MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #67 (Sept 80)The Thing vs. Hyperion"Passport to Oblivion"Mark Gruenwald & Ralph Macchio - writersRon Wilson - PencilerDave Friends - Inker (I think — this part has smudged with time)J.Costanza - LettererDr. Martin - ColoristJim Salicrup - EditorJim Shooter - EIC
THIS MARVEL COMIC COULD BE WORTH $2500 TO YOU!  Emblazoned above the title. But the details are inside so we have to wait. The second cover blurb calls the Thing-Hyperion tussle "the BATTLE you've been waiting for!" If you say so, guys...
I picked this mag out of the quarter bin because my Wednesday haul was a little light. Some have said these Two-In-Ones are generally good value – lighthearted, done-in-one. Let's test that.
Splash page shows the Thing visiting Quasar at Project Pegasus to drop off the Serpent Crown–
WHOA! Stop right there! It may be light-hearted and done-in-one but it sure isn't new reader friendly! Someone who's only familiar with the Thing from the Saturday Morning cartoons is going to be mighty lost mighty quick. 
Anyway, Ben stows the Serpent Crown in a magnetic stasis field where it'll keep safe until another writer needs it. He and the one-time Marvel Boy repair to the cafeteria. Ben reveals that the Serpent Crown had made a villain of the head of Roxxon Oil. Quasar is shocked to hear that a respected corporate leader might be a bad'un. (Evil heads of oil companies – plus ça change, eh?)
Bill "Giant-Man" Foster drops by. (Ben jokingly calls him "Giant-Sam," the Not Brand Echh name.) Bill's radiation sickness is not responding to treatment. Ben says he knows a little something about incurable conditions. After this cheery dialog Quasar gets the plot rolling by asking after Thundra, who was trying to find out about the people who hired her to sabotage Project Pegasus. 
Cue Thundra and her wrestling partner Hyperion. They match -- olive-drab trenchcoats, red leggings, yellow boots, orange hair. But it's not just cosmetic, they're both based on DC characters.
Thundra comes from an alternate Earth where warrior women predominate. She could be seen as a knockoff of Wonder Woman, although usually she comes off as a caricature of a rabid Women's Libber.
Hyperion is a much stricter shadow of Superman. (One of several in Marvel's stable, as it happens – there's Hyperion (regular and Max), Gladiator, The Aquarian, Übermann and the Sentry. Did I miss anybody?) He's bringing Thundra to the headquarters of the Nth Project, rivals of Pegasus. He brings her (and the readers) up to speed on his latest appearances, Avengers Annual #8 and Thor #280. (Gruenwald loves his continuity.)
Let me point out that Hyperion stands a head shorter than Thundra, reminding me of Darwyn Cooke's similar designation of Superman and Wonder Woman in "New Frontier."
Hyperion introduces her to director Albert DeVoor and researcher Abner Doolittle. (Same initials! Try and find some significance in this for extra credit.) The skull-faced Doolittle (sounds like T'challa's pal Abner Little, don't it?) brings out the portable Nth projector, which he claims can send Thundra home.
Thundra says this can't be possible because her homeworld merged with the male-dominated Machus. (And no, I don't know where their babies came from before that.) Doolittle tells her not to play dumb –
– And then we get a two-page spread of those little ads that used to be synonymous with the comic-reading experience. The right-hand page is from the notorious Johnson Smith Company. On the left hand side, we get some of the usual suspects – how much demand is there for setting poems to music? — but they're being replaced by ads for comic book dealers. In many ways this was more honest.
Back to the fugly Doolittle. (This shot makes him look like the Spidey villain the Worm.) He says that since every event of significance creates at least one alternate Earth, something as big as merging with Machus would be sure to leave an un-merged Thundra-world. (Gruenwald also loves his alternate worlds – he did a fanzine on the topic called Omniverse.) Doolittle adjusts his porta-projector and...
"Ohh," says Thundra. "There it is! My world... my home... with every detail exactly as I remembered from the past. It couldn't possibly be faked!"
"And let me assure you, we are prepared to send you there – immediately!" 
Cut to Ben, returning to the Baxter Building after his travels. We get a page of Ben and Reed having a confab. Ben broke up with Alicia — to keep her out of danger, he says — but now he's having second thoughts. Reed tells him, "Ben, Alicia may not be able to see, but she's not blind. ... Go see her... Say you've reconsidered, and start over again, okay?"
More ads — quarter-page by Byrne & Austin for the New X-Men, quarter-page for "the most exciting Swamp Creature of them all!" (The Man-Thing.) Full page for Mr. Freeze Pool Float. "$6.00 Value, only $2.99 plus 50¢ postage!" ) Sigh...
Next story page shows the Thing in fedora and trench coat taking some roses to Alicia. "It's funny... sometimes I git so used ta hearin' Reed make with the scientific mumbo-jumbo, I almost fergit that guy's got smarts where it really counts... dealin' with people." Depends on who's writing him, Ben...
