Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  This week, Bennett reviews the finer points of Marvel's Empyre and a new Ducktales episode featuring The Phantom Blot.

This year’s Empyre event, while plenty predictable as these kinds of events go, was pretty enjoyable. The best part came after the end in the pages of the Empyre aftermath comic Empyre Fallout: Fantastic Four #1.  In this segment, I finally got something I’ve been literally waiting years for (Spoiler Warning).

Uatu the Watcher has been resurrected!

It probably reveals entirely too much about me that my absolute favorite Marvel character to come out of the Fantastic Four comic was someone who’s “superpower” was to stand, watch, and do nothing.

He “died” back in 2014 during one of Marvel’s more meager crossover, Original Sins (see "Confessions Of A Comic Book Guy--You (Don’t Necessarily Have To) Have Heart”) in a way that was equal parts ludicrous (a cosmic being of immeasurable power was killed by a handgun) and gruesome (after death his all-seeing eyes were scooped out of his skull). Seriously, it was as if someone at Marvel was idly thumbing their way through Fredric Wertham’s anti-comic book opus Seduction Of The Innocent, fell upon his “injury to the eye” motif and declared, “now that’s the basis for a big crossover event!”

I have no idea how or why it took them so long to do it, but Uatu is back and honestly, I really don’t much care that much about the how or why as long as he is back. Though if I had to guess, I’d say that his return to Marvel Comics probably has more than a little to do with the fact that Uatu is going to the narrator for the Marvel What If? series set to stream on Disney+ in 2021 (see "'The Falcon and The Winter Soldier', 'WandaVision', 'Loki', 'What if...?', 'Hawkeye' TV News").

There was something else in Empyre Fallout: Fantastic Four #1 that I really enjoyed. Two kids representing the Krell and Skull races, Jo-Venn and N'Kalla, were instrumental to the plot of Empyre, and at one point, they asked Spider-Man and Wolverine to take them to “the Land of Diz-Nee”. Well, in this issue it’s confirmed that Wolverine and Spider-Man took the alien kids to Disneyland. Of course we don’t get to see their visit, which is a shame, because the story possibilities are endless and hilarious. I really wish there was a Empyre Fallout: Disneyland #1 coming out.

Monday saw the debut of a new episode of DuckTales, “The Phantom and the Sorceress!” one I’d been much looking forward because it was supposed to feature an appearance by one of my favorite villains, The Phantom Blot.  While everyone else can’t seem to get enough of Thanos and The Joker, I’ve always been a much bigger fan of Mickey Mouse’s main nemesis, the master thief, and all-around supervillain who made his debut in Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse comic strip in 1939. While relatively unknown in his native country, he’s considered a much bigger deal everywhere else, thanks to his many appearances in Disney Comics around the world.

Unfortunately, while the episode featured a Phantom Blot, it definitely wasn’t the actual article but someone else by that name who had a specific grudge against Scrooge villain Magica DeSpell as well as a desire to eliminate all magic from the world.  For this, he used a specifically designed gauntlet, which seemed awfully familiar, and there was a protracted fight to remove it near the end of the episode, which also seemed awfully  familiar.

I have to confess that I had been hoping that an appearance by the original The Phantom Blot could possibly lead to a guest appearance by the Mouse himself, but that appears to have been just wishful thinking on my part. However, it’s been established that this Blot is an agent of F.O.W.L. (Fiendish Organization for World Larceny), the group that has its evil sights on Clan McDuck. With a big season-ending battle between the two groups building, there’s a better than average chance of seeing The Blot again. And when we do, hopefully, we’ll be acting more like his comic book self.

I’ve recently written about Truck Terrace’s Dumpster Fire (see “Confessions Of A Comic Book Guy -- A Dumpster Fire On 34th St.”) before. Well, I’ve found something that’s fit to share shelf space with it, the “This Is Fine” Funko POP! based on KC Green’s online comic Gunshow.  The dog in denial measures 3.75 inches tall, has a MSRP of $13.99. It starts shipping this December, so unlike the Dumpster Fire, there’s a chance this will be a stocking stuffer for that friend or family member who wants to openly  embrace the blazing buzzsaw that modern-day life has become.

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of