By d. emerson eddy — All good things come to an end. That's the reason why The Simpsons is currently in season 30 while Futurama was allowed to go into that good night twice. For the past year or so, Chip Zdarsky has been writing one of the best Fantastic Four series not to be called by that title, aided by artists like Jim Cheung, Valerio Schiti, Declan Shalvey, and finally for the latter half of the series' run Ramón Pérez. Marvel 2-In-One represented the heart and soul of the Fantastic Four team as Ben and Johnny travelled the multiverse to find their missing family. In many ways, the heart was broken and the soul was crushed as Johnny found that Ben had been lying to him about the rest of them being alive, and later the broader sense of Reed and Sue lying to them both.
This has been a good year for Chip Zdarsky Marvel tales, with him proving repeatedly on Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man and Marvel 2-In-One that he could deliver highly emotional, introspective character pieces. He could guide us into the heads of some of our favourite heroes and let us know how they tick. He does so here again with this series finale, letting us in on the raging tempest inside Johnny Storm, as he and his sister hash it out. First through retail therapy, then a confrontation with the Mole Man and Rachna Koul tying up a couple loose ends from earlier in the series. It's only been in this title where the larger complications of Reed, Sue, and the kids being off on their adventure have been addressed in any sort of meaningful, mature manner, and it has been magnificently accomplished.
It took me some time to come around to Ramón Pérez's slightly different style on this series than his previous thinner and cleaner lines on titles like Nova, but the style here grew on me. The darker, heavier lines worked well on the beaten-down world run by a villainous Spider-Man, continuing to give weight to the emotional situations between Reed & Ben last issue and Sue & Johnny this issue. With Federico Blee's colours, there's a certain bleak feel to the art that works incredibly well for the frustration and disappointment that feels for what amounts to a betrayal from the rest of his family.
Overall, this has been a thought-provoking, heart-wrenching ride, dealing with what it means to be a member of this fantastical family and what happens when there are impediments in the way for that family to function to its fullest. Chip Zdarsky has handled the hard questions and messy emotions of having your family let you down here, but he reminds us at the end that they're still a family, and that families are at their best when they stick together.
Marvel 2-In-One #12
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Ramón Pérez
Colourist: Federico Blee
Letters: VC's Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
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d. emerson eddy is a student and writer of things. He fell in love with comics during Moore, Bissette, & Totleben's run on Swamp Thing and it has been a torrid affair ever since. His madness typically manifests itself on twitter @93418.