Marvel Two-in-One #51: Full House -- Dragons High!

Writer: Peter Gillis
Penciller: Frank Miller
Inker: Bob McLeod
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Editor: Roger Stern

The Guest Stars:
      The Beast; Ms. Marvel; Nick Fury; Wonder Man

The Villain:
      General Pollock

Guest Shots:
      Jarvis; District Attorney Tower

The Set Up:
      Benjamin, in a frantic hurry, stands on top of Avengers Mansion being threatened by a security device. Once his identity is confirmed, he meets an annoyed Nick Fury, who leads Ben down to the Avengers parlor. It's poker night! The Beast and D.A. Tower are present, and Jarvis also introduces Ben to Ms. Marvel and Wonder Man. Seven-card stud, and Jarvis is dealing...
     Elsewhere, a S.H.I.E.L.D. arsenal is under assault. As the poker game progresses, we get occasional cuts to the S.H.I.E.L.D. situation, until finally the game is interrupted and Fury heads for the crisis, Ben and those Avengers present in tow. It seems the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier is under assault by the Yellow Claw's Sky Dragon...

Clobberin' Time?:
      Inside? Nope. But check out that cover!

Petunia's Patch:
      No Petunia either.

Things of Interest:
     This issue is generally considered something of a classic for introducing the floating superhero card game. The Frank Miller art doesn't hurt either. For my part, this is a great issue for the sense of humor- despite having a large number of characters, the writer nails all their personalities, and gives 'em all bits that really bring'em alive. There really are too many good lines to mention- Lynda Carter and the 'cheaters', 'put a sock in it', 'she does the worst possible thing a woman kin do in poker...', 'gyros', Beast's circus monologue, 'there's no one on this level- just one guy in a field jacket', 'Thanks! So do you!', '...begin another hand? Anybody?'
     In 2010, this was voted as number 10 / 11 in the "Greatest Thing (Ben Grimm) Stories Ever Told!" poll at Comic Book Resources.
     This issue was reprinted in 1992 in Adventures of the Thing #3, part of a four isue miniseries of MTIO reprints.

     There's a somewhat nice follow-up to this issue, written by Chris Claremont, which is the back-up story in Marvel Fanfare #24 (cover-dated January, 1986). It has exactly the same group of poker players, but set a few years later, after Ms. Marvel had lost her powers and then been genetically altered by the alien race known as the Brood, becoming Binary. That issue is mostly about Binary/Ms. Marvel, who learns here that the original Captain Marvel has died of cancer.
     The poker game also makes another appearance in MTIO 76.