Marvel Two-in-One Annual #3: When Strike the Monitors!
Writer / Editor: Marv Wolfman
Penciller: Sal Buscema
Inker: F. Giacoia & Dave Hunt
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: P. Rachelson
The Guest Star:
None. Well, Jarvis makes a one panel appearance on page 5.
The Set Up:
Nova, the Human Rocket, is zipping around NYC, musing on how things are finally going okay with his life. A blidning light suddenly appears out of nowhere, and a Godzilla sized humanoid alien steps out of the light and into the city. A tripodal saucer comes out of the sky to join him, and begins tearing up the pavement. Nova attacks the alien physically, and merely bounces off. A second attempt results in the alien knocking him out of the air with green eye-beams.
Realizing he needs help, Nova tries the Avengers (who aren't home), and then the Baxter Building. He breaks into the FF's HQ, and after a quick squabble, convinces Ben he's genuine by showing him the press clippings he carries ("Who else would be stupid enough to carry his press clippings around with him?" "'Nova smashes bank hold-up!' 'Nova stops robbery!' 'Nova fouls up!' Yeah, I guess it must be you.")
Ben and Nova zip back to the site, and Ben proves to be no more effective than Nova was. We learn that another alien has appeared in Paris, and then we see a humanoid woman in a Kirbyesque costume waking up in a tube on the Monitors ship and bemoaning the Earth's impending fate. Transforming to energy, she zips to New York and materializes in front of Nova and the Thing. "Earthmen... I am here to help you!"...
From the last page, after the bad guys have left...
Ben: I don't believe it.. that's all! It's so... so...
Ben: Nah-- frustratin'! I didn't even get me a chance ta yell 'It's Clobberin' Time!'"
No Petunia either.
Things of Interest:
This issue takes place during the original 25 issue run of Nova's own series.
The Monitors don't appear again for many many years- we find one on the Strangers prison world in Quasar 19 (1990). I believe that thats the only other appearance of a Monitor to date.
This was reprinted in Essential Nova #1. On a personal note, your editor here actually did some work for an Associate Editor at Marvel for this Essential when they didn't have a physical copy of this issue themselves- no payment involved, as I was happy to help out and they offered to list me in the "Special Thanks" when it was published. I did the volunteer work, but once Marvel got what they needed, I never heard one word again; no thanks by email, no thanks in the book. Sigh.
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.