Marvel Two-in-One Annual #1: Their Name is Legion!
Writer / Editor: Roy Thomas
Artist: Sal Buscema
Inker: Grainger, Tartag, & Roussos
Letterer: John Costanza
Colorist: Phil Rachelson
The Guest Star:
The Liberty Legion: Jack Frost, Red Raven, Blue Diamond, Thin Man, Miss America, Patriot, Whizzer
Skyshark; Master Man; U-Man
the Watcher; Mr. Fantastic; Invisible Girl; Human Torch
In flashback: The Invaders: Captain America; Human Torch; Submariner; Bucky; Toro
The Set Up:
Ben's in the Baxter Building, next to Dr. Doom's time machine. Silently looming over him is the Watcher. We learn that the Watcher had just sent the FF back into the 1940s to retrieve half of a lost canister of vibranium. Ben recaps the FF issue in which this occurred for us. Trying to figure out why the Watcher would still be present if the crisis is over, Ben eventually comes to the conclusion that the other half of the canister must still be lost in the 1940s. As the present begins to fade out around him (apparently due to the effects of the canister back in the past), Ben sets the time machine for the '40s and departs.
Ben finds himself in the middle of Times Square, and he's promptly accosted by the police. Things go less than smoothly, but Ben is 'saved' when the police are distracted by a squadron of German planes thst buzz the city. A nearby kid identifies them as belonging to a German raider called Skyshark. History has obviously been put out of whack by the presence of the missing vibranium...
As Ben watches, the flying members of the Liberty Legion arrive and take the fight to the bombers. Ben and the non-flying members introduce themselves and compare notes while the rest of the Legion drives off the planes. The fight over, all eight heroes gather back on a handy rooftop, and Ben and the Liberty Legion combine forces to try to figure out where Skyshark came from and where the vibranium is...
Page 2, panel 3. Ben loses his temper with the silent Watcher: "'An I don't think that yer fellow Watchers are going to hold it against ya for spillin' the beans-- when I beat it outta you! In other words-- It's Clobberin' Time!"
Page 47, panel 3. Ben uses a flagpole to launch hiself into the air at a Nazi super-weapon. "Look out, you big hunk'a junk-- 'cause It's Clobberin' Time!"
No Petunia this issue, but hey, we got two Clobberin' Times!
Things of Interest:
This story starts in Fantastic Four Annual #11, continues here, and concludes up in MTIO #20.
This is the first MTIO Annual, dated 1976. There is one Annual published every year until the final one, Annual 7, in 1982.
The splash page might surprise some readers: Ben has a human (Ben Grimm) head, and is holding a Thing helmet in his hands. This issue occurs between Fantastic Four issues 169 and 175, at which time Ben was no longer capable of becoming the Thing and thus was wearing a suit that Reed had designed for him.
Ben meets a helpful kid in the 40s by the name of Johnny Romita...
The last issue / next issue links below for each Annual will take you not to the last / next Annual, but rather to the last / next issue chronologically, as determined by the Marvel Chronology Project.