Marvel Two-in-One #36: A Stretch in Time...


Writer / Editor: Marv Wolfman
Artist: Ernie Chan
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Michele Wolfman

The Guest Star:
      Mr. Fantastic

The Villain:
      the Jaguar Priest; one heck of a lot of pterodactyls

Guest Shots:
      Skull the Slayer

The Set Up:
      Trapped in the "past", on the other side of some weird Bermuda Triangle wormhole thingie, Ben Grimm and four other 20th century natives are trying to avoid being eaten by some apparently confused Brontosauri. After a quick trip over a waterfall, the quintet finds its way back to Ben's plane, where they locate the wormhole by tracking the radiation from the missing bomb Ben had been looking for when he got sucked through the wormhole in the first place.
     On the other side, back in our own time, Mr. Fantastic is there waiting to meet Ben at Cape Canaveral, but the Jaguar Priest (a villain from the short-lived Skull the Slayer series) follows them through the wormhole...

Clobberin' Time?:
      Page 26, Panel 3. Ben leaps from the back of one pterodactyl to another one to go after the Jaguar Priest. "But just in case ya don't know what I'm gettin' at, in plain Queen's English -- It's Clobberin' Time!"

Petunia's Patch:
      No mention this issue.

Things of Interest:
      Okay, June 2011 - check out this solicit for September, 2011's X-Men #17-18: "GUEST-STARRING THE FF! The X-Men and the FF have gone through a portal in the Bermuda Triangle and are stuck in a strange land complete with Dinosaurs, Mayan Temples and strange snake people! Itís up to Reed Richards and Dr. Nemesis to get our crew back home, which isnít the problem as they are two of the biggest brains in the Marvel U. The problem is that a portal to our world is exactly what the evil forces of this land want!" After 30-some years, they're returning to Skull the Slayer's world, last seen in MTIO #36, the comic that started me reading comics. Yes, dear Marvel, I will be buying these issues - nice job of marketing directly to The Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed Home Page!
     Page 15, after Skull and the others are freed at last from their lost world- Ben: "... an' our President's Jimmy Carter." Ann: "Jimmy who?"
     Mr. Fantastic had lost his powers in the Fantastic Four several months before this. So, its written into this issue that he's having extreme difficulties in using them.
     This issue marked the last appearance of Skull the Slayer for many, many years. He next appears in 1993, fifteen years later, in an issue of Quasar (#45).

     On a purely personal note, this comic book was my introduction to comics. You can't go wrong with pterodactyls and rockets!
     Also completely personal, I have to give a shout out to comics shop Aaapoum Bapoum in Paris, where they helped me find the French publication of this comic (Titans #17) during my 2013 Paris visit. If you're looking for comics in Paris, the place to be is Rue Dante in the Latin Quarter, where's there's about 6 to 8 stores in a one block run, including the oldies-centered Aaapoum Bapoum. Great store!

      --- Original art, from your editor's personal collection, such as it is. The one on the left is the first piece of comic book art I ever bought, which seems appropriate since, as I noted, this is the first comic book I ever bought. The second one (conveniently enough, the page immediately after the first) turned up a little over a year later. As an aside, the scans were done by the people I purchased them from, which accounts for the difference in brightnesses.
Here's something I stumbled across on EBay. To the right is one of a set of stats used to reprint MTIOs 35-36 in issues 335 to 340 of a British reprint magazine titled "The Spectacular Spider-Man Weekly." The two issues are reprinted at a rate of a third of an issue per book.

This page (I have about a dozen of them) overlaps the two pieces of original art, and I thought the curious among us might enjoy comparing them. The stats are cut-up photocopies of the original art, reorganized so as to fit more per page. However, you can also see where text was rearranged, where images were cropped, and most interestingly, where new art was added to flesh out the new organization. Very fun!

Many thanks to a gentleman named Lee Grice who helped point me in the right direction to locate which British reprint magazine these stats came from...