Writer – Bill Mantlo, Scott Edelman
Artist – Ron Wilson
Inker – Jim Mooney, Dan Adkins
Colours – Hugh Paley
Letters – John Costanza, Ray Holloway
When Marvel Two-In-One ventures into the realm of horror, that is when their most interesting tales take place and it does so once again with an appearance by the Scarecrow. All of this is featured in an art gallery which Ben and Alicia are attending. Sometimes the two just want a nice night out, but whenever they try it just never seems to work out and it begins with an introduction to the Duncan’s who tell them about a painting they own called The Straw Man. It is a fantastical story and one that Ben puts little stock in, but when a demon worshipper of the god Kalumai shows up and transforms one of the guests into a fiery monster, Ben knows there must be something to it. Though Ron Wilson is a great penciller, this is by far his moodiest work yet, the best he has produced on the title and it really sets the tone as laid out by Bill Mantlo and Scott Edelman. So it is when the Scarecrow comes to life and emerges from the painting that the book really starts to get good. For his part, the Scarecrow is a most intriguing character. He laughs maniacally, yet does not speak and while he is obviously meant to frighten, he is also a guardian and protector and thus is somewhat of a strange brew between hero and villain. While he appears as one thing, he is in fact another and it is understandable that Ben would feel a little confusion at the sudden appearance of the character and thereby trying to discern just whose side he is on. All of that is soon made readily apparent and it is not long before Kalumai and his pet demon are defeated. Like many of these tales that appear in this title, those specifically featuring the supernatural, the Thing has little to do in the defeat of whatever the menace might be and that is actually all right, for as a reader, it is nice to see some of these other characters get the spotlight. Despite a little of the focus being shone upon the Scarecrow, Benjamin J. Grimm still gets a few moments to shine and once again, is the last man standing.
4 out of 5