This publish is Filed Under:

Home page Highlights,
Interviews as well as Columns

(aka: You got to understand when to hold ‘em…)

KC Carlson. Art by Keith Wilson.

by KC Carlson

Marvel function #11

Marvel Two-In-One was born in the age of horrible marvel titles (like Giant-Size Man-Thing (ahem) as well as Giant-Size Super-Villain Team-Up, aka marvel Triple-Hyphen). It was really a spin-off of marvel Feature, much better understood for the very first appearance of the Defenders in its very first three problems in 1971-72 as well as then a quirky however forgettable Ant-Man as well as Wasp series. marvel Feature’s last two issues, #11 & #12, starred the Thing. First, he handled the Hulk in one of a series of their unforgettable battles (written by Len Wein), as well as then he teamed with Iron guy in #12 (written by Mike Friedrich). Both problems were illustrated by Jim Starlin as well as Joe Sinnott. They offered so well that soon after the thing was spun-off into his own series, called marvel Two-In-One.

Well, not exactly. In each problem of this new series, the thing (aka the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Ben Grimm) was paired with one more marvel character ala the extremely prominent marvel Team-Up. because that excellent title was already taken, as well as the excellent title barrel was near-empty, we were stuck with marvel Two-In-One — I assumption implying that each problem would always have two heroes in it, one of whom would always be the Thing. So why not marvel thing ‘n’ One? Wow, I am so not great at this…

Project Pegasus

MTIO was a fun book of diverse quality. The large majority of the problems were easy done-in-one (or two) problem stories, featuring plots which were commonly inconsequential. For long periods of time, the series did not seem to have a routine writer. On the other hand, the series was house to one of the much better multipart storylines of the early marvel world — The job Pegasus Saga (MTIO #53-58), revolving around the sinister serpent Crown — as well as one of the Annuals (#2) was a climactic part of Jim Starlin’s original Thanos storyline — a traditional Thing/Spider-Man pairing featuring the Avengers as well as a surprise last-minute guest star.

Marvel Two-In-One was efficiently the Thing’s very first solo series — he just had a great deal of good friends stop by. A great deal of the appeal of this series revolved around the numerous friendships that the one-time depressed loner character established over the years. The guy who believed that he didn’t in shape in anywhere was really the very best good friend of many of the marvel Universe.


Marvel Two-In-One #51

Six of his great good friends stopped by marvel Two-In-One #51 (May 1979) in what would be the very first in a recurring string of stories in which marvel characters got together “after hours” — sitting back as well as playing poker. Eventually, it got labelled by fans the “Floating Super-Hero Poker Game”, as well as it was an eagerly anticipated (yet completely random) part of marvel storytelling throughout the 1980s as well as beyond.

In this issue, the other poker players are Nick Fury, the Beast, Ms. Marvel, question Man, new York D.A. Blake Tower (a prominent supporting character of the age mainly seen in Daredevil), as well as Avengers “butler” Jarvis. From this story, it’s apparent that the game (usually stated to be monthly) has been going on for some time, however in this specific get-together, Ms. marvel as well as question guy are first-timers.

In what would turn out to be an in-joke of practically every subsequent poker story, the game would undoubtedly be interrupted by some nefarious super-villain no-good-ery — as well as the heroes would have to rush off to save the day. This issue, they leave Jarvis as well as D.A. Tower behind. I question what they had to talk about.


Over time, much more than 50 marvel characters would be depicted in random poker stories published in numerous of Marvel’s major titles. prominent characters who made appearances include Wolverine, Captain America, Spider-Man, Sub-Mariner, Iron Man, Cyclops, Dr. Strange, Hawkeye, Hercules, as well as even impossible guy as well as Squirrel Girl. all of Ben’s teammates in the amazing four have participated at least once. When the Wasp showed up for a game, Jarvis had to offer a “cheat sheet” for her, as she had never played poker before [Marvel Two-in-One #75].

Generally, the poker groupings are made up of characters as well as good friends from the Avengers as well as amazing four rosters, however numerous X-Men have likewise played throughout the years — particularly Wolverine, who seems to have an continuous poker rivalry with the Thing. The games are typically organized either by Ben or Jarvis.

