I love Chip Zdarsky’s work. Is that too biased for a comic review? Listen, we live in some tremendously fucked times–it’s always good to have a laugh. Between Sex Criminals, Jughead, and Spectacular Spider-Man, Zdarsky perpetually delivers laughs in spades. What works for this pseudo-Fantastic revival is Zdarksky’s charm and humor, all while revealing the humanity that made us fall for these Fantastic characters in the first place.
Marvel Two-In-One number two (say that five times fast!) picks up from quite the cliffhanger: The rest of the Fantastic Four is alive!…err, according to Ben Grimm. Ben tells this lie to Johnny (in issue #1) to stop The Human Torch from descending further down a slippery slope; Johnny is seemingly out of control, pushing the boundaries of himself further and further, seemingly acting out of despair due to the loss of his family. Grimm tells Johnny that Reed sent him a message to procure an item, one that can take them to the family–an item which took place at their first adventure.
This takes our Fantastic Two to Monster Island, complete with Mole Man, Googam, and Doctor Doom cameos. Hilarity and err…rulership over Monster Island(?!) ensue.
It’s a fun, quippy, self-contained story of sorts, with an ending some may feel robbed by, but I think delivers a beautiful character moment for a few members of the Fantastic family. Reed–the ever stoic, scientific man–dabbling in a world usually unbeknownst to him: farce, delivered by a writer that excels at such.
I’ve already discussed Zdarsky’s deft handling of character, so allow me to tell you that Jim Cheung’s pencils compliment the writing here perfectly. Cheung knows how to handle big set pieces (Human Torch flaming on and lighting up a cave in Monster Island is comic book heaven) as well as give moving human expression to a man made of rock.
I’ve no idea what Marvel has planned for The Fantastic Four (the header on this series is ominously named FATE OF THE FOUR…Fox had the movie rights forever, so Marvel didn’t showcase them, but now that they’re reverted back to Disney…?) but I hope we get them back soon, with Zdarsky and Cheung taking us on more adventures with this family.
Marvel Two-in-One #2
Written by Chip Zdarksy
Drawn by Jim Cheung
Inks by John Dell, Walden Wong, and Jim Cheung
Marvel Two-in-One #2 is currently available from Marvel Comics.