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Marvel 2-In-One #1: Review

Dec 2017
Chip Zdarsky, Jim Cheung

Story Name:

Fast burn

Review & Comments

4 stars

Marvel 2-In-One #1 Review by (December 23, 2017)
This series is titled Marvel 2-In-One which makes it *not* Marvel Two-In-One vol 2. (Some places haven't picked up on that.) MTIO vol 1 was a team-up title for the Thing. But the 2 in this series seems to be strictly him and Human Torch. The 2 in the title is blue in a white circle to remind us of (some of the designs of) the symbol 4 on the Fantastic Four's uniforms.

The cover calls this Fate Of The Four part 1, and the opening storyline is a quest for the Richards family. I wonder if this will connect to Valeria and Franklin trying to get home as seen in Marvel Legacy?

Walden Wong helps John Dell with the inks.

The primer is as usual edited by Darren Shan and written by Robbie Thompson and uses this issue's letterer Joe Caramagna. The pencils are by Greg Land with inks by Jay Leisten and Frank D'Armata as the colourist.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Marvel 2-In-One #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Johnny Storm is taking part in a car race. He passes 2 contenders but doesn't make it past the leader. (They are named (Jay) Underwood, (Chris) Evans and (Michael) Jordan which Marvel Wiki reminds me are actors who've played him on film.) He overheats his engine and crashes. Of course the Human Torch survives.

Thing is in New York attending the founding ceremony for the Fantastic Four Award, a grant for scientific exploration. (This is probably 1 of the things set up by Johnny in Uncanny Avengers #30 (out the same week) after he inherited Reed Richards' considerable money in UAv#28. He was supposed to be here tonight but he's dumped it on Ben Grimm.)

Someone gives a speech briefly recounting the FF's origin and how they explored other worlds and universes. We see them in 3 different variations of their uniforms, and Sue has 3 different hairstyles. Then the 4th panel of Reed and Sue Richards at home with their children Franklin and Valeria underlies a comment that that family is now lost. The speaker then calls on Ben who describes how Reed was the brains, Johnny sought adventure, Sue was their protector and wide-angle thinker. And *he* was just the pilot.

After the speech Ben tries to avoid well-meaning comments from the audience. And then the party is interrupted by Spider-Man (Peter Parker) fighting Piledriver who he just stopped from robbing a jewellery store. Thing KO's the villain with 1 punch. The he notices Spidey has a tuxedo over his super-suit - he was here for the do.

He also wanted to talk to Ben about Johnny who's been taking unnecessary risks lately. He suggests Thing take the Fantasticar and go find out what's up. Spidey gives him the keys to a warehouse where his 'boss' Parker has put the FF's stuff from the Baxter Building since he lost the building (and his company) during Secret Empire.

Ben finds his old comfy armchair in storage and sits down to remember the past. But then we see his last memory of the family which seems to be a transmission from a spacecraft where Reed, Sue, Franklin and Valeria (although it looks to me more like Johnny and F not F and V) are with Black Panther, and they are about to die. Sue asks him to look after Johnny. (But if BP disappeared with the Richards family how come *he*'s still around?)

[The images are reminiscent of Secret Wars III #1 - Sue is in a SHIELD uniform and Reed has a beard, and Black Panther *was* with the family quartet. But in that issue Reed and T'Challa put Sue, Franklin and Valeria in an escape craft, and it was *that* which was destroyed - Mr Fantastic and Panther survived into Dr Doom's Battleworld. And Ben and Johnny were in the doomed escape craft too.]

Ben's reverie is interrupted by Victor Von Doom in his current heroic Iron Man guise - which Grimm continues not to believe in (see various issues of Infamous Iron Man). Doom also recalls the 'incursion' where Thing failed to save his friends.

[But Victor is 1 of the few people who knows *exactly* what happened in SW3 following the incursions (see most issues of the 2013 Avengers and New Avengers series for those), so is he lying here? He also knows he had 'some' version of Sue, Franklin and Valeria and the Future Foundation kids who were with them in the escape craft on Battleworld with him. And they later helped Reed and Molecule Man recreate a new version of the destroyed multiverse, and went off to explore it at the end of SW3. Doom also therefore knows that Ben and Johnny are new recreated copies.]

[Some say Sue & co were the real versions, and Doom saved them from the destroyed craft. But in that case presumably the real Johnny and Ben were the versions he turned into Battleworld's sun and the wall that kept out the undesirables from the south. But this pair don't remember any of that.]

[I could also read the end of SW3#9 as saying that Reed and Molecule Man went back in time at *that* point and saved Sue & co, so that's who went exploring with Reed - but then what happened to Doom's versions. Reed also says there that Ben and Johnny have their own lives to lead, which would mean he saved them and inserted them into the current Marvel reality - with their memories modified.]

[Whatever, it's a complicated mess. Maybe it'll be sorted out in upcoming issues.]

Anyway, Victor says after Reed & Co went missing he broke into the Baxter Building looking for clues as to where Richards had gone. He didn't want to believe that Richards' death had been caused by something other than *him*. (So Doom turning good didn't happen *immediately* after SW3 then?) He didn't find any, but he did find a recording device he couldn't unlock which was addressed to Ben. Which he hands over to him now.

Ben is angry that Doom has kept this from him. Ignoring Victor's claims that he expected to be able to do more good with the information on it than Grimm, Ben attacks him. Doom easily erects a force shield and then fights back. He starts to slip back into imperious ranting mode, but then recalls he's now good. Victor holds Thing at bay and then apologises to him. He leaves him with the device.

As soon as Ben picks it up it displays a holographic message from Reed. The device detects that Reed, Sue and the kids are gone (at least from this universe) and plays the appropriate message. He believes Ben and especially Johnny still need a life of exploration and adventure. So he's left something he calls the Multisect which will enable the pair to access the Multiplane and travel the multiverse. But it must stay in safe hands so he's hidden it in the location of their 1st adventure (vs Mole Man in FF#1).

We now return to Human Torch who it seems is repeatedly flying up into airless space where his flame is snuffed out and he falls unconscious back to Earth, just managing to flame on in time to save himself. Thing arrives in the Fantasticar. Johnny is angry because (in InfIM#9) he told Ben he didn't want to see him because of the painful memories he stirred up. He lashes out with flames, but Ben and the 'car are both fireproof.

Ben says he *can't* lose Johnny as well as the rest, so what's he doing trying to kill himself. Johnny says he's testing his power because it's been getting weaker. If he loses that as well he'll have nothing left. Ben makes a decision to give his pal something to live for. He tells him he's found new information that Doom hid from them that indicates the family may still be alive.

But Doom has a tracking device transmitting the conversation, and he knows that's a lie.

(So next issue it seems they go to Monster Island to look for the Multisect, and Doom follows them, so I'll be covering that. And then in later issues they'll go looking for Mr Fantastic & co.)

This issue ends with a Marvel Legacy 3-page primer which recaps the FF's origin (again). It goes on to say that after Reed and Sue 'left', Human Torch joined the Inhumans (it doesn't mention him also being part of the latest Uncanny Avengers) and Thing joined the Guardians Of The Galaxy (it doesn't mention him leaving them and working for SHIELD in InfIM).

Jim Cheung
John Dell
Frank Martin
Jim Cheung (Cover Penciler)
Jim Cheung (Cover Inker)
Justin Ponsor (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Human Torch
Human Torch

(Johnny Storm)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Victor von Doom)

(Peter Parker)

(Ben Grimm)

> Marvel 2-In-One: Book info and issue index

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