Essential Marvel Two-in-One, Vol. 2Essential Marvel Two-in-One, Vol. 2 by Marv Wolfman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's Clobberin' time in this massive collection of Ben Grimm comic stories from the late 1970s, featuring Issues 26-52 and Annuals #2 and #3. A summary of each issue:

Issues 26 and 27: Nick Fury warns the Thing that Mentallo and the Fixer are going to kidnap him and the two succeed in doing so in a plan where kidnapping Ben leads to attempting to assassinate Jimmy Carter and that's not even their main goal. Issue #27 is essentially a Fantastic Four comic rather than a Thing comic.

Issue 28: The Thing's en route to London and gets drawn into an undersea battle with Pirahnna, fighting along the Sub-mariner.

Issues 29-33: The Thing in London to find a scientist to help Deathlok. Key stories in establishing Spider-woman (Jessica Drew) as a hero. Pretty well-done and shows Ben's concern for Alicia Masters.

Issue 34: One last London comic as Ben teams up with Nighthawk after an apparently monstrous alien is freed from a rock. The alien is not as monstrous as he looks, but tell mankind that. A classic Sci-Fi story.

Issues 35 and 36: As often happens in these stories, the Thing is cleaning up an old plot line. In this case, he goes into the Bermuda Triangle to deal with an anomaly and gets dragged back in time to another dimension and meets Skull the Slayer (from a discontinued Marvel Comic series) and they have to get home. The Thing battles dinosaurs and the comic is a lot of fun.

Annual #2: Spider-man is summoned in a dream by Moondragon to help the Avengers who are being imprisoned by Thanos and Spidey turns to the Thing because he needs a spaceship and that's the sort of thing Reed Richards leaves lying around. Good story, even though it feels more like a Spider-man story than a Thing story.

Issues 37-39: The FF was dissolved and the Thing finds himself going on rampages that destroy property and is thrown in jail. His attorney Matt Murdoch (aka Daredevil) suspects something's wrong when he hears a noise around the Thing. A supervillain is behind it and it takes a couple more guest stars to straighten things out.

Issues 40 and 41: Prominent black citizens are being kidnapped. A so-so story featuring Black Panther and Doctor Voodoo.

Issues 42 and 43: Ben follows up on his ex-ward Wundar, who's being studied as part of Project Pegasus. He fights with and teams up with Captain America. The story features a no-name villain and the second story features Man-Thing and ends how most Man-Thing stories do.

Annual #3: Monitors come to Earth to "judge" it and they find every planet imperfect. It's up to the Thing and Nova to save the day.

Issue 44: The Thing tells kids of his team up with Hercules to figght in Mount Olympus. A little ambiguity if it's true (or Ben's trying to impress the kids), but still fun.

Issue 45: The story begins with the Thing shot up by a '20s gangster which annoys him. Convoluted story featuring Skrulls and Captain Marvel.

Issue 46: Meta story where the Thing is jealous of the Hulk's TV show and goes to Hollywood to get his own show and ends up facing off against the Hulk who hates the show.

Issues 47 and 48: Team up with the Yancy Street Gang (really?) but they're all overcome by the Machinesmith and it's up to that new hero, the Jack of Hearts, to save the day. Yeah, I don't know anything about him either.

Issue 49: Writer Mary Jo Duffy puts Ben in the middle of a Dark Shows homage. A good idea for a story guest starring Doctor Strange.

Issue 50: Writer/Artist John Byrne features a story where the Thing goes back in time to cure his past self of being the Thing. Ludicrous plot, nice look at how the character changed from Fantastic Four #1.

Issue 51: Ben and Nick Fury head for a poker game at the Avengers Mansion for a poker game with Wonder Man and Miss Marvel. Some great art by Frank Miller on the game and some smack talk from Ben Grimm. Villains show up and our fought but that's secondary to establishing this poker game exists.

Issue 52: A man is killed right in front of the Thing and Ben insists he doesn't need the help of "Johnny come lately" hero Moon Knight. He gets it anyway. Features one of the best villains in the book.

Overall, a solid book despite some weaker issues. The book has a lot of fun stories even though few of the co-stars are Marvel A-listers, Ben manages to save the world a few times while rapping up a few stray storylines, and getting brainwashed three times. Good Bronze Age fun.

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Published on November 27, 2018 23:02 • 34 views • Tags: marvel, marvel-two-in-one, the-thing

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Christians and Superheroes

Adam Graham
I'm a Christian who writes superhero fiction (some parody and some serious.)

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