Marvel Two-In-One #1
Issue(s): Marvel Two-In-One #1
To kick things off, the Thing meets another "Thing", whose regular series is written by the writer of this issue, Steve Gerber.
Stuck in a small desert town waiting for a bus back to New York, the Thing sees an article on the Man-Thing and gets jealous over the use of the name "Thing". He's also terrifically abusive to the shopkeeper.
Now granted, the Thing has been a bit abused himself lately - teleported into a fight with the Hulk, forced to trek across the desert, abandoned by Iron Man after a fight with Thanos' Blood Brothers - but he's still acting irrationally even by his usual standards. Not sure if this is Gerber taking a shot at super-heroes or if it's an attempt at being funny, but it comes off as being mean. The poor shopkeeper is going to be dealing with post-traumatic stress syndrome for the rest of his life.
In any event, the Thing decides to take a bus to Florida for a grudge match with the Man-Thing instead of heading home to New York.
Meanwhile, in another dimension, where time travels much more quickly than it does in our world, the Molecule Man dies of old age.
His full-grown son subjects himself to a device that replicates the accident that gave his father his powers, with one difference: this corrects the problem of not being able to affect organic molecules.
The son heads to our world in order to extract vengeance on the FF, but winds up in the Everglades (because it is the Nexus of All Realities. Or because the Thing is also headed to that location. He says he made his molecules "living 'magnets' that would be drawn to the Thing's cosmic-ray-mutated form". But Junior will find that he is not able to teleport himself out of the swamp.). He finds himself face to face with the Man-Thing.
The Thing does arrive and a fight breaks out. MM Jr. converts both the Thing and the Man-Thing back to their human forms. He eventually turns them back though, and in the second round of the fight, the Thing knocks the wand out of Junior's hand. This causes Junior to age rapidly and then die. Unable to use the wand to cure the Man-Thing or himself, the Thing gives it to a child in Citrusville.
Gerber is a good writer. He gives his characters a lot of personality and comes up with interesting plots. The Molecule Man and his son, however, are very generic villains. This is especially disappointing in light of the way the Molecule Man will be developed in future issues (and of course there is the distraction of the fact that the Molecule Man can't possibly have died in some alternate dimension and been replaced by his son... what's that all about?).
In the logo banner on the top left corner of the cover of this issue, the book is called Marvel Two On One.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place soon after Marvel Feature #12. The Thing has trekked his way through the desert after his team-up with Iron Man against the Blood Brothers and made it to Devil's Tongue, New Mexico, a tiny town with little more than a bus station.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I think Molecule Man Jr. was revealed to be an artificial creation of MM Sr. Don't remember how MM Sr. got sick and died though...
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 16, 2011 12:38 PM
IIRC, when Englehart had to clean up all of Shooter's "Secret Wars" nonsense (sorry, but I never cared at all for the Owen Reece Molecule Man), he ultimately revealed that both the Beyonder and "Owie" were fragments of a Cosmic Cube, so that all of the MM history from here until Avengers #215 is just MM creating his own reality, essentially. The body ages, the power "passes" to the "son", the "son" dies, the wand takes over a random guy and then Reed Richards, but the subconscious personality was always there, in the wand, until reactivated by the toxic waste in the New Jersey swamps. Or something.
Posted by: Dan Spector | February 3, 2013 2:16 AM
J. Marc DeMatteis has a letter here.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 29, 2013 4:15 PM
I wonder if this is the first use of the word porno in a Marvel comic?
Posted by: Robert | March 15, 2016 8:20 AM
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