Posted - November 2, 2015

Previous: Marvel Two-In-One 42 to 43: Captain America, Man-Thing

The Thing Marvel Two-In-One 44 to 46:
Hercules, Captain Marvel, Hulk

Marvel Two-In-One 44 Marvel Two-In-One 45 Marvel Two-In-One 46

We begin with a problem in the distant realm of Olympus. Or maybe I should say, problems.

Yandrogg, Manduu, and Krokarr

The terrible three: Yandrogg, Manduu, and Krokarr. Beast-headed giants all, they have captured Zeus himself. No wonder Hercules, riding his flying chariot, has come to Earth to search for allies. Specifically, he's looking for Thor. This is a good choice. From the old legends and the new he comes across as a true giant slayer. Unfortunately, he can't be found, so Hercules, flying overhead, spots a substitute.

Hercules snatches the Thing off 
				the street

Not a bad substitute, let's see: Strong enough to duke it out with the Hulk, rock-hard skin, cosmic-energy based power, a stubborn and skilled fighter. The Thing and Hercules against the giants! It's a match and I'm excited. True to the heroic quest flavor of the story, our heroes don't immediately confront the conquerors of Olympus - they run the gauntlet first. They go up against a number of creatures like these giant flying pythons.

Hercules and the Thing fighting
				giant flying pythons

Finally, they come across the giant red minotaur, Yandrogg. And it's all a bit too much for Hercules and the Thing.

The Thing and Hercules running from

I suggest you savor the panel above. I think it's the only panel in all of Marveldom that shows both the Thing and Hercules running away from a foe. Together, these two could give Thor problems but they're running away. I don't blame them. Sometimes taking a problem head-on is a mistake. Looking at our 'fight or flight' impulse, I would think that the 'flight' aspect has saved countless members of mankind over the centuries. What happens during this headlong chase is that all three fall off a tower. Ben and Hercules have their trusty flying chariot. Yandrogg has the hard ground and is defeated. Going back to the analogy equating Yandrogg with 'a problem'. Running away from 'a problem' could mean simply delaying a response, letting time 'soften up' the problem a bit, after all, the damn thing could 'fall off the tower' on its own.

That takes care of one usurper. Now our pair come across a shocking scene.

Zeus trapped and bound

Zeus bound and about to be executed! Poor Zeus, I recall his treatment during the Eternals Saga and I have to conclude that Zeus definitely gets shabbier treatment than Odin. Sure Odin gets nailed to Yggdrassil, but its a moment of high pathos and drama. This is a bit ridiculous but entertaining nonetheless. Anyway, the pair save the old man and bump into Manduu:

The Thing vs. Manduu

Running away from a threat twice is just too much so our powerful protagonists take care of business as we expect

The Thing and Hercules beat Manduu

There's a wonderful panel of the two escaping from the fiery tower with the hapless Zeus in hand.

The Thing, Hercules, and Zeus escape from a flaming tower

Now for the last foe . . .

Krokarr the Cruel attacks Zeus, the Thing, and Hercules

Thankfully, the tale doesn't end without Zeus showing his power as Lord of Olympus

Zeus subdues Krokarr

And with that, this Olympian adventure ends for Mr. Grimm. And to think that when he got wrangled into this he was just taking a walk to clear his head. A little walk transforming into an otherworldly adventure - that's why I read comics.

As you can see, I've posted this on November 1 - All Soul's Day. A fitting time to pay our respects to the Marvel dead. Go with me to a time when Mar-Vell, Captain Marvel, was alive, amazing and front and center in the Marvel universe.

In this story with the Thing and Captain Marvel we have an interstellar-based localized suspense story with a Brooklyn mob flavor (just try getting something like that anywhere else). So somebody's going around New York and he/she/it looks like this.

Fake Thing

But this isn't Benjamin J. Grimm, as you can see by the dialogue.

Now enough of that for the moment let's go see Captain Marvel. First a display of Cosmic Awareness.

Captain Marvel using his cosmic awareness

Then a panel showing him in flight.

Captain Marvel in flight

Wow. I miss this guy. Who else flies leaving a trail of sparklies? Love the sparklies. These days, Marvel stories can get so 'dark' that we could use somebody flying around sparkling things up. When the jokes start flying we can point to the fact that the Captain harnesses the uber-serious Power Cosmic. That's right 'uber-serious'.

So the Thing is having a dinner out with Alicia and he gets a mob-style threat over the restaurant phone.

The Thing gets a mob threat

Ha! This is so good. If I was the Thing you can threaten me all day mainly because of this:

The Thing getting shot and shrugging it off

That's right! Buy all the ordnance you can afford fool! I'm bulletproof! I mean, the Thing is bulletproof.

The Captain and Ben finally meet and after a few pages we get to see who this mystery villain is. He's a Skrull

The mobster is a Skrull

Captain Marvel being a Kree this story suddenly became intergalactic.

Going back to this Skrull, his disguise of preference is mobsters from Earth. More than that, this Skrull figures largely in a previous otherwordly adventure of the Thing featuring the sentient robot Torgo.

Torgo defeats the Thing but refuses to kill him

Now for a gristly turn to the tale. The Skrull presents the Thing with this.

A Skrull presents the Thing with Torgo's decapitated head

Torgo's decapitated head. Mobster indeed. As you can guess, the mighty-muscled Thing is NOT appreciative of this 'gift'.

Angry Ben Grimm

Unfortunately this Skrull was prepared.

The Thing caught and stuck to the wall

This being a Marvel Two-In-One and one of the two being caught - we all know we have a backup - and here he comes!

Captain Marvel punches the bad guys

We had the flying and the cosmic awareness but no cosmic blasts from Mar-Vell the entire issue, we'll have to be contented with good old-fashioned muscle. Speaking of muscle.

The Thing breaks our of a trap

Far be it for the Thing to need any assistance escaping in his own mag.

It is up to Torgo's head to deliver the coup-de-grace.

The decapitated head of Torgo lashes out against a Skrull

Mr. Skrull isn't dead though, only captured. Torgo will be sent back to his planet Mekka to be repaired (here's to the advantages of being a machine).

Interstellar suspense with a mob subtheme. All of us just got our recommended daily dose of 'crazy'. What more can we ask for?

How about the Hulk? More than that, the Hulk and the Thing. This is a popular Marvel formula for awesome fights but unfortunately it doesn't gel effectively in the next tale because we have a third - and overwhelming - 'character' in this tale. Hollywood.

That's right, Hollywood. Around this time the Hulk tv program starring Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk came out in primetime and Marvel's giving it some spin in the comics.

Ben Grimm doesn't like that it's the Hulk and not him.

Ben Grimm doesn't like the Hulk tv show

And the Hulk doesn't like that it's him!

The Hulk doesn't like the Hulk tv show


So both these behemoths crash the studio that makes the show. It's far from an epic Hulk/Thing fight. Here's the best panel.

Hulk vs Thing lite edition

There is an interesting aside to all this. Take a look.

Karen Page during her acting days

This is a piece of Marvel history. That's Karen Page, Matt Murdock's Karen page during her movie star days. If you like to know more, just check out Daredevil Born Again. I should say the 'late Karen Page' since Karen's not around anymore.

This crazy studio fight breaks up under its own steam and everybody heads home.

And that's our Marvel Two-In-One three-for one. I hope you enjoyed it!

Next: Marvel Two In-One 47 to 48: Yancy Street Gang, Jack of Hearts