Marvel Two-in-One #55: Giants in the Earth

Writer: Gruenwald / Macchio
Penciller: Byrne
Inker: Sinnott
Letterer: Costanza
Colorist: Sharen
Editor: Stern

The Guest Star:

The Villain:
      Nuklo; Dr. Thomas Lightner

Guest Shots:
      Quasar; Wundarr; Thundra; Titania (I); the Cosmic Cube

The Set Up:
      Ben, Quasar, Bill Foster, and some other Pegasus staff are playing poker when an emergency alarm goes off. Quasar goes one way, and Ben and Bill Foster take the elevator down. The elevator starts to reverse direction, and Ben and Bill are in danger of being squashed flat when Bill reveals himself to be the super-hero Black Goliath. Between the two they stop the elevators (the problem is, we learn, Nuklo playing with it far below) and Foster decides to change his name to Giant-Man at Ben's suggestion. Quasar gets to the levels below far in adavnce of the other two, where he learns that Project Pegasus' nuclear reactors, kick-started by the presence of Nuklo and some apparent sabotage, are about to go critical...
     Elsewhere, Thundra loses her first professional wrestling match to Titania, thanks to a well-executed drugging.

Clobberin' Time?:
      No Clobberin'.

Petunia's Patch:
      No Petunia either.

Things of Interest:
      This is part three of the six-part Project Pegasus saga, which runs from MTIO 53 to MTIO 58. All six issues (plus issue 60) were reprinted in 1988 in trade paperback as The Project Pegasus Saga.
     This issue starts with the poker game that Ben spent a small chunk of the last two issues trying to organize. The now-classic poker game from MTIO 51 is already a part of Ben's mythology!
     Dr. Bill Foster, a.k.a. Black Goliath and now Giant-Man, came to Project Pegasus last issue delivering the body of Atom-Smasher, who was killed by a sniper in issue 3 of the short-lived Black Goliath series. He previously appeared in this series in MTIO 24.
     I really enjoy the tongue-lashing Ben and Bill get from Henri Sorel at the end of the fight with Nuklo. A nice twist on the usual self-congratulatory mood after a fight!
     Something I didn't realize until very recently- Dr. Henri Sorel has appeared in MTIO before, in issue 9- he used to be Radion the Atomic Man. I like the fact that this is never mentioned, and if you don't catch it yourself, you'll just never realize it.
     Nuklo is a character from a few Avengers Annuals a few years back (Giant-Sized Avengers 1 and Avengers Anuual 6). He is, much like Wundarr, developmentally disabled- a child's mind in a superhuman body. He is the son of two golden-age members of the All-Winners Squad and the Invaders, the Whizzer and Ms. America. Nuklo was eventually cured of most of the hazardous problems related to his powers, and these days works with Citizen V and the Penance Council.