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!

Marvel Two-In-One #14Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: March 1976
Cover Price: 25¢
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artist: Herb Trimpe

WHO stars in this issue?

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.

Son of Satan – At the time this was published, it was believed that Daimon Hellstrom was the son of Satan. It’s since been retconned that he’s the son of a motal woman and the demon, Marduk Kurios. He’s been trained in the way of magic but his sympathies lie with humanity and he works to rid Earth of dark forces. Oftentimes he harnesses the mystical energy through his trident into a blast he calls “soulfire”.

WHAT happens?

Reed Richards sends the Thing to a ghost town in Arizona to explore some strange readings his psych-detector picked up. He enters the town’s Lone Star Saloon and encounters a creepy painting of a man on a horse. Strangely enough, the bar isn’t deserted like the rest of the town – Daimon Hellstrom is there! He explains to Ben Grimm that he’s been drawn to the town to investigate the very same source that Reed detected. The force seems to center on the painting and Hellstrom explains that the man pictured in it is Jedediah Ravenstorm.

More than 100 year prior, Ravenstorm was a lawless criminal moving from town to town, stealing from his victims. He crossed the Colorado Dessert and started his own town – calling it Lawless. The town eventually filled with people … people who grew tired of taking orders from the outlaw. They hung him on New Year’s Eve in 1875 (that’s 100 year prior to the very date of this story) and one year later the town was deserted.

As Hellstrom’s narrative draws to a close, a whirlwind comes whipping through the town, led by the spirit of Jedediah Ravenstorm! The outlaw wants the strangers out of his town but Hellstrom intends to end his possession of the town’s soul. The Thing joins Daimon in his battle against Ravenstorm – but it sure is hard to defeat a spirit. Or is it? During the fight, Hellstrom deduces that they’re not just fighting Ravenstorm’s spirit but rather Kthara, Mother of Demons – she’s inhabited his ghost. She intended to possess the soul of Daimon for, if she could do that, she assumes she could take his father’s, as well. But, when she relinquishes control of Ravenstorm’s spirit after being struck by Hellstrom, she unwittingly unleashes the souls of the townspeople who turn on her to exact their revenge.

WHERE does the story take place?

The ghost town that the Thing is sent to explore is Lawless, Arizona.

WHEN does the villain next next appear?

Neither Jedediah Ravenstorm nor Kthara have been seen since this issue.

WHY is the Son of Satan the guest-lead?

Daimon Hellstrom’s feature had recently been moved from Marvel Spotlight to his very own solo title in December 1975. Setting him up as the guest-star in this issue gave him some exposure that was surely intended to interest more readers to try out his own series.

HOW was it?

This issue was a neat ghost story that gave off some seriously creepy vibes – especially in the beginning. Not much characterization for the Thing but it served to wrap up the storyline of Daimon’s villain, Kthara. I really enjoyed how offput the Thing was by Hellstrom’s “area of expertise” – you can tell he’s really unnerved by it all and can’t wait to get away from the situation and put it all behind him.

Note: This issue’s letters column features commentary on Marvel Two-In-One #12 and includes a letter written by Kurt Busiek. Additionally, this comic includes Marvel Value Stamp [Series B] #45 (part of the Doctor Strange puzzle).

On Ebay: Marvel Two-In-One | the Thing | Hellstorm
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Two-In-One | Hellstorm

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