Characters Appearing: Shalla Bal, Silver Surfer, Yarro Gort
Silver Surfer #10-11
Issue(s): Silver Surfer #10, Silver Surfer #11
Shalla Bal gets Yarro Gort to fly her to Earth. If he can prove that Norrin is dead, he thinks that he can get Shalla Bal to sleep with him.
Meanwhile, the Silver Surfer has gotten himself wrapped up in a revolution in a South American country.
He rescues a local girl from the dictator and makes out with her a little. And wouldn't you know it, that's exactly when Shalla Bal and Yarro get to Earth and look up the Surfer on their view screen. Happens every time.
The Surfer helps the rebels against the dictator, but Yarro Gort arms the dictator with advanced weaponry that supposedly can stop the Surfer. Of course Yarro and the dictator have the double-thought balloon moment where each thinks "And once they are wiped out... you will be next!". I hate that.
The Surfer actually kills the dictator and Yarro when he sees Shalla Bal get shot. Of course, her injury is such that only the advanced technology of Zenn-la can heal her, so he sends her back on a million light year journey rather than risk taking her to a local surgeon.
I am definitely tired of the Surfer's endless whining and the constant reset to the status quo. The art is definitely shakier as well.
Quality Rating: D+
Historical Significance Rating: 2
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Fantasy Masterpieces #10, Fantasy Masterpieces #11
I like this series, but yes, the Surfer's constant whining does wear a bit thin. Actually, I think it's more that every human being on the face of the earth is made out to be greedy, violent, and selfish, that is most annoying. Still, if one wants some philosophizing and some angst, no better plate to go than to the Surfer!
Posted by: Dave B | October 4, 2011 11:05 AM
The Surfer's "humans are so unelightened" attitude looked particularly bad when we learned that the Surfer basically caused his father's suicide by refusing to forgive him for stealing another man's idea. Yeah, you guys were so enlightened on Zenn-La, Surfer.
Posted by: Michael | October 4, 2011 7:54 PM
"A world he never made," is from Alfred Edward Houseman's poem "The Laws of God": "And how am I to face the odds Of man's bedevilment and God's? I, a stranger and afraid In a world I never made.", but Stan may have picked it up from Edwin Benson' short story of the same name in 1951's Amazing Stories 25. Later, of course, it would become intractably associated with Howard the Duck.
"O, Bitter Victory" is tougher. There was a Richard Burton movie called Bitter Victory, but I can only assume it's from a poem somewhere since Stan already used it in Spider-Man 60, and Gerry Conway would use it in Thor 234, each time spelled exactly the same way.
Posted by: Andrew | September 9, 2017 11:57 AM
lmao You guys are killin' me!
Dan Adkins inks are definitely looking shakier in recent issues. I've seen him do much better than this. Maybe he was sick or something, or maybe he just got disenchanted and quit trying so hard for awhile.
Maybe Stan got "O, Bitter Victory" from the poem Daphnis and Chloe, which was adapted into a 1963 award winning movie titled Young Aphrodites.
"O bitter victory! O strange disease, the name of which I cannot even tell! Can Chloe have tasted poison before she kissed me? why then did she not die?"
Posted by: James Holt | September 30, 2017 6:50 PM
Thanks, James. It just occurred to me we all grew up with these titles being quoted at us, and I at least have no idea where half of them came from. "Lo, there shall be an ending!" for example. Where does that come from? I assume it's a quote, but I have no idea from where.
Posted by: Andrew | October 1, 2017 5:57 AM
I'm not sure either, Andrew. I couldn't find an exact match on that phrase, but I did find the sub-phrase "there shall be an ending" in an unformatted Google optical scan of a 1909 poetry digest titled The Forum, linked at: http://archive.org/stream/atshrineotherpo00clar/atshrineotherpo00clar_djvu.txt
It's pretty hard for me to read unformatted scans, but the name of the poem seems to be "Quo Abeo?"
Unlike you and me, now, Lee in the 1960s didn't have a search engine at his disposal, but he might very likely have had a copy of this digest, on his bookshelf at home, or in his office. The Forum purportedly was widely distributed, and might well have been the source of much of his-- dare I quote it-- "literary pretentiousness?" I don't know. He did also seem to have a habit of prefixing his titles with the word "lo." The title "Lo, the Eggs Shall Hatch" comes to mind, from Strange Tales #145 (1965), which I found in this amusing webpage: http://pretentioustan.blogspot.com/ lol
Posted by: James Holt | October 1, 2017 6:09 PM
Oops, wrong link, sorry: https://archive.org/stream/forum02unkngoog/forum02unkngoog_djvu.txt
"Quo Abeo?" actually shows up in both scans. At the Shrine and Other Poems is copyright 1914; both digests are now in the public domain.
Posted by: James Holt | October 1, 2017 6:18 PM
Now that is interesting, and sounds very plausible. Stan always wanted to appear high falutin'. Roy Thomas, whatever his faults, I think genuinely had an interest in poetry, with either the masterful use of "Ozymandias" in Avengers 58 or the somewhat awkward use of "Flower in the crannied wall" in Avengers 76.
Posted by: Andrew | October 2, 2017 7:26 PM
Is the Silver Surfer finally back with Marvel? All
Posted by: Rocknrollguitarplayer | April 11, 2018 12:07 AM
Reading these issues, and the next one, in the Essential Silver Surfer Volume 1, I loudly cried foul. The Surfer has to send Shalla-Bal back to Zenn-La to save her life after she's been shot, but later on his Power Cosmic is nevertheless effective enough to save the life of a jerk-@$$ wannabe demon worshiper who literally got pulverized by the Abomination?
Stan Lee really was jumping through hoops to A) keep the Silver Surfer trapped on Earth and B) separated from Shalla-Bal. I mean, the time travel trick that the Surfer used *should* have enabled him to escape Earth, but it didn't because, um, reasons.
When I was a newer comic book fan in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a lot of older readers would constantly rave about how incredible this series was. Of course, back issues for this series were really expensive, so I never had an opportunity to find out for myself. When the Essential collection was finally publish, oy vey, was I disappointed!
Lee was obviously earnest about writing a socially relevant series, but his execution leaves something to be desired. I think the reason why these issues were well regarded for so long was due to the pencil work by John Buscema, which was very good. It's probably also due to Buscema that Shalla-Bal became an iconic figure, because Big John draws her as stunningly beautiful. Lee, however, really does a poor job of scripting her as anything other than a one-dimensional damsel in distress who endlessly pines for the Surfer.
Posted by: Ben Herman | June 18, 2018 1:37 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|