Writer: Dan Slott
Artists: Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz & Carlos Magno
Color Artist: Guru-eFX
Cover Artists: Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz & Marte Gracia
Publisher: Marvel Comics
2 years ago, the Fantastic Four returned back to the Universe. They’ve reunited with their team, but found the Earth had changed since Reed, Sue, and the kids were gone. Now, they’ve settled back into place as a family and as superheroes, but now they face a new danger that stretches back to the earliest days in the Universe in Fantastic Four: Reckoning War Alpha #1!
Quick warning, this review will have spoilers in it to sufficiently discuss the comic’s story, but I will try to keep you aware of it. Now, don’t be fooled by that synopsis, this story isn’t really 15 years in the making. Probably the last 2 years, really. What we have here is the beginning of the Reckoning War that Dan Slott’s been building up in his FF run for the past 10 or so issues. A new cosmic threat is emerging who has ties to the underwhelming Empyre event and is fostering war across the Universe for reasons revealed in this comic.
The one good thing about this entire comic is the art. The art team did an excellent job in the action, character designs, facial expressions, locations, everything. The comic also uses the different artists well by having them all get their own segments in the story to illustrate which signify a shift in the story as it has some flashbacks that reveal the main villain(s) in this story. Speaking of the story, it’s serviceable but not fun.
Let’s start from the beginning. Dan Slott goes full Roland Emmerich (Director of Independence Day and Moon Fall) in this comic as he has the moon blown up for a big cinematic shot and high-octane action as all the heroes rush to handle the burning debris. From there, the comic doesn’t actually explore the consequences of that and just has an alien invasion from the alien Badoon start right after that. This whole story doesn’t really do much except serve as setup for the rest of the event establishing who the main players are and that’s it. The action is window dressing to a plot that is waiting until the next issue to move forward.
You do learn about the main villains, and they are underwhelming. They’re revealed in an exposition dump to be an ancient alien species called, and I kid you not, “The Reckoning” who look like alien orcs. They’re the ones who’ve been supplying all the aggressive aliens with weapons to foster a state of total war in the entire cosmos. Why they’re doing it goes all the way back to the Original Sin event back in 2015, specifically Original Sin #0. In that issue, which is actually a good emotional story for Uatu, The Watcher shows the young Nova at the time, called Alex, the tragic origins of why The Watchers made their oath to observe but never interfere with intelligent life in the Universe.
Essentially, the Watchers uplifted an alien species with advanced technology for a time, and after they left this alien species ended up destroying itself to the Watchers’ horror. This issue expands on that with a new take by giving the aliens, The Reckoning, a name (the Prosilicans), expanded on their history, and how they became warmongers trying to conquer other species uplifted by the Watchers until they were repelled. Now, they’re back and we see one of them called “Wrath” narrate a little bit. It’s underwhelming, but this is only the first part of the story arc, so we’ll see where Dan Slott takes it next.
Fantastic Four: Reckoning War Alpha #1 kicks off the new Reckoning War event that Dan Slott has been building up in the main series. It’s a serviceable first issue that sets up all the main players and reveals who the new villains are. It serves its purpose to get things started, and the art team does an excellent job to make the comic and everyone in it look amazing.