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Marvel Two-in-One Appreciation: Your Editor

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Your editor is a tenured archivist at a western U.S. university. All research done for these pages is done from reading of the original sources. The work done here has indirectly led to my doing research and writing for Marvel - that's my caricature at the upper right, as seen in my "Pro-File" in the back of 2007's All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update #4. When I started writing for Marvel and this site was still in progress, I'd note new additions to the site and my edits. With the site "done," this feels out of place, so I've tucked some of those notes back here. For those curious, here's a listing of my work for Marvel, frequently in the format it was here originally announced in:

November 11th, 2004: My first work done for Marvel, and still my favorite. Go out and buy this now! Marvel's Fantastic Four Encyclopedia, partially written by ye olde editor (you'll find me as the third and last listee in the "Additonal Writing/Research" credits). I'm very happy to say that amongst the 339 characters (plus 16 alternate universes and many many appendix entries) it includes many many Marvel Two-in-One favorites, from "important" MTIO figures like Project: PEGASUS, Deathlok, Quasar, Giant-Man, and the Floating Super-Hero Poker Game to complete MTIO obscurities such as Agamemnon, Jude the Entropic Man, Radion, and even the somewhat embarassing Gh'runji Gobblers (from the MTIO issue I rate as the "worst ever"!). This should be available at your friendly neighborhood comic shop now, and if it isn't, you can find it through Amazon for under cover price.

In 2005: Several "Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe" issues: Women of Marvel (released in January), Teams (May), Fantastic Four (June), Avengers (July), Ultimate Fantastic Four / Spider-Man (August), Alternate Universes (September), and Horror (October). In December, a non-Handbook titled "New Avengers: Most Wanted Files"). Characters from MTIO are in all the 2005 MU ones, plus the Ultimate FF is in the August issue.
I also have to note my credit (solely for proofing, not for writing) in Secret War: From the Files of Nick Fury- I'm apparently now an Agent of SHIELD (level 1)!

In 2006: Every issue of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe from #1 to #12. Also, Marvel Legacy: the 1960s, the 1970s (Victorius is in this one!), the 1980s, and the 1990s (though the latter did not make it out until 2007). Annihilation: the Nova Corps. Outlaw Files (I got to squeeze in Ravenstorm from MTIO #15, and those in the know could even find my wife transported back to the old west). Civil War Files. Wow, a nice even 19 issues! Lots of MTIO content in those - of particular joy to me were the Cosmic Cube (from several MTIO appearances) in OHOTMU #3, Skull the Slayer (from MTIO 35-36), the Puppet Master (MTIO #75, among others), and Roxxon(!) in #9. Also Mysterium (from several MTIO appearances as Blacksun, Thomas Lightner, and the Nth Man) in OHOTMU #7. Ah, heck, links to all the OHOTMUs: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12.

In 2007: The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe continues! We had four Update issues and a number of theme books this year. I've written for Updates #1, #2, and #4, done one token entry in a Magic Handbook, plus done entries in June's Avengers book and two in an Ultimates book. I've also done some less-intensive freelance work working with Marvel's trades department in reseaching and building maps for Essentials and other future publications. So far: uncredited and very limited proofing for Essential Nova #1 and extensive proofing accidentally miscredited to someone else for Essential Man-Thing #1. The books that I mapped (look for my "Research" credit) include Alpha Flight Classic #1 (originally intended as an Essential), Essential Fantastic Four #6, Essential Marvel Two-in-One #2 (yay!), Captain America: War & Remembrance (apparently uncredited?), Devil Dinosaur by Jack Kirby Omnibus (again uncredited), DP7 Classic #1, Essential Werewolf by Night #2 (again missing my credit, sniff), What If? Classic #4, Psi-Force Classic #1 (2008), and the Elektra by Frank Miller Omnibus (2008, and okay, I only did half of this one). Researched for 2007 but still unlisted is one more TPB, which by mid-2009 I now suspect will never come out.

