Posted - September 29, 2016

Previous: Marvel Two-In-One 36 to 38: Mr. Fantasic, Matt Murdock, Daredevil

The Thing Marvel Two-In-One 39 to 41:
Vision, Black Panther, Brother Voodoo

Marvel Two-In-One 39 Marvel Two-In-One 40 Marvel Two-In-One 41

If you think about it, the name "Mad Thinker" is an oxymoron. But, amazingly, it really fits the Thinker's actions in this issue. This supposed super-brain has convinced himself that Daredevil has precognitive powers that will allow the Thinker - in tandem with his machines - to get out from under that fickle mistress: chance. Mad indeed. I think the Thinker would have been better served by Oracle from the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

On the line here is the life of one Benjamin J. Grimm. The uber-tough Thing is being faced with annihilation by one of the weapons he is vulnerable to - gas. Leave it to Murdock, the quick-witted trial lawyer, to think up something fast.

Daredevil and the Thing held hostage by the Mad Thinker

With that third panel dialogue our Mad Thinker is beginning to wise up.

That kid from prison has followed the Thing and is now running wild in the Mad Thinker's lab (don't you just love comics).

A youth skateboarding inside Thinker's lab

Could this be the future Spider-Man foe Rocket Racer? I wonder.

After falling for DDs bluff, the Mad Thinker introduces his latest henchman.

A robotic version of the Vision

Thankfully, the Mad Thinker is NOT in control of the being who was then the third most powerful Avenger (the other two being Thor and Iron Man). Nope. This is a Vision compatible. A clone designed to specifications. That's right, the Mad Thinker has created a fake Vision, as in 'not as powerful as the original'.

Here's the Mad Thinker's conceptualization of his Vision robot.

The Vision conceptualize as an assassin

Of course, intangibility + heat ray does spell assassin. The Thinker is more ambitious than that, he wants an army of Visions but in order to do that he needs more 'design specs'. He needs to capture the real Vision. No way that can happen. The Vision is formidable, to say the least. He's also surrounded by his fellow Avengers.

First gas, now hypno-lenses.

Thinker uses hypno-lenses to control the Thing

It is not a good day for Ben Grimm.

So Grimm is under hypnosis and Daredevil is being compelled to obey the Thinker or the young skateboarder gets it. So it is the Thing and Daredevil under the thrall of the Mad Thinker. There mission: capture the Vision. For those of you who have been thnking that the Thing and Daredevil would be totally outclassed by the Avengers, you're right. But it turns out the Avengers aren't home. What we have are better odds: the Vision and Yellowjacket. If you ask me, the Vision alone is more than enough to take out Thing and Daredevil.

Were you looking for a panel crammed with dialogue? You got it.

The Thing and Daredevil having a conversation in a plane

Note 'the psychic who followed him'. The Thinker thought it was Daredevil but I think it was the kid! Of course you also have to take into account that I thought the kid was Rocket Racer.

What a fool I am, look at this.

Yellowjacket slams against a wall

YJ gets slammed unconscious by Ben. I was weighing an Avengers/Thing+Daredevil fight on the merits of power levels. But the Thing and DD have the advantage in that the Avengers don't consider them a threat. Seconds before he hit the wall, Hank Pym was offering Ben and Daredevil some coffee. You owe Dr. Pym big time now Mr. Grimm.

The Thing cuts loose on the Vision.

The Thing punches a super-dense Vision

But Viz has already altered his density allowing him to take the punch without budging. The Thing counters with a move suggested by the Thinker (although I'm sure Ben could have come up with it on his own). By the way this Thing as the villain routine isn't going down well with me.

The Thing rips the floor from under the Vision

Even worst than Ben under hypnosis is Daredevil being forced to capture the Vision.

Daredevil captures the Vision using the Thinker's machine

Okay, so the Vision is in permanent intangible form but he can be moved because he is surrounded by an ionic field created by the Thinker. Next up is to get a container to transport the Android to the Thinker. Daredevil is sent to another room to get it alone. DD takes all of ten minutes. Very important. Ten minutes to get a big box.

Daredevil wheels a big box out of a room

Back in the Thinkers HQ the fickle-minded villain orders his thrall the Thing to kill Daredevil.

The Thing has Daredevil in a bear hug

Looking at this panel I quickly remember that for all his talents Daredevil is all too human. There is no way he can survive a bear hug from the Thing. But surprise, surprise!

Yellowjacket shrinks and surprises the Thing

Ten minutes remmember? Good enough for the old switcheroo. Second panel up top. Ben and the Thinker on the same side, it's making me gag.

As for Daredevil here he is.

Daredevil comes out from hiding in a box

Hiding in the container underneath the Vision. He's nakd because Hank Pym is wearing his costume. He isn't wearing the Yellowjacket's costume because they had to leave it in Avenger's mansion as a decoy.

