It seems to me for this issue writer Jeph Loeb, penciler Ed McGuinness, and inker Dexter Vines all got together and said “let’s do an homage to old comics.” For one, the comic involves time travel, and if you look at the cover, Doctor Strange is wearing an outfit he hasn’t worn in I don’t know how long–decades perhaps. Namor is in the issue mourning Lady Dorma. The Silver Surfer even has his origin story quickly rehashed. I would say that in particular this issue pays homage to the great Jack Kirby. For one, it features Galactus, a character Kirby helped create when he was pencilling Fantastic Four. For another, I’d say the plot itself resembles something you’d read in Kirby’s Fourth World series, where superheroes fighting becomes like a sport. Lastly, Ed McGuinness’ penciling style in many ways builds off of Kirby’s. He draws big, bulky characters with squarish faces like Kirby, and it’s refreshing to see this style of art when I think comics typically go for a more sleek and angular look (there’s nothing wrong with either style, I’m just glad to see variety on the market).
I should also point out this issue features the most ridiculous looking villain this side of Captain Boomerang. The villain’s name is Tiger Shark, and he has a giant fin coming out of his head. Does anyone remember that awful LL Cool J song, “Deepest, bluest, my hat is like shark fin?”