Issue by Issue – Marvel Two-In-One #12

Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Ron Wilson
Inker – Vince Colletta
Colours – Janice Cohen
Letters – Karen Mantlo

Writer Bill Mantlo is joined by Ron Wilson who illustrates this book on par with any of the greats, teaming the Thing up with Iron Man who is looking to test out his new ship, the Pattycake. A strange name for sure, but one that gives the reader a giggle when one thinks about the pilot who just so happens to be Aunt Petunia’s favourite nephew. As it is, for something has to happen to kick the story into gear, the ship crashes and the Thing disappears. As Iron Man heads to investigate, he runs into one of Marvel’s most interesting villains/heroes in Prester John, former knight to Richard the Lionhearted. Prester John it seems has come into possession of the Stone of Power, an artifact that has made him believe grandiose dreams or creating and ruling. It is a tool that has lent Prester John an untold amount of power and it is enough to bend Iron Man and the Thing to his will. Mantlo creates a thrilling story with a much underused character in Prester John at its center and that first splash page by Wilson that introduces him to the book is absolutely riveting. One would not normally associate such a man as a threat, especially to heroes as experienced as Ben Grimm and Tony Stark. As good as it is to see some of Marvel’s more underutilised characters, seeing the two heroes team up and race to stop the madman is just as exciting. Rushing into battle, not knowing just what it is that they face aside from an unknowable power speaks to their personality, to the heroism inherent in both men and it speaks to the reader just as much as anything present. One of the better parts of this story is the fact that despite Prester John being painted as the villain, not only here but also in the past, he is actually a good man within, simply one who is usually misunderstood and in this case, corrupted by power. As the story winds up, the heroes win the day with Prester John being freed from the curse of the Power Stone, coming back to his senses and now having to wander the Earth once more. More than a lot of fun is the twelfth issue of Marvel Two-In-One.

4.5 out of 5

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