Posted - November 15, 2015

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Marvel Two-In-One No. 13
I Created Braggadoom

Marvel Two-In-One 13

Twice during this story Luke Cage and the Thing does this to each other.

The Thing and Luke Cage having at it

For no apparent reason. I mean they could've just as easily have talked it out on both occasions. Then I remembered that the Thing is armored in solid rock and Cage has steel-hard skin. To you and I, taking - and giving - physical hits is a big deal. But that's because we're easily damaged. If I got rock-hard skin and you got the steel version I bet we'd be throwing each other around all day and laughing about it.

Yes, two Marvel powerhouses in one comic. What a formula for action. These guys can take on anything. That must be why they have to take on this:

Braggadoom, the Mountain That Walks Like A Man (hehehe)

Shit. For the record - and we'll get into it more later - this giant, ridiculously named, Braggadoom, is 300 feet tall. That's three times the height of Giant Man. Even taking into account the formidable strength levels of both Cage and Grimm, this is a problem. First because of this.

Braggadoom holds the Thing in its clutches

In order to use strength you have to have leverage. Preferably you should be standing on the ground or braced against the wall - something to push against. The problem with going against super giants is that they can grab you and your leverage is gone - the only option is to pry away their hands by pushing or punching down on the hand.

The second, more obvious reason is this.

Luke Cage strikes out against Braggadoom's foot

When you're on the ground the only accessible area to hit is the foot. You simply can't reach up to other more vulnerable areas - notably the face. Leave it to Ben Grimm to find another way though.

The thing throwing a wall at Braggadoom

Yeah,that can work. But this was done when Braggadoom was "only" forty feet tall. This green monster is growing. Why so? Let's look at were this giant came from.

A sentient blob under glass

Here is the beginnings of Braggadoom - an accidental experiment from a biotech company. During all the hubbub about the "breakthrough" this "blob" comes into contact with a human being (two of them) and Braggadoom is born.

The origin of Braggadoom

And he keeps growing.

This all happened back in the day when Luke Cage was better known as Power Man. Cage, ever the practical guy, was a "hero for hire". I always admired that, because that would be the exact same thing I would do given the same powers. As Cage would probably say, "A guy has to eat". Even then - money matters aside - Cage always did have a solid moral compass. He initially rejects the offer to take down Braggadoom but upon hearing that Ben Grimm's life is already on the line he does this:

Luke Cage rushes off to help Ben Grimm

The guy's heart is in the right place but he remains practical - services will still be billed. And rightly so. Benjy might have Reed to bankroll him but Cage has to keep his own roof over his head.

Considering the size of this beast. The following panel shouldn't be a surprise.

The Thing and Luke Cage flying through the air

I think the best thing about this story is it allows us to do a comparison between the Thing and Luke Cage. Seeing that Braggadoom is knee deep in the river, the pair have to dive under the water in order to get to their foe.

The Thing and Luke Cage under the river

The first point of comparison is who can hold his breath under water longer. After initial attempts to distabilize Braggadoom underwater this happens.

Luke Cage goes up for air as the Thing ponders his next move underwater

As you can see in the leftmost panel Cage has to go up for air. In the next panels, the Thing is still under water contemplating another attempt at distabilizing Braggadoom. So the Thing can hold his breath longer.

The next test is the more obvious one: Who is stronger Luke Cage or the Thing?

Underneath the water Luke Cage uses a steel girder to try to tip Braggadoom.

Luke Cage tries to use a steel girder to unbalance Braggadoom

The attempt fails.

Ben tries to directly lift Braggadoom.

Ben Grimm upends the giant Braggadoom

Success! The Thing is stronger.

It's not the first time that I see an extremely powerful threat beaten - not by the heroes - but by circumstance (witness Doom in Secret Wars). It turns out that Braggadoom's physiology is volatile and his gigantism is only temporary.

Braggadoom shrinks

The creature doesn't go away though. The experimental being Braggadoom is still somewhere in the Marvel universe being cared for by his scientist creator, waiting for a second appearance in the the pages of Marvel comics that might never come.

Next: Marvel Two-In-One 14 Ghost Town