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Marvel Two-In-One #11 Review

by Charles Martin on October 31, 2018

Marvel Two-In-One #11 Review
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Ramón K. Pérez
Colourist: Federico Blee
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

You may have noticed that the shiny new Fantastic Four series is completely absent from Marvel's October release calendar. Woe is us! Whatever shall we do?

Oh, right, we could roll through another issue of Marvel Two-In-One, the comic that preceded this current volume of the FF (objective fact) and regularly exceeds it (subjective opinion but go ahead on and fight me if you disagree).

Returning to the title's fundamental team-up structure, this issue sends Ben Grim and Reed Richards on a multiversal road trip. Reed has a sensible excuse for this jaunt: He thinks it's best to retrieve the 616 Mad Thinker from the post-apocalyptic AU where Ben and Johnny left him.

This errand is duly completed and Ben gets down to the heart of the matter: Tearing strips off his best buddy for letting him and Johnny think the rest of the family was dead. There's an obligatory action scene. It's a fight against alien flora rather than a hero-on-hero brawl, but it gets close as Ben grows angrier.

Reed reveals - all? some? - of his thinking by taking Ben to meet a Very Special Doom in an AU Latveria.

That's right, this issue is doubling down on the breathtaking premise from the Two-In-One Annual: That Reed believes the key factor in making Victor Von Doom a good person is his own absence.

Ben and Reed both have some impressive thoughts on the subject, but a veil of mystery remains over some key points. In the Annual, the case was made by an all-new Council of Reeds. This issue doesn't reveal whether 616 Reed is aware of that Council's existence.

This issue gets a fine visual treatment. The finish on the art is sketchy in a good, passionate way. The Thing is the artistic standout here; incredible emotions are carved into his craggy face with consummate skill. The colours contribute a great deal to this portrayal. They pick out the slab-sided facets of Ben's body with tons of different shades and breathe him into three-dimensional life. His colouration is especially impressive in the otherwise-drab Latveria scenes.

While I dearly love getting another peek at Mr. Fantastically Melancholy and his "I had to die so Doom could live better" idea, I can admit that this issue doesn't evolve the concept much beyond the Annual's first glimpse. Its main accomplishment is anchoring it firmly in the minds of 616 Reed and Ben. Which is great in theory, but there's not much space left for the idea here and it seems very unlikely to make the leap into the main FF title. More's the pity.

Reed and Ben's reunion road trip ties up some loose ends and unleashes some bittersweet feelings before revisiting this title's unique Reed-Doom relationship. It's a pity this feels so much like a farewell. There are realms of potential here that the Slott/Pichelli FF will probably never get around to exploring. Two-in-One hasn't always been flawless, but on balance it has been … yes, we have to say it: Fantastic.

Our Score:

8/10

A Look Inside

Comments

Charles Martin's picture
Dialogue clues hint that this issue takes place shortly after the FF wrap up their "Griever" crisis du jour in the main title.