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"IT BEGINS IN A DISCO -- BUT ENDS IN A DUNGEON OF DOOM"

Face front, True Believers! Now, those of you reading this probably have a widely varying knowledge of Marvel Comics, but if I had to give you one guess about what the splash page of a Marvel comic that promises such a scenario would entail, everyone of you is going to ask "Does it have The Thing doing the famous John Travolta disco pose, complete with white polyester suit that has somehow been tailored to his physique?" and the only problem is that you put that in the form of a question, because of course it did. In 1980, disco was already on a downswing, so it is unclear whether this entrance was meant to parody the fading disco trend, or whether the Marvel editors were a bit behind on knowing how to appeal to youth. Speaking of appealing to youth, The Thing says in a thought bubble after slouching away from the disco floor "Give me Tommy Dorsey and his big band any day...". While Spider-Man is usually thought to be Marvel's "relatable" hero, with his freelance job and constant dropping out of grad school, The Thing, in the 1970s, seemed to have just as much of a fanbase. Which also says something about Marvel's demographics at the time, that readers wanted a hero with blue collar appeal, who still remembered the musical trends of The Second World War, as much as they wanted our proto-hipster Spider-Man. That is quite a sociological finding for me to pull out of the first three pages of a single issue of Marvel Two-in-One, but that is kind of my schtick.

Anyway, our issue begins when The Thing meets The Angel, in his civilian identity. The Angel was one of the original X-Men, whose power was that he could fly with wings. The thing about that is, lots of people in the Marvel universe could fly, and some of them could open up extradimensional portals, so The Angel was not really that interesting as far as his super powers went. So they gave him another power: being really rich, which is a pretty sweet power. Anyway, so The Angel and The Thing are both drugged and kidnapped, and they wake up in a dungeon, trussed up by their ankles, dangling above a vat. Just to get us out of the way, I think this is probably innocent of any BDSM connotations, and this is just...comic book sillyness. The dungeon has pits and pendulums, and robot knights in armor, and The Thing swiftly smashes through them, accompanied by The Angel. Now, as a note here, while it is hard to shoehorn the Angel's flight powers into many stories, it is even harder when the whole thing takes place in a dungeon, whose cramped confines don't really do justice to his long, billowy wings. Anyway, at the end of the story, they find the dungeon is under the control of Toad, one of Magneto's C-List henchmen. Toad is bitter and acting out, when The Angel realizes he can use his other super power, having lots of money, to turn the castle into a theme park. And the comic ends on that high note, with problems temporarily resolved.

Now, just two or three years later, this comic would have been the victim of Claremontosis, and Toad would have had to give a three page long speech about being a mutant outcast, and then also we would have to find out Toad was actually a clone, or from another dimension, but back in 1980, we could witness the Marvel universe have a disco issue ending with a rich superhero buying a minor villain a theme park. It was a great time.