Marvel Two-In-One # 4

The Second look into the Guardian’s world was in July 1974’s Marvel Two-in-One#4. On Sale in April 1974 it shared the newsstand with Amazing Spider-Man #134,  Captain Marvel #33,  Flash #228, Justice League of America # 112, The Mighty Thor #225 and World’s Finest #224. Marvel Two-in-One was a team up book, that often had more unusual stories or guest stars than Marvel Team Up and was the better for it.

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Marvel Two-in-One 4 was written by Steve Gerber, was pencilled by Sal Buscema and inked by Frank Giacoia and the story was titled Doomsday 3014.

The story opens with the star of Marvel Two-in-One, the Fantastic Four’s Ben Grimim, the ever lovin’ blue eyed Thing walking through central park zoo with Wundarr, who had appeared in the title in earlier issues. Wundarr was a full grown man with great strength, but was isolated from birth and as a result had a very childlike demeanour and outlook. Asking “Unca Benjee” to get him some candy floss/cotton candy, he tears open the cages in the zoo and lets out several wild animals. The Thing then corrals the animals and tries to calm the situation down. Whilst this is happening, nearby Captain America (in his guise as  Steven Rogers) is talking a walk with Sharon Carter (Agent 13 of S.H.I.E.L.D) when he hears the fracas. Quickly he dons his Cap outfit and rushes to help, seeing that Ben has it all under control he turns back in time to see a robbery taking place and takes on the three thieves in a battle that takes a page, but really only lasts a couple of seconds.

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When this melee comes to an end, a tearful Wundarr is found by Namorita ‘Nita’ Prentiss, the cousin of Namor, the Submariner and her roommate Amy. Wundarr knows Nita and when she suggests to Ben that she take Wundarr in and tutor him all parties agree. Then Cap and Ben along with Sharon walk off together to the Fantastic Four’s headquarters in the Baxter Building, for reasons that are never made very clear.

Back at the building, Reed Richards and Madame Medusa are repairing Dr Doom’s time platform and by accident Ben switches it on.  As the five are getting some coffee together, the machine brings a woman from the future on the platform. She wanders around and sees the world of 1974 and panics at the sight of people and places gone for a thousand years.  After an exposition dump about the Badoon conquering Earth in 3007 and the Guardians of the Galaxy leading the resistance Cap and Ben along with Sharon agree to go back with the woman who’s name is Tarin.

Arriving in 31st Century New York, they are immediately set upon by Zombie patrols and the monster of the Badoon.  After a strong showing, they are defeating and carried away, all but Tarin who realises she has been overlooked and the Badoon will pay for that mistake.

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This is a strong issue of a great 70’s comic. Gerber handles Ben well and there is a nice touch of humour to the character which makes him something of a favourite. Sal Buscema and Frank Giacoia were very versed in the Marvel house style and give us a well put together Marvel story. The Guardians don’t really show up in this story apart from in name, but it is a great lead in to their next full appearance. Which I’ll be getting to soon…

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