Marvel Two-in-One #64: From the Depths

Writer: Mark Gruenwald & Ralph Macchio
Penciller: George Perez
Inker: Gene Day
Letterer: John Costanza
Colorist: Gaff & Sean
Editor: Jim Salicrup

The Guest Star:

The Villain:
      The Serpent Squad: Sidewinder, Anaconda, Death Adder, and Black Mamba.

Guest Shots:
      Mr. Fantastic; Dr. Henry Croft; Thundra; Hyperion; Aquarian

The Set Up:
      After Alicia's being kidnapped by Her a few issues back (and the Sandman before that), Ben breaks up with Alicia for her own protection. Miserable, he returns to the Baxter Building, and tries to talk about it with Reed. Before they can even start, they're interrupted by visitors- Walt Newell, an oceanographer, and Dr. Henry Croft, who looks completely human save that his skin is scaled like an amphibian's.
     Dr. Newell explains that he and the rest of a planeload of people were hijacked and experimented on by a mad scientist who had turned them all into their amphibian forms. Namor, the Submariner, had rescued them, but they were still trapped in their green forms. Dr. Newell (also known as Stingray) was struck by their resemblance to Triton, of the Inhumans, and had brought Dr. Croft to the F.F. in hopes that they could put them in touch with the Inhumans. Reed takes them into the lab, and Ben heads off to the gym to work his tensions off, where he promptly falls asleep on the exercise bench.
     The next morning, Reed gets Ben, and Ben agrees to take Dr.s Newell and Croft out to California to meet up with Triton. While waiting for Triton to arrive, Dr. Newell and Ben make a short side trip to investigate an oil derrick (in a place where no known oil exists) that has aroused his suspicions...

Clobberin' Time?:
      Pg 7, panel 6. Bashful Benjy gets piled on be a crew of construction workers. Shaking them off with a massive shrug: "Awright! That does it! Ya jest went an' made me mad. And that means it's Clobberin' Time!"

Petunia's Patch:
      No Petunia in this issue.

Things of Interest:
      This is Part One of 'The Serpent Crown Affair!'
     Page 31 is the first appearance of the all-new Serpent Squad and all four of its members: Sidewinder, Anaconda, Death Adder, and Black Mamba.
     The oil derrick belongs to Roxxon, an ongoing baddie corporation in the Marvel Universe, which gets a lot of play over the course of the run of MTIO.
     The amphibious people (Hydro-Men) were a loose end from the Submariner series, having been changed in issue 61 of that series. They'd since been staying on Hydrobase, a small floating city, of sorts, that would go on to become an Avengers base for a short period of time until it was finally destroyed.
     For May 2012 or so, Marvel has announced a Marvel Premiere Classic hardcover titled Thing: The Serpent Crown Affair, which will collect MTIO 64-67 and Marvel Team-Up Annual #5. A very worthy collection!
     Unforgettable images: Ben, hangin' ten (well, eight)---