Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Marvel Two-In-One #27 - Marvel Comics

MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE No. 27, May 1977
Whilst writer/editor Marv Wolfman’s printed promise that this is “without a doubt the most star-filled issue of Two-In-One ever” is arguably fanciful boasting at best. There is no doubting that “Day Of The Demolisher!” still contains more than its fair share of notable characters from the Seventies Marvel Universe. Mentallo, the Fixer, Nick Fury, Impossible Man, Deathlok, Mister Fantastic, the Human Torch and Invisible Woman all play prominent parts within the Shazam Award-winner’s plot. Even if Sue Richards’ role is later somewhat undermined by her use as the wounded President Carter’s nursemaid.

Somewhat disappointingly however the inclusion of the Thing’s fellow team members does make this magazine’s narrative seem far more akin to a typical “Fantastic Four” comic book yarn, rather than a debatably ‘solo’ adventure series which concentrates upon the exploits of Benjamin Grimm; albeit such a notion would not officially see fruition by “Marvel Comics Group” until the publication of “The Thing” in 1983.

Quibbles as to this particular issue’s identity aside, Wolfman’s storyline is at its strongest when it focuses upon the anti-hero Deathlok, and the Demolisher’s mental musings over being the assassination puppet of Mentallo. ‘Trapped in a decaying corpse’ the bionic warrior’s desire of “getting’ out of this crummy living hell” is wonderfully well written and provides the reader with plenty of emotional insight into the tragic turmoil being experienced by the cyborg. Deprived of even his computerised brain’s hated inner voice as a result of Marvin Flumm’s thought manipulator, Luther Manning comes across as a very lonely wretched instrument of death and destruction.

Sadly such characterisation cannot be said for the Fixer and Mentallo. Whose one-dimensional motivation, the subjugation of the new American President via a “special micro-circuited control unit” is cause for some cringe worthy banter as, purely for the benefit of any casual bibliophile, the partners in crime clumsily inform one another of their roles in the plan to “shoot” him.

Legendary artist Jack “King” Kirby’s influence is heavily felt throughout this periodical’s seventeen pages. This isn’t just because the inaugural inductee of the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame drew the magazine’s action-packed cover. But also as a result of the tale being broken down into bite-sized chapters; something the New Yorker was famous for establishing during his lengthy run on “Fantastic Four”.

Penciller Ron Wilson is arguably from a similar stable of talent to that of the Hulk’s co-creator. But his illustration work for this issue is rather inconsistent, especially as events reach a conclusion and the Thing and Deathlok trade a series of punches with one another. Indeed the quality of the drawing is noticeably poorer the deeper into the comic a reader goes, with the artist’s insanely grinning Joker-like President Jimmy Carter being a particular low point of the book.
Writer/Editor: Marv Wolfman, Pencils: Ron Wilson and Inks: Pablo Marcos


  1. Wow! I'd missed this review until you mentioned it on Fantorical, as I said your posting so frequently at the moment I cant keep up! I have to say I agree with all of your comments this sissue was a bit of a disappointment as it had two of my all time fav's in it bashful Benjy and Deathlok (who first came to my attention back in Star Wars weekly many moons ago). The inclusion of Jimmy Carter I thought was Hysterical. It was nice to see some of the panels in colour as I have the "Essential" versions of these issues and as you know there were reprinted in B/W.

    Cheers Roger.

    1. Thanks Roger. Glad you agree with the review. Its not a bad issue by any stretch, just a bit too much "FF" than "MTIO". I'm a huge fan of Deathlok too (I think this originates from precisely the same source as yourself). I'm actually collecting all the "Marvel Two-In-One" issues I own in digital form. But unfortunately "Marvel.com" are only slowly building up this series, hence I'll be dotting about. I plan to post at least one classic a week from now on, with "Marvel Two-In-One" #35 next on the list. But in addition it's funny you should mention the original "Star Wars" issues ;-)