Issue by Issue – Marvel Two-In-One #24

Writer – Bill Mantlo, Jim Shooter
Artist – Sal Buscema
Inker – Pablo Marcus
Colours – Irv Watanabe
Letters – George Roussos

On loan from the Fantastic Four and not liking it all too much is the Thing – Benjamin J. Grimm, who has found himself the subject of a test by Stark Industries and scientist Bill Foster, better known as Black Goliath. While he knows that he could better fend off anything that anyone might throw at him, Ben still dislikes being poked a prodded as he gets enough of that at home from Reed, the leader of the Fantastic Four. As it stands, Bill Mantlo and Jim Shooter waste no time in creating a situation that finds the hero essentially under attack, though unable to do anything about it until Bill is able to, in a minute of desperation, free the Thing from the test chamber in which he is locked. Everything that happens, does so in mere moments and while it is fairly exciting, it is somewhat ruined by one of the worst villains to ever appear in a Marvel book – the Hijacker. Who is he? Simply a villain with lousy tech and a bit of surprise and luck on his side which gives him the upper hand during the break-in of the Stark Industries lab where the Thing just so happens to be. Said bad guy is looking to steal some of the far superior technology, some for him and some to sell, the latter more than anything and using that luck and that bit of surprise on his side, he makes the very best of the situation. For the most part, the story was a good one, though not quite as well done as some of the previous stories in the title which is a bit of a shame as Black Goliath is a truly fantastic character, underutilised for much of his existence. While Bill does his heroic best, it is somewhat frustrating to see him and Ben at odds with such a Z-lister as The Hijacker. Another plus to the issue is the artwork by Sal Buscema and Pablo Marcus which looks as incredible as always, a bonus that definitely offsets the truly lame villain the heroes have to fight. The only bonus to having The Hijacker appear is the fact that there are different classes of heroes and villains, some not as high-calibre as others and every once in a while, the big-time heroes of the Marvel U like the Thing are going to run into one every now and then and frankly, Mantlo and Shooter could have picked worse. Overall this was a decent story and nothing more, a stop-gap between better ones that at the very least, still provided the reader with a little entertainment.

3 out of 5

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