Letters from Marvel
Two-In-One #91, September 1982
The Ever Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Letters Page!
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.
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
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
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?
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.
Oxon Hill, MD
That’s high praise, Kurt.
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?
We don’t know, Phil. That’s pretty
much up to Impy himself.
Dear Tom and Ron:
Re: MTIO #86
Yazoo City, MS
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?
(no address given)
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
We’re certain he’ll keep trying,
Dan…though we hardly agree with all of your assessments.
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.
Neither can we, Rod.
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.
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.