A BEAUTIFUL COVER
I have to admit that I had a legitimate laugh when I saw this excellently drawn cover by Jay Anacleto. I’ve seen a lot of parodies of American Gothic, but seeing Johnny and Ben standing in front of a house with their ship crashed into the roof was hilarious. Also, this is also a great way of saying what’s in the issue, without doing that at all. This is a down-to-earth story, and the cover lets you know that from the beginning.
THE STORY SO FAR
Chip Zdarsky (Jughead and Sex Criminals) has been telling a non-stop adventure through the multiverse in seven issues and one annual, but this issue takes a well-needed break in the action. The Thing, Human Torch and friends have been on a journey to find the rest of the Fantastic Four, who have been lost out somewhere in the multiverse. Reed, Sue, Franklin, Valeria, and other Fantastic Four/ Future Foundation members have been missing since the end of Johnathan Hickman’s Secret Wars event. The problem is, the Thing knows they’re dead (at least, he’s certain they are). So, he’s leading Johnny on a wild goose chase. He’s kept this a secret so far, but that all comes to bear in this issue.
Now, Ben and Johnny have been left stranded by their temporary allies Rachna and Dr. Doom. They are powerless, and the world on which they’re marooned is ruled by an evil Peter Parker called “The Spider.” Here, under the aliases Dan and Jimmy, they must stay hidden, while Amadeus Cho (a repairman on this Earth), sends a signal out to find an FF Ben thinks is dead.
Every issue so far has been an insane adventure, with fights against Hydro-Man, turning Emma Frost into a Lifebringer to fight off a Dr. Doom Galactus, and fighting in the Spider’s Battleworld against an evil Dr. Strange. Paralleling the first issue, titled Fast Burn, this issue, titled Slow Burn, takes its time to tell a story. To show Ben and Johnny dealing with being stranded on this world similar to, but very different from their own.
The story takes time for what could be one of the most climactic fights in the series, but instead has a beautiful tussle and argument between brothers. That’s what the Thing and Human Torch are–brothers. So, when the truth is revealed, it’s an amazing moment that reminds me of something more out of an Oscar-nominated film than a superhero comic.
RAMON K. PEREZ
Ramon K. Perez (All-New Hawkeye and Mighty Thor) is the third artist to work on the series, after Valerio Schiti and Jim Cheung. I read the whole issue, and assumed the art was Cheung (who’s probably busy drawing Justice League), but after looking at the book for a while, I could see the difference. I have no idea if Perez is trying to mimic Cheung or Schiti’s style, but I have to say the artist did a great job keeping up the consistency of the art style in the book.
Artists have to come and go from books all the time in this industry, but I appreciate that this artist kept the style similar to the previous issues, so the reader doesn’t have to process a new style. Not that a newer style would be bad, but that would be an adjustment which might take you out of the story; fortunately, there was no such problem in this issue.
THE FANTASTIC REPLACEMENT
In the end, do you miss the Fantastic Four? Do you miss their crazy adventures into space and realms unknown? Tired of waiting for the new Fantastic Four series by Dan Slott, coming out this August? Then you should read Marvel 2-In-One. When you read a Fantastic Four book, you might notice it’s more of Reed’s story. The others are just add-ons. There’s a Thing issue every now and then. There’s even a b-plot for Human Torch on occasion. Thankfully, this is a book is a well-needed focus on two of Marvel’s first family. Zdarsky is known for his comedic writing, but this title features some of the most meaningful, serious moments between these characters in years. I’m worried people will miss that, because there’s a new FF book coming out next month. This should be considered more than just a well-written and stunningly drawn maxi-series that ends up on the back shelves. Marvel 2-In-One is the Fantastic Four book we’ve wanted, already here.
Verdict: 4 out of 5
Oh, is this a bio? I better tell people who I am and what I do, right? Well, that’s easy I’ll explain that I’m a writer of sorts who goes under the alias of Nobody, but my friends call me Kade because that’s my name. Check out some of my short stories on Tapas.io under Social Cues of Mythology.