It's been a lot of work, keeping up with the crazy high-minded temporal shenanigans that the Fantastic Four and the Future Foundation have been pulling off over the last several months, what with a council alternate-reality Reed Richardses, Nathaniel Richards' cryptic prophecies, massive Kree armadas, the death and rebirth of the Human Torch, the Negative Zone Annihilation Wave, the Inhuman attacks, Doom on a leash, etc. These two Jonathan Hickman books are stuffed to the gills with science-fiction concepts that simultaneously intrigue and straight-up break the brain at times. Now, however, in Fantastic Four #603, we get to the cosmic-powered metaphysical smackdown we've been hoping for – the band of Mad Celestials against Galactus himself.
Even though it's a one-vs.-four handicap match, it's a titanic enough clash that the Kree get the hell out of dodge, and the Inhumans follow them. It seems Galactus knows their true purpose, and they don't want ANYONE to know, to the point of panicking to try to kill him. But he kills one of theirs first… and then, stunningly, they pull a Voltron on him, leaving it up the much less powerful F4 and FF to band together and see if all their party tricks will pay off and save the Earth. And the Invisible Woman gets to be awesome again.
Hickman's story is unapologetically dense and Byzantine, but he knows when to bust out the full-on action, which is what this issue is. The massive conflict, the fate of the world in the balance – this is the kinda stuff you read comics for. The Barry Kitson art captures the scale of this fight inspiringly, which is always tough to do when you get cosmic, but that's also when artists get to go hogwild. It never fails to seem huge, and the power at play is truly felt. Galactus Earthfall.
Everything's coming to fruition, and it's a big ballistic BA-BOOOOM of an impact when it does. This is the kind of fun you don't get in any other Marvel book, and chances are it'll read even better in trade form. It's not easy to jump right in, but try it anyway.
CraveOnline Rating: 8.8/10