Synopsis: Marvel Two-in-One 93 was written by Tom DeFalco with art by Ron Wilson and D Hands and picks up from a previous issue with a mind-controlled Ben (The Thing) Grimm fighting Aaron (Machine Man) Stack, who is trying to rescue Jocasta, the Bride of the villain of the piece, Ultron.
Keeping both The Thing and Ultron at arms length using several gadgets and tools from his living robotic body. Finding the Thing’s sky-cycle, both he and Jocasta escape the ranting Ultron, who re-mind controls the Thing in order to use his strength for what comes next.
Damaged and in need of a place to hide, Machine Man and Jocasta end up in the garage/workshop of ‘Gears’ Garvin, who has helped Machine Man several times with engineering and personal repairs. Jocasta then gives some exposition of her leaving the Avengers and recreating Ultron, a compulsion Ultron has put in each of his creations at one time or another. Meanwhile the Thing is robbing research labs at Stark International and returning to Ultron so that he can create more bodies for himself. One Ultron is a threat, ten thousand Ultrons will conquer.
We then go back to Gears Garvin’s garage and by this point Machine Man’s room-mate Peter Spaulding is telling Machine Man not to go after Ultron as it is suicide. We get some back and forth between Spaulding and Garvin, which decends into arguing over each thinking they are exploiting Machine Man. He and Jocasta walk out and Machine Man tells Jocasta that he knows how she feels, even though he passes as a man most of the time, he is still a mechanical person, living in world made for regular people. He tells her she is not alone and there is a tender moment as their hands touch.
Using the sky-cycle, Gears and the mechanical pair face Ultron again, who tries to (I don’t know what he thinks he is doing, seduce maybe?) get Jocasta to join his crusade to wipe humanity off the map, keeping Gears and Machine Man busy, by setting the mind-controlled Thing against him. Jocasta then uses Ultron’s power cannon as a bomb, causing a massive explosion, which to be honest causes no damage to Ultron, but leaves Jocasta’s body in pieces. Thing and Machine Man’s battle brings them through the nearest wall, the impact of which restores the Thing’s free will and the two of them take the fight to Ultron. As fierce as the fight is, with his adamantium body, nothing really damages the villain. Just as Ultron is about to activate his clone-bodies, Machine Man stretches out his arm, reaches down Ultron’s throat and pulls out as much circuitry as he can fit in one hand. His outer shell is indestructible, but not his insides. His internal reactor goes critical and he begs for his life, offering to rebuild Jocasta as payment. There is no real time to consider it as an explosion kills Ultron from the inside and the heroes are left to grieve the fallen Jocasta.
Notes: I liked this story for a lot of reasons, it highlighted many of the good things about Machine Man’s old series, his friends and his own personality. It gave Ultron chance to shine outside of the Avengers and finally did something useful with Jocasta, even if that was killing her off.
The scenes between Machine Man and Jocasta are touching and well written, the art being very reminiscent of the Ditko run on Machine Man’s series. The only downside is that the Thing is woefully underused. Overall a fun issue though, even being a part two, I never felt lost and was sucked into the story really quickly, which is a nice reminder of DeFalco the writer and not the editor he later became. I would recommend Marvel Two-in-One to any comic fan as it is almost consistently entertaining and always has a quirky charm for a team up book. If I can’t convince you go to http://www.thefantasticast.com/
This podcast by Steve Lacey and Andrew Leyland (sorry Andy, alphabetical order on surnames today) is a light hearted and often giggle-worthy look at the comic characters that started Marvel, but are often overlooked.
Next Time: The introduction of Captain Marvel (not that one, no, not that one either, no, that one is DC and isn’t called Captain Marvel anymore.)