Marvel Two-in-One #75: By Blastaar-- Betrayed!

Writer: Tom DeFalco
Penciller: Alan Kupperberg
Inker: Chic Stone
Letterer: Jean Simek & Mike Higgins
Colorist: George Roussos
Editor: Jim Salicrup

The Guest Star:
      The Avengers: Iron Man, Wasp, Hawkeye, Captain America, Beast, Jarvis

The Villain:
      Blastaar; Annihilus; Super-Adaptoid

Guest Shots:
      Human Torch; Mr. Fantastic; Invisible Girl; Franklin Richards

The Set Up:
      Ben's at the Baxter Building doin' some cleaning- some friends are coming over for poker. The other members of the FF all head out of the building for the night, and Alicia is out of town, so the Thing has the Building to himself. However, before Reed goes, he tells Ben there's been some unusual activity in the Negative Zone...
     Over in the Negative Zone, Annihilus is in his castle admiring his latest find (a green humanoid figure currently sitting in an "invigorator"), when Blastaar calls Annihilus out to face him. Blastaar's rule of his planet has been overthrown, and he offers to serve Annihilus if Annihilus will help him recover his planet. After some thought, Annihilus agrees, secretly planning to betray Blastaar the whole time. The two attend a gladiatorial event, and Blastaar discovers his love interest, Nyglar, in the ring. He leaps into the ring and saves her, something Annihilus views as a sign of weakness.
     Annihilus takes Blastaar and Nyglar to his "find", which we learn is the android known as the Super-Adaptoid, an old Avengers foe. Annihilus has reprogrammed the Adaptoid to serve him. While they celebrate their alliance, Nyglar decides that this arrangement is bad for both Blastaar and the Negative Zone, and slips away and makes a general broadcast call for help.
     Back in the Baxter Building, poker night has begun. Present are the Thing, Jarvis (the Avengers' butler), the Beast, Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron Man, and the Wasp. Unfortunately, early on in the game an emergency alarm sounds from the lab where the Negative Zone portal is kept, and the game is adjourned. After listening to Nyglar's call for help, and a massive debate, Jarvis remains behind to watch the portal for the heroes' return while the others head into the Negative Zone to see what they can do...

Clobberin' Time?:
      Double sized issue, and no Clobberin' Time? What's goin' on?

Petunia's Patch:
      Double sized issue, no Clobberin' Time _and_ no Aunt Petunia? Okay, someone's not got a good grasp of the concept here...

Things of Interest:
      As the cover says: "Special Double-Sized Issue!" I'm not sure why they thought issue 75 deserved to be a double-sized issue, but this and issue 100 were the only double-sized issues of the series (other than the Annuals, of course).
     We know Ben played football in college, but this is earliest place I've found (though there probably are others) where he identifies the position: "...this ex-collegiate quarterback can still toss touchdowns with the best of 'em!" That's from Page 23, panel 5. Of course, in The Thing #2 he's mentioned as "dropping two passes", which seems to contradict this (hey, maybe the two passes were trick plays). As a side note: Fantastic Four Volume 3, issue 55 confirms the Ben as quarterback answer. Its also mentioned in Fantastic Four: 1234, number 2.
     The villains:
     Annihilus is a long-time classic fantastic Four villain, dating from the first appearance of the Negative Zone in Fantastic Four Annual 6. He (it?) is an insectoid beng who pursues his own immortality by draining the life force of every living thing he meets.
     Blastaar is another Negative Zone villain, dating also from way back when in Fantastic Four #62 (Volume 1, obviously). He generates "living bomb bursts" from his hands. This issue is the first time the two major Negative Zone villains actually meet, though far from the last...
     The Super-Adaptoid is just plain cool. Built by AIM from unstable molecules, the Super-Adaptoid is an android with the ability to duplicate the powers and weaponry of anyone it comes in close contact with. He first appeared in Tales of Suspense 82, and has since faced off against the Avengers (several times), Captain Mar-vell, the original X-Men, Spiderman, and the Hulk, among others. His last appeararance before this was in Captain Marvel 50 (where he was banished to the Negative Zone, freeing Rick Jones from his imprisonment there), and his next is in Avengers 286.

     Original art from your editor's collection. Ben and Captain America take on the Super-Adaptoid in the Negative Zone, with a cameo by Annihilus in the first panel.