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Thing #7

Posted: Saturday, June 3, 2006
By: Ray Tate



"Dis Man, Dis Monster, Disarmed!"

Writer: Dan Slott
Artists: Kieron Dwyer, Laura Villari(c)
Publisher: Marvel

Well The Thing was a helluva lot more fun than last week's She-Hulk--now with Big Stupid Event funk. Alicia Masters' birthday party is big enough of an event for Ben Grimm.

Arlo--Alicia's "sensitive New Age guy"--upstages Ben in the sweetness department by giving Alicia a nice gift that also has sentimental value. The guy reminds me very much of Chris, Satan's new beau, from South Park. Lockjaw's teleporting while finely tuned proves to be useless to Ben's aims. This forces him, like Johnny Storm, to ignore the signs that Reed placed around Dr. Doom's time machine.

As you may have deduced from the cover, before you can say Gallifrey, Ben and Alicia find themselves in Ancient Greece. As the cover depicts, Ben soon finds himself under the fist of the Prince of Power. This is due to a well-played misunderstood spat between Ben and Alicia.

Hercules and Ben are about on the same level of strength and invulnerability. They really cannot hurt each other, and Slott pretty much treats his readers to a massive cartoon filled with slapstick violence. More of the wry type humor comes from Alicia's reaction to the melee. Her commentary completely and hilariously misunderstood by the ancient Greeks comes from the years of experience being with Ben.

Kieron Dwyer accompanies Slott's toony story with toony artwork that suits the tone. His inks are at times a little heavy, but the entire package impresses. Laura Villari's colors especially become important this issue when depicting the flesh tones of Alicia which aid in conveying her sense of humor and humanity.

Slott ends The Thing on an upbeat note. The funny and clever epilogue japes with time travel conventions. It's a shame Marvel canceled this series, but it really was to be expected. Big Stupid Events overshadow the engines that can. Infinite Crisis killed Manhunter. Civil War killed The Thing. At least you can still find Ben in good spirits in the continuity-free Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four.



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