Marvel Two-In-One: A Plea to the Heavyweight Champion of the Moon!

I miss team up books like Marvel Two In One.

I miss team up books like Marvel Two In One.

I’ve made no secret that I’m not too happy with the current plotline in the Fantastic Four, which is soon to be cancelled. Still, every long running title has its ups and downs…it seems capricious to simply cancel it with no plan. Granted, Fantastic Four has been cancelled before, but in many ways, the book is the very heart of Marvel Comics.

Well…not in terms of film licensing, of course. We all know that Mr. Perlmutter.

On the other hand, I’ve just watched all five episodes of the “Mike Tyson Mysteries,” and that is Incredible. See that capital “I”? Yep. Incredible.

Let’s just define it right here…Mike Tyson Mysteries is an animated television series produced by Warner Bros. Animation for Adult Swim. It premiered in October…and the series features Mike Tyson solving mysteries, in the style of “Scooby-Doo!”, “Jonny Quest” and “Mr. T.” On December 10, 2014, the show was renewed for a second season. Of COURSE it was.

Just look at the preview.

That two minutes was far more interesting than all fourteen of the current series of Fantastic Four issues put together. That’s why the protagonist reached out to Mike and his team for help. If anyone can get to the bottom of why Marvel thinks the storyline is any good, or why bringing back the “Heroes Reborn” character is a good idea, it’s Mike Tyson. In that trailer you saw him punch both a T.Rex and a Chupacabra. My point is clearly made, True Believers.

The show follows Mike Tyson, the ghost of the Marquess of Queensberry, Tyson’s adopted daughter, and a pigeon as they solve mysteries. Once again, compare to this sentence: “A previously unknown villain called the Quiet Man brings back forgotten versions of the Avengers as he secretly plots the end of Reed, Sue Ben, and Johnny.” See how the Tyson sentence is better? More interesting?

It’s a simple thesis. In making the “Two In One” Style cover, the initial art was more to “Little Golden Book” dimensions, so I imported the Golden Age subplot of Cap and Bucky going to a Nazi Haunted House. Seemed to put the whole thing over the top. Still…the first pass, in Little Golden Book Dimensions, is here:

The version without enough content, vertically speaking.

The version without enough content, vertically speaking.

Weirdly, The series has received mostly positive reviews from critics. The consensus is summed up in this review: “A dizzying whirl of lowbrow and high-concept, Mike Tyson Mysteries should more than satisfy fans of Adult Swim’s signature blend of animated silliness.” Consider the plot of Episode 1: “The End”…Mike and the gang travel to Cormac McCarthy’s ranch to help him with his unfinished novel. There, they are warned by the ranch’s property caretaker of a Chupacabra attacking McCarthy’s horses. See? Awesome.

Don’t even get me started on “Heavyweight Champion of the Moon” with Buzz Aldrin.

As I watched these, and considered the ancient Animated Fantastic Four, which I watched alongside Scooby Doo, and later Mr. T’s cartoon…I thought that Mike’s team could be the salvation of the FF’s problems. They DO have a mystery to solve. Batman and Robin used to team up with Scooby Doo. It seemed made in heaven.

That’s why mike very much has a Ben Grimm, “This Man, this Monster” pose. He might be deciding whether to help out Reed’s crew, he might be trying to divide numbers in his head. We don’t know! That’s what engages the viewer, see?

It is not easy to draw Mike Tyson, by the way.

It is not easy to draw Mike Tyson, by the way.

The chore of drawing him is part of the reason we are seeing three iterations here…to make it worthwhile. Marvel should wake up and take notice…not only would a new “Marvel Two In One” team up book be great, but make Mike could solve the FF problems after all. It can’t be any worse.

It’s a good thing the protagonist is nigh invulnerable. Mike looks a bit upset, and if you’ve ever player Mike Tyson’s Punchout on the Nintendo, you know that in the first ninety seconds, any of Mike’s hits are an instant KO. You know…like most of his fights in that time frame.

Although…maybe Mike Tyson would give our hero a tracksuit with a question mark on it, unlike the FF being stingy with their uniforms. Sue Richards has actually been unfriendly to almost everyone, in the actual run of the fourteen issues, so I feel a bit less bad portraying her as meanspirited and selfish. She would definitely not give out an FF suit to the protagonist…!

Comics have a long history of teaming up boxers with superheroes, the most legendary being this team up, by Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams:

Mind blowing.  Note President Carter next to Batman, and all kinds of other 70's celebs.

Mind blowing. Note President Carter next to Batman, and all kinds of other 70’s celebs.

Superman vs. Muhammad Ali was an oversize comic book published by DC Comics in 1978. The 72-page book features Superman teaming up with the heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali to defeat an alien invasion of Earth. Awesome, right? I’m telling you, Mike Tyson could be the key to saving the Fantastic Four, through similar awesomeness.

The cover of that comic has, as mentioned in the caption, tons of 70’s celebrities in the audience. Those include Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Tony Orlando, Johnny Carson, the cast of “Welcome Back, Kotter,” and The Jackson 5….to name a few.

I’m not ready to draw that kind of undertaking, True Believers.

Next Issue: Potential Comics explores the pay schedule!

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