Marvel Two-in-One #49: Curse of Crawlinswood

Writer: Mary Do Duffy
Penciller: Alan Kupperberg
Inker: Gene Day
Letterer: Mike Higgins
Colorist: Carl Gafford
Editor: Roger Stern

The Guest Star:
      Dr. Strange

The Villain:
      Ennis Tremellyn; his unwilling servant, Kemo

Guest Shots:

The Set Up:
      Ben is on vacation on the New England coast, unsuccessfully doing some fishing. The fish don't seem to be there, so he heads back to his overly creepy hotel, stopping to help a damsel in distress (a woman with a flat tire) on the way. There seems to be only one other guest beyond Ben and the damsel, and Ben seems to think that the guest is Dr. Strange, but Doc slips away without acknowledging Ben.
     Safe in his hotel room, Dr. Strange regrets not being able to acknowledge Ben but 'secrecy may be his most powerful weapon in the battle to come'. While Ben has a couple moderately eerie encounters, Doc reveals to us via his thoughts that two hundred years ago a necromancer's ship went down right off this very coast, and the necromancer enslaved one of the crewmen before dying himself. Now, many years later, the stars are right and the necromancer will be able to return from the dead and seek vengeance on the family he considered his enemy. The latest descendent of that family is Jane Crawlins, our damsel in distress.
     The necromancer's enslaved servant attacks Jane, and Doc wakes Ben psychically and sends him to the rescue. Ben can't seem to do much against the servant, and while Doc watches from the spirit world the astral form of the necromancer returns to life...

Clobberin' Time?:
     Top left panel on story page 11, Ben yells out “It’s Clobberin’ Time, Ya Bum!” as he punches Kemo with a giant KROM sound effect.
Related, panel 1 a couple of pages later, Ben does distract Kemo with "Hey creepo, it ain't polite to turn yer back on the guy who's clobberin' ya."

Petunia's Patch:
      Not in this issue.

Things of Interest:
      Again, Ben's personality seems to work well with mysticism, or to be precise, how poorly he deals with it is as enjoyable as usual.
     The Alan Kupperberg / Gene Day art seems to lend itself very well to the creepy atmosphere here and Dr. Strange's mysticism. At the right please find a piece from your editor's own collection which I picked up for just that reason - this issue has a unique vibe unlike most any other MTIO issue.
     Ben and Dr. Strange never actually physically meet in this whole issue, which is kind of fun. Ben may not know to this day that Doc was there.
     Many thanks to Mark Pearson for emailing me and pointing out the Clobberin' Time on page 11 that I'd missed.