Reed Richards and Sue Storm are lost in the cosmos, and half of their fantastic team are left trying to cope and live without their friends and family. In Marvel 2-In-One #1, we get to see how Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm are surviving now that they are not the Fantastic Four. Depressed and seemingly losing his powers, Johnny Storm is getting himself in all kinds of trouble. While Storm is in the depths of despair, Ben Grimm is handing out an inaugural award in memory of Reed and Sue, oblivious to the hurt that Johnny is in.
It takes a short scene with and a plea from Spider-Man before Grimm goes to see Johnny. It also helps that Doctor Doom has given him a device that ultimately has a video message from Reed on it, that brings 2 of the Fantastic 4 back together.
The reconciliation is touching, but Doctor Doom is watching, and he is up to no good.
I liked this comic. The storyline was nothing new, in fact, I think I have read it a dozen times before in many Marvel pages, but it’s the personality of Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm that has always caught my attention. They are the supporting characters to the Fantastic Four, and now alone, it's interesting to see how they survive.
Johnny Storm is not in a good place. The fact that he has lost his sister, and ultimately his meaning in life has made him a depressive figure, that try as he might, can’t hide the pain. Meanwhile, Ben Grimm, the Thing, is dressed in a tuxedo handing out awards in memory of his friends, and helping other superheroes.
It’s quite refreshing to see the path that writer Chip Zdarsky took. He could have easily swapped paths for each character, in a story sense it would have made more sense based on the character personalities. The joy that I have always found in a Fantastic Four story is the Ben Grimm/Johnny Storm relationship. Part friend and irritating sibling, they thrive on the sarcasm and insults that every family experiences in one form or another. They are the comic relief, the muscle, and the immaturity that is needed to balance out the four characters. Now that there is only two, how different their paths have changed.
Zdarsky does have a flashback moment, which is necessary, and thankfully brief. Readers who are not up on the current events of Marvel comics need to know what happen to Reed and Sue. It was brief, not overly dramatic, and didn’t detract but helped propel the Grimm and Storm storyline.
Artists Jim Cheung, John Dell, Walden Wong, and Frank Martin could have gone all over the map with how they portrayed the flashback scenes, but they kept their focus with simple blues, that let us know this was the past. Sometimes the storyline of a comic can be burdened and hurt with an overexposure of color, but not in Marvel 2-In-One #1. The many panels where Johnny is on fire, are not only visually stunning, but the artists have given a life to the flame that he creates. It’s different than the surrounding fire, and sets Storm apart, but also makes this comic visually appealing, and provides a new depth to the images that make up the book.
For as much as I liked the bickering between Grimm and Storm, seeing Doctor Doom made my day. As Grimm said in the comic, and I agree with him, I don’t buy the good guy role that Doom is trying to take. He’s up to something, and I want to see more of him.
Much like other comics, a magical information cube has been left behind by the too smart Reed Richards which is going to propel the story on in the series. While I found that much of the story felt like other comics, I didn’t care, because I love the focus on Grimm and Storm. They are two of my favorite Marvel characters, and now that Disney is going to buy 21st Century Fox, I hope we see a buddy movie with these two members of the Fantastic Four or at least a solo Doctor Doom movie.