Rolled Spine Podcasts' Illegal Machine joins Siskoid to cover Marvel Two-in-One #12's team-up between the Thing and Iron Man as they (the heroes, not the podcasters) stumble on Prester John in the Israeli desert. It's a Bill Mantlo script, folks. It gets a little crazy.
Listen to the Team-Up below, or subscribe to FW Team-Up on iTunes!
Relevant images and further credits at: FW Team-Up Supplemental
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4 responses to “FW Team-Up: The Thing and Iron Man”
That was too cool. I never knew that the mythical Prester John was also a reoccurring Marvel villain/antagonist. I would love to know how Stan Lee and Jack Kirby hit on the idea of introducing this rather obscure mythical figure into one of their Fantastic Four stories.
On a side note, someone needs to update Prester John’s Wikipedia page with these appearances, because they aren’t listed there. What I did find listed was a fiction novel about Prester John called “One Sword for Love” written by one Gardner F. Fox back in 1953 (https://www.amazon.com/One-Sword-Love-Gardner-Fox/dp/1479431087/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=).
I’ve never been able to get into The Thing, and his hundred issues of team-ups felt less like a testament to his appeal and more like his modest popularity made a +1 series seem desirable when compared to a pure solo offering (see also: every attempt to sell less than four Fantastic Four members.) Ben Grimm has broad, simple personality traits and an adaptability to a variety of story types (nigh-invulnerable and well connected boor) that make him something of a convenient cypher. The idea of Grimm being used as a sentient crash test dummy by Reed Richards and Tony Stark at least offered an in-road to me. A lot of Thing stories lose me because he’s such a jerk, but his being brave/strong/dumb enough to be continuously exploited in this way makes him immediately more sympathetic (and less of a wimpy Hulk by way of Oscar the Grouch.) Does Ben being Jewish make the Arab oil comment even more problematic?
I didn’t realize Iron Nose lasted that long. I thought it was a blip for maybe a handful of issues. It’s not quite as ridiculous as ladies’ individual breast plates, but is definitely an example of comics being improved by better thinking through the real world application of their tropes. A decade on, and as much as I love me some cavalier boots, but of course Cap would prefer military lace-ups. Dur.
Steve Gerber gets all the respect because of Howard the Duck, but I believe Bill Mantlo is the more beloved purveyor of Bronze Age Marvel weirdness. Prestor Jon almost kinda works, but I can’t tell you if the mustache does him in or is the only thing keeping him from being an extra in a Thor comic.
The former, surely.
“Does Ben being Jewish make the Arab oil comment even more problematic?”
It might, but I don’t think his religion was brought up until much later.
Interesting to discuss the Thing having a team-up title since a few of his issues have already been covered by the show. Definitely a fun exercise. I assumed the Thing was the most popular member of the FF during this era, and that’s all the reason needed, and making it a team-up book works naturally for a character that’s always been in a group.
As for Ben being the Super Dave of Marvel, I could see an argument being made that Ben is secretly a thrill seeker. In his solo series post-M2in1, it dealt a lot with Ben’s depression. One way to compensate is to keep busy, and for a superstrong brick, maybe trying to be hurt was an excuse to feel “something”. I’m not arguing that the writers at the time thought that way, but it’s a strong possibility nowadays.
Nosy Stark is such a weird look. I agree, that’s not Iron Man.
Well done, as always! Till next time!