Marvel Two-in-One #3

by Harlan Ivester on February 14, 2018

Marvel Two-in-One #3
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Valerio Schiti
Colorist: Frank Martin
Publisher: Marvel Comics

            Chip Zdarsky continues to impress with Marvel Two-in-One #3, highlighting just how varied his potential as a writer is. I had my doubts about his place on this book, but by now they’ve disappeared entirely. The Fate of the Four has been everything I could have hoped so far: exciting, endearing, intriguing, and funny. Throw a retcon in there now, and I’m sure I’ll be recommending the trade of this to my friends and family down the road. Some mild spoilers coming your way.

            Oh yeah, the retcon. So, it turns out the reason that Johnny’s been losing his powers (and apparently Ben’s felt weaker, too) is that each member of the group depends on the rest for the very existence of their abilities. Since Reed and Sue are not in 616, our protagonists’ powers are diminished. It makes some things a little confusing, like the Council of Reeds, but it fits the idea of family that the Fantastic Four is all about, so I’ll give it a pass / say that that deserves some praise. As far as dialogue goes, I still think that Mr. Zdarsky’s Doom feels like an evil version of the good version…of the evil guy…..that’s….He talks and almost acts like old Doom and it’s conflicting with the “main” Doom, is what I’m getting at. That can be good or bad, depending on how you like your Victor. The progress that we get in the search for Reed, Sue, and the kids is satisfying, although it seems like multiverse travel is suddenly a bigger deal than it used to be. Doesn’t S.H.I.E.L.D. have watches that let them hop from Earth to Earth? I also have to scratch my head at the Wolverine scene at the end. Him against Hydro-Man? Claws against a guy made of water? And one of Logan’s only weaknesses is drowning. Anyway…

            Valerio Schiti is on art now, and man, is it great. He and Frank Martin can turn on a dime when it comes to changing the tone, from Doom’s regal and formidable presence to a nice walk down the street in the middle of the day with a man made of rocks. Schiti’s characters don’t have the “depth” that Jim Cheung’s do, but anatomy is very well defined and consistent. This is especially commendable when body language is as loud as it is here. Any panel featuring Hercules and his rambling is a great example, given his obnoxious mannerisms. Him, plus a throw down with Hydro-Man, plus Doom being the bad ass that he is equals a lot of great material for the two to work with. Their varied capability keeps things refreshing and eye-catching at all times.

            Marvel Two-in-One hasn’t blown me out of the water like Hickman’s Fantastic Four did, but baby steps are important, and all the pieces are in place. Each issue has had all the qualities of a great Fantastic Four story while remaining new and original. Zdarsky is clearly a fan who understands these characters well and is excited to be behind the wheel. Frankly, I’m excited about it, too. The first family is almost back, and I can’t wait to see how it goes down. If you’ve been missing your FF…then you’ve undoubtedly already been reading this. Keep it up. It’s worth it.

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