Issue by Issue – Marvel Two-In-One #45

Writer – Peter Gillis
Artist – Alan Kupperberg
Inker – Mike Esposito
Colours – Phil Rachelson
Letters – Michael Higgins

With the forty-fifth issue of Marvel Two-In-One, the book gets a bit of the cosmic injected into it, something that has been somewhat lacking in the title up until this point with the odd exception and it comes in the form of Captain Marvel. The good Captain can sense that something is wrong and he thinks it has to do with Ben Grimm, otherwise known as The Thing. That indeed turns out to be true as writer Peter Gillis and artist Alan Kupperberg bring back a villain from the Thing’s past to haunt him once again, a foe that happens to wear his face. Readers will wonder how that could be though right off the bat, with ideas like other dimensions and such coming to mind. The first thought though that will come to mind is that of said villain being a Skrull and it just so happens to be true and he stands revealed as a bad guy that The Thing thought defeated long ago. Suffice it to say, Boss Barker in fact survived his downfall and now he is looking to get a little payback. Ben Grimm has teamed up with many a hero in the title and until this point in time and seeing him team up together with one of Marvel’s greatest heroes is great to see, though when it comes right down to it, he does little in the bigger scheme of things, most of the eventual fight taking place between The Thing and Boss Barker. Gillis ties it into Ben’s past exploits with the Fantastic Four quite well and additionally provides a look back, catching readers up so that going back to re-read that past issue is unnecessary. As far as the big bad goes, Boss Barker leaves a little to be desired though he does have a bit of power to his name. There is a little challenge there, but considering who he is facing, a more substantial big bad would have been preferred, but nonetheless, Kupperberg and Gillis tell a great story. As for the artwork, Kupperberg does a fantastic job, the action popping off the page and the book looking as good as ever. The only flaw, if it could be called one, would be Captain Marvel not being as involved as he could have been, but otherwise, for a single-issue story, it turned out to be very entertaining. While ending on a satisfactory note, the door is left slightly open in case The Thing ever need return to the planet of Kral IV, though for the moment, he stands victorious which readers would not have any other way.

3.5 out of 5

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