Characters Appearing: Dum Dum Dugan LMD, Human Torch, Nick Fury, Thing, Ultima, Word
Marvel Two-In-One #89
Issue(s): Marvel Two-In-One #89
This is also one of those "what's the point?" issues of Two-In-One where the Thing is teamed-up with another member of the team he's already on. By which i mean the Human Torch.
The Fantastic Two get involved when a woman from the resurfaced Word's latest cult tries to contact them at the Baxter Building. The duo were distracted by their usual horseplay...
...and weren't there for her when she arrived. But the Human Torch subsequently saw (and tried to hit on) Ultima at the scene...
...and meanwhile the Thing heard about the Word from the escapee and contacted SHIELD for info.
Ben and Johnny actually try to pretend that they want to join the cult, but no one buys it and Ultima arrives to knock them out.
They are then brought back to the Word to be made "normal" which in the Thing's case means being made to wear a hilarious Ben Grimm mask.
They are also both drugged and forced to work in a mine, but they eventually shake off the drugs and battle Ultima and the Word's goons.
Ultima's origin is that her father's powers of persuasion forced her to train herself into the perfect fighter. Both here and in She-Hulk that results in her having super-human strength. I really like her origin but without some additional explanation i really don't see her being able to go beyond peak human (e.g. Captain America) strength, and she shouldn't be able to go more than a few rounds with the Thing. He is still feeling the effects of the drugs, however.
On the other hand, you can see the Thing's surprise about facing a female opponent that is able to stand up to him, which is odd considering he had just met She-Hulk last issue (and learned from SHIELD that Ultima had fought She-Hulk). And that's not to mention, for example, Thundra. I think this is more a reflection of the Thing's macho attitude, something Kraft used last issue as well.
Ultima is defeated when the Thing casually knocks out her father. She had previously been crippled but the Word was able to convince her otherwise. But when she sees him fall, compounded with the way the Thing shatters her worldview, she loses her faith in her own recovery.
The issue ends almost identically to the Word and Ultima's last appearance, with the Word feeling responsible for his daughter's injury. This is the last we'll see of them, though.
The Torch does go nova as part of the escape from the Word's mine, but he's otherwise underutilized in this story. Luckily the Word had plenty of goons for him to fight, but the focus of the battle was the Thing vs. Ultima.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between Fantastic Four #247-248.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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