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Five Goofiest Moments in the First Five Issues of Marvel Two-in-One

Every week, I’ll examine the five goofiest moments from a five-issue stretch of a particular comic book series. Here is a list of the moments featured so far.

This week, we look at Marvel Two-in-One #1-5, written by Steve Gerber and drawn by Gil Kane (pencils on #1-2), Sal Buscema (pencils on #3-5), Joe Sinnott (inks on #1-3), Frank Giacoia (inks on #4) and Mike Esposito (inks on #5)

As always, this is all in good fun. I don’t mean any of this as a serious criticism of the comics in question. Not only were these writers certainly never imagining people still reading these comics decades after they were written, great comics often have goofy moments (Kirby/Lee’s Fantastic Four is one of the best comic book runs of all-time and there were TONS of goofy stuff in those 100 plus issues!).

HONORABLE MENTIONS

This one has been a consistent ever since the early days of the FF, but I just love how the Thing just doesn’t give a shit if he breaks stuff.

“I could place this weight down carefully, or I could just chuck it on to the ground and break the floor. Guess which option I’m picking?”

One of the supporting characters in the first few issues of the series was Wundarr, a parody of sorts of Superman, only if Superman did not come out of his rocket until he was in his 20s so he still had the mind of a child. Wundarr caused some problems in #4, and Cap goes to take care of it but the Thing cuts him off to explain the situation. I love Cap’s reaction…

It is not that Cap is out of line in his reaction, I just like the juxtaposition of “Have some understanding, Cap.” and Cap is all, “What?!?! Understanding?!!?”

In #3, Daredevil’s billy club is stuck on the top of the Baxter Building. DD goes to retrieve it, but then…

Miller should have had DD say this during “Born Again.” “No fair, Kingpin!!”

In #5, Cap and the Thing are in the future and team-up with the Guardians of the Galaxy, who show up in dramatic fashion…

However, the fight ends…

And Cap doesn’t ONCE bemoan the poor Baddoons who were killed in the fight! Cap doesn’t even bring it up again! Way goofy.

Sharon Carter also came along on the mission. That is fine by me, as she is, indeed, a trained SHIELD agent. But shouldn’t a trained SHIELD agent, you know, prepare for this dangerous mission instead of just wearing the same outfit she was wearing on her date with Cap earlier in the issue?

She doesn’t even bring a weapon!

Wundarr, as noted, has the mind of a child. So you get some awesomely goofy sights like this…

Speaking of Wundarr, here is how he originally looked…

Reed Richards designs a suit to deal with the fact that Wundarr is constantly sucking up energy. How he designs it is pretty funny…

As seen from the last suit Reed designed before this one….

Reed sure loves him the barechest look!

5. A SHIELD agent’s place is in the kitchen.

So Sharon and Cap go visit the Baxter Building (this is during one of the times Sue was off the team. Medusa was her replacement). So you have Cap, Reed, Ben, SHIELD Agent Sharon Carter and Inhuman royalty Medusa. So, of course, they serve their menfolk…

Yikes.

4. Agents of Hate

In #3, we meet Nekra (who is working with an organization that had brainwashed Black Widow), who really, really likes to hate…

I mean, seriously, she loves hate…

No, really, she LOVES hate…

HATE!!!!!

3. Not the clearest thinking

In #1, Ben and Man-Thing face off against the son of the Molecule Man, whose magic wand is causing all sorts of trouble (he even kills a dude). He is separated from it and he dies, so what does Ben do with the magic wand?

Dude, you can’t just give a wand to a kid!!! “It didn’t work right away” does not equal “it will never work again”!!

2. That’s one way to wrap things up…

Clearly, by #3, Gerber had tired of the Wundarr plot. So he writes him off in the most hilariously half-assed way…

“Hey, two college girls want to take care of a super-powered man with the mind of a child! Sure, that makes sense to me!”

1. That’s one way to start things up…

Similarly, when Gerber wanted to get the Thing to interact with the Man-Thing in #1, he used an equally half-assed reason for the Thing to want to interact with the Man-Thing….trademark issues!

Hilarious.

And wow, what amazing art from Kane and Sinnott!!

15 Comments

Agreed about the Kane-Sinnott team. You didn’t often see Gil inked by somebody else.

Amazing art by Kane and Sinnott. And Ben was an amazing jerk to that poor guy.

It’s stuff like Ben Grimm going off half-assed about Man-Thing stealing his name and reputation that makes me love this series so much when I was a kid – to the point where I recently completed collecting a full run! The sheer goofiness of this title is what’s missing at Marvel these days. Damn I loved the seventies!

