Issue by Issue – Marvel Two-In-One #20

Writer – Roy Thomas
Artist – Sal Buscema
Inker – Sam Granger
Colours – Petra Goldberg
Letters – John Costanza

Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema continue the tale started in the first annual of this series and it finds the Thing back in 1942, teaming up with the Liberty Legion in order to stop a Nazi plot. At the moment, Ben is facing down a flying swastika and it is not being flown by just any Nazi soldier, but by a free-floating brain called appropriately enough, Brain Drain. A silly name to be sure and one that does not strike fear into the hearts of his foes or that of the readers, but one that makes sense when it comes to the world that these characters inhabit. One would think that a plane in the shape of a swastika would be no match for the Thing, but with Brain Drain at the helm, it gives the Thing a run for his money and eventually, after landing on a secret ship out in the ocean, he must also face Master Man, U-Man and Skyshark. It is definitely more than he can handle, even for one with his vaunted strength, so it is a good thing that the Legion shows up in the nick of time. Thomas and Buscema bombard the reader with pages of action, one right after the other and it never gets tiresome as the heroes fight back those that want to suppress the freedoms of others. Both men do an incredible job at bringing this story to life and it could not get any better. What is quite funny in a very low-key kind of way is the involvement of the Watcher, who by his people’s decree, cannot get involved. As with every tale involving Uatu, he does not so much as tell people what he knows or directs them what to do, but he does just that by not saying or doing anything and so when the Thing first needed to know where the Vibranium was and when the Legion needed information on where Ben and the Nazis were, it was Uatu who would ultimately provide it. In the end, the story ends as expected with the bad guys being taken care of, but like most good tales, a couple of the villains get away. All in all, this was a great story-arc by a truly great creative team.

4 out of 5

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