In 2008: I tried to help out with the hardbound Handbook volumes, but the workload was a killer. Though I did a full load of new writing, proofing, and re-writing for books 1 and 2, I significantly cut back on the books thereafter, save a half dozen later entries which I have finished well in advance, done either because they're characters I particularly love, or because no one else could do them - one entry is in issue 3, and one each in issues 5 and 6. Look for a great (in my unhumble opinion) Appendix entry on the Solar System of the Marvel Universe's Earth in the latter. I also kept doing freelance work for the trades department - in 2008 I researched and mapped four Essentials (Fantastic Four #7, Man-Thing #2, and not released until 2009, Marvel Team-Up #3 and my grail Marvel Two-in-One #3), three classics (Cable Classic (despite my personal dislike of that character, I wrote the text pieces in this one), Psi-Force Classic, and What If? Classic #5), and four other trades including Avengers West Coast: Darker Than Scarlet, Hulk vs. the Marvel Universe, and the well-received Hulk: Heart of the Atom (again, I wrote the text pieces in this one). By mid-2009, that just leaves one unannounced TPB.

In 2009: I'd pretty much defaulted to working on the new line of reprint trades and hardbounds every fall, and filling in for the "ohmigod we're out of time and no one can possibly do this" entries for the Handbooks. I did four entries in issue 7, and had entries in all of 8, 9, 10, and 11; 9 included my U.S. Senators and Representatives "Appendix" compilation and the Appendix in 10 and 11 comprised a Marvel prose novels bibliography that I constructed. I did entries on two of my favorite characters (Lockjaw and Puppy) in the June Marvel Pets Handbook. I did write three 1/3 page entries for the Dark Reign Files. Mapped reprint volumes for this year included Guardians of the Galaxy: Earth Shall Overcome and Guardians of the Galaxy: The Power of Starhawk (both originally suggested and mapped by me as one Essential), Black Widow: The Sting of the Widow, Heroes Reborn: The Return (originally mapped as two separate volumes), Thor by Jurgens/Romita Jr, Marvel Masterworks: Inhumans (I mapped this as a Premiere, and someone else expanded it to a Masterworks), What If? Classic #6, Thing: Project Pegasus, and Fantastic Four Visionaries: John Byrne #0 (including a very short text piece by me), which I'm excited about not for itself but rather because it means that even though I didn't get to map it myself something I've been agitating for for about three years is finally being released: Fantastic Four: In Search of Galactus. Two more mapped titles remain unsolicited as of yet. I was also happy to hear that my six page (expanded from a significantly shorter one previously done by Jeff Christiansen) Inhumans profile from the hardbound Handbooks was reprinted in the Secret Invasion: Inhumans TPB.

In 2010: Officially and finally done at Marvel, I believe, though a couple of odd Handbook entries I'd done a year or two in advance will still be showing up, probably in volumes 12 and 14 of the hardbound Handbooks, and I have a couple of entries in the Iron Manual Mark 3. Okay, I was contacted and asked to map What If? Classic #7. I also served on the editorial board and wrote four entries, all Marvel-related, for the two-volume Greenwood Press Encyclopedia of Comic Books and Graphic Novels.

In 2011-2012: I've written another dozen or so encyclopedia entries for another Greenwood Press four-volume work, Comics through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas, which actually didn't see print until 2014. These entries intentionally have absolutely nothing to do with Marvel, however - time to cover new ground! In 2015, the set was nominated for the Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Book, though it ultimately lost to Genius Animated: The Cartoon Art of Alex Toth, vol. 3, by Dean Mullaney & Bruce Canwell. Still, nominated!

For my own relaxation, I did some entries for Jeff Christiansen's "Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe" website, which is comprised of annotated Marvel histories drawn from original sources, much like the Handbooks. I've compiled a list of what I worked on.

