Issue by Issue – Marvel Two-In-One #17

Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Sal Buscema
Inker – Mike Esposito
Colours – Don Warfield
Letters – Jean Hipp

The storyline from last issue continues here and it begins with Spider-Man who finds himself out of sorts after returning from a trip through time. Bill Mantlo then goes on to recount what happened to Peter during his most recent exploits and then does the same with the Thing, summarising the last issue’s events. All in all, that takes up the first few pages of the book until it finally gets into the swing of things and it soon continues with Benjamin J. Grimm heading into the volcano by himself to see just what is going on. It is here that the villain of the tale is revealed and it is none other than the Basilisk, last seen being defeated at the hands of Spider-Man, but somehow back from the dead and looking to put a hurt on the world. Sometimes a good villain is needed to put the hurt on the heroes, for by doing so and then having the heroes come back from the brink, it makes them look stronger and ultimately, more heroic. Such is the case here with Basilisk as he defeats the Thing quite easily. It is in fact, almost laughable, but Mantlo knows what he is doing and it makes for a much stronger story than it would have been otherwise. For the most part though, this plays as more of a Spider-Man story as he features in it a little more than its star and while it could be seen as a weakness, it actually turns out to be a positive and lends an epic quality to the proceedings. Joining Mantlo on the book is Sal Buscema, brother of John and a fantastic penciller who takes all of these events and makes them look incredible upon the page. The only problem about it all is that little happens. Sure there is some good action between Basilisk and the Thing and some great exposition from Peter about his current state as both hero and civilian, but as to defeating the villain and getting things back to the status quo, that will have to wait for the conclusion of the story which is to take place in the Marvel Team-Up title. For those that have not purchased said book or have no plans to, it is a little unfair to regular readers, but at least it does indeed get a conclusion – just not here.

4 out of 5

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