Posted - October 15, 2016

Previous: Marvel Two-In-One 47 & 48: Yancy Street Gang, Jack of Hearts

The Thing Marvel Two-In-One 49 to 50:
Doctor Strange, Thing

Marvel Two-In-One 49 Marvel Two-In-One 50

I love that this next story generates a vibe very much in keeping with it's guest star: Doctor Strange. That's right, prepare yourself for a delightful halloween-style tale.

The Thing decides to take a fishing vacation away from New York City. Here he is nearing the inn where he'll be staying.

A letter to the Thing

The inn looks spooky but notice the heavy inking; that too adds to the mood of the tale.

A young lady encounters some car trouble and the Thing decides to help out in a wonderfully illustrated panel.

A letter to the Thing

I've had the misfortune of having a flat tire myself. Ah, to have that kind of strength. If you think the girl's car was exceptionally illustrated check out Doctor Strange's ride.

A letter to the Thing

The inn is as spooky inside as it is outside.

A letter to the Thing

The Thing is here on vacation, but Dr. Strange's primary role is to protect the Earth from mystic attacks. The Doctor "is on call". He senses a disturbance.

It all starts that night when the girl screams and the Thing launches to her side.

A letter to the Thing

It seems the girl is being attacked by a shadow creature - and she was - but all that is ever found is some wood debris. You'll also notice that Ben destroyed yet another piece of property. He is informed that he will be billed for it; we all know that means that Reed Richards will be billed for it.

The art continues to sustain the mood. Look at these blue panels here, evoking a night illuminated only by moonlight.

A letter to the Thing

Doctor Strange reveals an old sea tale of a wizard and his unwilling zombie creation.

A letter to the Thing

The unwilling zombie is Kemo, an islander, chosen because he was the strongest in the crew. This brings into mind the classic Moby Dick. In that book the most daring, if not he strongest, of the crew, the harpooners, are all islanders.

Before long, the zombie Kemo makes his (it's?) move.

A letter to the Thing

Anytime you're being attacked by a zombie it's always handy to have the Thing around.

A letter to the Thing

I'm not used to a mere zombie being able to fight the Thing to a standstill - Ben should be able to mop the floor with a whole mob of these things - but Kemo is supernaturally powered. Ben is unable to gain the advantage.

While Ben fights in the physical world, Doctor Strange confronts the necromancer Ennis Tremellyn in the Astral Plane.

A letter to the Thing

Back at the zombie fight, the Thing notices the zombie's mystical necklace, and, with an impressive show of strength, he destroys the gem.

A letter to the Thing

This one desperate move traps Tremellyn in the Astral Plane and frees the hapless Kemo.

A letter to the Thing

Oh, look at this. Ben ends up with the girl. A rare sight indeed.

A letter to the Thing

Anybody knows Alicia's number?

We come to the 50th issue of Marvel Two-In-One and I expect the creative team to have paid extra attention to it. So let's see what we have . . .

John Byrne words and pictures. This is looking good.

I always knew this was happening: Reed Richards continues to experiment on the Thing hoping to restore Ben's lost human form. Here is an interesting panel that shows the evolution of the Thing.

SuperHeroStuff - Shop Now!

A letter to the Thing

Wow. Look at this revelation.

A letter to the Thing

Here goes . . . if I wrote the Thing I would say enough to the 'always a monster' situation. I would introduce a Thing that we have never seen before: Ben Grimm able to transform to the Thing at will. The big guy needs a break.

The Thing uses Doc Doom's time platform for the second time in Marvel Two-In-One. The first time was to transport himself and Captain America to help the Guardians of the Galaxy.

A letter to the Thing

Ben's idea is actually quite brilliant. He will take Reed's formula, travel to the past, and give himself the formula at an earlier stage of evolution - a time when the formula will work.

And look at this.

A letter to the Thing

The Baxter Building before it became the home of the FF.

Ah, here is the Thing in his apartment, very soon after this unwanted transformation. Troubled and gloomy.

A letter to the Thing

'Bah', yes, the old Thing always said 'Bah'. Trust a fan boy like John Byrne to get this right. More than that, trust a fanboy like John Byrne to take us for a tour of Marvel lore.

Okay. Old Thing meets new.

A letter to the Thing

Wow. This comicbook is delivering.

As you can see, the old Thing is in so much personal pain that he's just a ball of anger.

A letter to the Thing

As an aside, where is Ben keeping that formula? He's just wearing his usual trunks. Plus that thing was in a glass container. I don't see how it can survive this.

A letter to the Thing

The action in this next panel is amazing but the dialogue is the real stunner.

A letter to the Thing

'I would give my soul to look as human as you'. Holy crap.

Plus, let's not forget to dis Victor.

A letter to the Thing

Look at this.

A letter to the Thing

A time when Ben was convinced he was the strongest one of all. Those were the days. Now the Thing is mid-level, well, upper mid level, or is it lower upper level - just a shade below the top-of-the-curve heavy hitters. After meeting the likes of Thor, the Hulk, Juggernaut, Hercules and a handful of others, Ben doesn't mouth these kinds of declarations anymore.

Here we are shown, that no matter the rage, underneath it all is Ben Grimm the test pilot. This is a thinking fighter.

A letter to the Thing

Old Thing, new Thing, no matter who these two are a walking government infrastructure catastrophe.

Here is the most representative Thing vs. Thing panel.

A letter to the Thing

Followed by the victory shot.

A letter to the Thing

I recall reading somewhere that the Thing did not only change appearance through the years. Each later evolution was stronger than the older one.

Finally the formula is administered and . . .

A letter to the Thing

It gets better . . .

A letter to the Thing

Back in the future, the Thing is still the Thing. Reed explains it best.

A letter to the Thing

It seems not only the Thing's body has acclimated to the cosmic rays; his mind has adjusted to the change also. No more rage or depression - at least not so much.

Ok, the 50th really delivered. I love this story. Somewhere in an alternate reality the Thing became Ben Grimm permanently. He didn't have to go through all the alienation and agony of making peace with becoming so different from the rest of us. Somewhere in the time stream, Ben Grimm got the break he so richly deserves. Beautiful. And happy 50th Marvel Two-In-One!

Graphic Novels

graphic novels