Posted - November 13, 2015

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Marvel Two-In-One No. 11
The Thing Goes South

Marvel Two-In-One 11

I hope you liked seeing the Thing's incredible persistence and strength pay off because the next story will show us that even the Fantastic Four's powerhouse has limits.

Witness: The Golem

The Golem on a rampage

This should give you a better idea of the Golem's size compared to the Thing.

Size disparity between the Golem and the Thing

Who the heck is the Golem you ask? Why, he's the latest Marvel comicbook sensation at the time. Prominently featured in, let's see - Strange Tales, three issues so far. Oh come, now, don't be so surprised. Much like successful corporations, Marvel was wont to expand itself by acquisitions - something now most often done by Dynamite. At the time, Marvel also signed up Robert E. Howard's Conan and Bram Stoker's Dracula. Both to great success. Why not the Golem?

The Golem isn't actually a licensed fictional creation like Conan or Dracula - the Golem is more like Thor. A character from lore.

The story has it that a there is a branch of Judaism called the Kabbalah. In this branch, a form of mystical creation was practiced - the creation of the Golem. There is an actual story of a Czech town where a practitioner, having been wronged, did create a golem on the second floor of the house. The monster then went about avenging its master.

And now we have this golem story being reworked by Marvel. If the vaunted House of Ideas could make a smashing success by reworking the Norse legends and creating Thor why not this? Sadly, it was not to be, as Marvel's Golem would be fated to fade into obscurity. But we have a number of stories, including this one in Marvel Two-In-One to remember it by. And what a memory it will be, for look at this:

The Thing punches the Golem

The Thing is unable to affect the Golem with his punches! Sacrilege! There's more:

The Thing hits the Golem with a pole

Hitting the Golem with other stuff, including this heavy pole, also ineffective.

As for the Golem, it 'literally' swats the Thing around.

The Thing is swatted about by the Golem

If you're expecting our boy Benjamin J. Grimm to somehow get some kind of comeback against this stony colossus prepare to be disappointed. That's pretty much the way of it: the Thing can't beat the Golem in a straight on fight.

What happens involves the actions of a certain demon lord called Kabbala.

The demon lord Kabbala

Another conscripted name - remember Kaballah was the the name of the esoteric branch of Judaism that practised the creation of golems. Anyway, this demon lord has cut off the link between the Golem and certain humans that keep him in check. It is for the Thing to restore this link. In order to do so the Thing has to fight some demons, and fortunately, this is somethng that the power of the Thing can be effective against.

The Thing fighting off demons on a bridge

During all the fracas, the Golem displays a burning word on its forehead.

Words on the forehead of a Golem

Once again, taken from the traditional story. "Emeth" means truth. All these historical detail. Marvel needed a creative writer to rework the Golem into the Marvel universe effectively. They needed a Stan Lee. At around this time (mid-seventies), I understand that Lee was already California-based and laying the very early groundwork - in animation and film - for what we now know as the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Link restored, the Golem once again becomes an immovable stone statue.

The Golem turns back to a statue

A bit of a Pyrrhic victory for all concerned really - the Golem must have destroyed half the town, including enough material for the Thing to pile up and create an impromptu land bridge.

Next: Marvel Two-In-One 12 The Stalker in the Sands