Rogue, Polaris, Sue Storm, and Mister Fantastic fly through New York above flames.

Fantastic Four: Reckoning War Alpha #1 Review

Written by: Dan Slott

Art by: Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz, Carlos Magno

Coloring by: Guru-eFX

Lettering by: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Dan Slott is very hit or miss with me. I love his run on She-Hulk, and I’m happy to see things he set up there come back here. At the same time, I dropped his Fantastic Four series because of how ‘eh’ the characterizations and the plot felt. His series focused more about melodrama than exploring the unknown reaches of space. I just couldn’t get into it.

Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four goes up against an alien menace with the book's title floating above him with the words "Fantastic Four: Reckoning War."
I don’t know why, but for some reason Marvel’s aliens just haven’t looked that interesting lately.

This preamble to a new Fantastic Four storyline sets up more of what I’m looking for. Sadly, it doesn’t sell me with its execution. The moon blowing up, the end of the universe coming, and Mr. Fantastic gaining infinite knowledge all feel like artificial ways to raise the stakes. To counter it, there are so many callbacks to the previous series Slott has worked on that I get gitty. And, while Slott’s writing can feel forced now and then, he can also get some genuine laughs out of me.

Again, at the same time, this issue’s quality feels so inconsistent. It falters where it counts, with its forced exposition, but keeps my attention through rather artificial means. I could excuse it for being an Alpha, which is basically always a prologue issue to a big crossover, but it should be enjoyable. I find myself skimming over the lore dump the creatives are doing so they get right into their story but that leaves this issue rather uninteresting.

Jack of Hearts, Mr. Fantastic, Sue Storm, She-Hulk, and the top half of the Thing's face stand atop a pile of rocks.
These guys need another vacation.

So I hope one day we can get events that aren’t either about heroes fighting each other, like the upcoming Judgment Day, or about the world ending in six different ways at once. It’s not as fun as it used to be, and the ideas feel thrown at the wall.

This is an issue you have to get if you want to see Slott’s plot threads from across She-Hulk, Silver Surfer, and the Fantastic Four come together. But if you weren’t reading or currently reading any of these, you can skip this. This doesn’t feel like an event and/or crossover that everyone has to read.

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