Marvel Two-In-One #53-58
Issue(s): Marvel Two-In-One #53, Marvel Two-In-One #54, Marvel Two-In-One #55, Marvel Two-In-One #56, Marvel Two-In-One #57, Marvel Two-In-One #58
The Thing has agreed to serve on the security team for a while, and the newly re-named Quasar is the security chief.
Bill Foster works on staff as a scientist, and he reveals his super identity to the Thing during this arc, with a new costume and renaming himself from Black Goliath to Giant-Man this issue (As the Thing puts it, Goliath was a bad guy's name and everyone can see that he's black.).
The story is fairly straight-forward, nothing epic despite the length. It's the Thing and his allies fighting villains who have escaped from their prisons and trying to figure out what's going on.
Here's where Bill Foster tackles Nuklo since he's already developed cancer.
And i thought these were some nice scenes with the extremely minor villain Solarr. First he refuses to take Electro with him on the grounds that Electro is in a full body cast.
And then here he is getting pretty upset thinking that the Project Pegasus scientists killed Klaw.
The problems are all caused by a Roxxon employed scientist who wreaks havoc in the labs and tries to make himself super-powerful.
While fighting the Thing, Deathlok is actually able to draw blood, something that the Thing notes is very rare. That's why the Thing is wearing a sling in many of these screenshots.
In order to help counter the super-powerful scientist, Gerber's Superman parody Wundarr, who was being kept at Pegasus for study, evolves into his super-powerful adult form, calls himself Aquarian, and then wanders off into the obscurity he deserves.
The Thing seems to have no problem letting a nearly omnipotent being that has so far displayed a childlike intelligence roam around free.
Thundra shows up as well.
She's recruited by a dwarf pimp (!) named Herkimer Oglethorpe to be the (fake) opponent for a a wrestling team called the Grapplers that also includes Screaming Mimi, in her first appearance.
Thundra and the Grapplers are also being manipulated by Roxxon, and they invade Project Pegasus as well.
In the end, the Roxxon plot fails, but Roxxon itself is not implicated.
John Byrne was the regular artist on this series until he switches over to the Fantastic Four, at which point George Perez takes over. Both artists do a great job for what was surely thought of as a third tier book. On the Perez issues, there's a lot of nice shading that is probably the work of inker Gene Day.
Overall, it was pretty ambitious to attempt a multi-part epic in a team-up book, and while it's not a great story, it's a fun read.
One of the Project Pegasus scientists, Herni Sorel, is the former minor super-villain Radion.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The guest stars in these issues aren't characters that appear regularly in other books so this works well in any gap in the Thing's FF appearances.
Anson Harkov, Margaret Mayfair, Myron Wilburn, and Jeannine O'Connell are Project Pegasus scientists first appearing here.
As Rick notes in the comments, per a Handbook, the Deathlok appearing here is a robot duplicate.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (23): show
There's an interesting panel in the issue when Thundra meets the midget, where Thundra is seen from midget eye-view so that her huge boobs nearly oscure her face. Thundra typically wasn't depicted in sexual poses like that.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 18, 2011 12:58 AM
I think Bill Foster actually got cancer when he fought Atom Smasher in his own series.
The whole "Bill Foster never defeated anyone" idea doesn't make sense, as Champions #12 makes clear (in a TV broadcast, no less) that Black Goliath defeated the Stilt-Man.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 4, 2011 4:05 PM
klaw and solarr teamed up in an issue of the avengers prior to this (cant recall the issue number)
on one hand i liked them making reference to electro being messed up in ASM #187 but in that issue it is clear that there is no sign of electro after the blast. i hate it when villains are caught "off-panel"
Posted by: kveto from prague | October 6, 2011 5:23 PM
Klaw & Solarr teamed up in Avenger #126 (it's listed in the References section!). Review of that issue coming soon; it's part of my recent back issue acquisitions.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 6, 2011 11:39 PM
This story was originally announced to start in MTIO #51, but it was decided to stick in two fill-ins first.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 26, 2012 5:04 PM
A contemporary review of this story praised it as above average for Marvel(especially the decision to drop "Black" from Black Goliath's name), but with two criticisms--it declared the death of Deathlok as "brutal and nihilistic", and that Thundra was made to look gullible and foolish. It also stated that the Grapplers were based on female Marvel employees, but declined to identify who(Screaming Mimi=Mimi Gold?).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 10, 2013 3:27 PM
This era of Marvel Two-In-One is very good, especially for a "third tier book" as FNORD12 mentions. Decent art, and the Gruenwald/Macchio writing combo works very well. Excellent use of a lot of C-List heroes and characters too. The demise of the team up books really neglected a lot of these characters that had potential and might have become something. MTIO would later deteriorate into a lot of substandard stuff, but this era is a highlight of late seventies & early eighties Marvel in my opinion.