Anyway, because someone judged it too soon for Ben and Alicia to get back together, Ben sees her leaving her building arm-in-arm with some unknown guy. Ben trashes the posies and sulks away. Somebody's going to have some aggression to work off later this story.
Speaking of which – Thundra is asking for a guarantee that the projector will send her home safely. Doolittle obliges and has his assistant send him to Thundra's world, where he stands, apparently unharmed. (Nobody ever mentions what Thundra is supposed to do or have done to receive this favor from the Nth boys, anyway.) But that's academic, because Thundra grabs the projector and sends DeVoor and the assistant to her homeworld as well. (A world of super-strong women who hate men. Some guys have all the luck.) She tries to zap Hyperion but he dodges.
Double-page spread from Mile High comics, one of the few comics advertisers in this issue who are still around. Very plain typesetting, no graphics at all. Howard the Duck #1 goes for $20, same price as FF #25-30. Earliest Spider-Man is issues #31-38 at $8 each.
Looking more anguished than triumphant, Thundra shrugs off her trenchcoat and yells, "Thundra will be FREE!" She barrels her way through most of the Nth project when –
"A sudden rush of wind past me – as if an object were speeding by – but I can see nothing!"
"Of course you can't! Haven't you guessed by now, my flaming redheaded flamingo, I'm faster than a speeding bullet?" (Not the best line if you're trying to impress a girl, H. ) Hyperion is more than willing to let Thundra run off with the portable Nth porjector because – what else? – he's got the hot tamales for her. The Nth Project security team give chase in their hovercraft.
Heroes World has a full page ad for Star Wars merch.
Marvel house ad for subscriptions. This one is kinda whimsical, with the Hulk cast against type as Percy Dovetonsils, wearing a smoking jacket and slippers, sipping tea with pinky raised. "Greetings, culture lovers! I, the ever-Incredible Hulk, offer both sad and joyous tidings! First the unfortunate news, commencing this month, your favorite Marvel Comics will cost 50¢ on the newsstand of $6.00 for 12 issues. [Whimper.] An unavoidable shame, I assure you." And from thence to the pitch. What gets me is the title of this ephemera – "Be Elite! (It's Neat!)" – in an election year where "elite" is considered anything but.
Now we're on page 13 of an 18-page story and almost to the title bout. Ben, Thundra and Hyperion show up at the Baxter Building simultaneously. Thundra wants to have Reed examine the projector and have Ben debrief her. (The double entendre was unintentional, but leave it be, it fits.) Hyperion doesn't recognize Ben so he slugs him and we've got "the BATTLE you've been waiting for!" (Yawn.) One page of slugfest and then more ads. (And I thought today's comics were ad-heavy.)
Half-page of Grit. More comic shops, more poems set to music, martial arts, Charles Atlas, filler pic of Spidey and "FINISH HIGH SCHOOL AT HOME!" From a place called the American School – now that's distinctive. I supposed we don't see these ads nowadays because a HS diploma is no longer the bare minimum needed for a decent job. 
Full page of Fun Factory.
The Nth Boys show up in their flying whatsit and trap Thudra in a gravi-pod net. Hyperion claps his hands and sends Ben flying from the shock waves.
First Cop: "Shouldn't we go for reinforcements before they wreck the city?"
Second Cop: "Naw! The mayor says keep the crowds back – Let them knock themselves silly and then send the bill for damages to Reed Richards."
Hyperion drags Ben through a handy abandoned tenement but can't shake him. Thundra has better luck breaking free of the duded-up fishnet.
And NOW, instead of a letters page, we have the contest from the cover! Three essay questions. For Ages 10 and under: "Who is your favorite Marvel super-hero, and why?" ≤25 words. 
Ages 11 to 14: "Who is your LEAST favorite Marvel character, and what can we do to improve him or her?" ≤25 words.
Ages 15 and up: "How should the Marvel Universe change to face the challenges of the Eighties?" 950 words.
Each category offers a $2500 cash first prize. Anyone ever hear who won?
"Captain Marvel Defends the Earth!": "War is not the answer, gentlemen. Those who resort to violence have run out of ideas – but I have not. Even Phae-dor's inhuman warriors will not be able to resist the delicious Golden Goodness of HOSTESS® TWINKIES® Cakes."
Hyperion and the Thing are at a near standstill, despite the big H's superior strength. Meanwhile Thundra mops up the scavenger squad, only to learn that Nth command is about to remotely blow up the projector in a matter of seconds. She tells the boys to stop fighting and gives Ben as much info as she can under the sitch. She also offers to take Ben with her and he's tempted, but in the end lets her and Hype take a fast tesserac outta there.
"She's gone! I had my chance an' I passed it up. She slipped away, an' I just stood here an' watched." (Well, to be fair, it was a bit sudden, having to decide to leave the world of your birth in less than half a minute. And Ben wasn't exactly in a calm place to begin with.) Anyway, our light-hearted adventure ends with Ben feeling sorry for himself. All's normal.