RetroRead: Marvel Two-in-One

A few years back, I decided I wanted to read those old team-up books I enjoyed in my youth, like Marvel Team-Up and DC Comics Presents.I recalled enjoying those done-in-one stories starring a favorite character and someone else from the Marvel or DC universe. I figured I couldn’t get every issue, so I decided to try to get only those issues guest-starred characters I liked or were interested in. One of those books that I didn’t have a whole lot of experience with was Marvel Two-in-One, starring the Thing and a guest each month. So, over time I bought the following issues:

  • 3: Daredevil
  • 5: Guardians of the Galaxy
  • 17: Spider-Man
  • 30: Spider-Woman
  • 32: Invisible Girl
  • 37: Matt Murdock
  • 38: Daredevil
  • 39: Vision
  • 40: Black Panther
  • 45: Captain Marvel
  • 50: Thing
  • 51: Some Avengers and Nick Fury
  • 61: Starhawk
  • 63: Warlock?
  • 69: Guardians of the Galaxy
  • 84: Alpha Flight
  • 85: Spider-Woman
  • 86: Sandman
  • 90: Spider-Man

Reading through these, the first thing (heh) I realized was that this comic book was a stealth Thing ongoing series! These were not done-in-one stories like I thought (I mean some were, but still) with some stories spanning three issues. And now my dilemma is this, some of these multi-part stories I quite enjoyed but I am missing a piece of the puzzle, and that hurts my comic book obsessive brain. I guess I should have tried to get all of the issues after all.

The second thing was that some of these team-ups were not. Spider-Woman was more of an adversary in #30 and Vision in #39 was an imposter (except for maybe a panel or three). If these were done-in-one stories, I’d be more irritated by that but because they were one part of a larger story, I guess I can forgive the false advertisement. :)

The third thing is that the Thing is not a very likable character. He has this reputation for being a gruff, but lovable guy, but I mostly found him to be a petulant man-child. But what I did find endearing in Ben is his love for Alicia Masters, which is an ongoing part of this series.

Marvel 2in1 37

While some of these issues are just not that great, I wanted to highlight a few that I enjoyed. #37-39 is one of those three-part stories that was interesting, especially because of the legal component (and remember when comics would/do compress something that would take months into mere panels?) and the focus on Matt over Daredevil, at least for part of the story.

Marvel 2in1 50

Issue 50 was one of the few done-in-one stories where Thing travels back in time to give himself a Reed Richards developed formula that would have cured past Ben. Of course, in the mighty Marvel tradition, past Thing fights present Thing for several pages before present Thing wins and administers the elixir to the unconscious Thing, curing him. Thing returns to the present to find himself unchanged, and Reed explains that all Thing did was create an alternate timeline. Thing comforts himself by complimenting his current rocky appearance over the “dinosaur hide” he used to have. I’ll keep this issue for sure.

Marvel 2in1 69

Another one I’ll keep is #69, which is an issue of the series that I bought when it was first published but let go at some point. This was probably my third exposure to the Guardians of the Galaxy (after Avengers #177 and Marvel Team-Up #86) and I found the time travel aspect involving Vance Astro interesting, especially the “fog” that’s created because of the proximity of the two Vances and their mental powers. Also, Vance Astro is one of those characters I’ve wanted to read more about especially because of this issue and eventually when Marvel made the younger Vance (as Justice) a member of the Avengers.

Marvel 2in1 86

Finally, #86. Here Sandman has had enough. When Thing happens upon him in a bar and starts to trash the place in anticipation of the fight to come, Sandman tells Thing to arrest him. This surprises Thing enough that they get to talking. We learn about Sandman’s history as a poor kid growing up on the mean streets, his love that he ends up losing, and his various run-ins with New York’s superheroes. After hearing Sandman’s story, Thing buys the next round and leaves, telling Sandman he has an opportunity for a fresh start. This comic, or rather its cover, inspired me to write a similar scene in a short story. I’m glad I was finally able to read the issue that contributed to that story.

What about your experience with Marvel Two-in-One? What were your favorite issues and why? Comment below!

Breaking Late Comic Book News – Nov/Dec 2018

Direct Download (2:06:58)

Travis (https://www.youtube.com/user/oddfellowsthoughts and https://twitter.com/the_gaunt_man) joins me to discuss all the comic book news from November and December 2018 that caught our attention. But first we talk about the amazing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse movie!

Please send your comments to longboxreview@gmail.com, chat with me @longboxreview on Twitter, and visit longboxreview.com. Please subscribe, rate, and review the show via Apple podcasts.

Thanks for listening!

Video version:

Podcast Episode 103: Marvel, Now

Direct Download (46:07)

I talk about the Marvel comics that are on my pull list, including:

  • All-New, All-Different Avengers
  • Dr. Strange
  • Spider-Man
  • The Mighty Thor
  • The Ultimates
  • The Vision
  • Black Panther
  • Black Widow
  • Daredevil

Please send your comments to longboxreview@gmail.com, chat with me @longboxreview on Twitter, or visit longboxreview.com. Please subscribe, rate, and review the show via iTunes.

Thanks for listening!

RandoMonday: Daredevil: Underboss tpb

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

DD Underboss tpb

 

Daredevil: Underboss by Brian Michael Bendis (story), Alex Maleev (art), Matt Hollingsworth (colors), RS & Wes Abbott (letters), Stuart Moore (editor), and Maleev (cover)

Ahh, the early 2000s. I was just starting to ramp up my comic buying after years of buying just a handful of books (I was in grad school and money was tight), and one of the new ones was the Daredevil collections because I’d been hearing that this Bendis guy was writing the hell out of our favorite blind superhero. I had bought Bendis’s first story arc, “Wake Up”, and loved it. This was a Daredevil that I’d never read before, and one that rang truer than anything up to this point, even compared with Miller’s run. And next was “Underboss”.

You know how Daredvil now is outed as a superhero, and Matt Murdock deals with this new status quo every day in the Waid/Samnee issues? Well, it all started with this collection, 14 years ago! A new guy, Silke, arrives to make his mark in the underworld, finds out that Kingpin knows who DD really is, and decides to make a play for power by trying to kill Matt. Kingpin finds out and uninvites Silke, but it’s too late–Silke has already convinced some of Fisk’s inside men to reenact the murder scene from Julius Caesar (which is quoted by Silke). Kingpin, of course, isn’t dead, but while he recuperates, his wife Vanessa, essentially takes over the operation, and proceeds to have the murderers wiped out, including her own son. Silke, in typical sleezoid fashion, barely escapes, and in an effort to save his own skin, runs to the Feds. They’re about to boot him into jail when Silke offers them who Daredevil really is.

Bam! Just like that, we get 14 years of great DD stories. Alex Maleev’s and Matt Hollingsworth’s art didn’t hurt the experience either. The dark inks and subdued color palette only accentuates the grittiness of Hell’s Kitchen and the people who inhabit the area. Overall, it’s great crime fiction dressed up in red spandex and brandishing a cane.

 

Acquisition Avalanche 2015, the second one!

I’ve acquired some more comics from fellow collector Dean, from Captain Comics in Boise, ID, and from eBay, so I wanted to show them to you. Thanks for watching!

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