One of Marvel’s oldest, most enigmatic figures just opened his eyes up to a terrifying secret, and his reaction could alter the fate of the Multiverse
The following contains major spoilers for Fantastic Four #44, available now from Marvel.
The Reckoning War has brought heroes from across the Marvel Universe together to try and stave off a threat poised to eradicate all existence. At the forefront of the hunt for answers is none other than Uatu the Watcher, though his search hasn’t been easy. In fact, Uatu has been betrayed at every turn by his own people, and all for their infinite ignorance of the truth. Now that the end of all things is nigh, the iconic Watcher has taken it upon himself to break his oath for what might be the last time. Not just for himself, but for each one of this people.
Uatu has been joined by Sue Storm and Nick Fury at the Apex of the Multiverse, only to face the nearly lethal threat posed by his own brother, Emnu. As seen in Fantastic Four #44 (by Dan Slott, Andrea Di Vito, Davide Tinto, Rachael Stott, Jesus Aburtov, and VC’s Joe Caramagna), their confrontation led Uatu to peer into Emnu’s mind, scouring it for whatever secrets he has kept. As it turned out, it was Emnu who took it upon himself all those years ago to craft the Ultimate Nullifier and wipe out almost the entire universe in order to turn back the Reckoning. Now that the truth is out, Uatu has no choice but to share it, and doing so could change everything.
For as long as the Watchers have been part of the Marvel Universe, they have been known for their steadfast refusal to interfere in the events that unfold around them. Above all else, it is this oath that has come to define the Watchers as a people. Of course, it is also a creed that Uatu has broken seemingly countless times before, albeit never with the severity seen now. Rather than taking a stand on his own, Uatu shedding light on their past has quite possibly made the choice for the rest of the Watchers as well.
Just as the events of the Reckoning War have changed the Watchers’ place in history, so too has it given them a whole new path for the future. By opening their eyes to their hidden past, Uatu has given the rest of the Watchers a chance to hold themselves accountable for all of their failings. Whether they will try to make a difference before it is too late remains to be seen, however. Considering the reaction Uatu has garnered from many of them, it doesn’t seem likely that they will continue to stand as a monolith. Then again, that could end up being the best development of all.
Of all the reasons that the Watchers as a whole have more often been a hindrance than anything is the fact that they have near constantly made their decisions with unwavering unanimity. Uatu has always been an outlier in this regard, and he has suffered time and time again for his troubles. Even still, Uatu consistently returns to offer whatever assistance he can to the heroes of Earth and beyond. And, with any luck, at least some of his fellow Watchers will take this opportunity to do the same.
If Uatu’s influence proves to be enough to convince others to follow his example, he may have just created the Marvel Universe’s next great force for good. Even compared to some of Marvel’s biggest powerhouses, the Watchers have always carried an heir of unparalleled strength, one only ever tempered by their inability to take action for themselves. Now that their place in the cosmos might be shifting, it’s hard to imagine any evil that they couldn’t overcome, especially with Uatu at the lead.
John Dodge has been an avid consumer of comic books and nerd culture for as long as he can remember. An expert on competitive gaming and obscure kids shows from the 80’s and 90’s, John has far too many opinions about Beetleborgs for someone in their thirties. You can find him occasionally discussing them over on Twitter at @JohnJDodge.