MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #6 by Chip Zdarsky and Jim Cheung is a fantastic ending to the book’s first arc. It’s got exciting action and on-point characterization. It's clear Zdarsky truly loves these characters. Cheung’s art makes this a legendary issue. Don’t miss it.
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Fitting First Arc Finale

MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #6 marks Jim Cheung’s brief return to the series to wrap up the first story arc. Cheung’s artwork makes this issue’s bombastic story all the more epic. He channels the energy and look of Jack Kirby’s artwork for this issue, making each of the battle scenes look downright beautiful. On top of the fantastic artwork, Chip Zdarksy tells a fascinating tale of an alternate Earth’s final stand against the Devourer of Worlds. It’s not Galactus this time, though. It’s none other than the Fantastic Four’s greatest nemesis, Dr. Doom. MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #6 ends the series’ inaugural story arc with a bang, and if you’re a Fantastic Four fan, you must pick up this book.

MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #4 Leaps Into the Multiverse

Impending Doom in MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #6

Last issue, Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm learned that the alternate universe they landed in while exploring the multiverse was nearly consumed by a Galactus-powered Dr. Doom. After destroying the rest of the universe to satiate his endless hunger, he set his sights on the final planet: Earth. In MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #6, the Earth fights back with help from Earth-616’s Ben and Johnny. Our Earth’s Dr. Doom also hitched a ride and, with the help from the alternate reality Reed Richards, they concocted a plan to switch Galactus-Doom’s mind with Emma Frost’s. In order to do so, they grew Ben to Galactus-Doom’s enormous size to distract and weaken him. It works, but not before our Doom tries to sabotage Frost’s plans. Will he let his counterpart succeed? Find out when you pick up MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #6.

MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #6 page 4. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Despite the multitude of action scenes, not too much plot progression occurs this issue. We resolve the plot threads about this specific alternate Earth, but Ben and Johnny come no closer to finding Reed and Sue (although Ben believes that they’re dead anyway). However, this issue doesn’t need to progress the plot too much. It serves as a much-needed return of Ben, Sue, Reed, and Johnny working as a team — something we haven’t seen since SECRET WARS. Half of the team may be alternate versions, but they’re similar enough to our Reed and Sue that it feels like a proper reunion. Sure, we know now that they’re coming back in a few months, but that doesn’t cheapen this in any way.

Zdarsky’s Characterizations in MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #6

Looking past the action, the best part of this issue, aside from the art, is Zdarsky’s dialogue. It’s clear that he knows these characters well. I’ve spoken about this in prior reviews, but it’s even more evident in MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #6. For one, he’s one of Ben Grimm’s best writers in a while. Ben’s heart of gold poorly hidden underneath his rocky, somewhat-gruff exterior is clearly present in this issue. Once he starts fighting for what’s right, he doesn’t falter. In this issue, he doesn’t think twice about growing exponentially and fighting a Dr. Doom with the powers of a God. He just does it with his usual stone-faced (pun intended), deadpan bravado.

Zdarsky also seems to be a huge fan of Doom, or at least of writing Doom. There’s not one but two Dr. Dooms in this issue, and they both act so insufferably smug. Zdarsky understands, even more than Bendis did, that even if Doom has a change of heart, that isn’t going to change his entire personality. Much like Doc Ock in THE SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN, Doom believes that he’s better at this “hero” thing than any of his peers simply because he’s Doom. In MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #6, Doom insults the alternate Reed and haughtily states that he’s smart enough to figure out how to defeat his alternate reality counterpart’s Doombot heralds. His apparent heel turn even makes sense in character. I won’t reveal what comes next, but I’m even more excited for the upcoming MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE ANNUAL that gives Doom the spotlight.

Cheung Returns in MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #6

Jim Cheung is one of the greatest working comic artists today. His incredibly detailed-yet-stylized art fits the somewhat goofy-yet-serious Fantastic Four books. Not to mention that he’s clearly inspired by Jack Kirby, one of the FF’s co-creators. Cheung’s Thing is one of my favorite interpretations of the character. He looks somewhat like a rocky Muppet, but he’s still able to convey emotions. His mano-a-mano fight with Galactus-Doom is one of the most epic spreads in recent history. The gigantic Kirby Krackle emanating from Doom, along with Ben’s expression and body language makes this an iconic comic image. I sincerely hope Cheung sells this as a print because I’d hang it on my wall.

MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #6 page 6. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Final Thoughts: MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #6

Chip Zdarsky Joins the House of Ideas with Exclusive Agreement

Zdarsky is somewhat light on the plot this issue (not to say that it’s not there, it just focuses more on the alternate Earth than on our Ben, Johnny, and Doom). However, when he writes Ben and Doom, it’s as good as some of the most memorable Fantastic Four stories. This arc will go down as a must-read for FF fans alike. Plus, Cheung’s art solidifies the issue as a soon-to-be classic.

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