Marvel Two-in-One #30: Battle atop Big Ben!
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Penciller: John Buscema
Inker: Pablo Marcos
Letterer: Irv Watanabe
Colorist: Jan Cohen
Editor: Marv Wolfman
The Guest Star:
The Set Up:
Ben and Alicia are out in London, passing time while Dr. Kort tries to help Deathlok. An explosion occurs, and Ben hustles off to find a band of crooks attempting an armed robbery of Westminster Abbey. Ben intervenes, and is pretty much finishing up the burglars when he gets blasted from behind by a flying (gliding?) costumed woman- Spider-woman. The forgotten crooks escape with the silver plate that they came for, and Spider-woman soon flees as well, chanting catchy slogans like "Hydra never fails!" She returns to Hydra HQ, where Supremem Hydra sends her to her room, and then gloats about the vial of formula that they got off of Professor Kort last issue, and about the hypnosis that they have Spider-woman under.
Ben, meanwhile, has hooked up with Scotland Yard (and Nick Fury as well), and is told that Spider-woman is not a baddie, but is merely under Hydra's control. After a quick cut to the band of crooks we saw earlier and their plan to steal one more thing to make a treasure map, we move on to Ben and Alicia walking at the Tower of London when Spider-woman suddenly swoops out of the sky and carries off Alicia. Ben gives chase, of course...
Pg 15, panel 4. a Scotland Yard agent, to Ben: "Her name is Spider-woman. And she is not an enemy agent." Ben: "Yeah! An' my Aunt Petunia quarterbacks for the Rams!"
Things of Interest:
Page 27, panel 6, after Ben jumps into a passing boat full of tourists. "Martha! Don't you recognize him? He's that famous superhero from back home. The Hulk. Or is it the Beast? All those super-hero monsters look alike to me"
Subplots! No only do we have the whole ongoing 'save Deathlok' thing, we've got a second subplot! Finally, they're treating MTIO like a real book! Ben runs into a criminal gang a couple times with no real explanation this issue as to who they are or what they're up to. Though we'll see bits about them in the next couple issues, we won't find out the whole story until issue 33!
Though she's undoubtedly old hat by this point, Spider-woman was a decently big thing at this time. Before her appearance on the final page of last issue (MTIO 29), Spider-woman had only appeared once before, in Marvel Spotlight 32. From there, she went on to this appearance in MTIO, and after her run here she would get her own series, Spider-woman, which would run for 50 issues. Spider-woman would also appear later on in MTIO (issue 85) committing an act that would alter her super-powers for decades to come...
This is also the reverse of the usual MTIO situation. While to this point MTIO was known for finishing up the storylines of books that were being cancelled, here it picks up the storyline of somone who is about to get her own book!
Here are a couple of pages that I picked up off of eBay in March of 2010. They comprise the original two page plot summary sent by writer Marv Wolfman to artist John Buscema in making this issue (apparently that's Big John's signature on the first page). Please note that the address and phone number for Mr. Wolfman on this dates to early 1977, so we're talking over 30 years ago; its a pretty safe bet he's moved and changed his phone number multiple times in there, so please don't bother calling him! In any case, the two small images link to full-size versions; its kind of enjoyable to compare Marv's plot to the final project - pretty darn close!