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Archive for the ‘Guide to Marvel Two-In-One’ Category

Guide to Marvel Two-In-One interlude

03 Dec

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 Annual #2Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: 1977
Cover Price: 60¢
Writer: Jim Stariln
Artist: Jim Starlin

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. At this point in Marvel Continuity, Ben Grimm was reverted back to human form but he operated an exo-skeleton armor created by Reed Richards that was made to look exactly like the Thing.

Spider-Man- When Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider, he gained super-strength and the ability to stick to wallls. Using his scientific background, he devised web-shooters that allow him to swing from tall buildings.

WHAT happens?

As seen in the Avengers Annual #7, Captain Marvel and the Avengers were captured by Thanos (who is now in control of Adam Warlock’s soul gem). The villain intends to use the gem to destroy the Earth’s sun – in a move to please Death. The Avenger, Moondragon, sends out a mental summons for help that is intercepted by Spider-Man. But, the web-slinger doesn’t have the ability to reach Thanos’ space ark so he heads to the Baxter Building for help with transportation. The Thing decides to lend a hand and the two heroes fly off into space to rescue the Avengers!



Spider-Man and the Thing get pulled into the Space Ark via a tractor beam and they manage to free the Avengers. It becomes an all-out battle as the Thing, Spider-Man, Captain Marvel and the Avengers square off against Thanos and his minions. During the battle, Spider-Man finds the Soul Gem encased in glass and unwittingly gets it to release the imprisoned Adam Warlock. In a suicidal last gambit, Adam Warlock utilizes all his power to change Thanos into a block of stone.

WHERE does the story take place?

In outer space aboard Thanos’ Space Ark.



WHEN does the villain next appear?

Although Thanos is essentially changed to petrified stone at the end of this issue, this isn’t the last we’ve heard from him. In 1990, he was revived in the pages of Silver Surfer #34.

WHY is Spider-Man the guest-lead?

Spider-Man is totally out of his element in this issue so my only guess is that he was included here because of his popularity.



HOW was it?

Although this issue can be read as a stand-alone story, you’ll get a lot more out of it if you read it along with Avengers Annual #7 (and even the preceding issues of Strange Tales and Warlock). Despite this being the Thing’s series, he really doesn’t get much limelight here – in fact, with the amount of focus on Spider-Man, you’d almost think this was an issue of Marvel Team-Up. As far as importance goes, its a very notable part of the character histories of Adam Warlock and Thanos. Action fans will probably enjoy it but if you’re into comics for characterization, there isn’t much to be enjoyed here.

On Ebay: Marvel Two-In-One | the Thing | Spider-Man
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Two-In-One | Spider-Man

 

Guide to Marvel Two-In-One #34 the Thing and Nighthawk

26 Nov

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!Spoilers appear below – You’ve been warned!

Marvel Two-In-One #34Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: December 1977
Cover Price: 35¢
Writer: Marv Wolfman
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.

Nighthawk - Kyle Richmond is a wealthy man who’s dedicated his life to helping people. In addition to keeping his body in superb fighting condition, from dusk until dawn he acquires mild super-strength. He also utilizes a costume that gives him the ability to fly.

WHAT happens?

Kyle Richmond has been summoned to his company’s London headquarters for an important meeting. His employees reveal that they’ve discovered a rock in the Himalayas – one that contains some type of bizarre creature. Meanwhile, back at Doctor Kort’s lab, the Thing stands witness as Deathlok is finally brought back to consciousness and is then taken away by Nick Fury to S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters. Moments later, Kyle Richmond summons Doctor Kort (along with the Thing) to help with analyzing the previously mentioned rock.

Doctor Kort manages to free the creature from the rock but, when it is finally loose, it emits a gas that knocks unconscious all those present, including the Thing. The beast is aware (it can think thoughts to itself) but it cannot formulate a means of communication. It doesn’t seem to be on the attack – but, it’s actions could be perceived that way (mostly because of the way it looks). So, it takes off for the countryside.



The “monster” comes across a hospital that has caught fight and decides to try to save the children trapped inside. The Thing and Nighthawk also drop in to lend a hand but onlookers, frightened by the beast’s looks, determine that it is intending to do harm to the children. So, the heroic yet misunderstood beast is rewarded for his good deeds with deadly gunfire.

