Marvel Two-in-One #72: The Might of Maelstrom

Writer: Gruenwald / Macchio
Penciller: Ron Wilson
Inker: Chic Stone
Letterer: Costanza
Colorist: Roussos
Editor: Jim Salicrup

The Guest Star:
      The Inhumans: Karnak, Gorgon, Black Bolt

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

Guest Shots:
      Mr. Fantastic, Nadar

The Set Up:
      Ben, Reed, Gorgon, and Karnak are discussing the three captive thieves from last issue. While they recap the events of issue 71, we cut to Maelstrom, who takes possession of the stolen anti-terrigen compound. He orders it sent to the labs, and sends his attendant, Deathurge, to attend to the other minions.
     As Ben and the two Inhumans confront the prisoners, Deathurge sudddenly flies through the wall, passes his battleaxe through Gronk, Helio, and Phobius, killing them instantly, and departs. The three witnesses to this gather with the other Inhumans, and its decided that they should search out Attilan's original location for clues. Ben, Gorgon, and Karnak depart in a borrowed submarine, while Reed remains to finish curing the Hydro-men.
     In very little time, the three locate the old spot where Attilan had lain, and discover an undersea base blow it. They enter, and are almost instantlly captured by Maelstrom's defenses. Reed, meanwhile, has informed Black Bolt (the Inhumans' monarch) of the events of the day, and Bolt immediately departs for the trio's location himself...

Clobberin' Time?:
      No Clobberin' Time in here.

Petunia's Patch:
      And no Petunia either.

Things of Interest:
      This is the second part of a two-part story that began last issue.
     This is the first real appearance of Maelstrom's most interest minion (by far), Deathurge. Deathurge is... interesting. Obviously immensely powerful in his own way, waaaay beyond the scale of an Inhuman or a Deviant. Yet for some reason he serves Maelstrom. There seems to be a big backstory behind Deathurge, but what it is we have no real hint of. He muses in this issue that Maelstrom gave him life, but that seems a tad unlikely to be the whole story.
     So, what happened to Stingray after last issue? You'd think he'd be a little useful in exploring a sea bottom...
     The history of Attilan itself is also revealed a little in this issue, where we first learn that it has not always been in the Himalayas. This later sets up the ability of the Inhumans to move Attilan to the Blue Area on the moon in the 1980s.
     This issue unofficially marks the end of what I think of as the golden age of Marvel Two-in-One. This is the last issue co-written by the Two-in-One Twins team of Mark Gruenwald and Ralph Macchio. The next two issues are written solely by one or the other, and several good issues do follow in the dozen or so issues after those, just as many good issues preceded the two's first joint work in issue 53. Still, the issues written by that team between issues 53 and 72 are definately the high-water mark of the series.