Letters from Marvel Two-In-One #91, September 1982

The Ever Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Letters Page!

Dear Editor,
MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #86 which featured the Sandman was a masterpiece of writing, artwork and color. It was a touching story that revealed much of the Sandman’s unhappy past, and showed the Thing’s understanding and caring personality. We rarely see such a thoughtful story, but Tom DeFalco, Ron Wilson and Chic Stone pulled it off beautifully.
Robert Pope
Summerville, SC

Dear Editor,
Rarely have I ever felt strongly enough about a story in a comic book to write a letter, but I was touched by MTIO #86. I consider it a landmark issue in comic book history.
Many criminals are products of their environment. Flint (Sandman) Marko is a prime example. He would never have turned to crime if not the extreme need of his family. If someone had had enough heart to extend a kind hand toward him, a lifetime of running might have been avoided.
The handling of this issue was excellent and tasteful. The Thing’s attitude upon finding Marko was typical of the Thing, but he took the time to sit and listen to his opponent’s story. In doing so, Ben Grimm learned much about himself, and gained insights into another person. Note that I said “person,” and not “supervillain.” We tend to forget that most “super-villains” are people who also have feelings.
Ben’s reluctance to take Marko in just proves that he is even more human than many of us non-orange-skinned types.
Patrick J. Power
Myrtle Beach, SC

Was that ever in doubt, Patrick?

Dear Marvel,
MTIO #86 was fantastic…no…a beautiful story. And a surprising one. Ben’s fatalistic honesty, “Ya mean we ain’t gonna bust heads for twenty minutes to prove who’s stronger?!”. The despair of the Sandman. The cinematic beauty of the closing panels.
It was one of the best stories I have ever seen from Marvel.
Kurt Friedman
Oxon Hill, MD

That’s high praise, Kurt.

Dear People,
I’ve been reading MTIO #86…over and over again. It’s good stuff.
This issue was a welcome change. The “clobberin’ times” and the knock-down-drag-outs get kind of monotonous. It’s nice to be reminded that the bad guys are human, too. They don’t always set out to be evil. They have time to learn that from the frustration, neglect, and avarice they see around them.
Just one question: will we ever see the Impossible Man again, or is he gone for good?
Phil Jones
Starkville, MS

We don’t know, Phil. That’s pretty much up to Impy himself.

Dear Tom and Ron:
Re: MTIO #86
Stanley Johnston
Yazoo City, MS

Dear Marvel,
MTIO #86 showcased the sides of Ben Grimm that have made him my favorite hero since we first met in 1968. The understanding and compassion he showed Sandman, a villain who in the past has tried and nearly succeeded in wiping out not only Ben but also the people he holds dear, is a part of his character that is all too often overlooked in a quick effort to get him into a fight. The action scenes are good, and they are neccasary to make a comic that fans will buy, but all the years of characterization Mr. Grimm has had should not be cast aside. Sure, Ben is hot-tempered, but he is also smart enough to know when not to fight.
If there is any negative feedback from Marveldom about Ben letting Sandman go instead of locking him up, they should remember our prison system is supposed to rehabilitate criminals and re-integrate them into society. Sandman sounds like he is ready to do that on his own. Locking him up now would just be for revenge.
The second story gave us a look at Ben’s comic side. The story was funny and I’m looking forward to the Kree’s reaction. It was just what we needed to round out the issue. What more can I say?
Martin Hunter
(no address given)

Dear Editor,
I’ve never been too impressed with the writings of Tom DeFalco. His captions are too verbose, his dialogue is trite, and his writing has no snap. In these respects, “Time Runs Like Sand” is no exception to his regular run of work.
But I loved this story.
All too often, your writers present page after page of heroes villains whamming and bamming away at each other, and tend to forget the real legacy of Marvel Comics, which is built on characterization and character interaction. This story is a nice break from business-as-usual, bringing back the kind of story that made Marvel great almost a quarter of a century ago. (Good grief, am I really that old – and more?)
For once my hat is off to Mr. DeFalco. He can keep his captions long-winded, his dialogue second-hand, and his writing as soggy as wet corn flakes. Just so long as he keeps writing about the human hearts that beat within those superhuman breasts.
Dan H. Eller
Dallas, TX

We’re certain he’ll keep trying, Dan…though we hardly agree with all of your assessments.

Dear Editor,
The pairing of the Thing with the Sandman gave the implication that the story would be one of non-stop humor. “Time Runs Like Sand” had its humorous moments, but the star’s main charm was that it showed Ben Grimm as a compassionate human being.
The Sandman is one of my favorite villains. I really appreciated learning his previously unknown origin.
And the Impossible Man story was a great added feature. I can’t wait for his next appearance.
Rod Wahowske
Emmett, MI

Neither can we, Rod.

Dear Marvel,
The Sandman has been around for a long time. He has always been a hard man. As Ben Grimm said, “Sandy’s usually so arrogant, so self-assured.” Many times over the years, I’ve wondered about most super-villains. I questioned their hatred of the world. How could anyone hate so much?
Starting with page 8, MTIO #86 is a very different type of comic book for Marvel. After twenty-some-odd years, one of our favorite bad-guys finally gets tired of his criminal life. He was a nasty kid. We don’t feel sorry for him, not exactly. He had choices, and he chose to hurt others…and eventually, himself.
Despite all of this, “Time Runs Like Sand” convinces us that sandman should have another chance. I don’t entirely understand why I feel this way, but I do.
Sid Platt
Atlanta, GA

So do we, Sid. We don’t know if he’ll take that chance, but we hope he does.

Note: Jim Salicrup was the editor of this issue.

Copyright Avi Green. All rights reserved.

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