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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

at popapostle-dot-com
"'Til Death Us Do Part"
The Thing from Another World: Eternal Vows #4 (Dark Horse)
Written by David de Vries
Pencils by Paul Gulacy
Inks by Dan Davis
Cover by Paul Gulacy


Aboard the Gettysburg, MacReady makes his final stand against the Thing.


Story Summary


MacReady manages to make the swim to the Gettysburg. Unknown to the others, Jennifer has made it aboard as well and takes the form of first a crewman and then Captain Banks. When MacReady realizes what has happened he forces all the crewmen to undergo another blood test and Captain Banks Things-out. MacReady flees while the Thing kills and/or eats the crewmen.


MacReady sets about dumping gasoline all over the ship. Before he is quite finished, the Thing attacks him and he uses a flare gun to set the creature and the ship on fire, jumping overboard himself.


He swims back to the shore of Stewart Island, but the head of Jennifer has sprouted legs and tentacles to chase after him. He kicks it out into the water and tries to kill it with a stick, but he's too exhausted to continue.


The head sinks toward the ocean floor while Powell and Jennifer continue their internal conversation, telling each other how much in love they are as they grow weaker and weaker. Then they transform into a fish and head towards a nearby school of fish, thinking only, "Food."




Didja Notice?


Both Jennifer and MacReady seem to be under the impression that burning down Wallace Harbour will isolate Stewart Island until the Things eat each other and then starve and die. But there are many other towns on the real world Stewart Island, not to mention that the Things could easily take on the form of fish or birds to escape.


How is it that Jennifer's dead body on page 3 is dressed in what appears to be women's clothes? She seems to climb aboard the ship naked on page 1 and assimilates the male crewman named Mitch. And since the ship has only a small, all-male crew, it seems unlikely there would be a female tank-top and jeans aboard.


In previous issues of Dark Horse's Thing comics, the amount of time the creature's spaceship had been buried in the Antarctic ice was overstated as being a million (or more) years. On page 19, MacReady's thoughts finally bring it back to the amount of time guessed at by Norris in The Thing, 100,000 years.


Also on page 19, amusingly, MacReady is still referring to the Norwegians as Swedes!


In thinking back on how he defeated the Thing, MacReady muses he doesn't like to lose. This may be a reference to, and is reinforced by, the electronic chess game he played at the beginning of The Thing and lost, with his reacting by pouring his drink into the innards of the device, shorting it out, while muttering, "Cheatin' bitch."


Page 23 seems to reinforce my earlier supposition in "For Better or Worse" that the love between Powell and Jennifer caused the human personalities to dominate the assimilated form, causing them to behave to preserve their humanity and love for each other instead of spreading the Thing's cells throughout the world.


The final page of the story implies that the Powell/Jennifer Thing still lives in the form of a fish and will eventually rise again. 


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