Posted - November 24, 2015

Previous: Marvel Two-In-One 21 to 23: Doc Savage, Thor


The Thing Marvel Two-In-One 24 to 26:
Goliath, Iron Fist, Nick Fury



Marvel Two-In-One 24 Marvel Two-In-One 25 Marvel Two-In-One 26

What a treat. We get Goliath in the first story. Or, as he was known back then, Black Goliath. We will be referring to him as Goliath though, which was the name Bill Foster was using up until the end. What end you ask? His end, his death in Civil War. What was that Busiek line from Astro City about the Silver Agent'? Oh yes, to paraphrase, 'poor, doomed, Bill Foster'. The fact that we know that Goliath is no longer up and about gives this story a real poignancy.



Okay, let's check up on Ben.


The Thing testing gear in a Venusian
				environment

For the second time in the pages of Marvel Two-In-One Tony Stark has invited Ben to be part of a Stark Enterprises experiment. The first was during the adventure with the Power Stone . The common factor across these invites is that it's always when Stark Enterprises needs someone who's tough enough not to die while the experiment is ongoing. During the Power Stone incident it was an experimental aircraft that might crash (and did, sort of). This time it is to test equipment meant for the exploration of the planet Venus. What that means is that the equipment has to withstand 150 times the gravity of Earth. What that also means is that the Thing has to withstand similar pressures, and he does, quite easily I might add.

Bill Foster heads this experiment with boss Tony Stark "looking over his shoulder".


Tony Stark talking to 
				Bill Foster

This explains Tony's numb shock at Bill's accidental death many years from now. Bill was Tony's colleague, maybe even a friend. But those dark days are tomorrow's troubles, there are more immediate concerns - like somebody breaking into the lab and gassing nearly everybody unconscious.


The Hijacker


The Hijacker? That name has got no legs. Or another way to put it: With that kind of name, you'll go nowhere in the Marvel Universe. Unfortunately, neither will the Thing as he is forced to helplessly watch the Hijacker. Ben can't simply go out of the experiment area for fear of releasing harmful Venusian gasses.

I did say that 'nearly everybody' was gassed up. Bill Foster has been affected but he isn't conked out like the other scientists. I attribute that to the modified Pym particles already in his system - the 'giant man' chemicals must give him enough resilience to do this.

fantastic four comics


Bill Foster hits the button to free the Thing

Oh, thank God. Watch out Hijacker. The Thing is loose!

Well almost loose. There's an uber-thick wall still on the way. But what's a wall to the Thing?


The Thing destroys a wall

The Thing lifts everybody out of harms way then runs off to waylay the Hijacker. Little does Ben know that he has left behind a fellow metahuman. Bill Foster is quick to change to his outfit and follow Grimm as the awesome Goliath!


Black Goliath goes into action

During these days, Bill could grow ot a maximum of fifteen feet. He would be able to grow much bigger (100 feet?) during later years.

The inevitable question must come up. What is the Hijacker up to? He's here to steal Stark tech, that's what he's up to.


The Hijacker breaks into the Stark Enterprise tech room

When the Thing finally catches up to him, the Hijacker activates a missile system and Ben takes a full-on hit of three missiles to the chest!


The Thing getting hit by three missiles

Benjy manages to walk away. It is clarified that the missiles have empty warheads but still this is an impressive display of just how tough the Thing is.

Another automaton is activated and Goliath is having a tough time with it. The Thing comes in to help.


The Thing helps out Goliath against an automaton

His superior size notwithstanding, Goliath only has the proportionate strength of a man - at his current size Bill would be three times stronger than a regular human (add whatever advantage can be derived from leveraging a larger frame). Assuming the average human can lift 200 lbs, and making a rough estimate of 2,000 lbs. per ton, the Thing's 90-ton strength gives him the strength of 900 men!

The Hijacker's final attempt to defeat these two heroes involves a heavily reinforced tank. It is proof to even the Thing's strength.


The Thing punching a tank

Ben is taken down by the Tank's magnetic capability we have this wonderful panel of Goliath stepping in to protect the Thing.


Goliath tries to protect the Thing

Ben gets back into the fight and successfully dismantles the tank from below. And the Hijacker is revealed.


The Hijacker revealed

It is a neat little adventure and it's great to see Goliath once again.

The first story has the Thing participating in a Stark venture for the second time in Marvel Two-In-One. This story has the Thing being kidnapped for also the second time in Marvel Two-In-One. The first was during his adventure with the Black Widow.

When he regains consciousness, Ben is in shackles but he is witness to a remarkable escape of a fellow prisoner.


Iron Fist escaping his bonds

Iron Fist is one of two notable Marvel heroes specializing in the Oriental martial arts, the other being Shang-Chi. The Iron Fist's unique capability is just that - an iron fist. He can focus is chi (soul force) into his right hand making it "unto a thing of iron" (and yes, we're required to quote that phrase directly when referring to the fist).

It turns out that both heroes are in transit to an Asian location and there tickets being extra-cheap economy class, they are unceremoniously dumped from the air to their place of destination.


The Thing and Iron Fist get ejected from a plane

Also known as the "Revoltin' development" panel.

Just to reinforce that we are in 'a time of seconds'. The Thing falls from the sky a second time.


The  Thing and Iron Fist arrive on the ground after getting thrown from a plane

The first being in the Doc Savage adventure. Luckily Ben can safely hit the ground from flying height any day of the week. Danny (Iron Fist) manages to snag some jungle vines for a safe landing.

Soon after their hard landing they are attacked by a strange weapon.


A ja-dagna hurtles
				through the air as a warning for the Thing and Iron Fist

Referred to by Iron Fist as a Ja-dagna, an American Indian war club, the weapon looks extremly high tech to me. I was intrigued enough to look it up and yes, the Ja-dagna is a ball-headed wooden war club of the Chippewa and Ojibwe native American tribes. It looks like this.


