Issue by Issue – Marvel Two-In-One Annual #3

Writer – Marv Wolfman
Artist – Sal Buscema
Inker – Frank Giacoia, Dave Hunt
Colours – Phil Rachelson
Letters – Joe Rosen

For the third annual of the series, Marv Wolfman and Sal Buscema team The Thing up with Nova and they give the heroes the fight of their lives against the aliens known as the Monitors. It begins with Nova flying across the city when all of a sudden a giant being appears as if out of nowhere and he knows immediately that it means trouble, especially as his powers have no immediate effect against the alien. So rushing to the Baxter Building after the Avengers prove not to be at home, he comes upon The Thing and relates his tale and Ben, having just awakened knows that he is going to have to take care of this before he can do anything else. Coming upon the creature, Ben’s strength also has no effect and the two realise that they might be outclassed. All is not lost though as a woman shows up to offer them a bit of hope, though she asks that they rescue her sister first before they do anything about the Monitors. Wolfman spins a fun yarn and it sees Ben and the young Richard Ryder along with Lilandra and her sister, doing what they can against the monsters, but it all seems futile until they start to use their minds a little more and fight a little dirty. To say that it works is putting it lightly as the Monitors get angry and decide that they are not going to stand back and just take it anymore. During all of this, there is a moment where Lilandra relates the history of the Monitors, of how they achieved perfection over time when the Earth was but an idea in the grand cosmic scheme of things. Having perfection, the Monitors grew bored and decided to travel the universe testing other planets to see if those celestial bodies had attained the same level of enlightenment that they themselves had and if not, said planets would be destroyed. Such is the fate of the Earth if the heroes do not succeed. Thankfully, they do so but not without a bit of a twist when all is said and done, though one could say it was all just a bit too neat the way Wolfman wrapped it up. Providing some very thrilling artwork is the always effervescent pencils of Sal Buscema who can seem to do no wrong when it comes to making the heroes of the Marvel Universe look good. Both Buscema and Wolfman make this a truly exciting tale and they pack it full of action, a bit of drama and more than a few quips between Nova and The Thing. With such a powerful and gigantic race of aliens landing upon the Earth and the fact that they landed in more than one location, one would think that more heroes would have rallied to take up the fight against them, but such as it is, The Thing and Nova proved to be enough.

4 out of 5

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