Fantastic Four #604 came out a couple weeks ago, of which I recently managed to acquire a copy, and if you haven't done so yourself — shame on you!
Hickman's foundation that he first laid down in Fantastic Four #570 comes to a closing as we witness the ultimate battle of the Celestials versus Franklin Richards!
AvX ain't got nothing on this!
As we witnessed with last issue, the Celestials stood seemingly triumphant when a last glimmer of hope appears in the darkness!
A future Franklin and Val Richards here to save the day!
And with a wave of his hand he does just that! Franklin takes out all the Celestials, or so we are led to believe.
What actually takes place is that Franklin sends the Celestials away to buy our heroes some time — because the Celestials will be back! And sooner rather than later.
We see why future Franklin has been preparing his young counterpart, as little Franklin gives his bigger self a ball of his own energy.
To which the Franklin Sr. orders "RISE!"
And rises forth he does — Galactus, Devourer of Worlds!
Then we see the mother of all cosmic battles as Franklin's herald - yes! Herald! - Galactus, battles along side his master - yes! Master! - Franklin. The two are battling for the sake of the Universe!
Epting gives us an awesome display of power and emotion; Hickman narrates the story, explaining the why's and what's, and how everything led up to this moment. It's captivating, inspiring, exhilarating and jaw-dropping all at the same time! And a heart-felt ending to boot! I still have goose-bumps!
While the bigwigs at Marvel go the super-hero-in-space-Spider-Man route for the new Kid Nova, at least Hickman knows where it's at with some heavy Marvel Cosmic action!
Let's keep it that way!