The Infamous Iron Man, aka Victor von Doom, and the Thing arrive on another Earth while Doom ruminates on his childhood. On this world, the two find a dead Reed Richards and a triumphant Doctor Doom. Before long, our Doom comes into conflict with this Doom, and, before the conflict goes too far, our Victor von Doom teleports away to find himself before a reformed Council of Reeds, a multiversal cabal of Reed Richards from many Earths.
Marvel Two-in-One Annual #1 is a very Doom-centric issue of the book. He’s been prominent in issues prior, but this installment takes the reader into the headspace of the former, and possibly future, Doctor Doom.
It’s a good dive into Doom too. Putting him up against a new Council of Reeds, which means that Doctor Doom is stuck in a room with multiple Mister Fantastic’s, is a good way to see how changed Victor really is. It’s inevitably going to pull a rise out of him. His encounter with another Doctor Doom is a good sequence too.
The Council of Reeds idea was a brilliant one from Jonathan Hickman and Dale Eaglesham’s Fantastic Four run. I’m glad to see this concept brought back. It was interesting and unnerving. It showed how close Reed Richards’s difficulty connecting with others mixed with his genius intellect puts him to the edge of a god complex.
The Thing has a relatively small role in this book. Given the circumstances, I’m okay with that.
Marvel Two-in-One Annual #1’s art is handled by the great Declan Shalvey, and he puts excellent work into this one. His style is detailed and clear, but it aims more for an effected classic comic aesthetic than aiming for outright photorealism. It looks great, and it fits this Fantastic Four-affiliated book very well. Jordie Bellaire contributes the color art, and it is a nice somewhat pale palette that matches the cold tone of the book.
Marvel Two-in-One Annual #1 is an excellent character study of one of Marvel’s greatest once and future villains. It puts him in situations which he would find abhorrent to discover who he has become since Hickman’s Secret Wars. The art of Shalvey and Bellaire is great, and the book earns a strong recommendation. Give it a read.
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