WHERE does the story take place?

This issue continues the story based in London.



WHEN does the villain next appear?

There is no villain in this issue and the alien creature doesn’t live beyond its first appearance here.

WHY is Nighthawk the guest-lead?

I don’t see much of an ulterior motive to get Nighthawk (of the Defenders) involved in this storyline. Marv Wolfman never wrote that title – so it’s clear he wasn’t cross-promoting his own work.



HOW was it?

This was easily the most heart-breaking issue of Marvel Two-In-One. Wolfman did a wonderful job of creating a “monster” that you truly feel for – and Ron Wilson created a truly frightening looking beast. What a dichotomy!

Note: This issue’s letters column features commentary on Marvel Two-In-One #29.

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

 

Guide to Marvel Two-In-One #33 the Thing and Modred

19 Nov

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!Spoilers appear below – You’ve been warned!

Marvel Two-In-One #33Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: November 1977
Cover Price: 30¢
Writer: Marv Wolfman
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.

Modred - Modred was ordered to becom the apprentice of the wizard, Merlin, but he refused – and later sought Merlin’s death. Using sorceries from the book of the Darkhold, Modred induced a great slumber upon himself – he was later awakened in the modern world.

Spider-Woman - As a child, Jessica Drew was lethally poisoned by radiation. To save her life, her father injected her with an experimental serum (devised from an irradiated spider’s blood) and then placed in a genetic accelerator by the High Evolutionary. When she emerged, she found that she had developed a number of super-powers including super-strength, speed, immunity to poisons and the ability to generated a “venom blast”.

WHAT happens?

Now that Alicia has been restored to normal, she wants to see Stonehenge before she and the Thing depart for home. When they arrive there, they found themselves attacked by the Brothers Four (Aero, Hydro, Fire, Mud). These four elemental-like beings have been summoned by Merlin to find Modred - but, in the meantime, they’ve been kidnapping every human they find. Luckily for the Thing, Spider-Woman followed him there and has decided to lend a hand. But, even still, they’re out-powered by the four monsters.



Not much later, Modred the Mystic shows up at the scene of the battle. And, as he keeps the elementals occupied, the Thing seeks to free the other humans that have been taken captive (included amongst them are Trevor and Chauncy, the thieves that were sucked into the mysterious treasure chest, last issue). Modred manages to destroy one of the elementals, Aero – he then sets Fire against Hydro, and they destroy each other. Finally, he reduces the earth elemental to dust.

After all has settled, Modred wipes the painful memories of the Thing‘s visit to London from his mind – and Alicia’s as well (that means that the Thing will not remember meeting Spider-Woman). Modred and Spider-Woman walk off into the sunset, as he explains that he’d like to help her learn about her mysterious past.

WHERE does the story take place?

This issue continues the story based in London – Stonehenge, to be exact.



WHEN does the villain next appear?

These specific four elementals summoned by Merlin from ages past are all destroyed in this issue. It doesn’t look like they’ll be popping up again.

WHY is Modred the guest-lead?

Modred the Mystic had not been seen since his first two appearances in Marvel Chillers #1 & 2 (cover date: January 1976). Not much was done with him immediately after this issue, although he did appear in a few issues of the Avengers in 1979. So, I don’t see an ulterior motive for including him here – other than that Wolfman liked the concept of the character.



HOW was it?

To be honest, battles against elemental beings is so over-done in comics that it’s not even funny. I understand that they fit well into the type of beings that Merlin might have summoned ages ago but they’re just such boring creatures. As for Modred, he’s shown to be extremely powerful here – but not much is revealed in terms of characterization for him. The Thing and Spider-Woman continue to reveal “woe-is-me” thoughts (Spider-Woman concerned about her perceived non-humanity; the Thing fretting over all the problems he drags Alicia into) and there just isn’t much room for fun or humor in this issue. All in all, it wasn’t that entertaining – and we still didn’t get an explanation about that mysterious treasure chest (although, we can assume it’s linked to Merlin somehow).

Note: No letters page this issue.

On Ebay: Marvel Two-In-One | the Thing | Spider-Woman | Modred
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Guide to Marvel Two-In-One #32 the Thing and Invisible Girl

12 Nov

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!Spoilers appear below – You’ve been warned!

Marvel Two-In-One #32Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: October 1977
Cover Price: 30¢
Writer: Marv Wolfman
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.

