngarde, a.k.a Mastermind), who is kidnapping people in New Orleans, and both are very evil and have bunch of innocent people in the crossfire. Logan even points out how it's evil vs evil.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: This season has a more ambiguous ending and yet hopeful than the first. Wyngarde is stopped when Logan lobotomizes him, and the people he kidnapped (Marcus, his mother, Gambit and Maureen) included all walk free. Logan makes a deal with Agent Pierce to re-join Weapon X, but not before making sure they won't ever go after Maureen again. The season ends with Logan in Weapon X captivity, acting as a Trojan Prisoner. The last scene of the season is Logan uploading a virus to the Weapon X mainframe and, as Master Mold starts to malfunction, unsheathing his claws and charging headfirst into the Sentinel army, claiming "Weapon officially cancelled!".
  • The Chessmaster: "The Man of Whispers" is running a very vast gambit against Weapon X. No wonder they call him Mastermind.
  • The City Narrows: Wolverine and Marcus end up making their way to some rather seedy parts of New Orleans.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Cold-Blooded first decide to face Logan with blunt weaponry and small hand weapons. It does not end well for them. Weapon X also completely wipes out the Cold-Blooded without breaking a sweat.
  • Deal with the Devil: The tenth episode is named this trope verbatim, for Logan's tough choice of dealing with one or two devils: either side with Pierce and Weapon X or Wyngarde. He ends up choosing Agent Pierce.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Keeping up with X-men traditions of heavy-handed social allegories, this season features The Cold-Blooded using some very transparent versions of real-life bigot rhetoric. One of the most noticeable allies Logan has is also a drag queen operating out of a gay bar.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Agent Pierce does not want unnecessary loss of human life. Mutant, on the other hand...
  • The Evils of Free Will: The goals of one of the central antagonists is wiping out free will to bring about a utopia.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Quoth Logan:
    Logan: Lemme weaselly psycho who thinks he can play god and a underground black-ops responsible for countless deaths...tough choice.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Logan doesn't kill Jason Wyngarde, but he does make him suffer. More specifically, by lobotomizing him.
  • Fed to the Beast: Bonnie Roach, the head of the Cold-Blooded biker gang, feeds mutants to her huge gator Jedediah.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The main plot of this season concerns the hidden mutant village of Greenhaven, and the way it may be more sinister than it seems.
  • Humanity Ensues: The "humanization" process Marshall endured last season looms over Pierce, as her superiors fear the same will happen to her. It doesn't quite happen, but she does develop more "irrational" behavior and starts to care for civilians a lot more.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: The Cold-Blooded hate Mutants as pests because they think humanity is losing their place.
  • Just Desserts: Jedediah, the huge gator, ends up eating his owner, Bonnie Roach.
  • Karmic Death: The Cold-Blooded, a gang of mutant-hating racists, end up being massacred by the Sentinels, a group of robots designed to hunt mutants.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: It is a season with the notorious Vitriolic Best Buds pair Gambit and Wolverine, of course they fight at some point due some misunderstood circumstances. Namely, when Gambit is under Mastermind's sway in Greenhaven.
  • Lovable Rogue: Gambit is here in proper form, suave thief with a heart of gold.
  • Morality Pet: Logan develops a fondness for the young boy Marcus.
  • Mythology Gag: Jason Wyngarde is usually referred by his birthname rather than his more commonplace comic book cognomen ( Mastermind), but at one point Logan says: "I'm gonna rip this place apart until I find the mastermind behind it!").
  • "Rashomon"-Style: What exactly happened in Logan's past with Weapon X is very murky, and we get several different PO Vs on it (some of them mutually contradictory) over the course of the season.
  • Swamps Are Evil: The swamps of Louisiana contain a psychic menace, implacable robots, a gang of xenophobic bikers and gators.
  • Trojan Prisoner: Logan is captured by Weapon X, but little do they know he used his captivity to allow Maureen to upload a virus to their network, thus eroding them from within.
    Logan: I'm not your prisoner...I'm your cancer!
  • The Watson: Marcus, a young Louisiana boy with little knowledge of Weapon X who tags along with Logan, serves as a useful tool to explain the audience aspects most other characters already know.
  • Would Not Shoot a Civilian: Agent Pierce gets absolutely incensed when civilians get caught in the crossfire of the conflict.

"Killing is a sin, isn't? So I'm a sinner..."
— Logan

Alternative Title(s): Wolverine The Long Night