Comic Browser:


Marvel 2-In-One #3: Review

Feb 2018
Chip Zdarsky, Valerio Schiti

Story Name:

Mad company

Review & Comments

4 stars

Marvel 2-In-One #3 Review by (February 16, 2018)
So I was wrong about Iron Doom last issue - I missed the fact that he was in this issue's solicitation. However he's not mentioned for #4-5. But #5's cover does seem to have a different kind of Dr Doom.

Rachna Koul is a new addition to the Marvel Universe, but it looks like *she*'s in for a long haul in this series.

Hercules is in the Avengers these days, currently in the weekly No Surrender epic, as well as guesting in a recent Thor issue.

Hydro-Man fought the Fantastic Four as part of 3 versions of the Frightful Four, and on at least 1 other occasion.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Marvel 2-In-One #3 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Image from Marvel 2-In-One #3
We open with Dr Doom/Iron Man visiting Mad Thinker who is obsessing about Reed Richards being missing. Victor Von Doom mentions their last encounter (Infamous Iron Man #2), but then we leave them ...

... to join the stars of the show Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm in Brooklyn. They found Reed's Multisect last issue and Johnny wants to know why they aren't using it to search the multiverse for Reed and Sue (and their children Franklin and Valeria). Ben reminds him that his Human Torch powers are failing and they need to get them fixed before setting off.

They meet Hercules in a bar, who seems drunk even though he's imbibing non-alcoholic beer (he's sworn off the booze). Thing reminds the Greek demi-god that he once lost his powers (actually more than once but I think they're referring to the 2011 Herc series - somewhere between there and the 2016 Hercules series he got his powers back without explanation). Ben asks how he did it, and Herc says he'll take them to the source.

They fly in the Fantasti-Car to Jack Pine, Wyoming. They land some distance away and Hercules leads them the rest of the way on foot because the woman they're going to see values her privacy and would have shot the Car down. They approach a modernist building in the woods and a woman wearing an Ant-Man-ish helmet 'greets' them at the door. When she removes the helmet Ben recognises her as a woman he met at the Fantastic Four Award ceremony in #1. There we only got her 1st name Rachna, but now we add the surname Koul.

Ben tells her they want her to restore Johnny's waning power. Rachna explains she's an expert in something she calls imperiumology, the study of superpowers. Hercules says she 'cured' him by revealing his power was within him. Rachna gets annoyed because he *still* doesn't understand the truth. She tries to explain again that his body can't hold that much power. Instead he has a link to a power source but he overloaded that link (restoring the universe at the end of Chaos War). She 'just' repaired the link.

Rachna says she'll take Torch's case on after she finishes with her current client. But she charges between $250,000 and $750,000. Johnny exclaims that he doesn't have that kind of money. (He inherited Reed's dough, but used it to set up charitable foundations (like the FF Award) and fund the Avengers.) Ben says they'll figure something out.

Then they see Ms Koul's current client in a water-filled tube - it's the villain Hydro-Man. Johnny wants to shut Koul's business down. But Morris Bench breaks out of his container and accuses the scientist of selling him out to the heroes. He turns to water and starts to drown Thing. But Torch flames on and boils him off Ben - who isn't *too* happy about that solution.

Hydro-Man swallows Herc and attacks Rachna. Who reveals a zeptoparticle-enhanced artificial hand which she uses in her work. But it also defends her against Bench and enables her to reach a button which zaps him back to human. She says he's got his power back (but he seemed to have it OK in his last apps culminating in Occupy Avengers #1-2) and insists he leave now. And she makes him exit via the toilet.

Johnny berates Rachna for helping villains. She's obviously a genius so she could make loads of money like Reed did by inventing stuff, and she could afford to help superheroes for free. She hits back by accusing him of being addicted to being special, like all the others who come to her for help when they're reduced to being normal. And she's worth the fees she charges.

Johnny tries to appeal to her sympathy by telling her that he needs his power at full strength to go find his family who are lost in the multiverse. Rachna says multiversal travel is impossible, so if his family tried to do that they're probably dead. But Ben shows her the Multisect which Reed left for them to use for such trips. And Johnny adds that Reed sent them a message *from* the multiverse. (Ben is still trapped in that lie.) (Strangely no-one says that *they*, and many other heroes, have themselves been to alternate universes.)

Ms Koul offers them a deal - she'll tell Torch what's wrong with him if they take her with them to the multiverse. She's been getting readings on him all the while and has discovered that the FF's common origin means that the 4 are connected. As long as they were in the same universe as each other this wasn't a problem. But Mr Fantastic and Invisible Woman being in another universe for a long time has had an increasing effect. Torch's power is down to 73%. But Thing is also down, to 81%. Ben says that must be why he's not been able to defeat Doom so easily lately.

Talking of Victor, he's noted that Thinker appears to have invented some good stuff lately - well beyond his normal capabilities. So he accuses Julius of stealing things from Reed Richards' storage units (which he himself has looked through). Thinker stutters something about nature abhorring a void - someone needs to fill the hole left by Richards. Von Doom finds the idea of Thinker taking that role laughable. But he's more interested in whether Julius has a *particular* piece of Richards' tech. (So *he*'s still looking for the Multisect.)

But Thinker has manoeuvred Doom into position to be zapped by a ray. Victor vanishes and Julius wishes him well in Antarctica. Then he cuts his hair to resemble Reed's. And says that if Doom can replace Iron Man then *he* can form a new Fantastic Four.

There's a 'where's Wolverine' button on the cover, and a 1-page addendum to this issue where Hydro-Man resurfaces and tries to intimidate a camper into giving him his food and stuff. Unfortunately for him the camper is Logan.

Pencilled by Carlos Pacheco and inked by Jose Rafael Fonteriz.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Valerio Schiti
Valerio Schiti
Frank Martin
Jim Cheung (Cover Penciler)
Jim Cheung (Cover Inker)
Frank Martin (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)

(James Howlett)

Plus: Rachna Koul.

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

Share This Page