A real ja-dagna

After the club makes it's appearance the attack begins in earnest. It's not much of an assault though, these attackers have massively underestimated the combined capability of the Thing and Iron Fist.


The Thing and Iron Fist taking on some martial artists

Specially this poor fool.


A martial artist getting hit by both the Thing and Iron Fist

After some rough hiking our pair comes across a breathtaking sight.


The Thing and Iron Fist happen upon a remote temple

As expected - and in true kung-fu movie tradition - they meet with resistance coming on. The resistance comes in the form of martial artists, which means they won't be able to beat the Thing and Iron Fist.

Iron Fist comes up against a swordsman and Danny has an opportunity to demonstrate the power from which he takes his name.


Iron Fist taking on a swordsmaster

I'm very dismissive of the martial artists but when I was going through the sequence below I wondered if the Thing's rocky hide can be penetrated by really sharp blades.


The Thing fights off a blade weilding assailant

After all the ruckus it is explained to both Danny and Ben that they were kidnapped in a strange bid to ask for there help, ironically, to rescue somebody else who had been kidnapped. The return of this person - a princess - could prevent an all out war between two countries.

It's a matter of the Thing and Iron Fist leading a much smaller force against a rival army - which both do handily. The only worthwhile panel is the Thing taking out the leader of the rival army.


The Thing pummels an axe-weilding chieftain

I actually pity this rebel chief, going up with a simple axe against the likes of the Thing and the Iron Fist. On the plus side he also has those trendy armored leggings favored by the Asgardians - there is that.

The princess finally freed, we come to a heart-rending backstory.


Love must be sacrificed for peace

Ah, you royals. Forced to give up real love in exchange for incredible wealth and power. You lucky bastards.

In the end the princess is forced to marry a very much older monarch for political peace.


A marriage to avert war

Excellent outfit. .

The story ends with these panels.


Sometimes doing the right thing sucks

A bit of a surprise really. I would think a Marvel comic would go for the "happy" ending of resolving the "problem" of an "arranged marriage". But it doesn't. And you know what? That's - realistic. Because that's life isn't it? Sometimes doing the right thing sucks. It's a hard lesson for younger readers but older readers will simply nod their head.

This next story with Nick Fury reminds me of early X-Men issues by Jack Kirby . In those comics, Kirby would take the upper part of the right page to give us pin-up quality panels - not all of the time but often enough to get noticed. We get some eye-popping art here too, in the same place. You can bet that we'll be stopping by to view this panels as they come up.

So it's S.H.I.E.L.D. time in Marvel Two-In-One So let's have a sit down meeting with Fury, Ben and Dum Dum Dugan in the Pizza-restaurant-that-isn't.


S.H.I.E.L.D.'s pizza parlor base

Note the bar stools disappear into a hidden shaft. The whole thing is a S.H.I.E.L.D. hideout (you can bet that I'm copy-pasting the word 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' because it's a B.I.T.C.H. to type). We're even given the schematics of the entire facility.


The schematics of the S.H.I.E.L.D. pizza base

It's the world of spies and rampant spending of taxpayer money ladies and gentlemen.

Anyway, Fury wants to see Ben because the Thing is somehow on the crosshairs of two super-villains.

The first is Mentallo.


Mentallo

Mentallo is a telepath, meaning he's able to read minds and "plant" thoughts or images on other people's minds. He styles himself in this story as the most powerful telepath on Earth, along the lines of Professor Xavier or the White Queen for example. He's really not all that. Mentallo is considered a low-level telepath.

Next up is the Fixer.


The Fixer

I admire and envy the Fixer because I'm totally hopeless. DIY or 'Do It Yourself' becomes 'Destroy It Yourself' when I get involved. The Fixer is DIY on steroids or, to paraphrase Nick Fury, the Fixer 'can make anything from anything'. Personally, if I was the Fixer I'd go into a lucrative career in car customization - but that's just me.

The reason both are after the Thing is kept under wraps for a while but it turns out that they want to use Ben to enter the Baxter Building and fiddle with Doc Doom's time machine. Now why they would want to do that is not expained.

Here's a wonderful panel of both villains.


The Fixer and Mentallo flying

Since ben is in the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, the pair infiltrate the flying base. Here's a great example of the Fixer's tech.


The Fixer takes control of some S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives

I think this is brilliant from a tactical point of view. These gadgets allow the Fixer to convert enemies into unwilling allies.

Again with the wonderful panels: Nick Fury at his command center.


Nick Fury in his command center

In a classic Thing move, Ben pulls the "rug" from under the commandeered S.H.I.E.L.D. troopers.


The Thing pulls the floor from under his foes

I told you that the Fixer's tactic was brilliant, both Fury and Ben are overwhelmed.


The Thing and Nick Fury are lie defeated

Now, for the third time in the pages of Marvel Two-In-One, the kidnapping of Ben Grimm.


The Thing kidnapped by Mentallo and the Fixer

Under the control of Mentallo, Ben Grimm bypasses Baxter security. Conveniently none of the other four are inside. It is up to Fury to run interference, unfortunately he is pitted against the mind-controlled Thing.


Nick Fury fights a mind-controlled Thing

Fury almost dies if not for a last minute move.


Nick Fury swipes a mind control gadget from the Thing

All's well that ends well then? Wrong. The Fixer has used Doc Doom's time machine to summon someone from the future.


Deathlok the Demolisher

We've had enough excitement. Deathlok is for a future tale.

And that is our Marvel Two-In-One three-in-one

Next: Marvel Two In-One 27 to 29: Deathlok, Submariner, Shang-Chi