Invisible Girl - Susan Storm was caught in the same accident that mutated Ben Grimm into the Thing. The cosmic rays gave her the ability to turn herself invisible and to project invisible force fields.

Spider-Woman - As a child, Jessica Drew was lethally poisoned by radiation. To save her life, her father injected her with an experimental serum (devised from an irradiated spider’s blood) and then placed in a genetic accelerator by the High Evolutionary. When she emerged, she found that she had developed a number of super-powers including super-strength, speed, immunity to poisons and the ability to generated a “venom blast”.

WHAT happens?

Caught in Alicia‘s web, the Thing finds himself being attacked by his girlfriend, who’s being controlled by Hydra via a device lodged on her forehead. Spider-Woman (freshly freed of Hydra’s control) swoops in for a daring rescue. She suspects that Alicia’s mutated body-chemistry is unstable and, if she’s not shocked into submission, her rapid metabolism could kill her. As Spider-Woman lures Alicia back towards Big Ben (and away from the crowd), the Thing makes a call to the Baxter Building for help.

Meanwhile, underneath Parliament, Trevor and Chauncy manage to open the mysterious treasure chest – only find themselves exposed to a brilliant light and then sucked inside of it! Back at the battle scene, the Thing manages to tear Hydra’s control device from Alicia’s forehead. Without guidance, the mutated Alicia goes even crazier! Fortunately, the Invisible Girl arrives on the scene just in time to help out. Sue encases Alicia’s head within a force field, denying her oxygen – which knocks her unconscious.



Our heroes bring Alicia to the Kensington Park home of Doctor Kort (the man who created the serum that mutated her), to enlist his aid in returning her to normal. While they’re there, Kort reveals that he’s saved Deathlok from dying (that was the original purpose that brought the Thing and Alicia to London back in issue #29, remember?)

WHERE does the story take place?

This issue continues the story based in London.



WHEN does the villain next appear?

In this issue, the Supreme Hydra puts Agent Eight in charge of Operation: Spider-Woman but I don’t know where that was followed up on (if ever) – nor do I know the group’s very next appearance. I do know that they showed up in Team America #1 (cover date: June 1982).

WHY is the Invisible Girl the guest-lead?

I really can’t figure out an ulterior motive for including the Invisible Girl into this story. It appears that Marv Wolfman just really wanted to write the character (he even managed to have her travel from NYC to London within mere moments [an hour, at best?]). And, a few months later, he began to write her regularly when he became the writer of the Fantastic Four with issue #195 (cover date: June 1978). As mentioned last issue, Spider-Woman’s appearance serves as a warm-up for readers who might want to check out her solo series, which debuted six months later.



HOW was it?

This issue resolved a lot of concerns: (1) Bring Alicia back to normal (2) Establish Spider-Woman as a heroine (3) Restore Deathlok’s health. But, we’re not without unresolved plotlines here: (A) Just what is Operation: Spider-Woman? (B) What’s the deal with that mysterious treasure chest?

We’re treated to plenty of spotlight on the Thing here as he walks the fine line between subduing the woman he loves – and hurting her. He also thinks hard on whether his presence in her life is worthwhile (he does seem to get her into a lot of trouble, eh?). With these morose subjects in mind, the Thing’s moments of characterization don’t get to focus on how much fun the character can be to read about – but, it certainly cements the depth and heart of the character.

Note: This issue’s letters column features commentary on Marvel Two-In-One #28, and includes a letter from creator, Beppe Sabatini.

On Ebay: Marvel Two-In-One | the Thing | Spider-Woman | Fantastic Four
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Two-In-One | Spider-Woman | Fantastic Four

 

Guide to Marvel Two-In-One #31 the Thing and ?

05 Nov

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!Spoilers appear below – You’ve been warned!

Marvel Two-In-One #31Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: September 1977
Cover Price: 30¢
Writer: Marv Wolfman
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.

Mystery Menace - A mutated Alicia Masters (girlfriend of the Thing; step-daughter of the Puppet Master)! Complete with fangs, web-spinners and eight new spidery legs.

Spider-Woman - As a child, Jessica Drew was lethally poisoned by radiation. To save her life, her father injected her with an experimental serum (devised from an irradiated spider’s blood) and then placed in a genetic accelerator by the High Evolutionary. When she emerged, she found that she had developed a number of super-powers including super-strength, speed, immunity to poisons and the ability to generated a “venom blast”.

