Issue by Issue – Marvel Two-In-One #85

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

It has been a tumultuous few days for Bill Foster and Ben Grimm, the former dying of radiation poisoning and the latter simply being a friend who is losing another. It seems that no matter what anybody does, there is nothing that can cure Foster of what ails him, of what is killing him. It tears at Ben and he feels useless because of it. With whatever time he has left, Bill decides that he wants to spend it back home in Los Angeles and while Reed tries to stop him, Ben knows that Bill has made up his mind and decides to take him back home so that he might live out his life among those he loves most. Tom DeFalco and Ron Wilson who return to chronicle this chapter are not going to make this easy on the two men though, what with this being an action title and all that, so in comes Spider-Woman who has been trying to halt a string of industrial robberies. What makes it all strange is the fact that said crimes are being committed by Atom Smasher who is supposed to be dead. When these two plots and peoples come into contact though, it happens at Bill’s old lab and the robbers never planned on having to contend with one superhero, much less three. So the action kicks into high gear as Ben takes the fight to the villains, not wanting his pal’s last few days to be spent fighting off some lame bad guys. Things are not going all that well though and it is not long before Giant Man springs into action one last time, even if it feels like it is hastening the disease even faster, hurting more than it ever has before. If Bill Foster has to go out, he will do so as a hero. Eventually, things get a little worse before they get better, but in the end, the heroes win out and Atom Smasher is defeated. What seems a little coincidental is the fact that Spider-Woman’s immune system makes it easier for her to overcome all manner of things, including the radiation that Atom spewed at her, thus making her immune to it going forward. That means that Bill has a cure residing within her blood if she chooses to give it, though the trade-off is Spider-Woman losing that immunity her venom powers give her. Suffice it to say, things work out and Bill gets to live another day. This was definitely one of the more emotional issues that DeFalco would pen in this series and surely one of the best overall.

4 out of 5

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