Once again the Thinker orders his rocky henchman to destroy Daredevil.

Daredevil's acrobatics prevent capture by the Thing

Remember what I said about Thing's bear hug? Well that actually works if Ben could get ahold of his opponent - a very hard thing to do when you're facing a master acrobat.

Here Yellowjacket makes a grab for the hypno-lenses in order to reverse Grimm's mind control.

Yellowjacket goes after the Thinker's hypno-lenses

Waitaminute, why is Pym wearing his costume when it was shown to have been left at Avenger's mansion? I don't know. No-prize anyone?

And in three panels the Thing and the Vision are back on the team.

The Thing and the Vision rejoin the other heroes

Good thing too, because of the four heroes here these are the two powerhouses. Time to run like hell Mad Thinker.

I spoke too soon. The Thinker has already created his Vision army.

Thinker unleashes his Vision robot army

Keep in mind that, many as they are, these Vision androids do not have the power level of the original Vision.

Daredevil, the Thing, Vision and Yellowjacket fighting an army of robot Visions

The fight is on and, unsurprisingly, DD and Yellowjacket are finding out that on a straight on fight with these robots they're fighting a bit above there weight class. The reference to Arnold Schwarzenegger is also a surprise - I didn't know he was already a name during the 70s.

The Thing is more than capable of holding his own (makes me wonder why the Thinker didn't use his original robots from last issue, those were stronger), but it is the Vision who really sweeps away the opposition.

The Vision destroys Vision robots

Well the kid turned out to be the 'psychic' the Mad Thinker was looking for. A simple test involving the result of a hockey game conducted by the Vision (no kidding) seems to bear it out. It's not so much being psychic but having a keen understanding of people.

And to top it off, I love it when a comic ends on light-hearted humorous note.

The Mad Thinker is captured

Sort of like all of the actors taking a bow at the end of play, and everybody clapping because they had a fun night.

As the curtain opens on the next tale I see two things that I really like in one panel: the Thing and pizza!

The Thing baking a pizza

There is one thing off with this panel though. Ben Grimm doesn't need gloves to handle that hot plate.

Never mind just looking at the pizza look at them eat it.

Matt Murdock, Yellowjacket, a young man, and the Thing enjoying homemade pizza

The Vision can't eat pizza. Is that still true? That would be a disaster.

The Thing has to drop off our young 'psychic' to school and look who he bumps into.

The Thing and an incognito T'Challa

I know this is a comicbook but the heir apparent of Wakanda teaching in a U.S. public school - now that is unbelievable.

One impossible thing follows another here. Ben decides to hang out at the school an sits in at class.

The Thing sitting on a public school seat

That seat CANNOT possibly carry the Thing.

The scene shifts to a burgled apartment as the police sift through the scene of the crime. Beautifully done panel.

Cops come upon a burgled room

Somewhere else, something is digging itself out of a grave. We could be in for a bit of a halloween taie. It's starting slowly though, this comic is taking its time.

More ingredients for our stew (or should that be more toppings for our pizza?). Enter: J. Jonah Jamesone, horrible boss.

J. Jonah Jameson throws yet another tantrum

This is a pretty unimpressive rendition of the two heroes.

Badly drawn Thing and Black Panther

They look like two regular joes dressed up as the Thing and Black Panther. Anyway, the Panther decides to go 'stalking' for some kidnappers and Ben comes along for the ride. Lucky T'Challa. With the power of the Thing the Black Panther will be able to handle just about anything now.

Okay, here's the villain of the piece.

A zombie vampire attacks

It's huge. Perfect. The perfect sparring partner for the Thing. I'm calling this vampire Victim No. 1. Where's Ben with the knuckle sandwich?

Oh! Beautiful approach by the Panther.

Black Panther slides down a rope

The Panther attacks.

The Black Panther attacks a zombie vampire

But on a straight on fight this 'thing' is a bit above the Black Panther's weight class. Hey Grimm! Get over here!

Ohmigod, Ben is in one of those waiting for the subway moments.

The Thing waiting for a subway train

I wouldn't be surprised if a nearly endless wait for the train is one of the punishments in hell.

Back to the Panther, we have a small panel that shows his amazing agility.

The agile Black Panther

Makes me sort of want to see Black Panther vs Spider-Man.

Look at how frightening this villain is.

The fearsome image of the zombie vampire

Those fangs! It is also mentioned that he smells like a rotting corpse. Disgusting.

The Thing arrives at last. What he's supposed to be doing is mopping up the floor with the vampire. What he is doing is wrecking Carnegie Hall.