WHAT happens?

The explosion cleared Spider-Woman‘s head of Hydra’s control but, unfortunately for the Thing, she cannot recall where Alicia Masters was hidden away. Hoping to make up for previous injustices, she offers her help in finding the Hydra base where Alicia’s been taken to. Those bombers, Chauncy and Trevor, made off with the fifth and final piece of their map. With the map complete, they’re able to locate the treasure of Heinrich Buerer – which was buried long ago under the House of Parliament.



Meanwhile, Hydra has their hands on the formula that Kort created to duplicate the process that created Spider-Woman – and they intend to use it on their first test subject: Alicia Masters. Hours later, on the Victoria Embankment, the Thing and Spider-Woman are attacked by the mutated Alicia. The Thing is now faced with a hard battle … against the woman he loves!

And, back at the House of Parliament, Chauncy and Trevor have unearthed their long-sought-after treasure chest. But, what’s in it?



WHERE does the story take place?

This issue continues the story based in London.

WHEN does the villain next appear?

The villainous group, Hydra, appears in the very next issue as their plans continue.

WHY is Spider-Woman the guest-lead?

Spider-Woman debuted in the penultimate issue of Marvel Spotlight (February 1977) and then subsequently appeared in the previous two issues of Marvel Two-In-One. Her story continued into this issue and will continue into the next issue, as well – all, it seems, as a way to grab attention for her own series (also written by Marv Wolfman), which debuted in April 1978. It went on to last for 50 issues! At the time, she was the first Marvel heroine to have a solo series last that long. (That record was later broken by She-Hulk [60 issues] and Spider-Girl [100 issues]).



HOW was it?

Now that Spider-Woman’s been freed form Hydra’s influence, she gets a lot more limelight in this issue. There’s also a lot of attention drawn to the Thing’s tough decision on how to do battle with the mutated Alicia. She’s being controlled by Hydra to kill him while he’s trying to detain her without hurting her. There’s a lot of good emotion going on here. To top it off, we’ve still go the mystery of what’s in the treasure chest that Trevor and Chauncy have been working hard to locate.

Note: This issue’s letters column features commentary on Marvel Two-In-One #27.

On Ebay: Marvel Two-In-One | the Thing | Spider-Woman
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Two-In-One | Spider-Woman

 

Guide to Marvel Two-In-One #30 the Thing and Spider-Woman

29 Oct

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!Spoilers appear below – You’ve been warned!

Marvel Two-In-One #30Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: August 1977
Cover Price: 30¢
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artist: John Buscema

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.

Spider-Woman - As a child, Jessica Drew was lethally poisoned by radiation. To save her life, her father injected her with an experimental serum (devised from an irradiated spider’s blood) and then placed in a genetic accelerator by the High Evolutionary. When she emerged, she found that she had developed a number of super-powers including super-strength, speed, immunity to poisons and the ability to generated a “venom blast”.

WHAT happens?

While Doctor Kort is working on saving Deathlok, the Thing and Alicia Masters decide to explore London some more. Not much later, a ruckus at Westminster Abbey calls the Thing’s attention – where he discovers two thieves (Trevor & Chauncy) have put down the authorities with sleeping darts and are now trying to cut through the floor with a laser-torch. Almost as quickly as the Thing shows up, so does Spider-Woman. She reveals that Hydra has assigned her to destroy the Thing – and her distraction gives the thieves enough time to lift the slab of floor up and steal a silver plate that was hidden underneath. After they get away, Spider-Woman decides that the Thing is stronger than she has been told and makes a strategic withdrawal.



Afterwards, the Thing is debriefed by the local authorities and then has a tele-conference with Nick Fury, who asks Grimm to capture Spider-Woman for S.H.I.E.L.D. Hours later, the Thing and Alicia Masters resume their tour of London – but, again, it doesn’t last long. Spider-Woman swoops in an abducts Alicia. As he gives chase, he runs into Trevor and Chauncy (they’re out looking for their next “clue”), who hit him with a blast of sleeping gas. They proceed to steal their last clue, a golden plate and then exit Scotland Yard with an awakened Ben Grimm hot on their tail. Luckily for them, the Thing catches a glimpse of Spider-Woman and he takes off after her in order to get Alicia back.

