Silver Surfer #3
Issue(s): Silver Surfer #3
Firebird had been left with the Collector since she mysteriously didn't die when the West Coast team drank the death potion, so she's still on board the Collector's ship (which raises the question why the other Avengers all got transported back to the Astrodome but not her; the last we saw their corpses were on the Collector's ship with Firebird). She's been keeping the Collector at bay by threatening to destroy his stuff if he tries to "collect" her, but the Surfer rescues Firebird when he comes to interrogate the Collector about the Elders' plans.
The Collector claims to not know anything, but after the Surfer leaves, he contacts Champion. We also see a potted plant listening in.
As he's dropping Firebird off, she asks the Silver Surfer if he's Jesus.
This gets to what many saw as the subtext of Stan Lee's Silver Surfer run; it's weird seeing Firebird just straight up ask him. He makes it clear that he isn't.
Meanwhile, a Kree ship encounters the Skrulls that were on Zenn-La last issue. The Skrulls are unable to outgun or outrun the Kree, so they kill themselves to prevent the Kree from learning that they've lost their shapeshifting abilities.
Another potted plant observes this.
Champion has sent the Runner after the Silver Surfer. He's apparently such a pleasant guy that he's likeable even while he's trying to kill you.
A fun fight...
...but despite the fact that the Surfer was able to defeat Champion in issue #1, the Runner outmatches the Surfer...
...and he's tossed into the core of a planet.
He's rescued by Mantis, looking much greener than when we last saw her marrying a tree.
This may not be the greatest story in the world, but it's MUCH better than Englehart's other Marvel work at this time and especially the West Coast Avengers annual. There are a lot of cool features here: the build-up towards a second Kree-Skrull War, the return of Mantis, and the use of Marvel's first truly cosmic title to delve into the Elders of the Universe, who we've previously only seen in glimpses or doing inexplicable things. Marshall Rogers' faces are sometimes a bit wonky, but the larger scale allows him to depict the space scenes nicely.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: It's unclear how long the Surfer remains unconscious before the beginning of next issue, and he seems to have been moved to another location, so i'm placing issue #4 in a separate entry.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showAl'arkok, Champion, Collector, Firebird, Mantis, Matani, Ptakar, Runner, Silver Surfer
"This may not be the greatest story in the world, but it's MUCH better than Englehart's other Marvel work at this time and especially the West Coast Avengers annual."
I don't know. Personally, 12 year old me and even possibly 40 year old me preferred the annual. Anytime Mantis appears it just makes me put my head down and groan. I was impressed that this series was as good as it was given how long she was in it.
Posted by: Erik Beck | July 20, 2015 6:28 AM
One thing though, Fnord. You keep calling her "Firebird" even though the panels that are posted indicate that her name at the time is "Espirita."
One interesting aspect that isn't explored enough is the the one a fervent believer in monotheistic religions would feel living in a world where many entities claim to be (or resemble) "gods." Maybe it's too "controversial" for mainstream audiences, but I've always wondered how someone as devout as Espirita (or even "regular humans" feels fighting alongside people like Thor and Hercules and the like. I do find it funny that a "cosmic" character like the Surfer instantly knows who Espirita is talking about when she mentions the "Messiah" given how well-traveled he is and the type of universe the Marvel dimension is.
Posted by: Jon Dubya | July 26, 2015 11:16 PM
For what it's worth, i did proactively apologize for continuing to call her Firebird when she changed her name. I think the La Espirita name lasts all of three appearances.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 27, 2015 8:13 AM
Didn't Nightcrawler have a crisis of faith after having met Beyonder in Secret Wars? I remember there was an issue of X-Men where he had a dramatic conversation about it with his priest. I agree that the issue isn't usually addressed with religious superheroes, though.
Posted by: Tuomas | July 27, 2015 8:51 AM
Although they tried to explain it away later, I thought it was pretty silly that the Runner could beat the Surfer when the Champion, who should be the toughest Elder in a fight by far, couldn't. And the Surfer's cosmic-powered stamina usually isn't an issue. The Runner, the Obliterator, and Mantis soured me on this very promising seeming series early on, but it got somewhat better later, I thought. I felt that, throughout, the art tended to be on a higher level than the writing. The art and the chance to see so many of Marvel's cosmic characters in action were what made the series somewhat worthwhile, in my view.
One convention of the series, though, that really bothered me was that characters were always cheerily chatting away in the vacuum of space . . . .
Posted by: Instantiation | July 27, 2015 11:47 AM
@Tuomas - He did. X-Men 201 is what popped into my head.
Posted by: BU | July 28, 2015 3:06 PM
Actually, it was Uncanny 196.
Posted by: Michael | July 30, 2015 7:56 AM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|