This issue suffers from a sort of half-heartedness — a general lack of follow-through. Although the promise of another Galactus is very exciting, what, really is the plot of this issue? Galactus spends a deal of time trying to locate the Silver Surfer — he knows he’s on Earth somewhere, does a gigantic interstellar planet-eater need a mailing address? The Punisher robot makes another appearance, which is kind of cool, but then it is rather arbitrarily whisked away. The issue ends on Reed, Johnny, and Ben musing over something the Surfer said about there being “worlds within worlds”, which we presume will lead into the next issues adventure where we are promised we will “journey to the Microverse!”
The high point of the issue is the first few pages where we see Ben interrupt a pensive Silver Surfer discussing philosophical issues with Alicia Masters. He’s obviously having a hard time adjusting to a planet where, to him, small-minded and short-sighted inhabitants are ignorant of the grand cosmic perspective and feeling that he possesses. That’s actually a very interesting aspect of his character, unique for any of the regular Fantastic Four line-up, so it’s a shame to see him duck out early.
The rest of the issue follows what is quickly starting to become routine: Ben, Johnny, and Reed all have a go at defeating a villain but are rebuffed while Sue is shuffled on and off stage for a total of about six panels (if she’s lucky). Crystal still hasn’t quite found her place in the dynamic. In the year that she’s been a regular in the title she’s used her powers twice. It’s a poor turnout for the women which is puzzling since it didn’t always use to be like that. This creative team has put Sue to good use in the past, and it’s obvious that they haven’t forgotten about her since they keep trotting her out every issue, but all they do is say how important it is for her not to do anything. It’s highly aggravating.