The Thing destroying a part of Carnegie Hall

I like the Thing but he has got to be one of the heroes who's destroyed the most property, private and public, over the years. Come to think of it my impression is that the Thing has destroyed more property than the Hulk.

The Thing does his best with punches like this.

The Thing punches the zombie vampire

But the vampire just keeps on coming. It is a battle seemingly among equals until a baton weilding musician, well-versed in vampire lore comes to end this fight.

A conductor strikes the zombie vampire with a baton

Bafflingly, everyone just leaves the fallen creature, presumably for the police to find. But the creature has a mysterious master. A master that revives the vampire.

The zombie vampire is revived by Dr. Obatu

I find the term 'zuvembie' a bit awkward so I'll use the more popular 'zombie' instead. I'll be referring to the monster as a 'vampire zombie' or 'zombie vampire'.

The issue ends on a cliffhanger as the vampire zombie manages to choke hold the Black Panther into unconsciousness.

The zombie vampire crushes the Black Panther into unconsciousness

As the next issue begins, we come upon Brother Voodoo, or rather, Ben surprises Brother Voodoo. Or is that the other way around?

The Thing surprises Brother Voodoo

The supernatural hero doesn't say anything. What he does is enough for us to get a quick introduction to his powers.

Brother Voodoo turns to smoke

After the silent demonstration we get a more conventional introduction.

Brother Voodoo introduces himself

The Black Panther, whom we saw in the crushing grip of a zombie vampire in the previous issue, finds himself in chains - part of a group of hostages. All these other hostages are prominent members of the black community. The rash of kidnappings has Brother Voodoo coming out to investigate. Ben goes with him to a manor where a kidnapping has happened.

Badly drawn Thing inside a room

Ah, look at that, it's a pet peeve of mine. The Thing is drawn even smaller than Brother Voodoo. Tsk, tsk.

Here's another Brother Voodoo power - teleportation.

Brother Voodoo teleports himself and the Thing

Brother Voodoo is starting to come across as a master of the art of confusion. In the panel above he refers to 'good magic', when he first met the Thing it was a reference to 'darkling magic'. He also called Ben's attention to his Voodoo powers but once they were in, ahem, polite company, Brother Voodoo introduces himself as a psychologist.

Here's a little tidbit, Brother Voodoo, although not an out-and-out zombie, has also died and come back to life. So many possibilities with this character - they should have at least tried him out in a limited series.

As a plane containing Dr. Obatu and the vampire take off it's Ben's turn to show Brother Vooddoo a 'magic trick'.

The Thing crushes a wire fence into the shape of a ball

Before Ben could throw it Brother Voodoo implores him to stop, reasoning, correctly, that the hostages might also be on the plane. Ah, the things you can do with class 90 strength.

At this point, the story takes a bit of a historical turn as Dr. Obatu lands in Africa.

Dr. Obatu in consultation with W'Sulli

Idi Amin Dada was an infamous Ugandan dictator. In the panel above Dr. Obatu is talking to a witch doctor, W'Sulli. It is W'Sulli who is the true master of the zombie vampire.

Still in flashback mode we hear about Dr. Obatu.

Idi Amin and Dr. Obatu

Once an economic minister under Idi Amin he was sentenced for execution but escaped. After weeks of barely surviving in the jungle the doctor stumbled into W'Sulli and his vampire and convinced the former of the caper he is now in the middle of.

The Panther is warned against any shenanigans.

The Black Panther in chains

That was then. These days the Black Panther wears a bulletproof uniform.

As readers of this website know, I love well done location panels. Like this one of a Ugandan government building.

An Ugandan government building

In exchange for pardon. Obatu has made a bargain with Idi Amin.

W'Sulli performing a voodoo ritual

Ben and Brother Voodoo are on a plane arriving in Uganda. Amin orders missiles to be launched and the plane is hit. Implausibly it doesn't explode and them something equally ridiculous happens.

The Thing repairs a wing with his bare hands

It isn't even a strength issue really. There is just no way to reach out of falling plane and hold its wings together by hand. The windshear simply can't be counteracted that way.

More weird Voodoo powers: Here Brother Voodoo sends the spirit of his brother to take control of the Thing.

Brother Voodoo takes possession of the Thing

Brother Voodoo and Ben are in the middle of a hostage situation and Ben had to be made to act really fast, no time for explanations. The result is that the heretofore improsoned Black Panther gets to join the fray in style.

More acrobatics from the Black Panther

The vampire zombie, regaining his freedom, turns on on his former master W'Sulli. The Thing comes in to prevent a murder.

The zombie vampire retreats before the Thing

At which point the vampire, wisely, turns into a bat and flees - but not before causing Dr. Obatu to fall to his death from a nearby balcony.

With that the kidnap victims are flown back to the U.S. and we end our Ugandan adventure.

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