By the time the Thing catches up with Spider-Woman, she’s stashed Alicia away somewhere. As they do battle atop Big Ben, they’re blasted by an explostion set off by Trevor and Chauncy – the thieves are excited that the treasure they seek lies very near!



WHERE does the story take place?

The story takes place in London and hits upon a lot of their big tourist attractions like Picadilly Circus, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Scotland Yard.

WHEN does the villain next appear?

The villainous group, Hydra, appears in the very next issue as their plans with Spider-Woman continue.

WHY is Spider-Woman the guest-lead?

Spider-Woman debuted in the penultimate issue of Marvel Spotlight (February 1977) and then subsequently appeared in the previous issue of Marvel Two-In-One. Her story continued into this issue and will continue into the next couple issues, as well – all, it seems, as a way to grab attention for her own series (also written by Marv Wolfman), which debuted in April 1978. It went on to last for 50 issues! At the time, she was the first Marvel heroine to have a solo series last that long. (That record was later broken by She-Hulk [60 issues] and Spider-Girl [100 issues]).



HOW was it?

The locale is certainly an interesting change for this title, which is usually based in New York City. Since Spider-Woman is still being controlled by Hydra, she’s essentially the villain of this story (even though she gets billing as the guest-star on the cover). Because of that, the Thing gets an inordinate share of limelight throughout this issue. It leaves room for a lot of exploration of his relationship with Alicia as well as a fun exchange with Nick Fury. Wolfman does a good job of interspersing these two thieves throughout the issue (what are they searching for?!) and provides insight into Spider-Woman’s hesitant bondage to the will of Hydra.

Note: This issue’s letters column features commentary on Marvel Two-In-One #26.

On Ebay: Marvel Two-In-One | the Thing | Spider-Woman
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Two-In-One | Spider-Woman

 

Guide to Marvel Two-In-One #29 the Thing and Shang-Chi

22 Oct

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!Spoilers appear below – You’ve been warned!

Marvel Two-In-One #29Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: July 1977
Cover Price: 30¢
Writer: Marv Wolfman
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.

Master of Kung Fu - Shang-Chi is the son of pulp villain, Dr. Fu Manchu. He possesses no super powers but is a master of martial arts.

WHAT happens?

After last issue’s delay, the Thing and Alicia Masters finally arrive in London. They’re seeking the aid of Doctor Kort to free Deathlok of the Fixer’s control but, when they get to his home, they discover he’s been kidnapped. Exiting the home, Alicia trips and falls into a puddle of blood. When she figures out what she’s landed in, she releases a blood-curdling scream that draws the attention of a nearby stranger: Shang-Chi.

The Master of Kung Fu responds to the scream and finds the Thing, along with Alicia. Seeing Grimm’s rocky shape, he assumes that the “monster” is threatening the woman so we’re treated to a brief hero vs hero battle. After Shang-Chi figures out that the Thing isn’t trying to hurt Alicia, Grimm asks for his help in finding Doctor Kort.



The Doctor has been captured by Hydra agents and is being forced to develop a serum that is needed to be tested on a mysterious female. The serum is finalized moments before Shang-Chi and the Thing break into the Hydra lair to free Doctor Kort. And, even though the doctor has been taken away from them, the Hydra agents are thrilled when they discover that the serum has been completed. It will allow them to create an army of warriors equipped with the powers of their mysterious female captive (which is revealed to be Spider-Woman!).

WHERE does the story take place?

The story takes place in London (we’re even treated to a splash page with Big Ben in the background).



WHEN does the villain next appear?

The villainous group, Hydra, appears in the very next issue as their plans with Spider-Woman continue.

WHY is the Master of Kung Fu the guest-lead?

By the time this issue came out, Master of Kung Fu was already a successful series. There doesn’t seem to be a cross-promotional need here so the character was probably used just for fun (a nice trend that Wolfman seems to be developing).



HOW was it?

The involvement of Shang-Chi seems highly coincidental but, on the positive side, there were a lot of interesting characterization moments as the Thing brooded upon his monstrous looks (despite Alicia’s best efforts to explain that she doesn’t care about them). It’s also the second (albeit brief) appearance of Spider-Woman, so it makes for an important bit of Marvel history.

