The upcoming Fantastic Four: Reckoning War promises to be an epic adventure that will show there are still many great stories left in Marvel’s First Family. The event begins in January 2022, just a few months after the group’s 60th anniversary.
The appearance of Fantastic Four #1 in November of 1961 ranks as one of the most important moments in American comic history, as it inaugurated the Marvel Age of Comics. Over the years, the book, initially written and drawn by the legendary team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby has attracted lots of A-List talent. John Byrne had an epic run on the title in the early ’80s, as did Jonathan Hickman in the 2000s. Other notable creators who have lent their talent to the book over the years include Matt Fraction, Mark Millar and Mark Waid. In 2019, Dan Slott, after making a name for himself with a career-defining run on The Amazing Spider-Man, took the reins and brought the Fantastic Four back from a multi-year hiatus. While this should have been a cause to rejoice, fan reception to the last few years of Fantastic Four stories has been lukewarm.
Yet Reckoning War has all the makings of a classic Fantastic Four adventure, sure to please fans. The event will be written by Slott, with art by Carlos Pacheco and colors by Rachael Stott. It is one of eight new titles announced by Marvel this week that, in the publisher’s words: “shape the future of the Marvel Universe.” While no exact plot details were given, Slott has made it clear in interviews and on social media he has been building to this story for a long time—16 years to be exact. Reckoning War’s seeds have been sown across various titles Slott has written over the years, and they are about to come to a head.
The press release mentions “the original secret war of the Marvel Universe” and that it has begun again, threatening the lives of every living thing. Clues dropped by Slott have indicated the Watchers will be involved as well, and may even be the catalysts for the war. Uatu the Watcher recently returned from the dead in Fantastic Four: Empyre #1 and is likely to continue his habit of breaking his vow of non-interference in this upcoming event.
Fantastic Four was the original wide-screen comic. It took the pulpy, science fiction elements that were present in superhero comics and ramped them up. Over the years the team’s stories became known for perfectly balancing grand cosmic sagas with family drama. Reckoning War looks to be a return to what made the Fantastic Four so beloved in the first place, with Marvel’s First Family facing a gigantic, cosmic menace that threatens all existence. If any team can stop it, it is the Fantastic Four.