Posted by: Chris | March 10, 2013 5:31 PM
FOOM#22 announced a 2nd Project Pegasus 6-parter, but it didn't happen.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 14, 2013 7:38 PM
Ben's reference to "Sunday school" is interesting, in light of the much later revelation that he's Jewish.
Posted by: Mortificator | April 6, 2015 8:48 PM
Mortificator, there are Jewish Sunday schools.
Posted by: Michael | April 6, 2015 11:31 PM
In #57, there are containment cells labelled Equinox and Lightmaster. We don't actually see them in the book, but since all the other identified cells were occupied, does this qualify them for behind-the-scenes appearances? This is probably more significant for Equinox, since I don't think he's seen again after his MTU 2-parter.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 9, 2016 5:11 PM
If there's no evidence that they are there beyond the labels for their cells, then i wouldn't list them. They could be out for trial, or could have recently escaped, or any number of other scenarios. This way Marvel could put out an Untold Tales of Equinox and Lightmaster that took place around this time and it wouldn't seem like a contradiction.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 10, 2016 12:55 PM
Worth noting that as Radion, the Atomic Man, Sorel first encountered Wundarr way back in #9? Given the overt Sorel : Nuklo :: Unca Benjy : Wundarr analogy, that brings things full circle rather nicely.
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | December 13, 2016 1:48 PM
Mark is right. In issue 58, Foster says that he developed cancer months earlier, while fighting Atom Smasher. It's because he's already dying that he's willing to grapple directly with Nuklo.
Posted by: Andrew | January 13, 2017 5:16 PM
More than a coincidence that DC's NukloN would later become Atom-Smasher?
Posted by: cullen | January 13, 2017 5:31 PM
Should Gilbert Vaughn be tagged as appearing here? I only ask because the image you use for him on his Character Page lists him as appearing in MTIO #53
Posted by: S | September 1, 2017 7:36 PM
Gilbert only appears in a flashback that bridges the period between FF #164 and Wendell's first appearance in Cap #217. The FB shows Wendell getting the bands.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 1, 2017 11:52 PM
Is the shadowed Roxxon bigwig here supposed to be Hugh Jones? His comments about gaining greater power "soon" might be foreshadowing the Serpent Crown Affair about a year later.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | September 2, 2017 12:58 PM
"The MCP gives a separate entry for Deathlok here (as "Deathlok Robot") due to the fact that it does not display any trace of Luther Manning. I'm keeping it labelled as Deathlok."
Hi fnord. You may want to consider updating this.
Deathlok's entry in OHOTMU Deluxe #3 indicates the character in this story was a robot double.
From page 42; "Then in association with other members of Roxxon's Department M (for "Mutagenics"), he created a robot simulacrum of Deathlok. This robot was turned over to Roxxon's Nth Command for testing. It was sent to infiltrate and destroy Project Pegasus, the government energy research facility. The Deathlok robot was destroyed before it could carry out its mission."
In addition to the lack of Luther Manning's personality, this Deathlok is a bit off model. He has two red eyes and the metal frame covers both sides of his head. Usually, Deatlok only has one red eye on the left and the metal frame only covers the left side of his head.
Posted by: Rick | June 3, 2018 9:28 AM
Thanks Rick. I've removed the tag for Deathlok.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 4, 2018 3:16 PM
This has likely been noted elsewhere on the site, but the Grapplers are patterned in the Jack Kirby New Gods by New Gods characters the Female Furies, just as the Femme Fatales who later turn up in Erik Larsen Spider-Man stories.
Titania = Big Barda, with her blaster rod device; Thundra gets Barda's plot of being interested int he book's hero and being treated as the sympathetic one
More broadly, Project: PEGASUS is a very loose counterpart to Kirby's Cadmus Project at DC. But the homages thankfully stop there, and these characters go in quite different directions in this arc and later on.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | June 24, 2018 7:20 AM
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