Marvel Two-In-One annual #7
Issue(s): Marvel Two-In-One annual #7
...collects a group of Earth's heroes to participate in a contest...
...this time a boxing match against the Champion himself. The heroes are those with the greatest physical strength: Hulk, Doc Samson, Sasquatch, Thor, Wonder Man, Sub-Mariner, Colossus, and the Thing. The Vision is nearly recruited as well, but the fact that he's a
Despite the fact that the Champion has threatened to wreak havoc on Earth if the heroes don't play the game, Sub-Mariner refuses to participate and he's sent home. Doc Samson proves himself not enough of a fighter.
Thor is disqualified for using his hammer.
Banner gets angry during the fight and loses control of the Hulk. He reverts to his savage mode, and the Champion teleports him away.
Sasquatch and Colossus are both defeated in the ring.
Wonder Man tries to cheat by ripping up the boxing ring's floor, and he's disqualified.
Other heroes are unable to interfere with the contest.
That leaves the Thing...
...who takes a terrible beating from the Champion but refuses to give up.
His tenacity convinces the Champion to end the contest.
When the battle is over, Champion tells the Thing that "someday my people will battle yours for the total supremacy of the cosmos" (but not for "eons", so don't worry). Since the Champion is an Elder, and therefore the last of his race, it's said in the lettercol for 1989's Silver Surfer #11 that he must be referring to the other Elders as his people ("either that or TWO-IN-ONE scripter Tom DeFalco made a mistake, and Editor-in-Chief Tom DeFalco says that guy never makes mistakes").
It's a cute enough story. Better than Contest of Champions, anyway. It's definitely a great story for illustrating the Thing's indomitable spirit, but the characterization of most of the other participants in the contest isn't that great.
I have a suspicion that the art for this was drawn before the Hulk regained his intelligence and it's simply covered for in the script...
...but it's not definite and it works well enough.
We get an odd insight into Alicia's sculpting methods in the beginning of this issue when we see that the Thing has to pose for her sculptures even though she's blind.
Apparently she has to run back and forth to feel her subject and then mold the clay. This despite the fact that she actually can create a sculpt directly from a description.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between Fantastic Four #250-251 and Marvel Two-In-One #95-96. Takes place after Hulk #279 and Uncanny X-Men #167. The Vision and the Scarlet Witch are staying at a hotel in New York, and the Vision seems to begin to broach the subject of purchasing a home...
...but see the continuity note in Defenders #116.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): showAlicia Masters, Captain America, Champion, Colossus, Cyclops, Doc Samson, Hawkeye, Hulk, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Sasquatch, Scarlet Witch, Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde), She-Hulk, Spider-Man, Storm, Sub-Mariner, Thing, Thor, Vision, Wasp, Wolverine, Wonder Man
Actually, I suspect Alicia just liked feeling Ben up ...
Posted by: Gary Himes | July 4, 2013 8:57 AM
Beware the majesty of... WOLVERINE IN A GILIGAN HAT!
Posted by: Jay Patrick | July 20, 2013 12:13 AM
Weirdly this was sort of homaged in an episode of the Dexter's Lab segment "Dial M for Monkey", complete with alien and promoter fighting the greatest heroes with only Monkey standing due to his tenacity. Though I like the fact that Hulk is disqualified for losing it...
Posted by: Ataru320 | July 24, 2013 7:13 PM
I always liked the cover of this one. Especially for the oddness of seeing Kirby draw Colossus and Sasquatch.
Posted by: S | July 26, 2013 1:18 AM
That's Ron Wilson doing his best Kirby imitation.
Posted by: ChrisKafka | July 26, 2013 12:21 PM
Wow, that Thor face totally fooled me, I was sure it was Kirby.
Posted by: S | July 26, 2013 2:47 PM
Looking at this issue again, it strikes me as odd that the Champion chose only "heroic" characters to fight. Yeah, they only had a limited number of pages to work with, but I wonder how well he might've fared against the Juggernaut, Abomination, Mr. Hyde, the Rhino or Sandman? (And for that matter, where was Hercules when this was going on? He would've enjoyed a good fight!)
Posted by: Gary Himes | June 22, 2014 10:39 PM
DeFalco makes it clear that the Champion wanted opponents that would play by the rules. Would you trust the villains to play by the rules? (You're right about Hercules, though.)
Posted by: Michael | June 22, 2014 11:03 PM
While the story borders on Thing worship, I will say that in the limited context of what is happening, Thing makes sense. He is not stronger than Thor or Hulk, but he also understands what boxing is and plays by the Champion's rules. In an actual battle with the Champion, I'm pretty sure Thor/Hulk would do okay.
Posted by: MikeCheyne | April 13, 2015 11:43 AM
Poor Collosus tried his hardest to be like Thing.
Posted by: david banes | May 27, 2015 4:25 AM
...now that I think about it, not to take anything away from bashful Benjamin, but what's the difference between him and Colossus in this story? It says in the narration that Piotr "refuses to fall, refuses to surrender" and the fight's only stopped because of the referee.
Posted by: Thanos6 | June 18, 2015 11:16 PM
Peter only lasted one round, Ben lasted three.
Posted by: Michael | June 18, 2015 11:25 PM
Right, but if the whole point of the story is "Ben has more of a never-give-up attitude than other heroes," it sort of undercuts it if Colossus ALSO never-gives-up and is forced out by the ref. It sort of warps the point into "Ben is more durable than other heroes."
Posted by: Thanos6 | June 18, 2015 11:29 PM
Hercules and Power Man's absences are a bit daft. They slot right in.
Posted by: AF | June 19, 2016 9:33 AM
Powerman wasn't considered to be at the top strength level at the time.
Posted by: OrangeDuke | December 24, 2017 4:25 PM
I haven't read this comic, but based on the description above there may be a difference in the fights between Colossus and the Thing. While Colossus is taking Champion's blows, he doesn't seem to be fighting back at that point. He's just being pummeled - he might be in shock. ("This man can no longer defend himself.") The Thing though, keeps fighting - even if not very well at the end. But I don't know if the comic actually supports that interpretation.
Posted by: Chris | December 24, 2017 6:36 PM
The Thing gets in blows in the earlier rounds and breaks some of Champion's ribs. That puts him up on Colossus.
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | December 24, 2017 6:52 PM
I've always had a fondness for this story for showing Ben's competitive, never-say-die attitude. This story also reinforced why the Thing was my favorite comics character for a long time, and still has a firm place in my personal top 10.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | December 24, 2017 8:51 PM
When the Hulk vanishes the Champion says he won't "soil my hands on a mindless brute". The art might depict him as being disqualified for fighting without gloves.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | March 29, 2018 2:28 PM
Sure seems like the Champion was too chicken to take on the Hulk. "Uh um yeah he's disqualified for not wanting to box! Ha ha loser!"
Posted by: david banes | March 29, 2018 9:59 PM
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