Issue by Issue – Marvel Two-In-One Annual #4

Writer – Allyn Brodsky, David Michelinie
Artist – Jim Craig
Inker – Bob Budiansky, Bruce Patterson
Colours – George Bell
Letters – Irving Watanabe

Disastrous airquakes are affecting the hidden city of Attilan and as such, Black Bolt comes to the Baxter Building looking for help which for whatever reason, is absent at the moment. Knowing that Alicia Masters might lead him to The Thing, Black Bolt and Ben’s girlfriend seek him out when thanks to a bit of bad timing, the two heroes end up duking it out. Soon, things are explained and the true villain of the piece is revealed to be none other than Graviton. Allyn Brodsky and David Michelinie might pepper the beginning of this issue with a couple of familiar scenes, but they create a riveting tale that soon dives into Graviton’s origin and what happened to the man in a previous issue of the Avengers. So it is that with his memories escaping him and his powers out of control, Graviton starts to act like a black hole before transforming into a giant monster, one hell-bent on destruction. It is not long before the action ramps up and Ben and the Inhuman king take the creature on, hoping to control the monster before his powers destroy New York, but it is easier said than done and the two are quite possibly outmatched. Jim Craig who illustrates this issue does an outstanding job, the man creating forty-eight glorious pages of all-out excitement and pulse-pounding suspense. Graviton for his part has never been stronger and at the same time, he has never been as mad as he is now. Thankfully, somewhere deep down inside, whether it was due to the woman named Judy who was the target of his initial interest or the last sliver of his sanity, Graviton does what few villains tend to do in his situation and sacrifices himself for the greater good. It is at this moment where Michelinie and Brodsky really make this story stand out from the average comic on the stands, for in one scene, for one minute, Graviton becomes a hero. Of course, the writers along with Craig pack the book with a lot of great instances featuring the heroes, but so too do they leave one plot-thread hanging, that of the fate of Attilan. Does The Thing or the Fantastic go back with Black Bolt to take care of the problem? One can only guess that it is indeed the case and things worked out for the better. As for Graviton, he is no longer a threat, though with this story taking place in the world of comic books and most characters never staying dead, readers have to figure that at some point, the man will be back, somehow, some way. From start to finish, this was a truly superb story.

4 out of 5

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