For those who had unresolved questions pertaining to the events depicted in F4 #604 and, to some extent, F4# 603, here you will find direct, matter-of-fact responses taken from Jonathan Hickman's formspring page. Jon Hickman is, of course, the brainchild behind both issues.
A formspring user (RogerM616) asks:
"Hi , just wanted to ask that in your recent awesome run in the 604th issue of Fantastic Four, did Galactus opening his palms to reveal adult Franklin Richards signify that Galactus had resurrected the dead adult Franklin ? I am very confused."
And Hickman replied:
"He NEVER died. They just thought he would."
"Are the Celestials of Earth-4280 equal to their 616 counterparts?"
Jonathan Hickman replied:
"In what way? Power? Sure."
In F4 # 604, aside from being used to resurrect Galactus, did young Franklin's orb serve an additional purpose of increasing the adult Franklin's power in the fight against the Celestials?
"Future Franklin recharged/resurrected Galactus using ALL the juice little Franklin had."
Mr. Hickman, in F4 #603, had the Mad Celestials NOT combined into a super Celestial, do you feel Galactus would have been able to defeat all four (or even three) of them? Thanks for your time and previous responses.
Jon Hickman replied:
Mr.Hickman, if Galactus couldn't defeat 3 or 4 of the Mad Celestials all by himself in F4#603, why did they opt to merge? For some readers, this was a point of confusion. Thanks for your time.
Jon Hickman replied:
"He clearly -- cranked up on four planets -- could separately cause them some serious damage. So they merged and crushed him."
So, to sum things up, as per Jon Hickman's clarification of the story he penned for Marvel, Franklin was not killed and resurrected by Galactus. He never died in the first place. The Celestials of Earth-4280 are not inferior to their 616 counterparts. Young Franklin's orb was used solely to resurrect/recharge Galactus; adult Franklin was not amped by it. Had the Mad Celestials opted NOT to merge, although Galactus would have "caused them some serious damage" individually, he still ultimately would not have proven victorious against them.