Issue by Issue – Marvel Two-In-One #90

Writer – Jan Strnad
Artist – Alan Kupperberg
Inker – Jim Mooney
Colours – George Roussos
Letters – Diana Albers

Jan Strnad and Alan Kupperberg open the book up in Central Park where a renaissance fair is taking place and Peter Parker finds himself on a date with Debra Whitman and quite coincidentally where Ben Grimm is accompanying his lady-love Alicia Masters. It all begins as normal as one could expect, but things do not remain as such when a street performer, pretending to be a wizard accidentally summons an evil mage from centuries past who inhabits his body in lieu of facing imminent death. For Peter and Ben and the residents of the fair, that spells trouble and instead of spending a nice day out, they now have to suit up and be the heroes that they are. The wizard Sardeth, despite getting a second lease on life, has decided to continue being as wicked as they come and he immediately sets about attacking those around him, first by making a Maypole come alive and when thwarted by The Thing, causing a Black Knight impersonator to become possessed. That is when Strnad and Kupperberg up the action as Spidey and The Thing must now battle for their very lives and it is not long before they are victorious, though Sardeth is not so easily beaten and a monster from the depths is called forth to do that which could not have been done before. Not surprisingly, no matter how fearsome the creature, the two men manage to defeat it having beaten other such monsters before and Sardeth is given an ultimatum which finds him fleeing the scene and the poor performer’s body, never to be seen again. Spider-Man makes the book a lot of fun, not that Ben Grimm does not already do that on his own and even better, Peter would bring along all of his relationship troubles as well. If there is one thing that makes readers can sympathize with in this book, it is relationship problems as Ben and Alicia have had their fair share of those. Kupperberg brings it all to life nicely and while the villain is forgettable, it is always good to see two of Marvel’s finest teaming up to fight a random bad guy. At the end of the day this was a solid, though not altogether memorable issue.

3.5 out of 5

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