Marvel Two-In-One—keeping us warm ‘til August
If you’ve been following Comics Now for more than a few days, then it’s probably pretty evident that I’m a huge fan of the Fantastic Four. Introduced to the First Family by Jonathan Hickman, my love for the team has only grown since then. I recently began working my way through the entire series on Marvel Unlimited, and with last week’s announcement that the Four would be returning to comics—with an all-star creative team, no less—this fan couldn’t be happier. In fact, the only thing I don’t like about the announcement is that we have to wait until August to get the first issue—but never fear! Marvel Two-In-One is here to make the wait just a little bit easier, with a crazy, world-hopping odyssey full of nostalgia, hope for the future, and yes, clobberin’ time. Reader beware: there be spoilers ahead!
For the uninitiated, Two-In-One sends Ben and Johnny on a journey through the multiverse. They're trying to find Reed and Sue (or are they, Mr. Grimm?), and along the way, they find a lot of other things instead. Things like the quasi-good Irondoom, who's probably manipulating them. And alternate-reality, beardy-faced, depress-o Reed. And Farmer Radd, the raddest farmer in the midwest. And this guy:
That's right. GALACTUS VON DOOM, complete with some very Doombot-esque, silver, surfing heralds. This is the kind of crazy, adventurous stuff that made Fantastic Four worthy of its self-proclaimed "World's Greatest Comic Book Magazine" title.
But there's more here than just bonkers, Kirby-inspired imagery. Ben is just as lovable as ever, and he and Johnny interact in ways that both call back to the very start of the FF, but still reflect the maturing that their relationship has gone through in the intervening years. There's a sadness hanging over both of them—the same one, in fact, that's been hanging over us fans. It's nice to have some of the team back, but there are still pieces missing. Our heart may be pumping, but it's still broken. In today's #5, we get an image like this:
We are Spidey. We are Kamala. We know it's not actually the complete team, but for just a moment—one brief splash page—the band is back together, and the Fantastic Four jump into the fray (even if poor, broken alternate-Reed is actually whining from the rooftop). There is a moment of hope, of restoration, of longing at-last-fulfilled, and then it's gone. The heart is still broken.
But not for long.
Let's not forget that Two-In-One #5 came out today. And today, we live with the knowledge that Marvel are bringing the first-family back. They aren't bringing them back as some half-hearted fulfillment of an obligation, either. They're giving the FF to the most prominent writer in the fold, partnered with one of their finest visual storytellers. I've no doubt the colors and letters will be top-shelf, as well. Could Marvel screw it up? Could we be looking at the first of five new #1's in the next five years? Sure. The worst could happen. But maybe it won't.
I choose to hope. I choose to celebrate. And Marvel Two-In-One is a mighty fine way to do both.