Note: No letters page this issue!

On Ebay: Marvel Two-In-One | the Thing | Master of Kung Fu
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Two-In-One | Master of Kung Fu

 

Guide to Marvel Two-In-One #28 the Thing and Sub-Mariner

15 Oct

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!Spoilers appear below – You’ve been warned!

Marvel Two-In-One #28Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: June 1977
Cover Price: 30¢
Writer: Marv Wolfman
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.

Namor the Sub-Mariner - Namor is the hybrid son of a human and an Atlantean. He possesses the power of flight and super strength that is enhanced with hydration. His mother was the Queen of Atlantis, thus making him its prince.

WHAT happens?

Reed Richards believes that Professor Louis Kort is the only one who can remove the Fixer’s mind-controlling device from Deathlok, without killing him. So, the Thing loads up the comatose cyborg into the Fantastic Four’s Sling-Jet and takes flight for Kort’s lab in London (he also brings his girlfriend, Alicia, along for the ride).

As they fly over the ocean, Namor spots the Fantastic Four plane and flies alongside to say “Hello”. At that very same moment, he is attacked by Piranha (we later learn it’s one of many Piranha duplicates). Alicia urges the Thing to lend Namor some aid, so they delay their trip as the Thing jumps into the deep waters. They’re swarmed by a horde of Piranhas and brought to their amphitheatre (as is Alicia).



The villains command that the heroes fight, or else they’ll harm Grimm’s girlfriend. Namor and the Thing duke it out but, as planned, they end up smashing the amphitheatre and bringing it down upon the Piranhas. Namor swims ahead to rescue Alicia before she can be crushed by the falling stone. After some parting words, the Thing and Alicia get back into the Sling-Jet and continue their journey to London.

WHERE does the story take place?

The story takes place beneath the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.



WHEN does the villain next appear?

These copycats of the Piranha have not been seen but the original returned in the Defenders vol. II #7.

WHY is Sub-Mariner the guest-lead?

After the Sub-Mariner’s series was canceled in 1974, he was featured in the first ten issues of Super-Villain Team-Up (from 1975 to February 1977). By the time this issue came out, there wasn’t a Sub-Mariner series to put a marketing push behind – so it seems like this was just for fun!



HOW was it?

Meh. It was overly coincidental that out of the entire Atlantic Ocean, the Thing’s plane just happened to be in the same place as Namor was swimming. And, on top of that, the Piranhas picked that exact time to ambush Namor? OK – Now you’re really pushing the believability. (I know, I know – it’s just comics, right? Well, we can demand some level of quality storytelling, can’t we?) Anyhow, once you get behind the hard-to-get-beyond coincidences, now our heroes have to take on the duplicates of a lame Namor villain (not even the villain, himself? Yeesh!). I suppose the only fun part was we get some slugfest scenes of the Sub-Mariner and the Thing trading blows – but really, all this issue does is delay the advancement of Deathlok’s freedom from the Fixer’s control.

Note: This issue’s letters column features commentary on Marvel Two-In-One #25.

On Ebay: Marvel Two-In-One | the Thing | Sub-Mariner
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Two-In-One | Sub-Mariner

 

Guide to Marvel Two-In-One #27 the Thing & Deathlok

08 Oct

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!Spoilers appear below – You’ve been warned!

Marvel Two-In-One #27Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: May 1977
Cover Price: 30¢
Writer: Marv Wolfman
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.

Deathlok - in a post-apocalyptic future, the corpse of Colonel Luther Manning was reanimated using cyborg components. Last issue, he was brought to the present by the Fixer and Mentallo.

WHAT happens?

Utilizing more servo-units, the Fixer and Mentallo gain control over Deathlok and send him to shoot Jimmy Carter (with a servo-unit, naturally) as he’s being inaugurated as the President of the United States of America. But, while the villains control his body, they don’t control his mind or voice. So, he attempts the shot in a way that will allow the Fantastic Four and Nick Fury to stop him. Unfortunately for President Carter, they still can’t react fast enough to stop the shot from being fired.

Afterwards, the Fantastic Four and Nick Fury are able to defeat Deathlok and later, the Fixer and Mentallo. S.H.I.E.L.D. has agreed to figure out a way to remove their control from Deathlok and its revealed that the President wasn’t shot. It was actually the Impossible Man posing as the President (Mr. Fantastic called a mysterious guest early in the issue, asking for his help) all along!



