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Marvel Two-In-One #82: Review

Dec 1981
Tom DeFalco, Ron Wilson

Story Name:

The Fatal Effects of Virus X!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Marvel Two-In-One #82 Review by (May 29, 2024)

Review: Nice fast-paced action story with Cap and Giant-Man doing everything they can for the ailing Ben Grimm. A race against time is always an attention grabber though the story wallows a bit too much in self-pity, Ben’s and Bill’s, for total success but there it is.

Comments: Part two of five parts. WHAT IF? #37 provides an alternate take on this story, unique for an MTIO issue. Bill Foster was introduced as an associate of Hank Pym in AVENGERS #32, became Black Goliath in POWER MAN #24, then Giant-Man in MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #55, cured of his radiation poisoning in MTIO #85, became Goliath in THING (2005 series) #1, and was famously killed by the Thor clone in CIVIL WAR #4-5; he made a post-mortem appearance in STRANGE (2022 series) #7. The A.I.M. Agents belonging to MODOK’s splinter groups wear baby blude uniforms instead of yellow.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Marvel Two-In-One #82 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Exposed to the deadly Virus X in his fight against A.I.M. last issue, Ben “the Thing” Grimm is feeling the effects as he walks through New York. A trio of punks spies him and decides they can make their reputations by defeating him. They pursue Ben to an alley where they attack him, wielding bats and chains. But they were seen by Steve Rogers, who dons his Captain America togs and whups the tar out of them. He helps Ben return to the Baxter Building. There, Reed Richards and Giant-Man (Bill Foster) examine Ben under a Bio-Scanner, trying to determine what is wrong with him. Only Cap knows that Bill Foster is secretly dying from radiation poisoning while working to save Ben. Thing starts to mutate, his rocky skin swelling up; he flies into a rage, all his years of pent-up anger at Fate’s turning him into a monster coming to a head. Reed and Cap manage to calm him down while Reed examines the sample of Virus X….

Ben decides to go for a spin in his Sky-Cycle and Giant-Man offers to join him, giving him a helping hand in return for Ben’s having helped him in a similar situation….

Cap, reasoning that A.I.M. would have an antidote for Virus X, rides across town atop a city bus, then leaps through the window of a counterfeiting organization. In four seconds, Cap has overpowered all of the crooks, forcing them to reveal where A.I.M.’s secret hideout is located….

At A.I.M.’s secret base in the Antarctic Circle, a blue-suited scientist brings a message to MODOK (who is testing Virus X to confirm that it is always fatal to humans) that Captain America is searching for their base. Knowing Cap will succeed, MODOK orders an appropriate reception for him….

Thing and Giant-Man arrive at the secret spaceport where the Fantastic Four had their start. He recounts their origin in cosmic rays and his own transformation into the Thing. Bill realizes the depth of Ben’s bitterness, dwarfing his own self-pity; Bill offers a few words of encouragement. Then they receive a call from Cap…

…to join him in the assault on an A.I.M. base where they take down all of the Agents and head to the transmat station which they use to teleport themselves to the Antarctic base. On arrival, they are surrounded by MODOK and an army of Agents with guns drawn. MODOK has a Synthezoid patterned after the Thing and refuses to let them have the antidote for Virus X. While Ben fights the Synthezoid and Cap takes on the armed Agents, Giant-Man heads for the lab and forces the scientists to turn over the antidote. An explanation of how it works leads Bill to realize that it could also cure his own radiation sickness. Ben clobbers the Synthezoid, sending it crashing through the wall which, since they are below sea level, lets the ocean come rushing in to destroy the base. The three heroes jump on the transmat platform and escape to the Baxter Building. On the way the hypo gun was damaged and there is only one dose of the antidote left. Hesitating only briefly, Bill uses it on Ben, who returns to his own Thingly appearance. Bill walks away in despair, considering Ben a real hero who deserved to be cured instead of a second-rate loser like himself….

Ron Wilson
Chic Stone
George Roussos
Ron Wilson (Cover Penciler)
Chic Stone (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Rosen.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

(Ben Grimm)

Plus: Giant-Man (Bill Foster).

> Marvel Two-In-One: Book info and issue index

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