Marvel Two-in-One #71: The Cure

Writer: Gruenwald / Macchio
Penciller: Wilson
Inker: Day
Letterer: Costanza
Colorist: Roussos
Editor: Salicrup

The Guest Star:
      Mr. Fantastic

The Villain:
      Maelstrom; Phobius; Gronk; Helio; Deathurge

Guest Shots:
      Stingray; Triton; Crystal; Quicksilver; Gorgon; Karnak; Nadar; Dr. Henry Croft

The Set Up:
      Ben and Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) are in Attilan, where Reed is supervising research on the amphibian-skinned Dr. Henry Croft. While Reed putters in the labs, Ben enjoys a relaxing afternoon talking over old times with Quicksilver and the Inhumans, including the very pregnant Crystal. While Ben enjoys (?) a game of Inhuman inertia-ball, we discover that Reed, with the other Inhuman scientists, has discovered an anti-terrigen compound that can cure Dr. Croft. Unfortunately, a mysterious figure is observing this from far away, and sets his own plans in motion to steal the compound...
     Everyone soon relocates to Hydrobase, where Reed sets about curing the Hydro-men. Ben soon realizes that this will be a looong afternoon, and he and the Inhumans (and Stingray, who has joined them) adjourn to the lawn outside, where Ben teaches the Inhumans a new sport- American football.
     While the game goes on outside, Helio, Gronk, and Phobius arise from the sea and move inside to steal the anti-terrigen compound. Screams from the crowd inside interrupt the game, and our heroes soon come face-to-face with the thieves...

Clobberin' Time?:
      No Clobberin'.

Petunia's Patch:
      No Petunia either.

Things of Interest:
      This is the first part of a two-part story that concludes next issue.
     This is the first appearance of Maelstrom and his minions. After this two-issue appearance, Maelstrom goes on to be a world-threatening villain in Avengers 247-250, and from there to be the universe-threatening baddie that Quasar is made Protector of the Universe to stop (in Quasar issues 19-25). He does have one further appearance in Fantastic Four Unlimited 10 (in which he is revealed to be the father of the deviant Ransak, a.k.a. the Reject), but that story is rather anticlimactic after the others...
     The minions are mostly forgettable- Helio and Phobius are fairly generic, while Gronk has about as laughable a codename as they come. If Maelstrom has ever had a real failing, its his taste in minions!
      Crystal is plump and pregnant in this issue with Luna, Crystal and Quicksilver's first child. The pregnancy had previously been revealed in Avengers 188, and Luna is finally born in Fantastic Four 240.
     This story picks up (and resolves) the loose thread of Dr. Henry Croft and the Hydro-men, last seen in MTIO 64-66. It also introduces an anti-terrigen compound which has yet to appear elsewhere in the Marvel universe, but which could potentially play a big role in some future Inhumans storyline...
     The other loose end resolved in this issue is the mystery of the airquakes from MTIO Annual 4.