Issue by Issue – Marvel Two-In-One #82

Writer – Tom DeFalco
Artist – Ron Wilson
Inker – Chic Stone
Colours – George Roussos
Letters – Joe Rosen

After having been exposed to Virus X thanks to M.O.D.O.K., The Thing is slowly dying, only alive thanks to the cosmic radiation that transformed him into the rocky being that he is now. Back at the Baxter Building, Reed Richards and Bill Foster, the latter better known as Giant Man, are trying their best to figure out what is wrong with their friend, especially after Captain America found him passed out in the street. Tom DeFalco writes an emotional tale and it shows the second that Ben awakens for when he does, he starts to further mutate, becoming uglier and that making the man-monster essentially cry out in agony. It took Ben many years to be okay with how he looked, to now further degenerate into what can only be called a monster, he does not know if he can live with himself, much less anyone else. Bill feels for his friend and the two have a heart-to-heart after which Bill realises that though he may be dying of radiation poisoning, Ben has it far worse than he. All the while during which this goes on, Captain America is looking for M.O.D.O.K. in order that he can obtain a cure for his friend and the man is relentless, something M.O.D.O.K. is aware of and if anyone can find him, it is Steve Rogers. Eventually the three heroes – Ben, Cap and Giant Man arrive at A.I.M.’s hidden base and there they come into conflict with the men responsible. Ron Wilson returns to draw this incredibly powerful issue and his artwork is more than magnificent as the heroes face off against overwhelming odds. Be that as it may though, Ben fights with a fury he has rarely expressed while Captain America does what he does best. Giant Man meanwhile, who has little experience with fighting evil-doers, is showing the mettle he is made of, digging deep for one of the best men he has ever known. DeFalco sends all manner of enemies against the heroes and they beat them back until Giant Man discovers what it is he is searching for, something that might also be able to cure what ails him. Tragedy strikes though when the cure is damaged and there is only enough for Ben to take, something Bill Foster is more than happy to administer, but when it is all said and done and The Thing lives to fight another day, it is a step back for Giant Man as it also signals his death coming one day sooner than it might have otherwise. At the end of the day, this was a truly great issue by a fantastic creative team featuring high drama, tension, fisticuffs and more.

4 out of 5

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