Sunday, April 4, 2010

Marvel Two-In-One #25-32 (1977)

So I'm reading two classic runs of Marv Wolfman's, one on Marvel-Two-In-One and the other is his more popular New Titans stuff. I'm going to say, I'm actually liking the Marvel stuff better. I'm not even that huge a fan of the Thing, but I think the pacing works better with the globetrotting adventures of the rocky guy and his gal pal Alicia Masters. These issues make up the "English tour" of the book that really is paced like a current TPB. The Thing needs to travel to England to find a scientist who can save the life of Deathlok. Since he's headed across the pond, Thing brings along Alicia Masters. Since this is a comic, they bump into all sorts of interesting folks like Sub-Mariner, Shang-Chi, Spider-Woman, and Modred the Mystic. I really dug the stereotypical English supporting characters. Spider-Woman deserves a co-starring credit here, she starts off controlled by Hydra but then sticks around for quite a while helping the Thing deal with all sorts of bad guys. This book is so full of mad ideas, I just have to love it.

Heck, the Thinker and Mentallo decide the most efficient way to kill Jimmy Carter is to bring Deathlok from the future to the present! Later, Alicia Masters is injected with Spider-Woman's DNA or something and she turns into a horrific spider-beast that the Thing still can't bear to harm. And through it all, the snooty English bystanders are annoyed at what the Thing is doing to the country. They even regret allowing Captain Britain to operate since he's probably bringing all this on! It's a fun little adventure that's kept light throughout, but with trademark angst for Ben Grimm. I don't think the guy could ever be happy.

And as a side note, it's too bad we're so far removed from WWII now that we can't just pop in old Nazis as the villains for every story. There's a great running story about an old Nazi treasure hunter that pays off with a Merlin-powered quartet of elemental demons. That would be a lot harder to pull off today! Heh.

Ron Wilson handles most of the art and his style says classic Marvel like almost no one else. There is an issue here and there with great fill-in guys like John Buscema, but this is Wilson's book. His Thing is definitive, a big blocky bruiser. I don't like the closed hood on Spider-Woman, but that was the design at the time, so I can't really blame him.


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