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  • Greg O'Driscoll

Graviton drags down Marvel Two-In-One Annual

Updated: Feb 28

The dreaded deadline doom caught me. No Conan reviews today. Instead, enjoy this quick trip with Thing and Black Bolt in Marvel Two-In-One Annual #4. "A Matter of Gravity!"

Marvel Two-in-One Annual #4, starring the Thing and Black Bolt.

Once upon a time, the Thing was sufficiently popular enough to anchor his own team-up mag the same way Spider-Men held down his end of Marvel Team-Up. This was before and during the time period when Thing went from the relatable hard-luck hero with a tragic appearance to Marvel's long-suffering jabronie, getting worfed every time someone (hero or villain) needed to show how strong they were against a character that couldn't be easily killed or permanently damaged. For this 48-page annual of Marvel Two in One, the Thing and longtime FF supporting character Black Bolt go up against Graviton, even though Graviton looks more like the charcoal grill edition of Heat Miser. A “Clobberin’ Time!” cover starts off an issue that is well drawn in every respect except for the starring villain.

Cursed by his own wildly destructive powers to remain mute or accidentally obliterate everything around him, Black Bolt must find Alicia Masters. He consults a handy payphone, which really dates this issue. Once found, Black Bolt then must find a way to communicate with the Thing's blind girlfriend. The ruler of the Inhumans delicately employs his ordinarily immense powers to sculpt a small statue of the Thing. Alicia gets the idea almost immediately.

Later on, after meeting up with Thing, Black Bolt uses his powers to carve something again, this time a giant message in the Inhumans’ own alien alphabet (runes?) on the wall of a building. Not reading Kree or whatever the Inhumans' written language is based upon, Thing doesn’t get what Black Bolt is driving at. How or why Black Bolt thought this would work is anybody's guess. Good thing ol' Prof. Herkowitz was there to translate it. Education is the real hero, kids!

Overall, not too bad. The outspoken Thing and silent Black Bolt make an interesting pair, especially with the shared history of the FF and the Inhumans between them. Unlike other Marvel annuals, this one actually went to the trouble of digging up a pre-established if somewhat third-tier villain. Avengers fans usually rank Graviton higher on the list of credible villains than I do. Sadly, the souped-up monster version of Graviton falls so short of the accompanying text description that is really does deserve a quick look even if just for a laugh.

Graviton assumes his final form in Marvel Two-In_One Annual #4

This is not what springs to my mind when I read that someone has been transformed into a sentient pocket universe that is only visible by the visual distortions as he warps space around himself!

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