For Your Consideration: Marvel’s Thing: Project Pegasus

Robert Greenberger

Robert Greenberger


by Robert Greenberger

Whereas Spider-Man was in so many books, he didn’t need a separate continuity for his appearances in Marvel Team-Up, the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Thing only had Fantastic Four so could add solo elements in Marvel Two-in-One where he partnered with members of the Marvel Universe large and small. As a result, many elements were added during his run, most notably the addition of Project Pegasus. Now that the title is back and many of the additions are now being seen regularly on film, it makes sense to take the seminal storyline and re-present it to the world.

Thing: Project Pegasus

Thing: Project Pegasus


Thing: Project Pegasus is a repackaging of a similarly titled collection form 2010 that includes MTIO #42-43, 53-58 and Avengers #236-237. Writer Ralph Macchio clearly had fun poking around the lesser known corners of the mythos, playing with characters no one else was paying attention to and his glee can be found throughout the pages. He’s aided and abetted in many of these stories co-written by Mark Gruenwald. It doesn’t hurt that the art is pretty stellar and consistent (rare for that era) from the hands of Sal Buscema, Alfredo Alcala, and Sam Grainger then followed by John Byrne and Joe Sinnott, who are, in turn, followed by George Pérez and the late, unforgotten Gene Day.

Marvel Two-in-One #42

Marvel Two-in-One #42


Early on in the series, the Thing became a Big Brother to Wundarr, first introduced in the Man-Thing series running in Fear. Rocketed to Earth from the seemingly doomed planet Dakkam, he possessed powers and abilities far beyond mortal men. He just needed someone to show him how to function on a world of humans and the Thing took him on. When Wundarr was captured by the newly opened Project Pegasus (Potential Energy Group/Alternate Sources/United States), it was to see if his powers could unlock the energies of the Cosmic Cube. The Thing tries to rescue him but is stopped by Captain America before they team up to retrieve the Cube, which had been stolen by Victorius of the Cult of Entropy.

Of course, he fled to the Florida Everglades, where the cult awaited the arrival of Jude the Entropic Man. But it was also the home to the Man-Thing, who joins the battle as the Thing and Cap arrive but not before Wundarr is placed in a coma by the Cube’s energies.

By story’s end, the Thing had agreed to become the facility’s first chief of security so bounced between the Baxter Building in Manhattan and base, located in the Adirondack Mountains in New York State.

Marvel Two-in-One #54

Marvel Two-in-One #54


We pick up with issues #53-58 that begins things with a bang as the Thing checks in on Wundarr but not before fighting the new security chief, Marvel Man, who is transformed into Quasar, brandishing the Quantum Bands. While visiting, the facility is attacked by the Nth Command, helped by operative Thomas Lightener and led by Deathlok the Demolisher. The cyborg Luther Manning battles both Thing and Quasar before the body self-destructs to avoid being interrogated.

While Lightning roams free, Bill Foster, Black Goliath, arrives to deliver Atom Smasher for study. Distracted, no one notices Lightner sneaking into Nuklo’s cell, awakening the mutant son of the Whizzer and Miss America (see what I mean about playing in the continuity?). The mentally incapacitated being roams the facility, requiring all hands on deck to contain him. It’s also during this adventure that Ben Grimm tells Foster to adopt the abandoned heroic code name Giant-Man in favor of the self-conscious one.

With all this going on. Wundarr has been dreaming and finally awakens. And in a thread building over several issues, Thundra has been training for a big wrestling bout, only to be drugged and forced to aid the Grapplers (Letha, Screaming Mimi, Titania, Poundcakes) into attacking Project Pegasus on behalf of the Nth Command. The battle royal is a nice showcase for the Pérez and Day team.

Marvel Two-in-One #58

Marvel Two-in-One #58


As the team begin to investigate an obvious inside source for the mayhem, Wundarr is now up and about, freeing Solarr from his cell, and finds he needs help so also frees Electro and Klaw (big mistake). Things bubble to a nice boil as Wundarr, channeling his newfound energy from the Cosmic Cube, evolves into a new entity, calling himself Aquarian. Good thing, too, since Lightner’s plan has worked and he is also transformed, into a powerful being called the Nth Man who now threatens all of reality.

Okay, it’s no spoiler to tell you the good guys manage to preserve reality but the adventure is packed with characterization, powerful beings, and some fun humor.

Avengers #237

Avengers #237


The final two chapters are a sort of coda, with Roger Stern, Al Milgrom, and Joe Sinnott picking up threads in The Avengers. These are best recalled as the closest Spider-Man came to joining the team until Brian Michael Bendis’ run. He winds up tagging along as the team responds to a disturbance at the Project.

You get tons of characters, some great art, and nice tweaks to the continuity, making this a lot of fun to revisit.

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