|MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE No. 31, September 1977|
It is genuinely hard to reconcile the fact that Issue Thirty One of “Marvel Two-In-One” was penned by the same man who would later go on to spearhead “DC Comics” Eighties revival of “The New Teen Titans” with George Perez. For whilst Marv Wolfman’s seventeen-page long narrative occasionally proves an entertaining experience, such as when the Thing battles a couple of impressively drawn HYDRA-Foils in the Thames and makes them “go boom”, the vast majority of it contains so many ludicrous plot devices that it is little wonder the former “Marvel Comics Group” Editor-in-Chief purportedly described this ‘Spider-Woman’ story-arc as “poor” and “hideous” in “a late 1978 interview”.
To begin with “My Sweetheart.. My Killer!” features an almost schizophrenic Benjamin Grimm, whose cover illustration depicting him with five toes on one foot and four on the other is genuinely the least of the human mutate’s problems, as he desperately searches the depths of the River Thames for “the Spider-broad… ‘cause only she knows where [the abducted] Alicia is.” Grief-stricken, distraught at the prospect of “my gal” being dead, and threatening to “re-arrange yer face… [as] my Alicia’s too important ta me ta not take off the kid gloves” Bashful Benjy then incomprehensibly lets his foe go simply because the hypnotised HYDRA agent explains “the explosion must have cleared my mind”, yet made her memories as to where she took Masters “vague in my mind.”; “Awright, Lady, gimme yer hand… an’ let’s go sit down fer awhile. Mebbe, if ya rest up a bit, you’ll start rememberin’.”
Such a total change of heart for the series’ main protagonist is as convincing as HYDRA selecting a blind sculptress to be the first of the terrorist organisation’s “invincible warriors”, especially when the Inkpot Award-winner describes the Thing as being “mad, perhaps madder than he has ever been before in his life.” Little wonder Ron Wilson subsequently pencils the rock-skinned powerhouse rather disconcertingly gnawing some metal tubing apart with his bare teeth…
Equally as poorly conceived is Wolfman’s revelation that the middle-aged heavily-moustached criminal Chauncy is in reality a Dutch “specially trained” Nazi agent who during the war buried a treasure worth “untold millions” somewhere in the House of Commons. Admittedly it’s not too hard to believe that a German spy may well return to the location of his wealth after the political institution had been rebuilt, and subsequently become confused as to precisely where he concealed his fortune. But just why would Heinrich Buerer create a map by carefully etching “the exact location of the treasure on” five pieces of “valuable merchandise” so he would decades later have to locate all of the “separated” artefacts first?