Long Time Coming

Scour those back issues: Marvel’s new event series The Reckoning War has some very deep roots…


WITH WRITER DAN Slott first coming up with the core idea four decades ago when he was only eight years old, it’s fair to say The Reckoning War has been brewing for a while.. Described as a revival of Marvel’s “original Secret Wars”, the tumultuous event series finally kicks off next month with a Carlos Pacheco-drawn special Alpha issue, before continuing in Fantastic Four, where Slott is joined by artist Rachael Stott.

“The Reckoning War started when the 1975 version of me read a reprint of a classic Silver Age comic – something that played a key part in the mythos of Marvel Comics. I wondered, ‘What if this happened after that story ended?’,” Slott tells Red Alert. “The ramificati­ons were pretty epic, as it could lead to the greatest war in the universe!” Since then, Slott has become one of Marvel’s leading writers, spending over 10 years on The Amazing Spider-man in addition to stints on series like Silver Surfer, Avengers: The Initiative and Mighty Avengers.

“I wrote some stories for Marvel in the ’90s, but it wasn’t until I came back in 2004, and landed my first monthly book, She-hulk, that I finally had the nerve to do this,” he recalls. “I was like, ‘I’m going to start sowing the seeds for this.’ We mentioned it in She-hulk Volume Two #5, but we actually seeded it earlier in Volume One in 2004. It’s been 17 years of set-up, which is kind of loopy when you think about it.”

Refusing to specify the particular vintage title that provided the initial spark, Slott has been thorough with his research. “I’ve been re-reading a lot of classic Marvels for this, including Avengers, Fantastic Four, Tales Of Suspense, Silver Surfer and the original Captain Marvel, as this tale we’re telling drills deep into the bedrock of your favourite comics,” he says.

Of the vital plot point at the heart of The Reckoning War, he adds: “Over the years, as a die-hard Marvelite I’ve been waiting for a story to turn that card over and play it. Decades have gone by, and no one’s gone digging for that buried treasure.”

After tangling with Loki on the small screen, The Reckoning War sees the overdue return of the comic book incarnatio­n of the Time Variance Authority. “In the past, the TVA have shown She-hulk one of her possible futures that included the Reckoning War,” he says. “So I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that they’ll be showing up again during the actual Reckoning War.”

Slott confirms that – as the title suggests – “there most definitely is a reckoning,” and that the Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer and She-hulk all play pivotal roles along with the Unseen – aka the original Nick Fury – and Jack of Hearts, whose Zero Energy could prove crucial to what unfolds.

“The emotional journeys they all go on, and what’s at stake for them personally, will play heavily into everything that is going on,” teases Slott. “Meanwhile, the war itself will have a lasting effect on the future of the entire Marvel Universe and, in fact, there might not even be a Marvel Universe left standing after this.” SJ

Fantastic Four: The Reckoning War Alpha #1 is out on 2 February.

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