Posted - November 21, 2015
The Thing Marvel Two-In-One 21 to 23:
Everybody from Doc Savage's side has a parachute. The Torch can fly and he saves Miss Lightner. Ben can't fly and has no chute and nobody is available to save him.
Things seem to come in twos today because, again, I like two things about the two panels above. First, I'm elated that the Thing is so tough that a fall from flying height is nothing to him. Second, Doc Savage really lives up to his billing as an "advanced" human being as evidenced by his automatic acceptance of Ben as a fellow human being despite Ben's appearance. Bravo, I'm a Doc Savage fan.
In the midst of all these "picking up and dusting off", a being known as Blacksun literally explodes into the scene.
Blacksun is an amalgam. A combination being composed of The elder and younger Lightner - joined together across time. This fused creature is the first such being to be featured in Marvel Two-In-One, the second being the space-faring Starhawk in the Thing's adventure with the High Evolutionary. The most famous one is DC's Firestorm.
So Blacksun is powered by stellar energy, which I assume is the energy of stars or the light of stars. Now I'm wondering why this creature is black. There was mention of waiting for the occurrence of a black hole near Earth. Since black holes are birthed from collapsed super giants, I suppose energy from a black hole could also be considered "stellar".
The black hole theory seems to be borne out by this:
Blacksun is able to bend bullets around him. Black holes are supposed to have so much gravity that they're able to bend light.
Ben attempts his tried and true formula.
To no avail.
Now for Doc Savage.
That went by so fast it was easy to miss. Doc Savage didn't only come in with physical might. He'a also analyzing the situation, pointing to the strange correlation between cloud cover and Black Sun's powers - ergo Doc Savage times his punch just so to get around Blacksun's defenses.
In the end, this foe proves to be too powerful. So, like Braggadoom a few stories back, Blacksun pretty much overloads on his own might and collapses on the ground. In the meantime, Doc Savage and his team "vanish" back to the 40s.
Now for the stranges (and clunkiest) twist in this story. Blacksun is lying on the ground and his condition is critical.
In comes the Human Torch with a baffling solution.
Let me get this straight. Citing 'cryogenics', Johnny increases the heat around Blacksun to prevent further deterioration? Wouldn't this effectively fry Blacksun to a crisp? Anyway, the story goes on the assumption that Johnny's little stunt does actually stabilize Lightner. We have no choice, let's ride along. But not without me giving my two cents. With 'cryogenics' as the key word, wouldn't it have been much better for the Torch to simply absorb all the heat from Blacksun's body effectively "freezing" him to a stable state? That, in my mind, would have made more sense.
Anyway, Blacksun needs a doctor, so off they go to find Dr. Donald Blake.
Dr. Blake, a bit surprisingly, isn't off to somewhere hitting somebody with a hammer. He's in the hospital in the midst of a difficult surgery.
At about that moment someone crashes into the hospital howling for Blake's blood.
Note that this powerful looking stranger is both armored and missing his right hand. He will reveal himself as Seth, Egyptian god of death.
In the Marvel universe all mythological pantheons have been given a place. Distinct, and colorful, families of gods make the Marvel universe all the richer. For the most part, the pantheons cooperate with each other. They even meet in council as can be seen in some key issues of Thor's The Eternals Saga . Seth, on the other hand, has some past history with Thor - a conflict that has cost Seth his hand. Evidently, the god of death has deemed it time for him to avenge himself.
Donald Blake obliges him.
Seth proves to be a formidable opponent.
Seriously formidable considering that he is able to take down one who is probably Marvel's most powerful hero. I say "probably" because there is the title of Marvel's mightiest is contested by the Hulk.
At about this time, Benjamin J. Grimm and company arrive at the hospital. The Thing does a quick assesment of the situation and very quickly serves Seth a rock sandwich.
True to his title, Seth calls forth the dead to fight for him.
The Thing's comment is particularly interesting.
'Harryhausen' is exactly the name I was thinking off when I saw those skeleton warriors. If it doesn't ring a bell, you're in for a treat - check out the movie 'Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger' .
I'm not very worried though. I don't care how many they are, a bunch of bones cannot take down Thor and the Thing.
It becomes increasingly evident to Seth that his "skeleton crew" isn't going to work out so he transports his foes to this place.
Known as the Paths of the Gods. The golden bridge leads back to Heliopolis, realm of the Egyptian gods.
The most shocking panel in this entire story is this one.
I'm not complaining but it looks like the Comics Code Authority was once again caught sleeping on the job with this panel. This is horrifically brutal. The brother of Seth, Horus (whom Ben, in typical Thing fashion will repeatedly call 'Horace') is being tortured by slow roasting with Osiris and Isis, Horus' parents, forced to watch their son's torture. Hello?
This torture scene galvanizes the Thing and Thor into action but they're having a heck of a time.
Seth proves to be incredibly tough. To make matters worse, the god of death ups the ante.
Known as the Devourer, this creature is clearly the Egyptian equivalent of the more familiar Destroyer .
This new entrant is so powerful, Thor's initial attacks are ineffective.
The Thing meets with the same result, or rather, lack of result.
From effortlessly wading into an army of skeletons, to this situation; our heroes have a problem.
The fight rages on for several pages. I find the battle cries very amusing.
Thor's battle cry:
Ben can't let the Thunder God hog all the battle cry fun:
The Devourer is now fully out of control and the Egyptian gods begin to despair.
The end seems nigh as even Thor succumbs.
The dialog from the gods here is totally defeatist. They've given up - just waiting for the end. The only thing that stands between the Devourer and their destruction is the Thing.
Ben will NOT give up. It is his finest quality. It has always been his finest quality. Far from being Marvel's strongest, still Ben will simply not stop until he finds a way. Realizing that the Devourer hates 'Horace' most of all, Ben implements a brilliant plan.
He grabs Horus and dives off the Paths of the Gods. In so doing, he also lures the Devourer beyond the edge.
Ben has taken a risk, for outside the Path of the Gods is the vacuum of space - something that can kill the Thing if not Horus. The never-say-die attitude of the Thing aside, the brilliance of this plan is that the Thing has taken away the one thing that keeps the incredibly strong Devourer dangerous - leverage. With no hard ground to push on any creature that relies on brute strength is automatically rendered helpless.
All these gods and their haughty attitude. In this monent, the down-to-earth Thing proves himself better than any of them.
Thor has recovered enough to save his friend and future fellow Avenger.
And that is our Marvel Two-In-One three-in-one