Posted - November 29, 2015
The Thing Marvel Two-In-One 30 to 32:
Or rather, running the streets of London. It seems being in a foreign country really does make us change our behavior. Look at the Thing, walking along in casual clothing. What a change from being at home in New York and lumbering around in trademark blue shorts made of unstable molecules. A word to the wise though, enjoy this while it lasts, the Thing will be so worked up later on that we'll be seeing the old familiar "half-naked" Thing.
And let the action begin.
There goes the outfit. Note Jessica Drew's surprising discovery that a guy who looks like a brick wall is just as tough.
The Thing pretty much shows who the veteran fighter is in this first meeting with Spider-Woman.
Jessica decides, wisely, to make a sudden retreat.
Here we have Jessica's rather curious circumstance.
She is currently under that thrall of Hydra. It won't always be so, of course, but later on, especially when she gets drafted by S.H.I.E.L.D., what is now a backstory will be grist for many a storied mill well into Spider-Woman's future.
And now for Spider-Woman's second run-in with the Thing, she doesn't go up against Grimm at all but rather, she kidnaps Alicia.
Unfortunately, the Thing can't do much against fliers.
This will end with both belligerents falling into the Thames. While the Thing and Spider-Woman are in the water they are attacked by a hydrofoil full of Hydra Agents and the Thing responds by doing this.
Considering that Ben is in deep water, this should be impossible - he couldn't possibly have thrown the hydrofoil without standing on anything solid. If I was the editor, I would have suggested that the artists have Ben rip the skids and punch through the hull, effectively sinking the hydrofoil.
This next panel I really, really like.
To me, this is the perfect rendition of the Thing. He looks like the perfect behemoth here. The primary message is toughness, he's as thick and solid as a wall. The next impression is power. When I think of the Thing this is the kind of image that comes to mind.
Now to the purpose behind Alicia's kidnapping.
Alicia has been kidnapped because Hydra is planning to make her the recipient of the "Spider-Woman serum". The ultimate plan is to use the serum to create an army of Hydra-controlled "spider women". It's a good plan but Alicia is the wrong pick for no less then three reasons.
First, Alicia is blind. As it will turn out, Hydra will provide the mutated Alicia with sensors to make up for her blindness. It would have made better sense to pick somebody who wasn't blind in the first place.
Second, Alicia is not a member of Hydra. To ensure loyalty Hydra would be better off picking a woman from among their ranks. And does it have to be a woman? Couldn't a "spider army" of loyal Hydra women and men not be made?
Third, and the best reason NOT to pick Alicia is because she's the beloved of one Benjamin J. Grimm. Alias the Thing. Can lift 90 tons, can shake off a direct hit with a bazooka; all this melded with a never-say-die attitude. If that's not enough the Thing is also a member of the Fantastic Four, a group with strong ties to the Avengers, and in communication with the X-Men.
Maybe Hydra should change their name to S.T.U.P.I.D.
Of course, the stupidest one of all is me. This is being done so that we can have a story, of course! I should let it slide because it's a comicbook! Of course!
No. I'll let this slide because this is a clunky plot that might have been given the green light because the publicaton deadline is looming. But it is still hard to forgive any creative who knowingly does things in comics with the maddening reason that "this is just comics". If you don't have any respect for the medium please find another line of work. I don't want comics being done by people who think "this is just comics". I read comics in full expectation that comicbooks as a creative artform is being taken seriously by those people who produce it because I, as a consumer, do look upon this medium as a craft, worthy of both my time and money. I respect it very much and I insist that those on the other end who produce comics respect it just as much if not more, and plots like this really disappoint.
Still, this flawed roller coaster ride has it's door open - so we might as well get in . . .
If you expected Alicia to turn into another super sexy Spider Woman II with some Hydra gear to get around her being blind, you'll be sorely disappointed. Alicia Masters turns to this . . .
Hideous. It is evident that the serum's effects are not uniform and highly dependent on the recipient. Not only has Alicia been physically mutated but she has been rendered almost insane. All of this prompting straight-arrow Ben to mouth a terrible vow.
Fortunately, Ben's anger does not go as deep as the Punisher's. No Hydra agents will be murdered by the Thing - Benjamin J. Grimm is simply NOT that kind of person.
Nonetheless, Alicia Masters now officially has the suckiest London vacation ever.
This panel is representative of the Thing's problem
Ben is unable to fight this "Alicia monster" for obvious reasons. It doesn't help that Hydra has directed Alicia to kill Ben. The only hope now is for Spider-Woman to do the heavy lifting.
Jessica does her best but the serum seems to have made Alicia the stronger spider woman.
Jessica also notices that Alicia's stinger blasts are more powerful than her own.
Grimm can't punch his way out of this one, worse - he doesn't want to. Ben is different from heroes like Spider-Man and Daredevil because he's a member of a family. When in trouble, Ben has an option.
And he takes the option, he calls home. Home being the Baxter Building. This is an important aspect of being the Thing, this option to call home when the situation gets really messed up. The question is: Is anybody in? Sue is in and it is a mark of just how close a family the FF is that she immediately makes her way to London.
The Thing gets a break at a last when he is able to grab hold of the device linking Alicia with Hydra.
In the end, the answer is Sue's invisible force field - she uses it to deprive Alicia of air enough to pass out.
The most important contribution is from the aformentioned Dr. Kort - he's able to bring back Alicia from the abyss.
And that is our Marvel Two-In-One three-in-one