The amount of pretension in the announcement of the new Wolverine audio drama is highly entertaining. You see, it’s not being branded as an audio drama. No, it’s a “scripted podcast.” Because that’s new and cool. But let’s all be honest for a second. Audio drama has been around since the advent of radio. The BBC still produces a lot of it without trying to make it sound like they’re creating a new medium. There’s such a thing as full cast audio books, too.
Now, pretense aside, this is a potentially interesting development. The Stitcher podcast network will be producing it for Spring 2018 for their Stitcher Premium program, before a fall roll out across other platforms. Which means the original run will cost $4.99/mo according to Stitcher’s FAQ. Assuming the 10-part series is weekly, time to budget $14.97 for a 3-month subscription to Stitcher. Which is considerably less expensive than buying 10 issues of Wolverine comics.
So what’s the premise of the story? Stitcher is being a little cagey about that. The title is Wolverine: The Long Night. Wolverine is up in Alaska and there’s a cult operating there. A cult that might have powers. And there have been some murders. What we do know is that Benjamin Percy is making a non-DC appearance to write the script. Richard (Thorin Oakenshield) Armitage is voicing Wolverine. The rest of the cast includes Scott Adsit (30 Rock), Bob Balaban (Moonrise Kingdom), (Tony winner) Brian Stokes Mitchell, (Drama Desk winner) Celia Keenan-Bolger and Andrew Keenan-Bolger.
And, of course, this is potentially the first installment in a sort of “Marvel Audio Drama Universe.” Interestingly, Percy specifically says “We have a fun opportunity here, and that’s to create our own continuity. A continuity that will grow more and more expansive as the Marvel Podcast Universe expands.”
All joking about trying to make a podcast drama sound different from any other form of downloadable audio aside, they’ve assembled some interesting talent for this experiment. There could be something here, we’ll just have to wait a few months to find out.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.