Issue by Issue – Marvel Two-In-One #6

Writer – Steve Gerber
Artist – George Tuska
Inker – Mike Esposito
Colours – Petra Goldberg
Letters – Artie Simek

Doctor Strange and Clea are out for a leisurely walk when they encounter something quite out of the ordinary. For Stephen Strange, this makes for a normal day in his world, but for those people who possess no extra-normal abilities, it makes for an experience that they will not soon forget. Steve Gerber introduces a bit of magic into the world of Ben Grimm and it begins in the shape of a young girl playing her harmonica. The music that emits from the instrument she plays affects everyone differently and in the case of a couple of young men, it is to her detriment. This is where Strange comes in as he looks to get to the bottom of the mystery involving the girl and her music.  It also happens to rope in the Thing who is simply looking to get a good night’s sleep, which is impossible once he is called into action. What sets this issue and this team-up apart from those previous in the series is the fact that it feels more like a Doctor Strange story featuring the Thing than the other way around. The artwork by George Tuska is moody and evocative of those things that go bump in the night and there is enough mysticism present to give the reader the impression that they are in fact reading a different book than the one they hold in their hands. Also present is a good balance between light and dark, more so than the usual hero versus villain as all that is associated with Doctor Strange and the magic he brings comes into play. The only downside to all of this is that Clea only gets a bit part in the tale, a shame as her character usually has a lot to offer when written right. Despite the drama and the theatrics, there is a bit of action as the Thing and Doctor Strange must do battle with a giant rat, one brought to life indirectly by the magic’s of that aforementioned musical instrument and is only defeated not by the heroes, but by the affected youth in need of aid. Despite what seems like a lot of serious business going on, there is still some lightheartedness present courtesy of Benjamin J. Grimm, which is one of the reasons that this book resonates so well with readers. While it all made for a great read, Gerber and Tuska still leave it off on a bit of a cliff-hanger as the search for the harmonica leads to Valkyrie and the next team-up this book will see.

4 out of 5

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