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November 12, 2012

Guide to Marvel Two-In-One #32 the Thing and Invisible Girl

Filed under: Guide to Marvel Two-In-One — Doorman @ 7:47 am

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

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