Franklin Richards is having a less-than-ideal time right now. Between navigating being a teenager, a father who robbed him of his mutant gene, and the X-men at his door, things are difficult, to say the least. Now seems like a good time for a visit with Uncle Doom, right? That’s what we’re going to find out in X-men/Fantastic Four #2.

Marvel Comics (2020)
X-Men/Fantastic Four #2 // Marvel Comics (2020)

Words by Chip Zdarsky, pencils by Terry Dodson, inks by Rachel Dodson, Karl Story, and Ransom Getty, colors by Laura Martin, and letters by Joe Caramagna. The Dodsons also provide the cover.

Hell Hath No Fury Like Susan Storm In X-Men/Fantastic Four #2

Can you really blame her? X-Men/Fantastic Four #2 shows just how committed Sue is to keeping her child off Krakoa and away from mutants. On the one hand, it’s not especially surprising that a parent wouldn’t want their child going to a new nation that counts people like Apocalypse among its chief ruling body. On the other hand, should Franklin not get to choose if he wants to be among his people?

X-Men/Fantastic Four #2 // Marvel Comics (2020)
X-Men/Fantastic Four #2 // Marvel Comics (2020)

Sue has good intentions here, sure, but so do a lot of parents who make poor choices for their children. Zdarsky paints a picture of Sue being the well-meaning mother who thinks she’s doing what’s best for her child, without really considering what they think. Franklin is a teenager, yes, but he’s also one of, if not the most, powerful mutants on the face of the Earth. Especially considering his powers being on the fritz, and the fact that Krakoa can utilize resurrection at any time, it makes plenty of sense for there to at least be some consideration on her part.

Cloudy With A Chance Of Doom

While Sue debates with Cyclops and the X-men back home, Franklin is abducted along with Kate Pryde and the Marauders by his Uncle Victor Von Doom. Doom’s involvement in X-Men/Fantastic Four #2 is key, providing another alternative for what to do with Franklin. Would you trust your father’s greatest nemesis who just kidnapped you with little-to-no explanation? While that’s a rhetorical question, Franklin doesn’t make the choice so easily.

X-Men/Fantastic Four #2 // Marvel Comics (2020)
X-Men/Fantastic Four #2 // Marvel Comics (2020)

Zdarsky spent a good amount of time writing Doom during his run with Marvel Two-In-One prior to this. He nailed his voice there just as much as he nails it here. Everything Doom says comes across as ominous and vaguely threatening and embodies the royal charisma Doom is so famous for. Realistically, no, they should absolutely not trust Doom, but Zdarsky deftly shows you exactly why you feasibly could.

A Brawl Back Home

X-Men/Fantastic Four #2 // Marvel Comics (2020)
X-Men/Fantastic Four #2 // Marvel Comics (2020)

Cyclops is right! In X-Men/Fantastic Four #2, he’s right on multiple levels even. Firstly, we should all be so lucky as to serve Emma Frost. Secondly, of course, Sue and Reed are going to come after their children. Erik and Xavier are blinded by their own hubris, something far too common for these two, and basically allow this to happen. After the issues Krakoa has already faced in terms of security in the pages of X-Force, you would think they would know better. The unearned arrogance of old white men knows no bounds, even in comic books.

X-Men/Fantastic Four #2 // Marvel Comics (2020)
X-Men/Fantastic Four #2 // Marvel Comics (2020)

Naturally, it’s time for a throw-down with the Four now. There’s some incredibly dynamic action in these pages, executed expertly by the Dodsons, Story, Getty, and Martin. Zdarsky blends comedic beats and action in equal measure, producing a thrilling issue of comics from start-to-finish. Heroes fighting heroes may be played out a bit too much these days. But this series is keeping it fresh and adding a degree of nuance not usually seen in these kinds of stories.

Should You Read X-Men/Fantastic Four #2?

This is a great book, a really great one even. The first issue was an excellent start, but the follow-up is even more exciting in my opinion. The action is fluid and depicts some insanely cool moments. Zdarsky’s script has such a solid understanding of these characters, it’s constantly impressive. The moral quandary of the story riles up quite a bit of fandom and gets people talking, which is ultimately the real goal of any work of art. You want people to engage and talk about why it works and why it doesn’t. The conversations spawning from this series have been all over the place. But it has people incredibly interested and that’s great to see.

Whether you agree with the choices the Sue and Reed are making, or the conspiring that Xavier and Erik are up to, this story is breaking important ground. The relevancy that some feel about Franklin’s situation, having also had parents who attempt to control or micromanage their lives, is significant, and you can just feel that Chip is trying to hit those emotional beats that resonate with readers on a deeper level. This is exactly the kind of nuanced storytelling that is making the X-books so exhilarating right now and I look forward to more of it. Join me again next month as we see how Doom’s plans unfold!

Everything Comes Up Doom In X-Men/Fantastic Four #2
PROS
Very satisfying dialogue by Zdarsky, at the top of his game
Very well-orchestrated fight scenes
More than a little thought provoking in its relevancy to matters in real life
CONS
There are so many chefs in the kitchen when it comes to the art. Not a lot of singular vision coming through
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All Hail Doom