Marvel Two-In-One #64-66 (1980): Serpent Crown Affair; 1st Anaconda, Sidewinder, Black Mamba, Death Adder

This story picks up several long-loose ends.  

The Serpent Squad (with several new members) figure out that The Avengers dumped a Serpent Crown in the ocean way back in Avengers #154.

Who are the new members?

First, the brown guy in the center of the above panel, Sidewinder, is the new leader. Next…

Black Mamba, who has access to a darkforce. The same one as Darkstar or Shroud? Dunno yet.

Anaconda, with arms like her snake namesake.

And Death Adder, who is strong, lithe, and has razor claws.

The trail of the Crown leads Thing and Stingray to head out to California, where they will hook up with Triton of the Inhumans, but once they get there, they come across the new Serpent Squad who are looking for the afore-mentioned Crown—and they were hired by Roxxon Oil.  Roxxon is becoming an increasing presence in the Marvel Universe, especially in 2-in-1, as an evil corporation.

After the Serpent Squad folks get away, Agatha Harkness sends Scarlet Witch to help him recover the Crown because it’s a super-powerful evil artifact.

Scarlet Witch gets messed up by possession stuff a lot.

It all culminates with a big fight, and the good guys win.

In addition, the amphibian-people who were residing on the old abandoned Hydro Base at the end of Sub-Mariner’s last solo book get studied by Reed Richards, who figures out that their transformation into fish-people is very similar to the Inhumans’ transformation-via- Terrigan Mist. So there’s a follow up with this group of people–but nothing very important about them.

Another ongoing storyline involves Thundra, who is still pursuing wrestling with midget promoter Herkimer Oglethorpe, only now Hyperion has joined as well.

During this arc Ben tells a “war story” about him and Reed Richards, in a rare reference to the fact that they served together.

Throughout, there’s more about the wrestling arc. When I read these in real time, I was so anti-wrestling that I couldn’t enjoy the humor in taking the nation’s massive interest in pro-wrestling (trust me, in the 1980s, it was EVERYWHERE) and making it a major plotpoint for Thing. I do appreciate it now, in the rearview.

Thundra brings Hyperion into the fold.

So…Wow. A ton of dangling plotlines and consequential developments across these three issues.

Finally in this issue: Thing dumps Alicia.  That’s a pretty major event for Thing, and I was surprised to see it happen in Two-in-One, which is supposed to be a “new reader friendly” book of one-offs.

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