Marvel Feature #11: Cry: Monster!
Writer: Len Wein
Artists: Jim Starlin & Joe Sinnott
Letterer: Artie Simek
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Editor: Roy Thomas
The Guest Star:
the Incredible Hulk
The Leader; Kurrgo, Master of Planet X
Mr. Fantastic; the Human Torch
The Set Up:
The Thing is in the Fantastic Four headquarters, smashing equipment as Mr. Fantastic and the Human Torch look on. We soon learn that the equipment he was smashing was yet another one of Reed Richards' experimental devices for restoring Ben, and that Ben would rather smash it than get his hopes up and subsequently face another failure. In flashback, he rehashes the origin of the Fantastic Four, unaware that he's being observed.
In a spaceship above, Kuurgo watches the Thing on a monitor, and then recounts his own origin for the benefit of the Leader, who we find paralyzed in a tube on Kurrgo's ship. The two have agreed to gamble, with the winner of the gamble to gain the other's services. Kurrgo switches a lever to gather his champion for the struggle, which is, of course, Ben...
...who, in a fit of pique, is in the midst of punting his vaccuum cleaner only to go over in a heap and unexpectedly find himself in a deserted ghost town as Kurrgo's teleport takes effect. The Leader appears (as an astral projection), and explains the rules, that Ben will be fighting the Hulk, and that if he doesn't fight an "Ultrex Bomb" will be used to destroy the earth. Ben decides to skip the fight, only to have the Hulk pop in behind him and start the battle anyway...
Page 17, last panel. Ben vs. the Hulk: "...if I can't reason with ya, I'm gonna hafta wallop ya! In other words, muscle-bound -- It's Clobberin' Time!"
And the Hulk's return critique: "Hulk does not like this "clobberin' time", Thing! Hulk thinks it is dumb! Hulk thinks Thing is dumb, too!"
Not in this issue.
The Thing last appeared in Fantastic Four #139, and next appears in Marvel Feature #12, which continues almost directly from this issue. Mr. Fantastic last appeared in Fantastic Four #139 and next appears in Fantastic Four #140, while the Human Torch also last appeared in FF #139 but next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #126. The Hulk last appeared in Defenders #11, and next appears in Hulk #167.
The Leader last appeared in Hulk #159, and next appears in brief flashbacks in Wolverine #144 and Hulk #224 before appearing again in Hulk #208. Kurrgo's only previous appearance was in Fantastic Four #7, which is recapped here in flashback (including appearances by the Thing and Mr. Fantastic). Kurrgo has not since reappeared.
The origin of all four of the original Fantastic Four members, from Fantastic Four #1, is recapped here in flashback.
Things of Interest:
Marvel Feature had been an Ant-Man book, but with this issue it became a team-up book featuring The Thing and a rotating guest star. Sales must have gone well- issue 12 lists the Man-Thing as the next guest star, but makes no mention of the fact that Marvel Feature would end as of issue 12 and be replaced by Marvel Two-in-One.
This issue, effectively the start of the MTIO series, is cover-dated September, 1973.
Brian S. over at the since-defunct MTIO 76 site reports that this was reprinted in 1983 in a trade paperback title "Mighty Marvel Team-Up Thrillers."
Special thanks from your editor here to a "Trever" emailing under the name of "Messiah Too" for pointing out that I'd initially missed the Clobberin' Time in this book.
This is reprinted in Marvel Masterworks vol. 200: Marvel Two-in-One #1, which reprints Marvel Feature #11-12 and Marvel Two-in-One #1-10 in a gorgeous if expensive hardcover format. For other places specific issues are reprinted, see this site's MTIO reprints page.