Marvel Two-In-One No. 28 In The Power of the Piranha
So Ben and Alicia go on Reed's new "Sling" plane and they're both playing sweet with each other.
B-O-R-I-N-G except for one recurring question as I read these panels: How do you do the 'thing' with the Thing? This is the biggest argument for letting Ben Grimm have some kind of switch to change from human to superhuman. Our poor Ben. Even the Hulk changes back to a 'lovable' alter ego every once in a while.
So the plane is skimming low over the water and look who happens to drop by.
If you're getting tired of Namor's Imperious Rex/Black Adam haughty-as-hell song and dance this will be a welcome issue. Namor is nice this issue, he's even nicer than Ben. Maybe it has to do with his recent circumstances. Namor has just escaped from being the pawn of Doctor Doom. The air of freedom is apparently making him giddy.
The last time we saw Namor in the pages of Marvel Two-In-One he followed his cousin Namorita to New York tracking the super-powered yet child-like alien Wundarr whom he left under the care of Ben Grimm. Ben has since surrendered "nanny rights" to Namorita. This was before the Submariner ran afoul of Doc Doom.
Well, so far this comic might as well be written by Jane Austen. First we have the sweet talk then this "dropping by for tea" sequence but Marvel does not forget itself for very long as suddenly the Submariner gets attacked.
I'm a bit amused that Ben's knee jerk reaction is to keep flying to London because what happens to Namor is really none of his business. But Alicia gets the better of him.
So Ben is convinced to help out and starts by putting the plane on automatic and diving after Namor. Then he reveals a very nice piece of Reed Richards' biotech.
Breathing pills! How wonderful! Look, we now have an amphibious tank to help the Submariner in his moment of need.
All's well that end's well then? Not quite. While our two heroes were underwater, Alicia has been abducted. More than that. our undersea adventurers have been set upon and captured.
Who are these villains anyway?
Some time ago Namor fought someone called the Piranha, a being that could control entire shoals of the predatory fish he was named after. In a grisly turn, Namor was able to defeat him and in the aftermath, the Piranha was consumed by his own creatures. This resulted in the piranha shoal evolving into men-fish. And here they are now.
Behaving in a manner seen only in the basest landborn thugs or most authoririan landborn kings, these Piranha men hold gladiatorial matches between creatures they capture, whom they will later consume. A kind of "playing with their food" perversion.
Today on the menu: Benjamin J. Grimm and Prince Namor of Atlantis.
As they are asked to fight each other for the life of Alicia, we come upon a pair of surprising panels.
I told you Namor was nicer than Grimm in this story. The Submariner is the sensible one, suggesting a coordinated plan. Ben is the lunkhead, buying into the Piranhas' ploy. You know what it is? It's that lovey-dovey bullshit that happened at the beginning of the story. Ben just heard Alicia was in danger then his brain checked out of his head.
We have several pages of these two Marvel powerhouses pummeling each other.
Under the water, Namor's strength is at it's peak making him a match for the Thing. It's a deadlock until Ben finally listens to reason. That is to say he listens to Namor. They start "play punching" with an inordinate amount of blows landing on the structure of the gladiatorial arena itself, weakening it, until . . .
I really like the two panels above. Ben and Namor assign roles to themselves to both defeat their foes and escape with Alicia. Ben gets the "strength role", like a modern day Samson he brings the entire structure crashing down on the Piranhas. The Submariner gets to play the "speed role", taking Alicia out of harm's way before the carnage begins. By the way, looking at Alicia, it's amusing that an upside down goldfish bowl takes care of the problem of withstanding the ocean pressure and breathing underwater.
And with that, Ben and Alicia can resume their interrupted journey to London.