Here’s the thing- this continues to be Marvel’s best stand-alone miniseries in years. Can’t miss.
There’s two sorts of nostalgic spotlight miniseries. The one just tells a greatest hits story- remixing classics, hitting familiar plot points, bringing in classic characters. The other through takes those elements, and polishes them up, uses them to tell its own story, while giving a grin, wink and nod to the past. The Thing is rapidly proving itself to be the latter in all the best ways.
The third issue of Ben Grimm’s latest solo story continues to show not only is this a timeless story for its lead, but it’s the best sort of that story. It comes from Walter Mosely, Tom Reilly, Jordie Bellaire, and Joe Sabino.
Ben, his new girl Amaryllis, and new friend Bobby have escaped subterranean New York, only to find themselves in more trouble. Luckily the Champion of the Universe is on his way to save Ben. Wait, did I say save Ben? I meant, beat him senseless…
Moseley homages perhaps the most famous Marvel Two-in-One story in this issue, and it’s just great. He’s telling this story about Ben and Armaryllis (as well as the villainous Mot, which doesn’t show up in this issue), but uses the Champion to advance his story that he’s telling. It’s smart writing, but then it allows him to have a fantastic extended fight scene. Best of all that fight advances the plot, it’s not just there to get a punching quota.
I think I said this in the first issue, but Reilly should be a superstar coming out of this story. His brawl between Ben and the Champion is just one of the most gleeful fight scenes I’ve seen in comics in so long. There’s a single page that’s simply a suplex, and the way he lays it out is gorgeous, leaving out the gutters as it happens to give it a great sense of motion. That’s all while the quieter and more emotional moments all look great.
Bellaire’s colors are stunning. She uses softer tones that compliment Ben’s iconic rocky exterior up until the Champion shows up. At that point, she gradually fills the pages with red and blue as it gets more and more violent. Sabino’s letters are a little bit retro, and he does a fantastic job at complimenting the art. It’s subtle but looks great.
This series still is proving to be one of Marvel’s best minis in years. I truly wish we weren’t at the halfway point.
The Thing #3 is available now from Marvel Comics.