The next few issues of this great story saw a change in art, but not in tone for sure. You still get action supreme, and we really see what Ben Grim is made of as not just a superhero, but a man. We also get Bill Foster in action, Quasar showing off his abilities, and the mysterious Wundarr as well! After all is said and done, Wundarr fell a little flat, but Thundra was awesome! One thing to note about issue 56- the Thing and Thundra brawl, and as older readers know, this isn’t anything to get worked up over. In this day and age, you’ll be hard-pressed to see a brawl between a male and female characters in a mainstream book.
Props definitely need to be given to Mark Gruenwald and Ralph Macchio (writers). In only six issues, they utilize at least fifteen different characters in this setting (plus a flashback or two), and get more out of them than all their previous appearances combined! They do a great justice to Bill Foster especially. The artwork by George Pérez (pencils) and Gene Day (inks)(and one cover, 56, by John Byrne and Terry Austin), is very solid. I’m not very well versed in Day’s career, but Pérez is dynamite. Some of the pages of the issues I own, are a little muddy, and seem more like a printing issue than the artist’s not doing their job. Names like Bob Sharen and Carl Gafford (colors), Irv Watanabe and John Costanza (letters), and Jim Shooter (editor), round out the creative force behind this gem!
As of now, you can buy a deluxe hardcover of this great story, but back in the day, you had to grab the single issues. One of my favorite off-beat books of all time is most certainly Marvel Two-in-One! The title almost always featured Ben Grimm, and this Jack Kirby creation is one of the best characters to spring from his incredible mind. When thrown-in with another character, Grimm really shines. His personality is often repressed slightly when issue after issue of Fantastic Four he was portrayed as just muscle (with exception of an issue here and there). His sense of humor really shined in these stories, and solidified him as one of Marvel’s greatest characters.
One of the names synonymous with Marvel Comic’s history is Mark Gruenwald (writer). His days as an editor, writer, and overall continuity cop are nothing short of legendary. Along with Ralph Macchio (writer), these two men gave us an epic story that endures! If you need two men to render a story, you might as well get John Byrne (pencils) and Joe Sinnott (inks)! Toss in names like Bob Sharen (colors), John Costanza (letters), Diana Albers (letters), George Pérez (cover pencils to 55), and Roger Stern (editor), and the dream team is set!
I knew I’d get to this sooner or later. My one and only issue of the series “Spider-Woman.” I wasn’t a big fan of hers years ago, but when Brian M. Bendis brought her back into the spotlight, I was invigorated to find out more about this great character! In this issue, we see Jessica and her boyfriend, Jerry Hunt, spending some alone time on a beach. Suddenly, Jessica sees a woman in costume flying overhead! She investigates, and initially thinks she found a kindred spirit.
Characters are great, but a solid creative team can take a terrible one and turn in a masterpiece when all’s said and done. The first thing that jumps out at you is the awesome cover, by Carmine Infantino and Bob McLeod! Great perspective, and I love the face on the blond-haired guy to the right side of the cover! As if those two great creators weren’t enough, you get a story by “Masterful” Mark Gruenwald, the interior pencils are also by Carmine Infantino, with inks by Al Gordon. Colors by F. Mouly, letters by Irv Watanabe, and edited by Roger Stern! When you see a roll call like that, you know you must read this book!
One of my all-time favorite characters, is none other than the Black Knight! I think it goes back to the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends episode where he guest starred. It was a tale featuring the menace of Mordred! Or maybe it’s my love of Arthurian times. Either way, the Black Knight kicks butt! A flying horse, (Valinor), and the Ebony Blade, make him quite a formidable fighter, and he’s proven his worth many times over as a member of the Avengers, or just as a solo hero.
In this awesome issue, the Black Knight gets framed for murder, and he must solve the puzzle of who is committing these murders using a sword, and wearing a cape and armor! With Roy & Dann Thomas writing, Greg Capullo on pencils, Tom Dzon inking, Bob Sharen on colors, and Joe Rosen lettering. An excellent story and solid artwork from a young Capullo (cover by Steve Lightle)! Enjoy!
I don’t know if it’s possible to imagine a better comic book. Mark Gruenwald & Steven Grant (plot), David Michelinie (script), John Byrne (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Costanza (letters), and Slifer (colors). Oh, and did I forget to mention George Perez and Terry Austin on the cover? The story is one of my all time favorite Avengers stories. It digs into the past of Wanda & Pietro Maximoff (Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver), and also showcases Modred, Ch’Thon, and the High Evolutionary! Enjoy!