Silver Surfer annual #5
Issue(s): Silver Surfer annual #5
You can say that Dr. Strange repaired his shoes between issues, but the Hulk makes a point of complaining about his wrecked shirt. So why would Strange fix the shoes and not the shirt? No, the shoes came back of their own accord, because they are cursed. Evil, i tell you. Eeeeeevil. The Hulk is cursed to walk the Earth as a camp councilor for all times.
Sorry. Just trying to entertain myself because this story has gotten a lot more boring since part one, when Peter David was writing.
Dr. Strange and the Silver Surfer are unable to locate Shanzar, so the Hulk puts Strange in contact with Delphi of the Pantheon, and between the two of them they are able to find the evil wizard. The Pantheon are assigned the task of hunting down Lucian Aster's evil books (unlike the shoes, the books really are evil), while the Defenders go to rescue Namor. Shanzar's base is located at the bottom of the sea, in a dome made out of Shanzar's strange matter. The Defenders try to force their way through, but this was actually Shanzar's plan. He's using the dome to siphon off the energy of the Silver Surfer. When he's absorbed enough, he lets the Defenders into the dome and tries to kill them with demons.
Meanwhile, he uses the energy he got from the Silver Surfer to free the Wild One, who turns out to be this douchebag.
The Wild One then goes and takes over Hawaii.
Skipping over another "greatest villains" back-up (this one narrated by Pip the Troll, which would cause me a little bit of a continuity headache if i were treating it as real), we have a back-up featuring Firelord going to Titan and getting permission from Starfox to speak with Nebula, who is imprisoned there.
This seems to be an exercise in genericizing Nebula and making her crazy and generally awful.
We're going with the "she's bad because she was sexually abused as a child" routine.
This is lame. Nebula was awesome. She was a ruthless space pirate, with full agency. She wasn't crazy. She didn't need a troubled past to explain her actions. Yes, she was evil. But she was evil with a purpose (personal power!). Not nuts, and not sexualized.
By the way, Firelord gets to experience Nebula's past thanks to a never-before-seen use of Starfox's powers.
And he can also assuage the pain of Nebula's madness (which i guess is just his normal pleasure power).
Starfox convinces Firelord to give up on his need for vengeance, and takes him out to get laid.
I used to think of Ron Marz as being a decent writer. Not spectacular, but able to pull of a good story with the right characters and/or when he was working with a good art team. But last year's Starfox story included the ill-thought-out line that made the character basically a rapist, and i'm not so thrilled with the gender politics of the Spitfire story from this year's Namor annual or the Nebula story here. Or the depiction of Nebula generally. Marz's run on the regular Surfer series has been dull but mostly harmless, and i guess that's the case with his very by-the-numbers chapters of this Return of the Defenders event (i'm not sure who to credit/blame for Wild One). Basically the stories are kind of boring and when we do see a "voice" from Marz, it's kind of awful.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part three of the Return of the Defenders. Part four is in Dr. Strange annual #2.
Crossover: Return of the Defenders
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showDelphi, Dr. Strange, Firelord, Hulk, Lucian Aster, Nebula, Rick Jones, Shanzar, Silver Surfer, Starfox, Sub-Mariner, Wild One
Now we're entering the period where Nebula goes from being one of the most interesting and readable female villains into being a crazed bald cyborg.
And they chose the latter for the movie.
Posted by: AF | February 24, 2016 1:36 PM
Regarding Marz's gender politics, his killing of Kyle Rayner's girlfriend prompted Gail Simone to start the Women in Refrigerators site.
Posted by: Michael | February 24, 2016 8:13 PM
I tend to blame Starlin more than Maerx for Nebula's transformation; it's fairly clear that Starling hated the whole "Thanos has a granddaughter" thing, and at this point Marvel is more interested in getting a Thanos story than in keeping Nebula a going concern.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | February 25, 2016 5:53 AM
Well, denouncing her as Thanos' progeny and having her decaying corpse paraded about during a major crossover seems the lesser of two evils next to making her a bald cyborg lunatic.
Posted by: AF | February 25, 2016 6:51 AM
To be honest I was never convinced that Thanos would have "dropped progeny", even before Thanos' return. I was perfectly happy seeing Nebula as a cool female villain who may or may not be related to Thanos. Maybe she was lying to trade on his reputation, maybe he was lying because he was embarrassed about having created life. I didn't think she stands or falls, or becomes any less cool, on whether they are related.
I drifted away from comics in the early 90s, when I came back it was strange to find that half the appearances I'd originally read of her were now Ravonna, and then she became a bald cyborg,
I was completely unaware of this story though, what a terrible idea. Stern must have hated it if he saw it. Personally I'd say the character was still recoverable after Starlin, but this story is definitely a turn for the worse.
Posted by: Jonathan | February 25, 2016 3:54 PM
It seems like Nebula's not firing on all cylinders at this point, especially after she kept bouncing between being living dead and omnipotent god during Infinity Gauntlet. I don't think see ever recovered her original mental balance from this point onward, hence her later schemes like disguising herself as Ravonna/Kang and her future cyborg state.
Posted by: D09 | May 14, 2016 11:15 PM
"disguising herself as Ravonna/Kang"
Wrong way round, it was Ravonna who disguised herself as Nebula.
Posted by: AF | May 15, 2016 3:37 AM
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