Marvel Two-in-One Annual #4: A Mission of Gravity!

Plot: A. Brodsky
Script: D. Michelenie
Layouts: J. Craig
Art: Budiansky & Patterson
Letterer: Irv W.
Colorist: G. Bell
Editor: Roger Stern

The Guest Star:
      Black Bolt

The Villain:

Guest Shots:
      Medusa; Lockjaw; Jarvis; Nick Fury; President Jimmy Carter

The Set Up:
      Lockjaw teleports himself, Medusa, and Black Bolt into the empty headquarters of the Fantastic Four. Attilan is apparently endangered by powerful air quakes, and the three were seeking the FF's help. Black Bolt orders Medusa and Lockjaw to return to Attilan, and he locates Alicia Masters' address in a phone book and goes to find her. She tells him that Ben is getting his drivers' license renewed, and Alicia and BB head for the Department of Motor Vehicles.
     Also at the DMV is Jarvis (the Avenger's butler), who is helping Judy Parks get a Drivers' License. Miss Parks previously been saved by Jarvis when she fell off Graviton's floating island (Avengers 159) and Jarvis caught her in a quinjet. In any case, a man in a trench coat accosts her, and Jarvis finds himself weighted to the ground and unable to help. Black Bolt (in a trench coat and hat) and Alicia are just pulling up, and Bolt rushes to help, pulling Alicia along. Ben comes out to see some guy in a coat pulling Alicia, and clobbers him. With Bolt's coat knocked loose, Ben quickly realizes his mistake.
     Ben and Bolt head to rescue the woman, and Jarvis departs with Alicia to see her home. Rushing down the alley, the man has removed his coat and revealed himself to be an amnesiac Graviton. He's panicked because his body seems to be flickering in and out of existence, and he has no clue who he is or what's happening to him. Ben and Black Bolt arrive, and a short fight follows. While Graviton is monetarily distracted, Judy reveals his origin and the events of his Avengers appearance. As she talks, it comes back to Graviton, and he realizes that he is changing physically, becoming a living black hole. He morphs into a fifty foot high "sentient pocket universe, his gravitational aura increased to such proportions that it warps space around him rendering him visible only by the distortions he creates."
     Graviton asks Black Bolt for sanctuary in Attilan. Bolt considers the obviously unstable man for a few seconds, and when he refuses Graviton's request, Graviton goes on a rampage...

Clobberin' Time?:
      Page 9, panel 6. Ben rushes after a trench-coated Black Bolt who is dragging Alicia behind him: "Hey, slick, that's my lady yer handling. An' that makes this-- Clobberin' Time!"
     While we're at it, check out the front cover...

Petunia's Patch:
      No Petunia this issue.

Things of Interest:
      Graviton had only appeared once previous to this, in Avengers 158-159. He next appeared in Thor 324, and then again in West Coast Avengers 2, where he finally started working his way into major villain status...
     The Attilan airquakes that are mentioned by Medusa and referenced in the letters page at the end of the issue aren't really addressed for a couple of years until MTIO issues 71-72.
     Ben's answers to the drivers' license questions that he's asked:
        Height: Six foot, give'r take.
        Eyes: A scintillatin' shade o' baby blue.
        Race: Orange.

The gentleman who has the MTIO 76 website kindly passed along the following words from Jim Craig, this issue's penciller:

"Funny story about that issue. It was intended to be a regular book...of rather a two part story in two books. I had no idea, until it came out, that it became an annual. I remember being miffed for two reasons at the was supposed to have been inked by Joe Sinnott. Two...the big bad guy was to be treated as a negative....all black with white grid lines...he was RED!!!"

"Looking at the artwork now pleases wasn't all that fact it was probably some of the finer work I did back then!"

I imagine that if you watch that MTIO 76 site, we'll be seeing a Jim Craig commission based on this issue showing up in the near future...

     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.