The main villains of the 10-year-long, 27-issue Warren Ellis/John Cassaday masterpiece Planetary were a group who called ominously called themselves The Four. Basically, they were a perversion of the classic Stan Lee/Jack Kirby Fantastic Four, whose popularity maintains fifty years after their creation. Where the FF wanted to spread their technology and discoveries to advance mankind, the Four hid everything they found, jealously guarding their (usually stolen) technology and conducting bizarre experiments on human beings. Considering Planetary was an exploration of comics history, having the antagonists be a twisted parody of one of comics' longest-standing teams was a great touch on a great comic.
One of my favorite visual references to the old FF comics came from Planetary #6. I can't take credit for discovering this. I originally read it over at the Planetary Comic Appreciation Page, which, in my opinion, is the best source of Planetary annotations on the web. (Quite possibly, it is also the only complete one.) In the panel below, the disguised William Leather – the Four's Human Torch pastiche – reveals himself to Planetary field agent Elijah Snow:
Here is the original 1962 Lee/Kirby scene from Fantastic Four #4. Namor, the Sub-Mariner (missing since his Golden Age adventures) is revealed from his disguise by the Johnny Storm, the Human Torch we know and love:
Say, Lee/Kirby-era Invisible Girl, what exactly are you doing on this mission?
Well then, how about you, contemporary Invisible
Girl Woman? Still keepin' up morale?
Sorry! Forget I even asked!
And now, with a musical interlude, L7: