Marvel Two-In-One annual #1
Issue(s): Marvel Two-In-One annual #1
In any event, storywise this is a direct continuation of that annual. In that issue, the FF went back in time and worked with the Invaders to retrieve half a canister of vibranium that accidentally got sent back in time and allowed the Nazis to win World War II. At the end of that issue, the Thing learned by an appearance by the Watcher that the job wasn't finished, and here he is still ranting about it.
The rest of the Fantastic Four are right outside the room! But this is the Thing's team-up book and he's not letting his teammates horn in on his spotlight.
The Watcher recently went through a big realignment so that he could go back to being an impartial observer like he was supposed to be, but that's pretty much out the window again already. Sure the Watcher doesn't actually say anything, and i guess in his favor he doesn't just hand someone some deus ex machina device, but he lets the Thing play a game of twenty questions with him and it's enough for the Thing to figure out what he needs to do (it would have been funny if Ben were just completely wrong here; it's not like the Watcher's expressions are all that clear, and the theory Ben comes up with is pretty nonsensical; but it does turn out to be true).
Ben winds up back in the World War II era (1942 again, i think), and after meeting a young Johnny Romita...
...he realizes there's a Nazi air raid in New York led by a guy called Skyshark.
Skyshark is accompanied by a Japanese agent named Slicer (who doesn't really do much in this story).
The Thing meets up with the Legion and for once there's no Misunderstanding Fight.
But the Legion don't have time to help the Thing look for the vibranium, because they've got reports of more Nazi activity. So they leave Ben. Half the team gets trounced by the Master Man (who walks away with an experimental cockpit cover)...
...and the other half fails to stop U-Man from stealing a prototype jet engine, although Jack Frost does cause this hilarious flop.
Back in New York City, the Thing engages a giant swastika-shaped UFO, and if that's not high concept enough just wait until the final chapter of this story when you find out who's piloting it.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Continues directly from Fantastic Four annual #11 and continues directly in Marvel Two-In-One #20.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
The "Time Wedge" is an old time travel plot device dating back to the start of pulp SF. Its most prominent use in comics was in the 1940s Justice Society of America story "The Gun That Fell Through Time"(or something like that) which is probably where Roy Thomas got it. Thomas never explains what the wedge is or what it's made out of, but the old SF pulp writers never did either.
The annual is flawed by taking too long to jump into the main action, but at least we see Ben relying on his own brains for once.
Skyshark was announced in FOOM#13 as "Skyhawk", and he was a version of the Quality/DC character Blackhawk. Slicer was probably supposed to be a version of the Blackhawk supporting character Chopper/Chop-Chop.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | May 25, 2013 3:21 PM
I would have never made the Slicer/Chop-Chop connection. Added a better scan of Slicer.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 25, 2013 6:07 PM
Thomas has a thing for creating Nazi counterparts of DC, Quality, and other Golden Age titles. Master Man is Superman, Merrano is Aquaman, Warrior Woman is Wonder Woman, and Baron Blood...well, he wears a bat costume, at any rate.
Reading this annual, it seems to me that there was no need for it to spill over into MaTIO #20; there's an awful lot of setup, an it's something like half the annual before the plot really starts moving.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | December 6, 2015 9:04 PM
My No-Prize for Ben deciding to go back in time without the rest of the Fantastic Four is that the Watcher waited until they all split up before approaching Ben on his own, as opposed to simply appearing while they were all in the same room. Ben might have figured that the Watcher, with all his omniscient knowledge, may have seen a reason the rest of the Fantastic Four wouldn't be required or wanted.
Posted by: Max_Spider | August 27, 2016 9:06 AM
The bit with Miss America changing her clothes might be an allusion to the Wonder Woman TV series, which had been airing for a year or so by this point and had the lead character famously changing into her uniform by simply spinning around. The comic version, with her spinning her lasso around herself to effect the costume change, was only slightly less absurd.
Certainly Roy would see WW and Miss America as analogues he needed to work in a reference to, plus the early Wonder Woman episodes were even set in WW2. I could see that sequence as his commentary on the costume change and the kid's pronouncement that she was "the real thing" seems to be an allusion to the fact that her counterpart would only be a comic book character on Marvel Earth.
Posted by: Dan H. | March 23, 2017 7:31 PM
The Master Man looks to be a souped-up lift of Captain Nazi, one of the Fawcett/DC SHAZAM! Captain Marvel's top foes.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 27, 2017 11:41 PM
I've no doubt you're right. His name is from another Fawcett character, a Superman imitation from Master Comics.
I've no doubt Mark was right about Skyshark and Slicer, too. But it's my guess they were simultaneously take-offs of Dastardly and Muttley. Skyshark's shark motif might be a reference to Blackhawk's foe Killer Shark.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | October 28, 2017 5:09 AM
@Luke- I see the Dastardly and Muttley comparison, and that made me think of the old Saturday morning staple "Laff-A-Lympics", where those two were on the "Really Rottens" team. As we say in my neck of the woods, "Ain't that weird?"
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 28, 2017 7:54 AM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|