Marvel Two-In-One launched in 1974, teaming the Thing with a different hero each month. This guide will tell you everything you wanted to know about the series – and more!
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: July 1976
Cover Price: 25¢
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artist: Sal Buscema
the Thing - Benjamin J. Grimm was bombarded by cosmic rays in a space exploration flight, alongside three friends. The cosmic rays gave each of them different powers, and they formed the Fantastic Four. Ben underwent the most physical change of the foursome: his skin mutated into orange rock and, as a result, he gained super-strength.
Spider-Man - When Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider, he gained super-strength and the ability to stick to wallls. Using his scientific background, he devised web-shooters that allow him to swing from tall buildings.
The Thing continues to investigate the volcano that V/Volcanus fell into, last issue. He’s still hoping to discover why volcanoes all over the world are erupting within the very same week. Inside, he discovers a cave wherein the Basilisk ambushes him. During their battle, the villain reveals that he’s behind the erupting volcanoes – and he intends to unleash the volcanic activity on New York City, next. As he teleports himself to NYC, the Thing lunges forward and gets caught up in the transport.
Meanwhile, in Peter Parker’s Chelsea apartment, Spider-Man can barely believe his eyes when he looks out his window and sees a blanket of volcanic smoke surrounding the George Washington Bridge. He web-swings towards the smoke and finds a volcano has emerged in the middle of the Hudson River! By the time he makes his way to the volcano, the Basilisk has defeated the Thing . Now it’s up to Spider-Man to avenge his fallen friend AND save the world from being conquered by Basilisk and his volcanoes. (to be continued!)
The Basilisk appears next in Marvel Team-Up #47, the continuation of this very story.
Bill Mantlo (the writer of Marvel Two-In-One since September 1975) was also writing Marvel Team-Up (essentially the same concept as MTIO except Team-Up featured Spider-Man every month) since October 1975. So, a handful of months after he started his writing gig on both titles, it seemed like a great idea to initiate a crossover between the two series.
This issue seems like mostly all set-up for the conclusion of the story. There wasn’t much in the way of characterization for the Thing … and if you were looking for an actual “team-up” between the Thing and Spider-Man, you’ll have to read the next part of this story (in Marvel Team-Up #47). In fact, there is no scene within these pages that features both heroes fighting the villain at the same time (as the cover teases). I’m also curious how this two-bit villain developed the power to summon volcanoes at will – hopefully that’ll be explained before the story concludes. And, would it be too much to hope that the green-colored bat will be explained too?
Note: This issue’s letters column features commentary on Marvel Two-In-One #14.
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