When I was a kid reading comics in the late 70s and throughout the 80s, one of my absolute favorite things to see referenced was the Thing’s “floating” poker game. For some reason, the idea that a bunch of my favorite Marvel Comics heroes got together every month to play some casino games, hang out and have fun was incredibly cool to me. It made the heroes a lot more real to me and made me feel like the characters had lives outside of what we read about in the pages of their comics.
I straight up loved the fact that the characters were friends and hung out the same way I did with my own friends (although, we never drank, smoked or fought supervillains…well, at least not in our teens!).
My first exposure to the “floating superhero poker game” was in Marvel Two-In-One #51, the first appearance of the game itself. It was an early artistic outing by Frank Miller and, although his work was rough around the edges, as a kid it blew me away.
From what I remember, the Thing was the main instigator of the gambling, and their game of choice was poker, which always bummed me out. To this day, I’m more of a blackjack player!