ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Reckoning War: Trial of The Watcher,’ Issue #1

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Reckoning War Trial of the Watcher #1 Review

Reckoning War: Trial of The Watcher #1 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Dan Slott, art by Javier Rodriguez, and letters by Joe Caramagna. Uatu has been taken prisoner by his people to answer for the crime of interfering with the course of events upon the planet Earth. Now, he will be punished by being made to bear witness to the greatest what-if of all. What if The Watcher had not interfered?

If you are someone who has taken a deep dive into the lore and history of Marvel comics, you’ve seen the cover even if you haven’t read the issue. Uatu standing front center as he warns the Fantastic Four of the coming of Galactus. It is easily one of the most iconic moments in Marvel’s famed universe’s history. Right up there with the founding of the second generation of X-Men and the day unlike any other when the heroes of the earth first assembled into the Avengers. Reckoning War: Trial of The Watcher #1 takes a new look at this iconic moment and does what all the greatest issues of the classic What If.. series did. Show an intriguing reality where things happened differently.

The greatest triumph for Reckoning War: Trial of The Watcher #1 is how well Slott manages to fuse modern comic structure with the classic dialogue and style of the original story. This book manages to deliver this twist of a classic in such a way that it crafts its story so that it feels true to its era, while still polishing the delivery up a bit for a modern audience. This allows the book to be both enjoyable and approachable to any comic reader, rather than just those who have a nostalgia for the style of the Silver Age era of the medium.

What this story does with those classic events is excellent. Slott delivers a tale that feels completely natural. How this story resolves the Fantastic Four’s confrontation with the Devourer of Worlds feels like a completely plausible way for it to be written if the original had never existed.

Helping to merge the modern with the classic is the fabulous artwork of Rodriguez. Adapting the art of a legend like Jack Kirby can be a daunting task. With a look that literally built the Marvel Universe, tinkering with it can be a touchy procedure. Yet I think that Rodriguez does a superlative job taking Kirby’s iconic designs and merging them with modern-day coloring and visual story structure to create something that feels both old and new.

The final touch to this harmonizing of past and present comes with the lettering. Caramagna does some great design work throughout Reckoning War: Trial of The Watcher #1 to make the voice of some characters pop, while also crafting sound effects that blend perfectly with the classic/modern blending of the art.

When all is said and done, Reckoning War: Trial of The Watcher #1 delivers an amazing what-if scenario while also setting the groundwork for the coming larger storyline.

Reckoning War: Trial of The Watcher #1 is available on March 16th wherever comics are sold.


Reckoning War: Trial of the Watcher #1
4.5

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Reckoning War: Trial of The Watcher #1 delivers an amazing what-if scenario while also setting the groundwork for the coming larger storyline.