The Squadron ultimate are huge poker fans, in addition to the excellent Lakes Avengers (or whatever their names are this week). The latter play poker constantly, since — at least in the marvel world — “there’s nothing else to perform in Wisconsin.” After Flatman wins a poker tournament, they rename the team the excellent Lakes Champions. (That doesn’t last long.) new Mutant Cannonball appears to be a poker hustler — he’s declared twice to have never played before, yet ended up winning huge both times.

‘CAUSE EV’RY HAND’S A champion as well as EV’RY HAND’S A LOSER

Other unforgettable poker game events include one with the Thing, the Human Torch, as well as Spider-Man where Aunt may made cookies [Spider-Man/Human Torch #5]! one of the much more solemn get-togethers occurred in the wake of Captain America’s death [Fallen Son: The death of Captain America #2]. Some games are for quite high stakes: one of Spider-Man’s webshooters was in the pot in Wolverine (2nd series) #73.

The thing #8

Usually, the games are either at Avengers Mansion or the amazing Four’s headquarters, however under different circumstances, games have likewise been played at Ben Grimm’s house as well as at “secret” Avengers HQs. The most significant poker game ever (over 30 players) was held at Ben’s penthouse apartment, a competition that took up all three floors. The match took location after Ben’s bar mitzvah celebrating 13 years as the thing [The thing (2nd series) #8].

Spectacular Spider-Man #21

There is likewise obviously a yearly “public” poker game with proceeds going to charity. The game is No limit Texas Hold ‘Em. In the preliminary trip [Spectacular Spider-Man (2nd series) #21], the Kingpin accidents the game — setting up a one-on-one showdown with Spidey!

Other poker games in the marvel world have been depicted over the years. Bruce Banner stated that the MU geniuses (himself, Tony Stark, Reed Richards) utilized to play on a regular basis — as well as that Dr. Doom would sometimes sit in [Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #465]! Howard the Duck was when included in a poker match with the Thing, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Man-Thing, as well as a couple of other monsters (Fin Fang Foom?), however that a person [turned out to be] just a poor dream [Howard the Duck v.3 #1].


A couple of other notes about that very first depicted poker game in marvel Two-In-One #51. It’s no surprise that D.A. Blake Tower was in attendance, as it was illustrated by Frank Miller (inked by Bob McLeod), who may have had Tower on the brain. By sheer coincidence, the Floating marvel Poker game made its very first appearance in the extremely exact same month (in fact, shipping on the extremely exact same day!) that Miller began his now legendary stint on Daredevil with problem #158 [cover date: may 1979]. I question which story was drawn first? Also, MTIO #51 was written by Peter Gillis, finest understood for his groundbreaking cult series Strikeforce: Morituri, currently being reprinted by Marvel.


Another fascinating thing about re-reading MTIO #51 is that Gillis handled to tie this problem into no less than six other marvel series, each thoroughly documented in footnotes. Yes, notes are an “ancient” type of storytelling, however for those of us who were “reading the Universe” back then, they were a godsend. It’s definitely a great deal different than reading today’s self-contained stories — developed for the trade, without any references to anything else — however you typically requirement to have checked out years worth of continuity to even begin to comprehend many of today’s stories, as well as you have to do your own research. In comics, the much more things change, the much more they do not stay the same. Except, not always for the better. All I understand is, I would purchase a collection of Marvel’s Super-Hero Floating Poker game stories (like that’s gonna happen!) long before I would ever purchase a collection of the dismal worry Itself or the present Justice league series.

While mostly inconsequential, the Super-Hero Floating Poker game stories have been extremely prominent with readers, providing fans the chance to see their preferred characters in a behind-the-scenes situation. There was something inherently as well as poetically “human” about seeing these characters sitting back with a beer as well as some salty snacks after saving the world (again). These days, with much more as well as much more godlike depictions of superheroic characters, there just aren’t sufficient poker stories.

I assumption the gods don’t play poker. as well as they don’t seem to like each other much, anyway. perhaps nowadays the gods just stay house alone as well as play poker online.


KC CARLSON: Doesn’t play much poker, however has played cards in every major flight terminal in America. He spent a great deal of time on the road going to comic conventions — as well as commonly getting stranded — in one more life. You haven’t lived up until you play Hearts all night in Denver with other comics people — as well as then show up in San Diego as the sun is coming up.

Disclaimer: KC Carlson blah blah blah Westfield Comics has no concept blah blah blah not accountable for crazy people.

Classic comic covers are from the Grand Comics Database.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.