Posted - November 17, 2015

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Marvel Two-In-One No. 19
Claws of the Cougar

Marvel Two-In-One 19

We begin with a story that pairs the Thing with Tigra. Tigra is one of the most popularly sexy Marvel heroes around. As you can see in the panel below, the Thing is subtly aware of that.

Tigra in the Thing's

Right off the bat, it is obvious that these two genuinely like each other. A fact that will be borne out later in the fight scenes since these two really do tend to 'team-up' during a skirmish. But that's for later.

And now we have a bit of backgrounder on Tigra. She used to be a costumed human crimefighter. Subsequent power augmentations rendered here physiology volatile instigating an eerie transformation into one of the "cat people". I'm particularly interested in her costumed crimefighter days, when she used to go by the cognomen "The Cat". Her costume is almost the same as the more familiar (to me, at least) Hellcat from the Defenders.

The Cat and Hellcat

Greer Grant, the Cat. Uncanny resemblance to Hellcat, don't you think?

Two other things I like about this story is that it has a tie-in with an old FF story and we get yet another power object. I've been keeping score since the start of Marvel Two-In-One and we've had two power objects so far: the Power Stone, and now, the Null Bands. These bands were first used by Tomazooma in FF 80 as can be seen below.

Tomazooma fighting the Fantastic Four

The Null Bands are now the property of a 'cat person' known as the Cougar who has been "kind" enough to send in his henchmen to be beaten to a pulp by the Thing and Tigra. Here the Thing takes the initiative.

The Thing disrupts attackers by throwing a weighted disc

Tigra dives into the fray as the Thing shows these jokers that they are definitely in trouble.

Machine guns are used against the Thing to no avail part the first
Machine guns are used against the Thing to no avail part the second

And here's a great example of the synergistic team-up that I was talking about. Because he is so overwhelmingly damaging, all the attention of these goons is focused on the Thing, but lo and behold one of these thugs has actually gotten hold of something that might give Ben some trouble - a grenade launcher

A thug with a grenade launcher

But here comes Tigra!

Tigra takes out an attacker

Beautiful. And it won't be the last fight where these two work so well together.

Let's take a break from the action and look at some brilliant tech from Reed Richards.

Reed Richards' innovative key

Check it out. Hold the key, it checks your unique brainwaves, and whatever door it opens is unlocked. I would say that brainwaves still falls into the realm of biometrics, but this leaves fingerprints and optical scanners in the dust (it just occurred to me that the Thing has no fingerprints).

Now it's time for the showdown with the Cougar. Here, Tigra's speed and the Thing's strength is nullified by a gas.

The Thing and Tigra in the midst of knockout gas

They wind up trapped. All the while, the Cougar has been going around disguised as a human.

The Thing promptly employs his universal solution to getting shackled.

The Thing breaks free from his shackles

Oh, yeah!

The Cougar ups the ante by bringing into play the vaunted Null Bands.

Cougar unleashes the power of the Null Bands on the Thing

The Thing remains satisfyingly tough, but the Bands are strong enough to floor Ben, at least temporarily. As before, Ben gets all the attention, allowing Tigra to do this.

Tigra pounces on the Cougar

Now Tigra is the one in trouble.

Tigra laid low by the Cougar

The excellence of this Thing-Tigra tag team continues to impress as Ben comes back with a timely grab.

The Thing grabs the Cougar's

And a throw.

The Thing throws the Cougar

We have to hand it to the Cougar. He's one tough customer. He refuses to go down. Until . . .

The Cougar is on the floor, shot, surrounded by Tigra, the Thing and Cougar's assassin

The Cougar is shot by the blonde lady in the background. A romantic interest/colleague of he's whom he has been lying to all along (watch for the upcoming movie "Honey, I'm a Cat").

A simple, satisfying story that has Ben participating in his most effective team-up yet.

Speaking of simple and satisfying, the next tale has the Thing meeting the Liberty Legion and it is this kind of story that made a really good impression on me as a kid and has really gone a long way into making me a Marvel fan for life. It has all the fanboy ingredients I appreciate: Colorful characters with interesting powers (and lots of them). Equally colorful villains. Multiple fight scenes. And, as a plus, a historical background - this time, World War II.

Next: Marvel Two-In-One 20 Showdown At Sea