September, 2011 - listed on Amazon for January 25th, 2012 is the long-awaited solicit for Essential Marvel Two-in-One #4: Ben Grimm, the Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed Thing, is back and better than ever in the fantastic final volume of Essential Marvel Two-in-One! Thrill to some of the wildest exploits ever experienced by the Idol of Millions as he journeys around the globe and beyond! From the sands of ancient Egypt to the Canadian wilderness, join Ben and his pals as they participate in everything from micro world melees to championship cosmic bouts. Guest-starring Spider-Man, Alpha Flight, the Sandman, Thor and many more! Collecting MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE 78-98, 100, ANNUAL 6-7.

ESSENTIAL MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE VOLUME 3 TPB. Life's not one thing after another, it's the same THING over and over again! Join Benjamin J. Grimm, Quasar, Giant-Man, and FF members and X-Men alike against foes old and new, all-powerful and somewhat less powerful! With several sensational storylines in one volume, including Project: PEGASUS, the Beyonders and the Serpent Crown! Plus: the fate of the Hydro-Men! War in the Negative Zone! Time paradoxes, secrets of alien procreation, dinosaurs, disco, dementia and more! Guest-starring the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Inhumans, the Howling Commandos and others! Collecting MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #53-77 and ANNUAL #4-5.
by Mark Gruenwald, Ralph Macchio, Marv Wolfman, Steven Grant, Tom Defalco, David Michelinie, Alan Kupperberg, Bob Budiansky, John Byrne, Joe Sinnott, George Perez, Gene Day, Chic Stone, Jerry Bingham, Ron Wilson, Pablo Marcos, Frank Springer, Alan Kupperberg, Jim Craig, Bruce Patterson

Essential MTIO #2 is also out! The first "official" announcement was found on Amazon in late November, 2006. It's detailed at $16.99, and Marvel's June solicits listed it for June 13th, 2007. Another one that I'm proud to have mapped...

ESSENTIAL MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE VOLUME 2 TPB. Cosmic calamities, espionage, black magic, time travel, alien gangsters and martial-arts madness: Benjamin J. Grimm can handle it all, but he won't have to face it alone! Stars old and new shine when the thunderous Thing joins them against many of the most magnificent menaces the Marvel Universe can offer! Invasions, impersonations, assassinations and transformations! Plus: when heroes play poker! Guest-starring Captain America, Daredevil, Ms. Marvel, the Black Panther, Moon Knight, Spider-Woman and more! Collects Marvel Two-in-One #26-52 and Annual #2-3
by Marv Wolfman, Roger Slifer, Tom DeFalco, David Anthony Kraft, Ralph Macchio, John Byrne, Peter Gillis, Alan Kupperberg, Bill Mantlo, Mary Jo Duffy, Steven Grant, Jim Starlin, Ron Wilson, John Buscema, Ernie Chan, Sal Buscema, Bob Hall, Chic Stone, Frank Miller

I had nothing to do with Essential MTIO #1, but I'm very glad it exists! A listing for the first MTIO Essential briefly showed up on Amazon in November 2004, before disappearing in January 2005. However, the following subsequently started making the rounds in June of 2005. And then in late July, it vanished again. But come August, and the Marvel solicitations list for November, there she was! At long last, it came out as of November 2, 2005!

ESSENTIAL MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE VOL. 1 TPB. The Thing canít stay out of trouble, but at least he makes friends wherever he goes! The Ever-Loviní Idol oí Millions teams up with heroes both frontline and forgotten against menaces spanning time and space! Gods! Aliens! Spies! Demons! Dinosaurs! Time travellers! Martial artists! The Living Eraser and the Mountain That Walked Like a Man! A veritable whoís who of historyís horror heroes! Fans of NEW INVADERS take notice of Benís team-ups with the Invaders AND the Liberty Legion! Collects MARVEL FEATURE #11-12; MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #1-20, 22-25 and ANNUAL #1; MARVEL TEAM-UP #47; and FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #11.

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