Issue by Issue – Marvel Two-In-One Annual #5

Writer – Alan Kupperberg
Artist – Alan Kupperberg
Inker – Pablo Marcos
Colours – Nel Yomtov
Letters – John Costanza

For the fifth annual of the series, Alan Kupperberg takes the reins both writing and drawing the adventures of The Thing and it begins with the man-monster and the rest of the Fantastic Four flying over the city when they are hit by some strange rays, akin to their origin except these rays just so happen to be of the gamma kind. The Thing who somehow is not affected by them, knows he is going to need a little help curing his friends, them being put in stasis until a fix is found. Elsewhere, the Hulk is heading out into the desert, somehow ending up where he was first transformed into the beast that he is and it is there that Betty and General Ross show up and when of course, they too are assaulted by some unknown rays, eventually found out to be of the cosmic variety and the Hulk being similarly being unaffected. Banner realises that he is going to need a little help and that is when Ben Grimm shows up and when of course, they have a bit of a physical altercation. Arriving on the scene not long after is The Stranger, a cosmic being who needs their help with the mythical god Pluto who in turn is looking to end all life in the universe. That of course cannot stand and so, if the two monsters will give him a hand, he might be able to cure their friends of what ails them, though they know not that it was he that originally caused it. To the underworld they go and Kupperberg makes it a fun tale with little back-and-forths between the two heroes, each wanting to pummel the other and coming close on more than one occasion. When they finally come upon Pluto, they realise that they are going to have to put their difference behind them if they are to succeed in their quest. As for The Stranger, he seems to be outmatched as well, though it is of course a feint and when it is all said and done, Pluto and his machine of ultimate death are defeated. The Hulk and The Thing are soon transported back to where they originated from and though it looks as though The Stranger will not honour his vow, he comes through and everyone is as they were. Altogether, Kupperberg created a good, old-school story featuring the best of both characters. The artwork could have been a bit tighter in a couple of places, specifically when it came to Pluto’s depiction, but on the whole, the book was a good one, a complete tale sure to please any who pick it up.

3.5 out of 5

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