Posted - October 3, 2016

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

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

Marvel Two-In-One 42 Marvel Two-In-One 43

We start, satisfyingly, with a display of strength from the Thing.

The Thing goes through a titanium wall

Ben might not be the Juggernaut but he still has enough raw power to go through six-inches of Titanium. Titanium is about as strong as steel only lighter. So here, the Thing might as well have been going through six inches of steel. Wow.

Next we get this beautiful double-page spread.

Captain America confronts the Thing

The narrative box makes much of Captain America but let's face it. Next to his smarts, Cap will really need his speed in a matchup against Ben. The unbreakable shield is further insurance against one of those ninety-ton punches. Here's the demo . . .

Captain America uses his shield to block a punch from the Thing

If I remember correctly, Cap's shield is a vibranium-adamantium alloy - the vibranium part is energy absorbing while the adamantium part provides near- invincibility. Look how the sheer force of the Thing's blow is scattering everybody but Cap manages to hold steady.

Ben is rampaging through the complex looking for Wundarr. Ben is partly responsible for Wundarr as can be seen in some old issues of Marvel-Two-In-One. Some of the very earliest issues really.

Ben is finally captured in a force field and Cap calms him down.

Project Pegasus is going to figure largely in future stories in Marvel Two-In-One as well as in its other contemporary Marvel titles. Here's a capsule description of the Project from Steve.

Captain America explains the Pegasus Project

Here's another figure from the past: Dr. Lightner.

The Thing meets Dr. Lightner

Lightner was Blacksun (with his father) in Thing's adventure with Doc Savage.

Project Pegasus' alternative energy directive just went into overdrive - they're studying the Cosmic Cube in this facility.

The Thing and Cap comes across Wundarr who is needed by the government in connection with all these energy research.

Wundarr in restraints

Really? constrained and followed by guards with what I take to be stunners. And Cap just looking on like, you know, it's ok for the government to do this? Hmmm.

Wundarr came to Earth on a space ship from Krypton (Did I say Krypton? I meant a Krypton-compatible planet). He grew up on that ship with no life experiences whatsoever ( I assume he was in stasis). The result is an adult with the mind of a four year old but the strength of say, the Submariner. What's a four-year old in restraints to do but this.

Wundarr breaks out of his restraints

Thank God Ben is here.

The Thing comforts Wundarr

This is why the Project needs Wundarr.

Wundarr is harnessed to the Cosmic Cube

Murphy's Law kicks in as the experiment goes haywire. Ben sees to Wundarr while Cap pursues a saboteur.

Captain America pursues a saboteur

Very few people can counter Captain America. Who is this guy? whoever he is, he grabs the cube and disappears. Only to reappear in the Everglades in the midst of a strange cult. The cult is called the Entropists and the saboteur is one Victor Conrad. Apparently one and all didn't just appear out of nowhere but are a part of Marvel continuity having been seen previously in Astonishing Tales and Man-Thing.

Captain America informs the Thing that Stark International has a plane that can track the Cosmic Cube.

Captain America and the Thing uses a special plane to track the Cosmic Cube

How stupid

The Thing does away with a sensible safety precaution

The message: Impatience is ok, specially when safety is concerned. Ah, hot-blooded comics being read, presumably by hot-blooded kids. The joy of rushing into things half-cocked, how I miss it.

Cap and the Thing find themselves in the Everglades. Beautiful panel.

Captain America and the Thing in the Everglades

As expected they come upon the cult, led by Victor Conrad who has given himself the unfortunate name of Entropic Man.

Oh look, between one issue and the next they thought twice about the ghastly 'Entropic Man' monicher. Victor Conrad is now known as Victorius. Still not a good name, specially since Victorius admitted that he lost to Ka-Zar in a fight. Anyway, Victor Conrad recreated the super-soldier serum and used it on himself explaining his being able to go up against Cap.

Victor - how do I put it? Self-radicalized around the philosophy of Entropy. Searched out the cult of entropists and used the Cube to resurrect it's former leader into the ghastly creature known as Jude, the Entropic Man.

The Entropic Man

Oh, I was wrong, the Entropic Man and Victorius are two different beings. The match up is pretty good now. Victorius vs. Captain America and the Entropic Man vs. the Thing. Ring the bell!

The first bout

Victorius fights Captain America

Heaven forbid something goes on in the Everglades without it's legendary peeping tom taking notice. We even get a nice capsule origin.

The Man-Thing looks on

Back to the fight

A super soldier fight

Captain America does "pontificate about fanaticism while wrapped in a flag" doesn't he? Good point from Victorius (that name!).

So the situation so far.

Chaos in the Everglades

The Thing and the Entropic Man still observers. The Man-Thing reaching for the Cosmic Cube. And the super-soldiers still at it.

Entropic Man is about to go for Cap so Ben jumps in.

The Thing is engulfed by the Entropic Man

The Thing disappears into the Entropic Man's mysterious blackness and re-emerges as Ben Grimm.

The Thing changes back to Ben Grimm

Now for the biggest surprise of all: Ben Grimm is convincing the Entropic Man to abandon the whole Entropic philosophy and it seems to be working!

Ben Grimm persuading the Entropic Man

Unfortunately, the learned discussion is interrupted by Victorius with his fists. Sensing correctly that the struggle is too even, Victorius decides to go for the Cosmic Cube to tip the scales somewhat. Unfortunately for Conrad, the cube is in, what seems to be the iron-hard grip of the Man-Thing.

Victorius tries to wrest the Cosmic Cube from the Man-Thing's grip

The Entropic Man is not a villain after all. Merely a devotee of death who has realized - thanks to Ben Grimm! - that the living must seek out death of their own volition. Victor, on the other hand, is a devotee of Entropy, so the Entropic Man has no qualms of giving him the death he so desperately worships.

At the very last moment, Victor changes his mind about the whole entropy thing. He de-radicalizes and he gets scared, very scared as the Entropic Man touches him. Victor is still touching the Man-Thing and fear is the trigger that causes the Man-Thing to burn whoever he (it?) touches. The result is this insane explosion. The end result is this.

A strange crystal is formed

First, Ben returns to Thing form. Second, Victorius and the Entropic Man leave some kind of crystal manifestation. Third, this crystal, somehow stimulates radical plant growth. We are also shown that the crystal has the power to change the Man-Thing to his human form of Ted Sallis but the mindless Man-Thing doesn't have the wits to hang around for the transformation to complete itself.

And that's it for Cap and the Thing.

Captain America and the Thing call it a day

Yup, breakfast after a hard night.

Uh guys, where the hell is the Cosmic Cube? Oh well . . .

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