Issue by Issue – Marvel Two-In-One #15

Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Arvell Jones
Inker – Dick Giordano
Colours – Phil Rache
Letters – Karen Mantlo

While the last issue’s blurb promised Kazar for this story, instead it is Morbius, the Living Vampire that stars and he has set his sights upon Alicia Masters in order to fill the bloodlust that consumes him. Unbeknownst to him, Alicia is the girlfriend to none other than Benjamin J. Grimm who just so happens to barge in on the two and his outrage at what he sees soon manifests into violence. As the two battle, the true villain of the tale makes an appearance and it turns out to be The Living Eraser, an alien with the power to wipe people out of existence. As the fight between the Thing and Morbius spills out into the street, Morbius – now setting his sights upon the Eraser after being dissuaded from Alicia, finds himself and Ben now the victims and not simply erased, but transported to another dimension. Bill Mantlo crafts a fine tale, one filled with little horror despite its guest star, but enough action to keep any reader more than entertained. Morbius and the Thing are definitely an oddball pairing, but for all the different characters that inhabit the Marvel Universe, it still manages to work and is not one that can be construed as the strangest to have ever taken place. As it is, like most issues in this series, the two characters eventually team up as they find themselves more than a little out of sorts and will need to rely upon each other if they are to return home to Earth. Thankfully, the Eraser whose powers send people back to his own dimension, is not well loved among his people, having tried to overthrow the sitting king. As one might guess, Morbius and Ben make it home, defeat the villain and live to fight another day. Arvell Jones is the man who happens to bring this fight to the page and he makes Morbius as threatening and as frightening as this title will allow, while the panels burst with action between the two heroes. For his part, Mantlo does a great job of making it all quite interesting, more specifically the incredibly brief romance between Morbius and Roweena, princess of Dimension Z. Altogether, the book flies by and does so with a good amount of drama, action and theatrics by all parties involved. As for a winner, the good guys always come out on top though it might be the residents of Dimension Z who ultimately prevail.

4 out of 5

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