The Thing #7: Dis Man, Dis Monster, Disarmed!

Writer: Dan Slott
Penciller: Kieron Dwyer
Inker: Kieron Dwyer
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Colorist: Laura Villari
Editor: Tom Brevoort

Guest Shots:
      Alicia Masters, Hercules, Lockjaw, Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Franklin Richards, Valeria Richards, Alexandros of Antioch

The Villain:
      None to speak of

The Set Up:
     We begin with Ben lying in a heap of Grecian statuary, as Alicia stumbles over to him bemoaning what he's done. Cut to the present, where the Puppet Master is controlling Ben while Alicia and Arlo kiss; oh, wait, that's just a dream, and Ben really is convinced that Arlo is a good guy. Today being Alicia's birthday, Ben has promised his ex-girlfriend a night to remember. When a few plans are derailed for minor reasons, Ben has Lockjaw teleport them to the Baxter Building, where he employs Dr. Doom's time machine to take them both back to ancient Greece. There, being sculpted, is the demi-god Hercules, who sees this "rocky troll" and attacks, with chaotic results.

Clobberin' Time?:
      Pages 13-1`4, last and first panels. Blind Alicia sighs to those around her "Here we go again. This is where he says 'It's Clobbering Time.'" Followed on the next page by a rousing roundhouse as Ben decks a charging Hercules: "It's Clobberin' Time!"

Petunia's Patch:
      Again, a lacking of Petunia.

Things of Interest:
     The Puppet Master fake-out at the front is a nice touch. Marvel even deviously released only those pages, and not the ones revealing them as a dream, as an online pre-publication "sneak peek."
     I also love Reed's careful, over-obvious, and highly redundant "Keep Away, Ben" signs on the time machine, which Ben doesn't even notice.
     Okay, I hate hate hate the end. Even without that end, I think this still would have been rated the weakest of all eight books in this run, but with it, man, I'm tempted to give this just one lone "half head" in the ratings. I really hate when writers or editors feel a need to his the "reset" button and restore the status quo to when they were kids, and Dan Slott does it here. It happens very abruptly and I don't buy it; I respect Mr. Slott's work enough to think that if the book had kept going he could have brought me around, but as it is, he made the change and left it hanging, and if future writers don't follow up, well, its just another misstep in a long-broken relationship. Sigh. C'mon, this could have stayed the way it was and let both characters develop from there!