Marvel Two-In-One #71-72
Issue(s): Marvel Two-In-One #71, Marvel Two-In-One #72
The Inhumans have confirmed that the Amphibians were created via exposure to the Terrigen Mist. Mr. Fantastic and the Inhuman scientist have created a cure, but it's dangerous because it actually reverses the effects of the Terrigen Mists, which could in effect wipe out all of the Inhumans' powers. So the Thing along with a couple members of the Inhumans royal family are put on guard duty while the cure is administered. Stingray shows up as well.
And someone does attempt to steal the mist. The archvillain is Maelstrom.
He's got some history with the Inhumans (he calls them his ancestral enemies). He's also into cloning and genetic experiments. His lair is full of strange vats. His father, in his deathbed at Maelstrom's base, was an Inhuman named Phaeder who was kicked off of their Council of Genetics for experimenting in cloning.
He faked his own death using a clone and then lived in exile with his son, continuing his experiments.
It has been hinted (not in this arc, but in obscure places like back-up stories in annuals and in the Handbook of the Marvel Universe) that Phaeder was responsible for providing cloning technology to Magneto, the High Evolutionary, Arnim Zola, the Jackal, the Enclave, and Doctor Hydro.
Maelstrom has a trio of powered minions: Phobos, Helio, and Gronk.
He's also got a partner named Deathurge, but the relationship between Maelstrom and Deathurge isn't clear.
Deathurge is intangible and wields a shadowy axe, which he uses to kill the bodies of Maelstrom's minions when they've been captured so they can reawaken in new cloned bodies.
All of Maelstrom's crew have good designs and distinct personalities. (Maelstrom actually also has groups of non-powered robed henchman in these issues).
Maelstrom himself absorbs kinetic energy and converts it into weird ropey black tendrils that further drain people's strength.
Maelstrom's minions successfully steal a case of the Anti-Mist due to the inattentiveness of the Thing, Gorgon, and Karnak (they're busy playing ball games), but Black Bolt takes care of business, defeating Maelstrom and retrieving it. The Thing helps by exposing Maelstrom to the Terrigen "cure", which weakens him.
Deathurge then kills Maelstrom!
Note Deathurge's hesitation and the implication that Maelstrom created Deathurge. That will turn out to not be true.
Maelstrom's father passes away as well.
The story of Maelstrom and his minions of course isn't over. He'll show up in a few years in the Avengers and then become an antagonist of Quasar. Deathurge will also be eventually explained.
Reed and the Inhumans are able to restore all of the Amphibians to human form, tying up a long-running loose end from the Sub-Mariner and Super-Villain Team-Up. It's not said what has happened to the red-skinned alien Tamara that had been associating with the Amphibians.
It's not a great story, but Maelstrom and his minions are interesting enough.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: See the note in Marvel Two-In-One #68's entry. I've placed this between FF #218-219.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBlack Bolt, Crystal, Deathurge, Gorgon, Gronk, Helio, Henry Croft, Joseph Jennings, Karnak, Maelstrom, Mr. Fantastic, Phaeder, Phobius, Quicksilver, Stingray, Thing, Triton
Around this time, there was supposed to be a following 2-3 parter featuring Dr. Druid and Prester John, but it got dumped when Tom DeFalco took over the book.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 8, 2012 2:34 AM
Maelstrom and his minions feel a lot like Bill Mantlo Creations, somehow.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | September 11, 2013 10:38 PM
Any similarities between Gronk and New England Patriots superstar tight end Rob "Gronk" Gronkowski are purely coincidental.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | April 8, 2018 10:55 PM
Comments are now closed.
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