WHERE does the story take place?

The majority of this story takes place at the White House in Washington, D.C.

WHEN do the villains next appear?

After being taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody in this issue, the Fixer and Mentallo are later freed by Hydra in the Micronauts #24 (cover date: December 1980).



WHY is Deathlok the guest-lead?

Deathlok debuted in Astonishing Tales #25 and he maintained the lead feature of that series until it was canceled with issue #36 (cover date: July 1976). From there, his story continued into Marvel Spotlight #33 (April 1977). The character’s existence in a post-apocalyptic future was problematic because he didn’t exist within the “proper” Marvel Universe. In order to have stories where he could interact with Marvel heroes, they had to time-travel to meet him (this was the case in Marvel Team-Up #46). But, the story that began last issue and continued into this one rectified that concern by bringing Deathlok to the present via Doctor Doom’s time-machine. Problem solved!

HOW was it?

This issue was a lot of fun! Not only did we get to see Deathlok in action within the Marvel Universe but we were also treated to a lot of characterization. Fun moments between the Thing and the Human Torch. Character introspection as Deathlok lamented his current situation (not only being mind-controlled … but having to live as a reanimated corpse). Add to that a Jack Kirby cover, an historical event and a mystery guest star (yeah, I know … I spoiled the mystery) and this was easily Marv Wolfman’s best issue of Marvel Two-In-One yet.



Note: This issue’s letters column features commentary on Marvel Two-In-One #24.

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

 

Guide to Marvel Two-In-One #26 the Thing & Nick Fury

01 Oct

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 #26Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: April 1977
Cover Price: 30¢
Writer: Marv Wolfman
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.

Nick Fury - After serving in World War II, Sergeant Nicholas Fury was promoted to the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. (the world’s peace-keeping organization). Essentially, he’s Marvel’s greatest super-spy/war hero.

WHAT happens?

Nick Fury contacts the Thing to warn him that he’s the target of both Mentallo and the Fixer. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have enough information to fill the Thing in on why they’re after him. While Fury and Grimm talk it over, Mentallo and the Fixer break into the Helicarrier, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s flying headquarters!

Using his servo-pods, the Fixer gains control of a squad of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and sends them after Nick Fury and the Thing. Our heroes find it hard to fight these mind-controlled agents, so they’re taken down and then knocked out with gas. The Fixer and Mentallo attach jet disks to the Thing and fly him to their ultimate goal, which lies within the Baxter Building. Once they arrive, they attach amplified servo-units to the Thing, ensuring their control over him. The Thing is then able to gain them entry into the Baxter Building, the Fantastic Four’s headquarters, which houses their target: Doctor Doom’s time machine!



Just as the villains arrive at the time machine, Nick Fury bursts through the window. Acting quickly, the villains set the mind-controlled Thing on the S.H.I.E.L.D. leader. In their battle, Fury manages to remove the servo-units, remove the Fixer’s control from the Thing. But, as the heroes turn their attention toward the Fixer and Mentallo, they discover that the time machine has already been used … to bring them the ultimate weapon: Deathlok the Demolisher!

WHERE does the story take place?

The two major settings of this store are aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier and then later, within the Baxter Building (located in Manhattan, NY).



WHEN do the villains next appear?

Since this story is to be continued, the Fixer and Mentallo show up next issue!

WHY is Nick Fury the guest-lead?

Nick Fury’s first self-titled ongoing series ended in 1971. His second series was a reprint title that ended in 1973. In December 1976, he was given the solo lead of one issue of Marvel Spotlight (#31) and he guest-starred in the next issue which debuted Spider-Woman (and led in to the first issue of her solo series). With all that said, I don’t see much of a marketing reason to have Fury appear here so, this is one of those rare instances where he appears just for the sake of the story.



HOW was it?

Marv Wolfman’s second issue was quite a bit more interesting than the second. This time around the villains pitted against our heroes are worthy adversaries. The story also bears some larger significance as it brings Deathlok into the mainstream Marvel Universe.

Note: This issue’s letters column features commentary on Marvel Two-In-One #23.

On Ebay: Marvel Two-In-One | the Thing | Nick Fury
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Two-In-One | Nick Fury