Issue by Issue – Marvel Two-In-One #43

Writer – Ralph Macchio
Artist – John Byrne
Colours – Phil Rachelson
Letters – Bruce Patterson

With the Cosmic Cube in hand, Victorious stands tall and it gives The Thing and Captain America pause as they know that they will never be able to beat the man as long as he holds said object. Suffice it to say, Captain America goads the villain into a fist-fight after Ben Grimm is laid low. Returning to scribe this issue is none other than Ralph Macchio and joining him is John Byrne along with a few friends and together they create an action-packed, pulse-pounding tale that sees the two heroes on the ropes. With a bit of an origin story to Victorious and how he came to worship entropy and reunite the Cult of Entropy, the reader also learns how Jude the Entropic Man came into being and how defeating the bad guys just became a little harder. Eventually The Thing enters the fray once again and while he is a little out of his element, nobody can keep Benjamin J. Grimm out of a fight. With everything going on, there is one other wildcard that makes an appearance and that is none other than the Man-Thing, a creature Ben once met in this very series and a monster that had ended the threat of the Entropic cult once before.. How he plays into it soon comes to light as he grabs the Cosmic Cube and yet, though he does little, what happens gives the battle an air of finality. The book has everything one could want within and Macchio does not disappoint with his story, nor does the artwork which excites from start to finish. Though it is good to see Man-Thing again, it would have been nice if he had been there from the start, but be that as it may, he was there at the conclusion and while the book leaves off on a happy ending so to speak, there is a bit of sadness as well for if the creature had but a little bit of a mind, it would have realised that salvation lay before it. As for Wundarr and the experiments at Project Pegasus, that still needs resolving and knowing Ben Grimm; he will not let it lie until he is satisfied. While never disappointing, sometimes the villains in these books should just do what a villain should do and take care of their enemy. Victorious could have ended everything right off the hop if he had just used the Cube on the two heroes, but instead did the classic exposition routine, ensuring that at some point, he would be beaten. It is silly, but a good thing for if villains never did so, the stories they appeared in would not be as good as they were. This was a much stronger issue than the last and one that never stopped entertaining for second.

4 out of 5

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