I refer of course to John Byrne's awesome cover to Fantastic Four #243, which is in itself an awesome, awesome comic book.
There, I just used up my annual allotment of the word "awesome" and it's only June. From this point forward I shall not use the word "awesome" in a colloquial way. Actually, from this point forward, because I just said "awesome" in the last sentence. Damn it! No more "@wesome" from now on. Starting now.
What is the comic about? Look at the frickin' cover, it's about a bunch of heroes attacking frickin' Galactus, the Eater of Earths! 'Nuff said, pilgrim!
In the comic, the Fantastic Four and friends do indeed battle Galactus, that giant purple planet eater who wanders the cosmos destroying random planets. John Byrne wrote and drew this intergalactic beat down wherein the FF and select Avengers battle a giant Galactus on the streets of New York City.
Oh, did I mention --?
NEW YORK CITY IS TOTALLY FLOATING IN SPACE!
Even when he's not at the top of his game, Galactus is still more than a match for a handful of heroes. When shit goes wrong, sometime you gotta bring in Dr. Strange to fix things. Hey, it works for Brian Bendis! Ba-dum dum! Byrne draws a cool neo-Ditko version of Dr. Strange in this issue.
Anyway, the Sorceror Supreme steps up to bat and just takes Galactus out with a Dio salute:
After Reed and The Thing take out a staggered Galactus with a crazy slingshot move, Dr. Strange smugly explains that he cast a spell that showed Galactus his greatest fear and he lost his shit. What did Dr. Strange show Galactus that freaked him out so much? What is the greatest fear of the Chower of Worlds? The Borg? Sharks? Comets? Mine would be watching the 1993 season of Boy Meets World over and over and over while dingos endlessly eat my innards.
Of course, the heroes prevail over Galactus, but wait. He's sick. Maybe he's got a thorn in his paw or something that's been making him grouchy. Aww, he needs our help...
The classic model of Reed Richards (depicted here) is a personality based on relentless curiousity and moral absolutism - something we haven't seen a lot of in some recent appearances of the character like Civil War. Here, Reed sees it as his moral duty is to save Galactus, even if it is inconvenient or inexpedient - and it's a decision that will cost him. That's the Reed Richards I dig.
The great thing about this issue and Byrne's FF run in general is the affection/reverance Byrne has for the real classic Lee/Kirby comics. Plus, the art was tight. Growing up, Byrne's work during this period really defined superhero comics for me - I just ate his stuff up, and I think it holds up remarkably well today.
This comic has the versions of Reed Richards and John Byrne that I most dig - I can pretend that the other stuff doesn't exist as long as I have comics like Fantastic Four #243. Contented sigh.