The Fantastic Four are slated to make their grand return after two and a half years away in August’s Fantastic Four #1, but Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, and the rest of the Future Foundation are still presumed dead by the rest of the Marvel Universe. Victor Von Doom and The Thing have resigned themselves to this idea, but as they make their own journey through alternate Earths, they’re discovering new versions of these lost heroes in the pages of Chip Zdarsky’s Marvel Two-In-One.
The two old foes are teaming up to search for an alternate Reed Richards in next week’s Marvel Two-In-One Annual, partnering Zdarsky with artist Declan Shalvey and colorist Jordie Bellaire for this tense superhero pairing. This is one of two one-shots this month that has Zdarsky working with top superhero artists—the Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual features Michael and Laura Allred tackling a J. Jonah Jameson-centric story—and this exclusive preview spotlights how Shalvey and Bellaire’s sharp storytelling enriches Zdarsky’s script.
The opening pages of this excerpt are all about making Victor look small, setting a point of contrast for his dominance of the scene afterward. The framing of that final shot in the flashback has a young Victor looking up at the royal palace, but in the very next panel he’s towering above it in the background, having reached the powerful status he longed for as a child. His figure takes up more space in the panel, and Bellaire’s coloring reinforces his power with heavy use of his signature green hue. Shalvey draws one hell of a Thing, craggy and lumbering but still soulful, and his expressions make him more engaging than Doom, whose head-to-toe armor limits his emotions to cold determination. The artwork is totally in sync with the writing, and the clashing visuals of these two characters intensify their personal tension.