As the Empyre crossover comes to its final conclusion in the pages of Marvel Comics, the publisher has brought back one of its most iconic and classic characters. Within one of the final issues of the event, Empyre Fallout: Fantastic Four #1, none other than Nick Fury as "The Unseen" makes an appearance as the heroes of Earth including the Avengers and Fantastic Four come together with the Kree and the Skrulls to see to the punishment of the Cotati. At issue's end, Fury seemingly conjures the answer to en ages old question, resulting in the return of none other than Uatuthe Watcher.
Marvel fans will recall that Uatu has been absent from Marvel's books since the 2014 crossover event "Original Sin." During that event, Uatu was assassinated on the moon and his eyes taken and used as weapons by both the mercenary The Orb and Nick Fury. As punishment for his many sins, the other Watchers forced Fury to take Uatu's place, chained into place on the moon and making him watch everything unfold on Earth but never be allowed to interfere.
So how is Uatu back? While Fury watches as the events of Empyre Fallout: Fantastic Four #1 unfold, he takes an opportunity in its final pages to find the source of the weapons used by the Cotati. Examining the weapons he says to himself: "The Profiteer wasn't lying. This technolocy is ancient. It predates The Elders of the unvierse! The Asgardians! The Celestials! It's-- My god! It's from the FIrst Race! Something THIS Eye hasn't seen since--" He's interrupted by his eye, the former eye of Uatu, popping out of his head and Uatu returning fully formed, albeit without his right eye.
Fury is as shocked by this as anyone else, exclaiming, "Uatu?! You're back?! How--? How is that even possible?! Well?! Say something, Damn it!" The now one eyed Watcher speaks one sentence before the issue ends, "There shall be....a reckoning." It's unclear who Uatu will be targeting and what comics will see this ultimatum come to pass, but it seems like Marvel is already gearing up for its next big event with the return of The Watcher.
Along with the return of The Watcher in the pages of Marvel Comics, the character will be seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in an expanded role (a trio of Watchers previously appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2). Uatu will be voiced by Boardwalk Empire and James Bond alum Jeffrey Wright in the upcoming Disney+ series, Marvel's What If...?. Uatu will serve as the narrator for the show, which features the vast majority of MCU actors returning for voice acting roles.