Comicshistory and Superhero Reviews

Marvel Two-in-One #2 Review: The Thing and Human Torch Hit Monster Island

As Fantastic Four fans probably know by now, Marvel Comics is bringing back Marvel's original First Family to publication status. What fans may not know, is that as a run-up to the big event, they have brought back an old title to serve as the vehicle whereby the Thing and the Human Torch begin their search for Reed, Sue, and the Richards children. It should be noted, that this is a revival of the Marvel Two-in-One title. The original version in the 1970s, was a vehicle for the Thing to team-up with various other heroes.

A bit of background on why Reed and Sue need to be found. Back in 2015, when Marvel destroyed their two main universes in the "Time Runs Out," and "Secret Wars" story arcs. Long story short, at the end of these tales, the Marvel Universe was put back together, with Johnny and Ben (among others) put back into reality, while Reed, Sue, and their kids chose to explore the multi-verse. These events effectively ended the publication of the Fantastic Four comic.

While Ben and Johnny did see each other at times, the Torch hung out with his old pals the Inhumans (with whom he participated in the Inhuman/X-Men war), while Ben returned to space as a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. In Marvel Two-in-One #1, Ben and Johnny reunite to find their lost family members, supposedly by hunting down a piece of Reed's tech that will help them locate their missing loved ones.

This second issue finds our Fantastic Two looking checking out the location of the Fantastic Four's first adventure: Monster Island. Of course, while looking underground, they stumble upon their old friend, Mole Man, who is engaged in an election (yes, an election! This is very funny, and is a good example of how Zdarsky is an entertaining writer) with Googam, Son of Goom, for control of Monster Island and Subterranea.

This scene is pretty funny, actually, as the would-be monster leaders decide that the best way to decide the election is to fight our heroes.


Slight Spoilers here, by the way...


Then, just as our heroes are having trouble in the fight (Johnny's flame powers are now unreliable), old foe/new ally Victor Von Doom (who has lately gone by the moniker of the Infamous Iron Man), arrives, beats up both the monsters and the Thing, and gets our heroes out of their jam, while also saving Johnny's bacon from the Mole Man, Googam, and the assorted voters, er, I mean the assorted monsters.

Doom, of course, wants the tech that Ben and Johnny are looking for, and, realizing that they have no idea what they are doing, leaves in a fit of pique. At this point, Ben thinks back to the clue (the location of their first adventure) left by Reed, and the story then turns into a warm-hearted flashback of the "first adventure" had by Reed and Ben while in college with an arrogant fellow student named Victor Von Doom. This scene adds some new canonical information to the history of their relationship with Doom, but also adds some more motivation for all the wicked things Doom did to get back at Reed Richards.

Using this story as a means to discover the hidden Richards tech, called the "Multi-Sec," Ben and Johnny are now able to really pursue their lost family.

This issue does a good job of showing us how Ben and Johnny are basically brothers who lovingly squabble with each other, and shows also some of the depth of Ben and Reed's history. Writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Jim Cheung turn out a very good issue here, and leaves the reader mourning along with Ben and Johnny as they hope against hope that they may be able to find/save their loved ones. The humorous interaction between the two "brothers" is very good and spot-on with their personalities. Zdarsky captures their characterizations well.

If you are a fan of the FF, in any form, this is a comic and a series worth reading.

We will continue reviewing this series as we get closer to Marvel's re-launch of the Fantastic Four comic series.


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