Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Farid Karami
Color Artists: Jesus Aburtov
Cover Artist: Cafu
Publisher: Marvel Comics
The Reckoning War nears its end. The Fantastic Four and their allies have defeated the destructive aliens known simply as the Reckoning and halted cosmic destruction. However, what befalls the Universe in the wake of this devastating event? Find out in Fantastic Four #45 to see what lies on the horizon.
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The Reckoning War is finally over and this issue serves as an epilogue and wraps it all up in a messy bow that wants to appear neat and tidy. Don’t let the synopsis for the comic fool you – this event isn’t that important and hardly changes anything significant for Marvel Comics. This will be a SPOILER-heavy review, but I will only keep it to the more consequential spoilers since this is a wrap-up comic book.
This comic is all about conclusions and swift resolutions as we see the war itself end with a thud as things are quickly resolved in a snap. We see the Galactus-Destroyer hybrid entity play its quick role in the story, we see the main players all meet up together, we see the fate of Uatu and the rest of the Watchers. On top of that, we get a few seeds of where the series will take the Fantastic Four next.
Let’s start with the good: the art in this comic book is excellent. The artists Fario Karami and Jesus Aburtov do an excellent job using their illustrations to convey this epic and grand sense of scale with Uatu, Galactus, the Silver Surfer, and a few scenes they’re in. However, that’s where the good ends. The bad is where the SPOILERS come in. So, after everything that’s said and done, Dan Slott tries to force a lot of “big” changes in this comic that are supposed to have large ramifications for the wider Marvel Universe. But the changes he makes are wholly excessive and inconsequential.
First off, Dan Slott strips aways the omniscience ability of the Watchers as an alien race and gives it all to Uatu, making him essentially the Uber Watcher (my name for him now). He’s bigger, more powerful, and a little more “cosmic” as shown in the art, at the cost of depriving the Watchers as a whole any real relevancy to the Marvel Universe. Slott then uses Uatu to repair the Barrens – the corner of the Universe where the Reckoning alien race comes from – and turns it into the “Borderlands” which is essentially the new cosmic frontier full of all these new things and over a quadrillion new worlds to explore. Seems like a big deal, but Marvel Comics is no stranger to wasting big concepts like this that end up going nowhere. It also doesn’t help that Slott barely explored the Barrens at all beforehand, so this feels inconsequential like the “Ghost Sector” in DC Comics.
But the forced big changes don’t stop there. Slott also brings back Galactus from the dead. Sounds good. But now he hungers for, get this, “knowledge” now and chooses to travel the Borderlands to explore it with the Silver Surfer as his companion instead of his herald. Sadly, this is more of the same with modern Marvel writers who can’t think of anything cool to do with Galactus as his normal self and keep trying to alter him. Like when Al Ewing made him into the predictably short-lived “Lifebringer” before he was turned back to normal in a year. After all of this, the FF, their allies, and everyone else there are sent to their homes by Uatu who even fixes Earth’s moon. The only real winner in all of this is Dr. Doom who used the crisis to gather all the data he needs to make his own Forever Gate. So, we’ll see where that goes, if it goes anywhere.
I don’t know if Dan Slott has something against Johnny Storm or not, but he really likes to make him the worst character in the FF. The biggest example is when after Reed tells Johnny that he lost the info to cure him of his current condition, Johnny just blows up in his face and even goes so far as to say, “You can all go to hell!” to the rest of the FF. This is regressive by every stretch of the word for Johnny, who should know better by this point, and yet Slott writes him like he doesn’t. Whatever Slott’s deal is with Johnny, it’s clearly affecting the character’s portrayal for the worst.
Fantastic Four #45 wraps up the whole Reckoning War story as a massive epilogue issue. Everything is resolved and characters are mostly put back into their original places, but Dan Slott makes some big changes that feel excessive even for the Marvel Universe. It does end on the promise of new things on the horizon for the Fantastic Four and the Marvel Universe, but we’ll see if these changes actually have any staying power.