Ben Grimm Hits Stuff pt.2
"Wow! Dr. Doom takes a right cross to the metallic kisser on the first page! Already, I'm wetting my pants in anticipation of the glorious, trash talk laden battle that is surley to follow. The succinct, to the point, dialogue. The boldly decisive heroes. This Chris Claremont fellow has a bright future at Marvel."
These were the thoughts running through my sleep-deprived brain as I turned the first page of Marvel Two-In-One # 9 only to witness one of my biggest comic book let downs of recent memory.
The whole thing was a friggin' puppet show.
Granted, it was an evil puppet show. Performed by the believed dead Puppet Master. But still a puppet show.
Denied an umpteenth, but always entertaining, FF/ Doom smackdown, I bravely continued on. I figured the Herb Trimpe art might, at least, be worth it. Besides, real or not, that punch still counts as far as I'm concerned.
Well, it turns out Ben Grimm just happens to be in the audience. And, like me, he's not too impressed with the show. I was just about ready to shift into skimming mode when I noticed who else was sitting next to our hero. Wundarr! I had totally forgotten about Wundarr. That explains why they're at a show for kids. I still don't know why Namorita and some other, regular chick are along, but I am reading these out of order.
I know this next panel doesn't show anyone getting pummeled by the Thing, but for some reason it made me burst out laughing. Probably for all the wrong reasons. I'm pretty sure Claremont meant for this to be charmingly amusing in the same way as those scenes from A Hard Days Night where the Beatles get swarmed by screaming teenaged girls.
I thought it came across as not only unintentionally creepy, but a little sad. Which, in my mind makes it ten times funnier. The dopey kid seems a little too proud of the fruits of his violence and it looks like the Thing could very well be getting kicked to death by a bunch of smiling kids. And Wundarr. Oh god. The helpless look of confusion on Wundarr's face and the implied trepidation in his voice. It almost makes you want to cry. This may very well be the most emotionally confusing panel I've ever read. I actually felt a little bad for laughing so hard.
For those of you who still can't see how totally wrong this scene is- just remember that Wundarr is a pretty much a child. Imagine the Robin Williams movie Jack, but more cosmic . Try to picture little Franklin Richards standing there and uttering the same dialogue. It's basically the same thing. Although, I have to say, that would actually be even funnier.
Anyway, it's no time at all until random guest star of the month, Thor, gets roped into the Puppet Master's nefarious plot. Unable to fight off the effects of that darn mind-controlling radioactive clay, he of the golden locks busts into FF headquarters to wupp some ass. In nearly no time at all, Thor proceeds to pound Reed, Sue and Johnny into so much blue-jumpsuited paste.
He comes to his senses of course, realizes that the clay puppet controlling him must have the shape of Thor, and reverts to mere mortal Donald Blake- thereby freeing himself from the Puppet Master's control. He runs off after administering some very shoddy looking first aid to the fallen FF and warning Ben about the villain. In a sequence that makes zero sense, Blake turns back into Thor right after leaving and once again is forced to return and kill the FF.
This is where it starts to get awesome. Thor gets the first few hits in. He puts Ben in some kind of Asgardian headlock, throws him several hundred feet down to the sidewalk and then lands on his chest. The Thing takes a dead center hit from Thor's frost giant-slaying uru hammer and just %#&*ing shrugs it off! All it does is piss him off enough to send pretty boy flying head first thru a nearby wall.
Verily, the Odinson doth have needst of corrective spinal surgery!
Thor soon comes to his senses and it's no time at all before the heroes combine their limited brain power to track down the Puppet Master and ruin all his hard work. But not before we get to see Wundarr the musclebound man-child lay down some hurt.
Flying elbow or bitch-slap? You decide. Either way, that scene is one hundred kinds of wrong.