Issue by Issue – Marvel Two-In-One #8

Writer – Steve Gerber
Artist – Sal Buscema
Inker – Mike Esposito
Colours – George Roussos
Letters – Charlotte Jetter

With the eighth issue of Marvel Two-In-One, Steve Gerber and Sal Buscema present the most ridiculous book yet and not because it stars the Thing and Ghost Rider which should have been incredible. It was a fun story and still ended up being enjoyable, but there was cheese aplenty to be found and a couple of scenes that were simply comical. The most nonsensical thing about it all is the fact that Johnny Blaze is riding around as the Ghost Rider, skull for a head and on fire to boot, talking to people and introducing himself to the locals and everyone just thinking that this is a normal situation. It is utterly preposterous and even slightly juvenile, but somehow manages to be endearing in a ‘so bad it is good’ kind of way, that one cannot help but be entertained. It is a perfect example of silver/bronze age Marvel Comics, how they could be so exaggerated and still end up telling a decent story of which this just so happens to be one. In addition to that, the villain of the piece is the Miracle Man, a Z-list bad guy who has decided to get his revenge upon the Fantastic Four by re-creating a scene straight out of the Bible by transforming a Native American town into a modern day Bethlehem with the locals playing the parts. It is astoundingly crazy, but it draws both Johnny Blaze and Ben Grimm to the scene who soon end up doing battle with the madman and eventually, they win the day with everything reverting back to its natural state. As a Christmas story, this is definitely not one of Marvel’s better tales and as just another issue in this series, it is the first low point to be found, but nevertheless, if it had been anyone else but Gerber at the helm, it might have turned out far worse than it did. The best thing about it all ended up being the pencils from Buscema, aided by Mike Esposito and George Roussos. No matter how silly it all became, it looked fantastic and with cameos by Mr. Fantastic, the Human Torch and Medusa, in the end the book turned out to be not all that bad.

3 out of 5

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