"In Sickness or in Health"
The Thing from Another World: Eternal Vows #2 (Dark Horse)
Written by David de Vries
Pencils by Paul Gulacy
Inks by Dan Davis
Cover by Paul Gulacy
MacReady arrives in Wallace Harbour to investigate the
all-too-familiar-sounding deaths in town.
Sam Holt, a seaman from the Gettysburg, leaves the
bar of the Wallace Harbour Hotel late at night to head back
to the ship. Along the way, he discovers Jennifer sitting in
an alley in her underwear asking for help. She attacks him,
her tentacles erupting from her body to penetrate him and
devour his cells. But after contact she realizes this man is
not Holt anymore...he is a Thing containing Powell's essence
and he takes on Powell's form for her. Just then, fellow
seaman Michaels comes across the two of them and he is
quickly killed to protect their secret.
Meanwhile, a helicopter piloted by MacReady arrives in
Wallace Harbour. He is carrying a flamethrower.
Back at Jennifer's home, Powell tries to explain their new
lives to her and how he became assimilated out at
sea aboard the Gettysburg.
Attempting to prevent additional murders, Sergeant Rowan
imposes a curfew for the entire town and the Gettysburg.
Shortly after, MacReady discovers Michaels' body and tests
the blood. It's negative. Just then, Rowan and the ship's
captain, Banks, find MacReady standing over the body and
he's placed under arrest. At the police station, MacReady's
story of having just arrived in town checks out and he
explains the deaths that are taking place, calling it a
quick-acting disease (to sound more believable), implying the
disease may have reached Wallace Harbour from contaminated
fish aboard the Gettysburg. Rowan places the ship,
cargo, and crew in quarantine.
The Thing resumes the form of Holt to check back in on the
ship, but is arrested for his suspicious disappearance and
possibility of contamination. The rest of the Gettysburg
crewmen have already been tested, now it's time to test
Holt as he sits behind bars. He fails the blood test, of
course, and transforms into a beastly shape in an attempt to
break out while MacReady fries him with the flamethrower.
MacReady, Rowan, and Banks observe the Thing's shifting
transformations into its assimilated human bodies,
including Jennifer's, before it's finally incinerated.
CONTINUED IN THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD: ETERNAL VOWS
When MacReady arrives in Wallace Harbour, he has shaved his
beard, sporting just some scruff. Maybe he had grown it at
the Antarctic base just to help keep his face warm and
protected from the cold and now doesn't need
MacReady unpacks an M2 A39 Flamethrower. Though there were a
series of M2 model flamethrowers used by the U.S. military
since WWII, there is no A39 model as far as I can determine.
Page 9 implies that the Thing currently in Wallace Harbour
was a fish that was assimilated by the Thing that went down
in the U.S. Navy sub in
From Another World" Part 2. That fish was later caught,
or allowed itself to be caught, by the Gettysburg, where it
immediately assimilated the fisherman Simon Powell.
This issue and last show and describe the Things consuming
flesh as food. This is consistent with its depiction in the
novelization of The Thing
and in the short story "The Things".
The presence of a duplicate human personality is also
suggested in both of those previous instances, though this
story seems to go further in allowing the personalities to
be seemingly merged with the Thing so that both continue
living in a sense. Perhaps the Thing has decided to change
how it approaches assimilation on Earth since it has
had so much difficulty with these human creatures in all the
Powell also warns Jennifer that they must be careful about
turning more people into creatures like themselves because
it would result in competition for the limited resources of
Wallace Harbour. This makes it sound as if the Thing is not
necessarily bent on world domination, just survival. This is
different than the impression given of the Thing in
On page 13, why would Captain Banks of the Gettysburg
be carrying a torch to light the way for himself and
Sergeant Rowan during their search through town for Michaels
and Holt? Why not just use a flashlight?!
The titles of each issue of Eternal Vows are borrowed from
the classic lines of the marriage liturgy of the Book of
Common Prayer of the Anglican Church. On pages 15 and
24, Jennifer uses another line from the marriage liturgy,
"Till death us do part," which is also the title of the
concluding chapter of Eternal Vows.
On page 16, Rowan remarks that air logs show MacReady flew
out of Invergargill two hours ago. Presumably this is a
misspelling of Invercargill, a city on the large south
island of New Zealand.
Also on page 16, Rowan tells MacReady there's no "pleading
the 'Fifth' here." "Pleading the Fifth" is a term often used
for crime suspects in the U.S. who invoke their right, as
established in the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, not
to have to testify against oneself. New Zealand does not
have a similar law.
In a slight flaw in the art, the stem of the pipe Captain
seems to go from straight to curved over the course of pages
On page 17, MacReady says the "disease" (as he's referring
to the Thing at this point to sound more believable) laid
waste to Outpost 31 within 48 hours. Actually, it was more
like 6 days when the chronology of the film is worked out
chronology at Outpost31.com).
Back to The Thing Episode