Bridgehampton actor Bob Balaban made his debut on Marvel’s first scripted podcast, Wolverine: The Long Night, back in March as the villain Joseph Langrock, but the show has only just begun airing free on iTunes and other streaming services.
Originally available for pay on Stitcher Premium, the serialized podcast’s gripping story starts after a string of mysterious, brutal deaths—nine fishermen and two women—in a remote Alaska fishing town called Burns. Special Agents Sally Pierce (Celia Keenan-Bolger) and Tad Marshall (Ato Essandoh) arrive to investigate the killings, for which Marvel’s clawed X-Men veteran Wolverine, or Logan, (played by Richard Armitage) is implicated.
The first two chapters, “A Thousand Ways to Die in Alaska” and “Goodnight Nobody” dropped on iTunes last Wednesday, September 12, and the show will air the remaining eight episodes weekly.
Balaban’s Langrock, a local fishing magnate who essentially owns Burns, doesn’t appear in person until Episode 4, but he’s not the only creep in this story. Part whodunit mystery, part comic book fantasy, Wolverine: The Long Night also features feral, survivalist children called the Strawberry Kids, an influential cult, Aurora, and its leader Nicholas Prophet who believes in the supernatural energy of ley lines and seems to gain superhuman strength during an animal sacrifice in Episode 3.
Logan, who appears less than you’d think in a Wolverine podcast, is hiding out from society in the rough edges of Alaska and attempting to catch hold of memories resurfacing from his storied and complicated past.
Just as the clawed Canuck has much beneath the surface, many of the characters inhabiting Burns are definitely hiding deeper secrets and truths. Langrock, for one, presents himself to the agents as a harmless business owner, before eventually revealing a darker cruelty. The local police, especially young and very green Sheriff’s Deputy Bobby Reid (Andrew Keenan-Bolger), could also hold secrets. Even Pierce and Marshall are more than they let on.
According to Marvel’s press release, the series, written by comics vet Ben Percy, “has received critical acclaim from around the globe. Called ‘a masterclass in dramatic realism’ by the Financial Times, Wolverine: The Long Night has received universal praise for its story, sound production, voice acting, and its thrilling hybrid of mystery and the larger-scale fantasy of the Marvel Universe. The show was named as one of the ’50 Best Podcasts to Listen to Right Now’ by Time Magazine and featured in Mashable, TechCrunch, Wired, Vulture, Studio 360 and more.”
In addition to Wolverine: The Long Night, Balaban has recently appeared on Audience’s Condor tv series, Animals on HBO and Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs.
Learn more at wolverinepodcast.com.