The Fantastic Four was once the greatest super-family in the world. Now, with half of that family missing and the other half gathering allies to aid in the search, Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm jump across the Multiverse to find their lost members. But is it really as futile as some think? Let’s find out in Marvel Two-In-One #7 from Marvel Comics.
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Ramon K. Perez
Colorist: Federico Blee
Cover Artist: Nick Bradshaw, Morry Hallowell
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Marvel Two-In-One: As a result of the disappearance of Reed and Sue, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm have been experiencing a power loss. Johnny, in mourning since his sister and brother-in-law’s disappearance, is consoled by Ben who takes the younger man on a quest to find their two missing members and restoring their powers fully. With the aid of Doctor Doom* and scientist Rachna Kould, they begin to search the Multiverse for their absent family members. But is everyone working toward the same goal, or do some have secret agendas of their own?
LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!
Using a multiverse travel device called the Multisect, created by Reed Richards, Ben, Johnny, Doom, and Rachna have been exploring the Multiverse looking for the rest of their family. Arriving on a desolate world, they approach a great fortress-like building in the desert, the readings from the machine pointing them toward it. They merge with the masses outside the building and eventually work their way in, where Doom attempts to use magic to locate their targets. Before he can succeed he is shut down by a ragged Doctor Strange. Moments later the group is confronted by a version of Spider-Man dressed in the vest of Kraven and a modified mask of Captain America. They have arrived at Battleworld, where they will have to fight of their lives. It won’t be easy though, as one of their number has disappeared, leaving the other three to their fate.
Events are in motion on Earth-Prime as well. As that world’s Spider-Man checks in on a concerned Alica, Ben’s old flame, four individuals have invaded Rachna Kould’s home, their intentions unknown to us. Although it is not clear to this reviewer exactly who they are, their silhouettes provide me with clues that tell me they aren’t just the Earth-Prime version of Merry Maids.
By the end of the issue, our remaining three travelers will be reunited with the missing member, a secret betrayal will be revealed, and the team will be split asunder. Hold on to your pantaloons, this is a whopper of a ride!
ALL FOR THE LOVE OF FAMILY
With the revival of Marvel Two-In-One, Chip Zdarsky (Howard the Duck, Sex Criminals) has launched the reader on a wild, multilayered ride across the Marvel Multiverse. Taking advantage of Victor Von Doom’s change of heart (quote: I have… re-dedicated my life to helping others without ruling them.), we see character dynamics displayed that bring a new light to all involved. Johnny, faced with fading powers, is not quite the hot-head eager to charge into battle. Ben, losing his vaunted strength, takes the role of the deceiver as he tells his friend they will find Reed and Sue. Doom, restrained by a sense of morals only a fanatic dictator could understand, begrudgingly takes the role of protector for the group, and Rachna Koul, seemingly the optimist, tries to keep them going. By visiting other worlds, we get another look at the vastness of the Marvel Multiverse, and we start to wonder that the fates of other worlds will be. However, this book is different than another dimension hopping title at Marvel, Exiles. While that team is attempting to save the whole of the multiverse, this team is focused on saving their family, and in the process, themselves.
Ramon K. Perez (Dazzler, Wolverine and the X-Men) art lends to the story wonderfully. His ability to capture emotion is shown every time Johnny starts to think of Reed and Sue, or when Ben realizes the futileness of their journey. He switches smoothly from drawing a simple conversation between characters to a full-scale battle with behemoths as smoothly as some artist sharpen their pencils. The lines have an edge, and it adds to the feeling of danger.
BOTTOM LINE: CARRY ON MY WAYWARD SON
I loved Marvel Two-In-One as a kid. With it, like it’s sister title Marvel Team-Up, you got a great character and a rotating guest star each issue. While this title is more purposeful and directed, you still see corners of the Multiverse which you may have missed the first time around, or to see old characters in new roles. I’m enjoying it, and I really hope it stays around after the purpose of its story is finally fulfilled.