Issue by Issue – Marvel Two-In-One #51

Writer – Peter Gillis
Artist – Frank Miller
Inker – Bob McLeod
Colours – Glynis Wein
Letters – Tom Orzechowski

There are certain times when The Thing likes to unwind and poker night with a bunch of the Avengers is one of those times. This particular day, a bunch of the regulars are unable to make it and so Ms. Marvel, Wonder Man, the Beast and the one and only Nick Fury sub in and Ben is not the happiest about it – especially as Carol Danvers takes home most of the winnings. At the same time and elsewhere, a group of armed men break into a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, intent on stealing a weapon called the Ultimate Annihilator, which they manage to do. That means Nick Fury is going to get involved and so he calls on those who are playing poker to take a part in getting the weapon back. Written by Peter Gillis and drawn by Frank Miller, the book definitely has a different feel than previous issues, the tone a little more serious than usual, but still being a lot of fun and The Thing still managing a couple of quips here and there. As it is, Ben Grimm gets to share the spotlight quite a bit in this issue with each of the heroes getting a moment here and there to shine. What makes this issue so much fun is that these are not the usual heroes one would think to assemble together as a team, but they still manage to work together like a well-oiled machine and route the bad guys, though not without getting a few bumps in return. As for the villain, it happens to be a regular soldier by the name of General Pollock last seen in Avengers #151 and Avengers Annual #6 and while not the type of bad guy one hopes to see in Marvel Two-In-One, it does make for a nice change from always seeing some super-powered baddie looking to cause a bit of mischief. Miller’s pencils are slick and the story is illustrated quite well, making Gillis’ tale look incredible. If there is a criticism to be found, it is the villain’s reason for assembling and needing the weapon which is never really fully disclosed. With a lack of motive, the battle felt a little pointless, though the average Joe having control of the Ultimate Annihilator is exactly a good thing. The story wraps up nice and neat and while it had enough action to keep things going, overall it was just lacking a little something to make it great instead of good.

3 out of 5

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