Writer – Roger Slifer, Tom DeFalco
Artist – Ron Wilson
Inker – Pablo Marcos
Colours – Phil Rachelson
Letters – Irv Watanabe, Annette Kawecki
With nothing much to do with the Fantastic Four being disbanded and all, Benjamin J. Grimm finds himself hanging out in Matt Murdock’s apartment doing pretty much nothing. It is not long after his extremely busy day that he ends up at a public school where the Black Panther of all people is teaching classes under an alias. It is a good meeting between friends and Ben thinks it a little strange that T’Challa should be filling his time as such, though he is not necessarily one to speak on the subject. Eventually the two begin discussing the strange disappearances of various African-American men in the community and the two decide to look into it. Bringing these heroes together is Roger Slifer, Tom DeFalco and Ron Wilson – a trio more than able at chronicling the adventures of The Thing and what better compatriot than the Black Panther to team up with. In this particular issue, there is no clear cut villain either, but that does not mean that the two do not get themselves into trouble. When they end up following a lead from none other than J. Jonah Jameson, at least indirectly, it takes them to a concert hall where they think the next victim will be and they are soon proven correct as they are attacked by a vampire. If there was one thing that was not expected in this story, it was one of the undead and not only is it a vampire, but said creature also happens to be part zombie and though after a quite battle they think it incapacitated with a stake through the heart, it soon rises again at the command of its unseen master. The book ends not long after and the creators do it justice by leaving it on a cliff-hanger insuring that readers will come back again. With this story, Slifer and DeFalco bring back a bit of the humour that permeated the earlier books of this series, especially after having gotten a little serious in the last few issues. The Thing might have been having a hard time of it lately, but it is the man’s can-do attitude that makes him such a joy to read and so when that goes missing, it almost puts a damper on things. That being said, given the talent on the book, it always remains a good read and now that The Thing is back to his old self, one can only predict good things for the guy going forward. Also nice to see was a bit of the horror creep its way back into the title, some of the better stories featuring the darker side of the Marvel Universe. A very fun read from that finds The Thing a little out of his element, but a man who will always see it through to the end wherever it might lead.
3.5 out of 5