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July 2, 2012

Guide to Marvel Two-In-One #16 the Thing & Ka-Zar

Filed under: Guide to Marvel Two-In-One — Doorman @ 12:19 pm

Marvel Two-In-One launched in 1974, teaming the Thing with a different hero each month. This guide will tell you everything you wanted to know about the series – and more!

Marvel Two-In-One #16Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: June 1976
Cover Price: 25¢
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artist: Ron Wilson

WHO stars in this issue?

the Thing – Benjamin J. Grimm was bombarded by cosmic rays in a space exploration flight, alongside three friends. The cosmic rays gave each of them different powers, and they formed the Fantastic Four. Ben underwent the most physical change of the foursome: his skin mutated into orange rock and, as a result, he gained super-strength.

Ka-Zar – Kevin Plunder is a “jungle lord” (essentially, Marvel’s version of Tarzan) that makes his home in the Savage Land. It is a prehistoric land that exists beneath the icy crust of Antarctica – filled with a hot, jungle climate and dinosaurs. He is often accompanied by Zabu, a sabretooth tiger.

WHAT happens?

Reed Richards discovers a chain of active volcanoes that, if activated at once, could destroy the Earth. The chain stretches from the North Pole to the South Pole so he sends the Thing to Antarctica to investigate. Nick Fury picks him up in a S.H.I.E.L.D. hyper-jet and, once over Antarctica, the Thing parachutes down into the entrance of the Savage Land.

When he lands, the Thing comes face to face with an Allosaurus and is quickly joined by Ka-Zar and Zabu. After the trio ends the threat of the hungry carnivore, they discover that they’re both concerned about the same volcanic activity. The Thing follows Ka-Zar to the volcano in question where they find a squadron of meddling humans. Their leader, V, intends to harness the volcanic power in order to emerge as a super-being named Volcanus. But, in their ensuing battle, he is accidentally knocked into bubbling lava before he can complete the process.

WHERE does the story take place?

The dangerous volcanoes are located within the Savage Land – a prehistoric jungle located beneath the icy crust of Antarctica.

WHEN does the villain next appear?

I know that death is rarely permanent in comics but, V/Volcanus has not appeared since his presumed death in this issue

WHY is Ka-Zar the guest-lead?

I don’t see much of a “behind-the-scenes” reason for the use of Ka-Zar here. While the jungle lord did have his own ongoing series at this time, it was not written by Bill Mantlo (the writer of this issue). Nor does this story continue into the Ka-Zar series (in fact, the volcano story continues into next issue). Although, the Ka-Zar series was canceled only six months after this issue debuted, so it’s possible Marvel was hoping for a sales boost by giving him some more exposure in this issue.

HOW was it?

While it was fun to see the Thing take on a dinosaur there wasn’t much in the way of perceived danger. I wasn’t really concerned that a dinosaur would be able to do much damage to the Thing’s rocky hide. Nor was I very worried about this new would-be super-villain or his crew of bumbling henchmen. The only true danger is the volcanic activity – which isn’t even resolved in this issue (that story is continues into next issue). Ka-Zar’s presence in this story could be deemed totally unnecessary and it seems like the Thing could have gotten out of every “jam” in this story without his help. Additionally, we’re treated to one of the most unbelievable scenes in the Thing’s history, as the 500lb. rock monster swings from the jungle vines like Tarzan.

Note: With this issue, the title starts it’s monthly pubication schedule (previously, it had been bi-monthly). The events of this issue take place after Fantastic Four #166. There is no lettercol in this issue. It should also be noted that this issue marks the first meeting between Ka-Zar and the Thing.

On Ebay: Marvel Two-In-One | the Thing | Ka-Zar
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Two-In-One | Ka-Zar

1 Comment »

  1. […] Note: This issue’s letters column features commentary on Marvel Two-In-One #16. […]

    Pingback by Guide to Marvel Two-In-One #19 the Thing & Tigra | Aggressive Comix — July 30, 2012 @ 11:46 am

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