The Thing #7
Dis Man, Dis Monster, Disarmed
Written by Dan Slott
Illustrated by Kieron Dwyer
Published by Marvel Comics
To celebrate Alicia’s birthday, Ben takes her back in time to Ancient Greece via the time machine that the Fantastic Four procured from Dr. Doom all those many years ago. The plan was to “show” her the Venus de Milo immediately upon completion, but when Hercules—who hadn’t yet met Ben at this point in the timeline—mistakes him for a monster sent by the gods above as a means to alleviate his boredom, a vicious fight breaks out between them. Amidst the rubble left in the wake of their melee, we find the Venus that we know today, her arms broken and laying in pieces next to her body.
So, not only was Ben responsible for the legend of Blackbeard, but he also gave the Venus de Milo her signature amputee status, and who knows what else. What a different world this would be if old Ben stayed out of the timestream.
This done-in-one story was one of the fastest reading comics in memory—and I’m not saying that as a good thing. It was absolutely brainless, all flash and no substance, a pointless little tale that could have been interesting if drawn out beyond the traditional “meet-and-misunderstand” battle between Hercules and the Thing, spanning the course of a few issues: Ben and Hercules embark on some great mythical quest together, for instance, while Alicia stays behind and is treated to the benefits granted to both oracles and gifted artists alike. Instead, it closes with saccharine, leaving that sweet and yet vaguely bitter taste in your mouth.
And its too bad that Dwyer is still the artist on board here—his figures are too stiff and uninspired for my tastes. I know he has his fans, but I get the sense that he was just phoning it in.
Required reading for Fantastic fanatics only.
--The Ever Lovin' Blue Eyed J/Metro