Issue by Issue – Marvel Two-In-One #1

Writer – Steve Gerber
Artist – Gil Kane
Inker – Joe Sinnott
Colours – George Roussos
Letters – Jean Izzo

Benjamin J. Grimm is a little more ornery than usual when this issue opens and as such, when he sees an article about the Man-Thing, he decides to head on down to meet the creature and ‘talk’ with him about the appropriation of his name. Written by Steve Gerber and drawn by Gil Kane, the first issue of Marvel Two-In-One features the Thing exactly as readers would have him, not to mention a monster, a villain and a lot of great action. The bad guy of the picture is the Molecule Man and not the original as he seemingly dies here, but his son who goes on to recreate the experiment which gave his father the ability to affect the molecules of the universe and set out on a revenge mission against those that caused all of this to happen in the first place – the Fantastic Four! Suffice it to say, the Molecule Man ends up running into the Thing, who happens to be airing his grievances with Man-Thing and it is not too long before the latter two join forces against the former. Gerber writes a witty tale, one that is not so much as funny as it will simply put a smile upon the face of the reader as they make their way through this book. Kane, a legendary penciller in his own right, packs the book with a lot of detail, the panels far more dense than readers are probably used to seeing from the man and it all looks spectacular. The action scenes look great and even during those times when story and exposition take place, the lines that Kane puts down lend to that wit that Stern peppers throughout. There is a moment during this tale where Ben and the Man-Thing are transformed back to their human selves – something Ben at the very least continually yearns for. One has to wonder what would have happened if the now human Ted Sallis and Ben Grimm simply decided to take off, leave the Molecule Man to his own devices and live the rest of their lives as the men they once were. That of course would never come to pass as the two are heroes and as such, human or not, they would never leave a villain to simply cause whatever trouble they saw fit amongst the general public. Overall, the creators involved in this book craft a very fun story by taking who is arguably the most popular member of the Fantastic Four and putting him in a situation that not only shows what he can do, but they put his personality on display front and center. Ben Grimm might be a monster made of rocks and is one of the reasons why people love him , but why this tale works so well is the fact that he is a fallible human being underneath that people can easily gravitate towards, a man they can find themselves in. Kane and Gerber understand that perfectly and thus why this first issue was so good.

4 out of 5

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