And while I abslutely love Gil Kane’s run on this title, it was Ron Wilson that made me stay. I loved his art, and to this day still go out of my way to pick up a back issue featuring his art.

I’m surprised Wundarr, Nita and Annie (the “normal” one — Nita was a sub-mariner, right?) weren’t an ABC sitcom when all was said and done — this WAS the Seventies!

But I will guarantee you it was pitched…

really underrated series

So Sharon and Cap go visit the Baxter Building (this is during one of the times Sue was off the team. Medusa was her replacement). So you have Cap, Reed, Ben, SHIELD Agent Sharon Carter and Inhuman royalty Medusa. So, of course, they serve their menfolk…

Yikes.

I like the list, but that one’s a real reach. Two women serving the male guests doesn’t really seem that big a deal.

““Hey, two college girls want to take care of a super-powered man with the mind of a child! Sure, that makes sense to me!””

BUT..

One of the college girls was the Sub-Mariner’s cousin, and Gerber was writing Sub-Mariner at the time. I doubt that he got tired of the plot so much as he was planning to shift it to another book. – This never really materialized but, hey, that’s ’70s Marvel for ya.

I’ve never read #1, but I thought the Molecule Man’s wand only worked on inanimate objects (at least until the BEyonder “fixed” him). So why did Ben think he could change him back to normal.

Also, I’ve never considered myself a Gil Kane fan, but those scans from #1 look great. No doubt Sinnott had something to do with that, too.

MarkAndrew: I was gonna say, doesn’t that seem like it should have gone somewhere? Two college girls take SuperMan-with-the-brain-of-a-two-year-old to Long Island and… that’s it? Was there ever any mention of this again?

I’d like to think that he stayed with them long enough to gain adult-level knowledge (a few months, due to his Super Intelligence) and then went on to do something really boring: “I thank your for both your tutelage and your hospitality, ladies, but I must go now to find my dream: As a clerk at a store that sells automobile parts. I’ll never forget you!”

I’ve never read #1, but I thought the Molecule Man’s wand only worked on inanimate objects (at least until the BEyonder “fixed” him). So why did Ben think he could change him back to normal.

This was an improved version of the wand that worked on people, too (he gruesomely kills a man earlier in the issue by turning him into Mr. Fantastic and twisting his body until the guy dies).

I have no inside information but feel sure MarkAndrew is absolutely right about this. As has been well documented, the most prominent feature of Gerber’s Marvel work was was his use of recurring characters and concepts from one series to the next. There are people and situations connecting his Sub-Mariner issues to Morbius the Living Vampire to Son of Satan to Man-Thing to Howard the Duck to the Defenders to the Guardians of the Galaxy to Omega the Unknown…and I would bet a big pile of money that Gerber was strategically moving Wundarr offstage in order to bring him back later. In fact, knowing his love of Superman counterparts, I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point he considered developing a Wundarr series with Namorita and Annie as the supporting cast and this was meant to set up that possibility.

(BTW, the splash page of “Doomsday 3014″ is one of my favorite things ever. But Misty Knight doesn’t seem as happy about it as I am…)

Does Wundarr predate Omega the Unknown? From what I understand, Omega has elements of Superman to him (unless I’m confusing it with Wundarr, that is.)

Maybe Gerber transferred what he was doing to Omega instead?

And so what ever did happen to Wundarr?

Sharon Carter IS the weapon! Even in bellbottoms!

Nekra totally should have been in Nextwave then, right?

Reed wanted to rock the bare chest look, but his rubbery pecs frightened people.

I dunno, that’s sorta awesome that Benji goes after the Man-Thing for trademark infringement. I like it.

I’ve been wondering about that myself, Travis — at least the possibility that “superhuman youngster shares a house with two older and more worldly female roommates who teach him about life” was a basic setup that stuck in Gerber’s mind and eventually became a very different thing in Omega. Marvel Two-In-One #4 is cover-dated July 1974 and Omega the Unknown #1 is cover-dated March 1976. That’s more than enough time for the concept to have evolved away from whatever Gerber could hypothetically have considered for Wundarr into what he did with Omega.

(And again, a caveat for future scholars: this is entirely speculative on our part, and it’s possible there’s no connection whatsoever.)

I thought Prince Namor’s green swimming trunks were his everyday wear, and the dark blue bodysuit was what an Atlantean monarch wore for more formal occasions . According to The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Wundarr wound up in an experiment at Project Pegasus, gained vast knowledge, renamed himself “Aquarian” and decided to use his powers to usher in a new age of peace .

Th blue Namor suit was created by Reed Richards to counter a medical situation (Namor couldn’t breath water for a time, IIRC).

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