Marvel 2 In One #1 review 


The Fantastic Four are no more. Reed, Sue and the kids are off creating new worlds, while Johnny and Ben have been left behind on Earth. Johnny continues to seek thrills as a racing driver...



... while Ben, who’s lately been adventuring with the Guardians of the Galaxy, is making a speech. And not a bad one at that.  


Afterwards he meets somebody new. 



They never do meet inside, as a plea from a rather natty Spider-Man sends Ben looking for Johnny. 


So the rumours are true. This book is indeed about reuniting the Fantastic Four. The memory of the team, their legacy, runs throughout this debut issue by Chip Zdarsky, Jim Cheung and friends. 


There’s even an encounter with Dr Doom, there to set up a maguffin. 



Oh aye, the Multisect for the Multiplane, I can totally believe Reed ‘Solve everything’ Richards had such a thing and never bothered to mention it. And of course he’s still deciding he knows what’s best for his family rather than letting them find their own path. Ben is perfectly capable of getting through to Johnny - Spidey can see it, but ‘Big Brain’ doesn’t trust them. Is he right? Is Johnny lost because Reed’s no longer around to point him in the direction of new worlds and old villains? Maybe a little, but he’s a human being who’s lost his sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew... he and Ben apparently think they’re dead. Isn’t a time of grieving pretty normal? Sure, his way of working through things is more dramatic than most, but he’s a superhero in the Marvel Universe, he’s not going to just sit and look sad in the Coffee Bean. 

I’ve not been following many Marvel comics of late - how long has Victor Von Doom been looking like this? The visual is an utterly characterless take on Jack Kirby’s classic design. Let’s hope it disappears as the Fantastic Four are reunited and Doom is allowed to be a villain once more. 

Now who’s this Rachna dame? She seems friendly, but again, this is the Marvel Universe and her name sounds like Arachne, which equals a spider woman of some sort - a black widow, perhaps? 

When did Ben give up smoking? Did he go to a support group with Wolverine? I know Marvel bigwig Joe Quesada hates smoking, me too, but these are invulnerable characters and I’m pretty wedded to the visual of Ben with a stogie in his bricky gob. 

Zdarsky does a great job with the script: from an opening Fantastic Four films in-joke through Peter’s concern for Johnny and respect for Ben, to the encounter with Doom and reunion with Johnny, this feels like Real Marvel after far too long. 

Cheung’s pencils are fine; it’s not outstanding work, but the storytelling is decent and the finishes by John Dell and Walden Wong are OK. The pages lack an enthusiastic hand - maybe if Cheung was allowed to draw Doom and Johnny in their iconic looks he’d be more excited. 

And since when did Ben need glasses? Maybe he’s also feeling the lack of vigour Johnny mentions?

I love covers with characters smashing through. Here, our heroes seem to be biffing a ‘4’ logo, when they might be putting one back together. Ben comes off better than Johnny, who never looks like himself sans those Kirby body stripes. 

I like this book a lot. It’s not perfect, but it’s a very enjoyable read with, it seems, a laudable intent - putting the Fantastic Four back at the heart of a Marvel Universe that’s lost its way. And that can’t come soon enough. 

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Marvel 2 In One #1 review, Chip Zdarsky, Jim Cheung, John Dell, Walden Wong, Fantastic Four

Comments

  1. This seems to be, to me, Marvel's "Rebirth"

    Going back to old concepts that have proven themselves over the decades, and finding ways to make them shine again. I just wish both companies would settle in on a good quality control system. DC in particular seems more than happy to have really, REALLY, bad art in their books. (And some great art here and there, of course) and I hardly think it makes sense for either company to complain about sales when the quality of much of what they put out is often so lacking.

    I'm a huge DC fan, I love those characters, but I have to admit, I am reading a lot of them out of loyalty rather than excitement, and that makes me feel sad.

    If this issue is a sign of what we can expect from the FF once they have been reunited, I am in, but I have to wonder if after 6 issues we don't get back to just more of the same as always.

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  2. Von Doom has reformed, post-Secret Wars, and has adapted one of the missing Tony Stark's old armors to be the new "Iron Man." Needless to say, not everyone believes him, or thinks it's a good idea.

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    1. Thanks, is Incorrigible Iron Man or whatever worth a look on Marvel Unlimited?

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    2. I can't say I thought much of it...but I'm not a Bendis fan, so your mileage may vary.

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    3. Marvel seems to be running out of ideas with that one. Doc Oc, Loki, Doom. The whole reformed but no one believes them story and then they turn bad anyway stories are getting old.

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    4. Absolutely. Let bad guys be bad guys.

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  3. I loved the art. The script? Doom and Johnny are off model to how they are elsewhere in the MU. This even comes out the same week as a joyous Johnny uses his billion dollar inheritance from Reed o do great things. Zdarsky changes character for plot and a pretty weak one at that. I think I'll buy the Cheung issues and write this series off when he goes...

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    1. Aha, I’ve not read this week’s Avengers Unlimited yet. Darn, that is a shame.

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  4. This Book seems fun hope for other crazy team up in this an maybe The Baxter Building restored to the FF

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    1. that it does also some crazy Internet theory has popped up that part of the reason Victor has gone good is that he is a father now cause in one issue of The Infamous Iron Man Victor had groceries with Baby Formula in it

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    2. I saw an article on that. Hasn’t he already been a hero for ages?

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    3. well he has been since the end of Secret Wars in Bendis' first Iron Man series so yes

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    4. oh and he was pretending to be a hero in Robinson's FF run but only so he could use Valeria's knowledge to save and conquer the multiverse during the incursion crisis

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    5. I read that but have no memory!

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