Issue(s): Hulk #250
...and breaking up some baby seal clubbing...
...the Silver Surfer decides that absorbing gamma radiation might help him break through the barrier that keeps him trapped on Earth.
There's a page where the Silver Surfer scours the Earth looking for the Hulk.
We get cameos of a number of heroes from around the world, including first appearances of some heroes that we'll meet in detail in Hulk's upcoming 'World Tour'. There's some problems with it, though:
Banner is currently playing house with a widow on a farm.
The Surfer arrives and purges the gamma radiation from Bruce's cells. He then uses Bruce's scientific know-how to create a machine that will give the Surfer the power he needs.
But suspicious townspeople show up and ruin everything. They trigger an explosion that causes Bruce to turn back into the Hulk.
So the Surfer heads back to Earth, grabs Banner, and absorbs the radiation from him directly.
And with that, he's able to escape the barrier. Unfortunately, poor Bruce Banner winds up hanging on his surfboard, and the Surfer has to return through the barrier to save him.
Not a very good story. Kind of cheap. Nothing is actually resolved or changed in the Silver Surfer's story. We now know that the Surfer could cure Banner of being the Hulk at any time and that the Surfer could break through Galactus' barrier if he could just keep the Hulk off his board. And Banner's decision to live on at some widow's farmhouse doesn't make him seem very responsible. At least Sal Buscema got to draw some nice Hulk/Surfer fight scenes, though.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Hulk starts and ends this issue in the wilderness of the mid-west. Regarding Captain Britain's sort-of appearance, see the Considerations for the Black Knight story in Incredible Hulk Weekly. Basically i'm postulating that Captain Britain is here with amnesia after the plane crash shown in flashback in that series (after Marvel Team-Up #65-66). See above regarding the seeming appearances of Arabian Knight, Ursa Major, and Red Guardian.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showCaptain Britain, Collective Man, Crimson Dynamo V, Darkstar, Hulk, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Sabra, Silver Surfer, Sub-Mariner, Thing, Vanguard
Maybe Ursa Major was in human form?
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 10, 2011 11:08 PM
The problem is that Ursa Major is added to the team in issue #258. He hadn't met the rest of the team, in bear or human form, prior to that so he couldn't have been standing around with them here. The scene is really just meant to be a conceptual "look what we've got coming up" type of thing, so for continuity purposes we just have to make up some excuses.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 11, 2011 2:14 PM
Loved this issue.
Posted by: rik fenix | January 26, 2015 9:34 PM
Still love it, one of my favorite issues ever from a creative team I enjoyed tremendously. When Surfer gives up his chance to break through to space to save Bruce it was extremely heroic.. the whole story has an epic feel to it. Think this one is very underrated and recommend it.
Posted by: RikFenix | May 28, 2016 5:47 PM
Since you're treating the Ursa Major appearance as "conceptual," shouldn't the Red Guardian be removed as well? Did she really make it out of the Forbidden Zone after her last appearance and then return before her next?
Posted by: Dan H. | April 25, 2017 12:29 AM
Thanks Dan. I agree and i've removed her tag.
I do want to make a slight clarification: despite what i said to Mark, i'm not treating the appearances as conceptual (i.e. ignoring them completely). I'm trying to reason away their appearances. This way it's not inconsistent when i still list the appearances of the other characters in those scenes. What i said to Mark was that it seems like Marvel was half-treating the appearances as conceptual ("look what's coming up!") but the way the characters are integrated into scenes with the Surfer makes me want to honor them as "real" as much as possible.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 2, 2017 8:06 AM
I gotcha (I think) so maybe the gal who appears to be the Red Guardian is just a standby agent that they pressed into service for the purposes of presenting a larger force and possibly scaring off whatever invader they had on the their hands before they identified him as the Surfer (or it's also possible they had another reason for a practice get-together that involved a fake Red Guardian and the Surfer just crashed it).
Likewise - I can't tell from the size of the scan and it's been a million years since I read the issue - is the other character identifiable as Ursa Major? Is it possible that, along the lines of the above stand-in Red Guardian theory, that he's a fake Titanium Man?
Not that I expect you to go any further down that rabbit hole. I think your approach works best - the characters who aren't terribly out of place are real, the others are... well, not what they appear at any rate.
Posted by: Dan H. | May 2, 2017 3:20 PM
(And of course, after I typed that previous comment and hit "Post," I went back and read the comments you added to the review where you'd already suggested the same thing about this "new" Red Guardian).
Posted by: Dan H. | May 2, 2017 3:23 PM
We think of the North Pole as the top of the world because our maps are oriented north. One would expect it to be an alien idea to the Surfer.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | May 29, 2018 8:26 AM
Except the Surfer has been on earth for a while. He has interacted with the Fantastic Four enough that he probably got a long-winded explanation from Mr. Fantastic about the North and South poles (along with any other information that he was told by Mr. Fantastic).
Posted by: clyde | May 29, 2018 1:07 PM
Comments are now closed.
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