Marvel Two-in-One #48: My Master, Machinesmith!

Writer: Bill Mantlo
Penciller: Chic Stone
Inker: T. Blaisdell
Letterer: E. Heinl
Colorist: Mario Sen
Editor: Roger Stern

The Guest Star:
      Jack of Hearts

The Villain:
      Machinesmith; the Corporation

Guest Shots:
      the Yancy Street Gang

The Set Up:
      Jack Hart (Jack of Hearts) is at home training when he receives a note from 'The Corporation', asking him to meet them at a pier. Jack makes plans to keep his appointment.
     Elsewhere, Ben has been captured and lashed to a machine that prevents him from escaping- any strength he exerts to break free is funneled into the imprisoned Yancy Streeters, hurting and potentially killing them. Machinesmith places a mind control cap on Ben's head, and runs a few tests to ensure that it works. It does, and he reveals that the Corporation plans to use Ben first to kill a 'thorn in their side' and then to kill the rest of the FF, so that Machinesmith can steal Mr. Fantastic's work.
     That night, out on a pier, the 'thorn', Jack of Hearts, is battling the robots from last issue, when Ben charges to the rescue, only to surprise Jack with a sneak-attack wallop. The fight is on...

Clobberin' Time?:
      Still no Clobberin' Time!

Petunia's Patch:
      No Petunia!

Things of Interest:
      This is the conclusion of a two-part story that began last issue.
     Hey! Full props to Machinesmith! Unlike those knuckleheads over at Hydra (issues 31-32), Machinesmith at least has the sense to disguise his mind control devices when he sticks 'em to the victims' heads!
     The Letters Page includes a letter from Kurt Busiek of Lexington, MA. Mr. Busiek would later go on to write Marvels, Avengers, Thunderbolts, and various other Marvel titles. He also previously had an MTIO letter published in issue 14. This issue's letter is in protest of the ease with which the 'destroyed' cosmic cube was brought back in issue 42.
     Jack of Hearts is a character who kept getting a lot of chances, but never really seemed to catch. Prior to this, he'd appeared in several issues of Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, about ten issue of Iron Man, a few issues of Defenders, a solo shot in Marvel Premiere, and a couple issues of the Incredible Hulk. This was more or less the end of him until the 90s- he'd have a 4 issue miniseries in between, but almost every other appearance he'd have would be in those 'every hero in the Marvel Universe appears' type of issues.

     Original art from your editor's collection. Jack of Hearts costume is waaaay complex, Ben has a carrot nose in panel 3, and I've always hated the "Yancy Streeters in shadowed construction gear" look. Still, it is a fun pair of issues!