The explosion of Earth's moon seemingly kicks off Marvel Comics' first big event of 2022, The Reckoning War.
While the Moon was seen exploding in the previously released trailer, this just-released preview to February 2's Fantastic Four: The Reckoning War Alpha #1 (opens in new tab) begins after the fact, with the Fantastic Four calling on their Avengers and X-Men allies joined by Spider-Man for an 'all hands on deck' style response to help humanity withstand the rocks from the destroyed Moon hurtling towards Earth.
After some brief scientific discussion over whether the Earth can survive without the Moon (we might have to check into Mister Fantastic's opinion here another time), an alien invasion happens.
Check out this preview of Fantastic Four: The Reckoning War Alpha #1 by Dan Slott, Carlos Pacheco, and Carlos Magno:
Originally announced in August 2021 as part of a massive rollout of eight Marvel "tentpole" titles for 2022, Reckoning War spins out of his current Fantastic Four run, but ties together to runs he's had on Marvel books going all the way back to the early '00s.
The winter-spring 2022 event will feature the Fantastic Four, She-Hulk, Silver Surfer, Jack of Hearts, the Watcher, and the original Nick Fury - who has been in a purgatory of sorts as the Unseen for the past few years.
So just who are the big bads of the Reckoning War? Although that's the Badoon in the preview, Slott tells us it's really someone (or something) even deeper in Marvel history.(opens in new tab)
"These are characters that have not really been around since their original appearance. The very fact that they're back, is something," says Slott. "The minute they walk onto the comics page... once people realize who they are and what they've done in the past, every part of your body will clench. These characters should not be back. The very fact that they are back means doom."
Newsarama did manage to suss out that these antagonists have some connection to the seemingly new characters who appeared in the recent Fantastic Four #25 (opens in new tab), Cormorant and Helmsman. They made a shocking entrance, destroying the Baxter Building and Doctor Doom's Latverian Embassy in New York.
In fact, the breadcrumbs leading towards 2022's The Reckoning War have been dropping here and there by Slott in Marvel Comics for nearly two decades. The name 'The Reckoning War' was first mentioned back in December 2005's She-Hulk #3 by Slott and artist Juan Bobillo.(opens in new tab)
But according to Slott, familiarity with the backstory breadcrumbs isn't required to understand The Reckoning War.
"You do not need to read any of the previous appearances of these characters, or my work on them like in She-Hulk, Avengers: The Initiative, Silver Surfer, the Great Lakes Avengers, etc," Slott says. "But if you have been reading my stuff for the last 18 years, you have got all the pieces. But if you haven't, you can jump in and be fine."
The Reckoning War is a story Slott has been building to since he was eight years old, and in some ways it's a culmination of his Marvel fandom and his Marvel career.(opens in new tab)
"When I was eight years old I read a particular Marvel comic that struck me. It got me thinking 'If this happened, and that happened, then the whole Marvel universe would be in trouble,'" says Slott. "Every facet would be in danger if this conflict happened again, and I've sat back and waited since I was eight years old and no one ever touched on this. And that made me happy."
(No, Dan wouldn't tell us what that comic was as that too would spoil the secret villains of the Reckoning War.)
"The Reckoning War is me finally being able to answer the question an eight-year-old me had: What if those guys showed up again?" says the writer. "It's chaos, madness... A fight for your life. This is my Star Wars."
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