Today's Fantastic Four #35 is a riotous run around the history of the Fantastic Four, with a variety of Kangs at different points in their life attacking the Baxter Building to steal the same artifact, again and again, killing any Fantastic Four members they can. Which means a trip to sixties FF, nineties FF, Hickman FF, and the current day. Which also draws the attention of the Time Variance Authority and a boatload of Loki references. And reference from the TVA to something else as well…
As part of Marvel Comics' Timeless announcements the other month, they included mention of The Reckoning War, sometime in January 2022. A storyline in upcoming Fantastic Four issues written by Dan Slott, drawn by Carlos Pacheco and Rachael Stott, Marvel stating "Dan Slott is joined by Carlos Pacheco and Rachael Stott for Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four: Reckoning War, an epic saga over 15 years in the making. The original secret war of the Marvel Universe has been reignited and every living being in reality is in danger, for we are finally at…Our Day Of Reckoning."
As Bleeding Cool may have mentioned before, twenty-or-so-years ago, Dan Slott used to drop something into a number of his comic books at Marvel about something he would call The Reckoning War. A storyline that would upend the future of the Marvel Universe, centred on She-Hulk but involving The Watcher, the Fantastic Four, Gauntlet, Iron Man, Southpaw and many more.
In She Hulk #3 back in 2005, we discovered, from the Time Variance Authority, that actions already taken by She Hulk would lead to The Reckoning War. That this was a bad thing. That this was all She-Hulk's fault, and emanated from something she had done in the first year that Dan Slott wrote her.
It would devastate not only the Earth but the whole cosmos. Marvel sources told me that Slott had tried to get this event to finally occur in one book or other for some time, but hadn't heard about it from him for a few years.
At some point, maybe when he was writing Amazing Spider-Man, he put it on the back-burner, with just a couple of references in the last ten years.
With a repeated phrase, "there shall be a reckoning" or "there will be a reckoning".
In this future, Gauntlet inspires Southpaw to reform, and become a superhero, while his daughter Kid Glove acts as her sidekick. Gauntlet and Southpaw also popped up in Iron Man 2020 with Arron Stark believing in an imminent cosmic threat. He also wrote Fantastic Four travelling the cosmos, inviting all sorts of attention. And he concluded Empyre, a crossover event involving the Skrull and Kree, Fantastic Four, Iron Man and She-Hulk, to whom something very bad had happened.
From the very eye of The Unseen, the cosmically transformed Nick Fury, emerged the returning Uatu, The Watcher who Nick Fury killed before himself being transformed…
And promising something very familiar.
Is Dan Slott finally going to make "fetch" happen? Fantastic Four #25 was set up with that very familiar phrase, from the solicitation on. "There Shall Come a Reckoning"
And as he recalled last year…
I've been reading comics since I was 8.
There's a Marvel story I've wanted to tell since I was 9.
Hickman reminded me "I was telling someone the other day about you pitching me this when we were on a plane to Dublin. 12 years ago!"
Tomorrow, I finally officially pitch that story.
— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) April 2, 2019
Fantastic Four #25 returned to the Blue Area of the Moon. The Watcher uses Marvel Unlimited to catch up with everything he's been missing out on (with only a three month delay now) before transforming The Unseen, with that phrase one more time.
Nick Fury, Agent Of Uatu?
Okay, so he's bald, still has an eyepatch, and no cigar, and is going by Nicolas Fury, to distinguish himself from his son, Nick Fury Jr, currently running around SHIELD? And this is the first war. The oldest war. The Reckoning War? And have the Fantastic Four provided an opportunity for it to come to Earth's doorstep? We even saw a reference from Sin-Eater, lookimg over Dan Slott's Spider-Man run in Spider-Man: The Sins Of Norman Osborn.
And now? There shall come a reckoning in January. And Mister Fantastic is going to be a force to reckon with because of it.
FANTASTIC FOUR #35
(W) Dan Slott, Mark Waid (A) John Romita, More (CA) Mark Brooks
A TITANIC 60TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE! The entire Kang bloodline is out to destroy every era of the Fantastic Four! How can Reed, Sue, Ben and Johnny hope to survive simultaneous attacks across their lifetimes by Rama Tut, the Scarlet Centurion, Kang the Conqueror and Kang's final descendant, the sinister Scion?! Join the FF and some special surprise guest stars as John Romita Jr. returns to Marvel and joins forces with writer Dan Slott for this celebratory adventure! Marvel's First Family will literally never be the same again! Plus: Mark Waid and Paul Renaud deliver dramatic new insights into the origin of the fabulous foursome in an all-new anniversary tale! Rated T In Shops: Sep 15, 2021 SRP: $9.99