Marvel Two-in-One #6: Death-Song of Destiny!
Writer: Steve Gerber
Artist: George Tuska
Inker: Mike Esposito
Letterer: Artie Simek
Colorist: P. Goldberg
Editor: Roy Thomas
The Guest Star:
a giant rat, sort of
The Set Up:
Dr. Strange and Clea, his disciple/girlfriend, are waiting in a New York subway station where a blond girl is playing some music on her harmonica. As she finishes, a young tough comes up and grabs her harmonica, attempting to play it. She grabs for it, but falls/ is knocked onto the tracks. As a train approaches and Dr. Strange reaches to save her, she begs him to ignore her and grab the harmonica, which he does. The train hits the girl, who promptly explodes into a shower of odd fireworks which settle onto all present. Puzzled, Dr. Strange and Clea take the harmonica (inscibed with the word "Celestia") and return to Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum.
In the Baxter Building, a snoozing Ben is awakened by a late night phone call from a Mrs. Coogan, who he knew in childhood. Hopping in the Fantasticar, he heads to her home on Yancy Street. We soon learn that her grandson had been one of those in the subway when the girl 'exploded'. Ben soon leaves, not really knowing what to do about it.
Dr. Strange determines that the exploding girl was a manifestation of 'destiny', and that as such all those people she interacted with in the subway are about to be strongly affected in some way. Doc sets out to find all those people before they're destroyed by their redirected destinies. He runs into Ben, and the two shortly realize that they're on the same case...
Page 31, panel 6. Ben issues his patented cry while smashing a giant rat.
Still no Petunia.
The Thing appears here after Crystal's wedding in Avengers #128; Dr. Strange last appeared in Defenders #19. Both next appear in MTIO #7, which continues directly from this issue. Clea last appeared in Dr. Strange #5 and next appears in Defenders #21. Wong appears in a cameo between Dr. Strange #5 and #6.
Derelict Alvin Denton and Celestia both first appear here and next appear in MTIO #7, which continues directly from this issue. Various flashbacks for both will later precede their appearance here. The Valkyrie is also behind the scenes here before appearing next issue; she last appeared in Defenders #18.
Mrs. Coogan, her grandson Duff Coogan, and his friend Nick Cromer have never appeared before or since; ditto Sheldon and Renee Goldenberg. The Yancy Street Gang appears here behind the scenes, and some people on Yancy Street itself are also seen, as is a one-man Aero-Car (also described as a sleek Fantasticar, though its clearly not the traditional flying bathtup) belonging to the FF.
Things of Interest:
This is part one of a two-part story that concludes in MTIO 7.
On the letters page can be found Marvel Value Stamp #47: The Green Goblin.
The Yancy Street Gang make their first MTIO appearance, of sorts, on page 22 when Ben comes out and discovers that they've vandalized his aero-car.
I wanted to give a quick hat tip here to the "Fantastic Four Headqurters" blog, where the writer there speculates that this is the fissue where Ben's backstory as actually having grown up on Yancy Street originates. The author is very correct in that it was not part of his early character, only later added in. While I can neither verify it nor disprove it at the moment (something to keep my eyes open for in the future!), it's a great catch/note on their part.