Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Visting hours are now starting...."

I was talking(well really I was corresponding) with Dan from the blog It's a Dan's World, and we were discussing the my last post concerning the comic Marvel Tales. He said he also enjoyed that title, but preferred Marvel's other team-up book, Marvel Two-In-One, featuring The Thing. Now while I have nothing against Aunt Petunia's favorite blue-eyed nephew, I didn't really have too much of an interest in that particular comic. This was mostly because by the time I was made aware of the title, it had already been cancelled. I'd only later on discover it, but didn't really care for it too much. With the exception of one issue. For some strange reason, I seemed to pick up and buy Marvel Two-In-One#96.

Now if you're familiar with the plot/story concerning this issue, then you'd know this was the issue where Ben Grimm was recuperating in the hospital after surviving a beat down in a boxing match with an elder of the universe by the name of The Champion. This occurred in Marvel Two-in-One Annual #7. The Champion also held the power gem from the Infinity Gems for awhile before Thanos took it from him. Oh, and he was undefeated until the Silver Surfer of all people, kicked his ass.

Anyways, The Thing was in the hospital recovering, when unbeknownst to him, a large number of super-villains decide to attack the Thing when he's at his most vulnerable. not a bad idea right? Attack a weakened foe by playing the numbers game sounds like a really good strategy right? After all, that's something a bad guy does right? Kick a guy when he's down? And boy, were there plenty of bad guys to go around that held a grudge for poor ol' Ben. The list of bad guys reads off like a who's who of villains from around that time period:
Shellshock, Mirage, The Mad Thinker and his Awesome Android, Mechano-Marauder, The Mole Man,  the Grapplers: Titania, Screaming Mimi, Poundcakes, and Letha, the Hijacker, Dr. Doom, Beetle,Whiplash, Melter, Modok, Constrictor, Rhino, and  Dreadnought.
That's quite a list huh?

Well they all didn't attack at once, like they should have, but went for Grimm one at a time or team to team. Fortunately the Thing, he had his super-friends, like Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Captain America to name a few to watch over him, and they all pretty much fought off the bad guys, all oblivious to Ben. Well all the bad guys, except one who somehow manages to sneak in and get into Ben's room: The Sandman.

It seems the Sandman wasn't there to hurt Ben, but to give him a get well gift, which just happened to be one of the Thing's favorite vices: a stoogie(or a cigar for those not hip to cigar slang). Sandman was there because of the events from #86, when Ben shows up at a bar to fight, but Sandy not only surrenders, but just wants to sit down and have a beer; which they both do. Anyhoo, Sandman's just being there to support his new buddy Ben, and that was that.

I don't know why, but I really liked this story(written by Tom DeFalco by the way) and the decent art by Ron Wilson. Well here comes a personal story that relates to this issue.

When I was living in West Germany, I lived in an apartment complex on the German side of town. But I did have a string of American neighbors; most of them were military, but one in particular wasn't. His name was Bob. Bob was a cool guy who I sometimes hung out with as he lived in one of the rooms upstairs. He lived across the hall from a nice German couple, where I'd also sometimes hangout. I'd go up to his place and he'd let me play on his Nintendo, playing games like Super Mario and Double Dragon. I didn't have a Nintendo of my own yet at the time; that'd come a year or so later. I'd also discover that little known cable channel called MTV around that same time period, and man did that concept blow my young mind!

Well late one night, or very early in the morning, Bob was pounding heavily on our door. He must have been doing that for a good while, because my mom and dad heard it, but just passed it off as someone being drunk. Sometimes that happened, but not a lot. This apparently went on for what must have been a couple of hours, I don't know, somehow my sister and I slept through all of this but I do know that my mom finally went to the door and quickly found out why Bob had been constantly knocking and calling for my dad; He'd been cut deep and was bleeding profusely from his calf!

Bob quickly informed my parents what happened: Bob had gotten stabbed and sliced in the leg by his live-in girlfriend Marty. We'd later find out that Marty, who was at least 10 years older than Bob, was an alcoholic, constantly depressed, suicidal, and to top it all off, bi-polar. He explained that Marty had come home drunk, and that they had gotten into a big fight. he was just trying to sleep, and she wouldn't let him. Finally, she grabbed a knife and lunged for him. He quickly moved, but she still wound up cutting him on the back of his calf. And it was deep too, very deep! Somehow he managed to drag himself downstairs to our apartment after not being able to get an answer from the German couple across from place. He had been outside our door for an hour or so before my mom answered the door.

My folks quickly called the German equivalent of 911, and waited for the cops and ambulance to arrive while my mom wrapped towels around poor Bob's profusely bleeding leg. I mean he bleed buckets! There was blood all over the floor! Keep in mind Marty's still upstairs while all this is going on, and probably still wielding a knife. Well as my mom later relayed to me, Marty calmly strode down the stairs while my mom's back was turned to her. She could have stabbed my mom for all she knew, but Marty just walked calmly past everybody only saying that my mom should just "Let the motherfucker die." Those were her exact words.
The ambulance and polizi(police) finally arrived and took Bob to a nearby German hospital. I don't think Marty was arrested though.

Now for the part of the story where the Thing in the hospital comic comes into play. My family and I went to go visit Bob in the hospital after sunday morning church. I brought with me 3 comics in the hopes to cheer Bob up. Hey I was only 9 or 10 at the time, what did I know? Anyway, the 1st two were Marvel 2 in 1#96, and Avengers West Coast#73. I don't remember the 3rd one though. He thanked us for the flowers, comics, and just being there for support. I don't know what happened to Marty after that, but she quickly moved out, and he followed not to long after that.

What a story huh? And it's all 100% true, swear to God.


Dan said...

Wow what a story! It's odd how certain issues have memories attached to them like photos in a way.

I loved that Sandman team up issue too- like the Flash it's awesome when not all heroes want to smack the hell out their rouges, especially the non-world conquering likes of Sandman.

Thanks for the plug too mr - much appreciated!

Dale Bagwell said...

No prob Dan. I recently found your blog via someone else's and can honestly say I like some of the topics you discuss; especially your "Lest they be forgotten" one.

Since you liked that story, today I'll post another one, which is not one of my finer moments.

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