Marvel Two-in-One #82: "The Fatal Effects of Virus X!"

Writer: Tom DeFalco
Penciller: Ron Wilson
Inker: Chic Stone
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: George Roussos
Editor: Jim Salicrup

The Guest Star:
      Captain America

The Villain:
      Modok; A.I.M.

Guest Shots:
      Giant-Man; Mr. Fantastic

The Set Up:
      Ben is in an alley, burning up, feverish and dizzy from his exposure to Virus X last issue. A group of street thugs decide to beat up on him since he's obviously out of it, but are stopped by Captain America, who happened to be in the neighborhood. Cap gets Ben back to the Baxter Building, where Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) calls in Bill Foster (a.k.a. Giant-Man) to help as an expert on radioactivity.
     Ben wakes up and storms out, even as he continues to mutate into an even uglier form. Giant-Man goes with him, feeling Reed doesn't need his help but Ben does need a friend. The two go to a launch facility, where a morose Ben talks about the accident that turned him into the Thing.
     Meanwhile, Captain America has been out chasing down leads on A.I.M., and soon thinks he has something. He calls Giant-Man and the Thing, and the three of them rampage through an A.I.M. facility. They soon find what they've been looking for, a teleportation device that takes them to an active A.I.M. base. They are more than expected, however, and pop into the middle of a horde of armed men, MODOK, and a robot synthoid modeled after the Thing...

Clobberin' Time?:
      Page, panel 1. "But the jokes on him 'cause -- It's Clobberin' Time!" Said as Ben smashes the floor to create a shockwave to take out a small army of A.I.M. soldiers.

Petunia's Patch:
      No Petunia in this issue.

Things of Interest:
      This is the second issue in a five-part storyline.

     This is the only Marvel Two-in-One issue that I can think off that had a "What If?" storyline result from it. The first of three storylines in What If? Volume 1, issue 37 is "What If the Thing had Continued to Mutate?" It's a little unusual for What If?- the ending in this one ends up being much happier for everyone involved than the 'real' ending was!

     Okay, a moderately enjoyable issue but as too-frequently happens, it seems excessively maudlin and over-written by the writer, Tom DeFalco. Giant-Man's wandering off at the end : "... the world needs heroes like the Thing.. not second-rate losers... like Giant-Man!" Um, excuse me, does anyone really think/talk like that about themselves? Particularly right after they sacrificed their own potential terminal disease cure to save another person?
     And another picky note- didn't the FF launch their rocket from California? What's the "abandoned spaceport" doing in New York City? Huh?