Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Mountain That Walks Like A Man!

When the cover to Marvel Two-In-One #13 appeared on the rack, you'd almost think you were looking at a reprint of one of Marvel's old monster comics from the early 1960s:

Those monster names just rolled off the tongue then. "Vandoom!" "Rommbu!" "Droom!" "Monstrollo!" "Goom!" And here we have a colossus that has a name like a comic book sound effect: Braggadoom! But as terrifying as he comes across, there's a little more to Braggadoom than meets the eye. We sure hope there is. Because if he's just rampaging for the sake of rampaging, we're all in trouble.

Braggadoom's story begins with a far more meek individual--Arnold Krank, a researcher whose oversight combined with his clumsiness (just what you'd want in a lab scientist) led to a fateful accident:

Yet it wasn't until a hastily called press conference that the real horror would begin:

And reach someone Krank did--Ben Grimm, the only member of the Fantastic Four in residence when Krank went to ask for their help. And the fierce conflict between the Thing and Krank's accidental creation would lead to the inadvertent naming of the creature:

Seeing that the Thing would need help, Krank then went to Luke Cage and convinced him to join in the attempt to subdue Braggadoom. Unfortunately, Braggadoom would soon enough have both of them in hand:

During the battle with Braggadoom, it becomes clear that it's an uneasy alliance between Cage and Grimm--mostly due to the Thing's underlying impression that Cage charging for his services makes him something less than a professional, as well as less of a bona fide hero:

At least for the short term, though, they agree to focus on the crisis at hand. A crisis which has literally become bigger:

The Thing manages to topple Braggadoom and gain some breathing room--but as he prepares for a final attack, Krank tells Cage that he believes it would prove fatal. And when Cage attempts to intervene, Grimm again loses his patience with him, while at last giving voice to the reason for his annoyance with Cage:

Fortunately, Krank confirms to Grimm his fears regarding a physical attack on Braggadoom. Yet, at that moment, a startling development occurs:

And so the crisis has passed, though the Thing notes that two men are still dead. As for Krank, he seeks to atone for the tragedy of Braggadoom's creation and rampage by taking on a new role with the creature, in an ending that would fit like a glove in one of those old monster comics:

I don't recall Braggadoom making any more appearances in comics, so perhaps his story ended here. As for Grimm and Cage, they went on to butt heads again when Cage temporarily took Grimm's place in the FF, another situation where Cage showed considerably more maturity in their disagreement than the hot-tempered Grimm.

Marvel Two-In-One #13

Script: Roger Slifer and Len Wein
Pencils: Ron Wilson
Inks: Vince Colletta
Letterer: Joe Rosen


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I remember this one. I think the writer kinda phoned it in, here, maybe he was facing the Dreaded Deadline Doom.
Nobody's finest hour, but I didn't know Ben Grimm could squint his eyes like that.
Is Ron Wilson the penciler? I think so. I have a theory about the inker, but not sure.

Comicsfan said...

Anon, yes, Ron Wilson handled pencils, with inks by Vince Colletta. (The story, by the way, was co-scripted by Roger Slifer and Len Wein.)

Anonymous said...

Well, my theory about the inker was wrong.

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