Characters Appearing: Silver Surfer
Silver Surfer #23
Issue(s): Silver Surfer #23
So this issue is pretty straightforward, although there is still some interesting data provided that we'll throw into the pile of contradictory information about the Silver Surfer's early years. The Surfer revisits a planet he once spared from Galactus, in fact one that he first came across during his "first decade" of his service to Galactus, in the time of the current population's grandfathers.
At the time, the Surfer found an unpopulated world for Galactus to eat, and while Galactus was resting he had a pleasant visit with the people he rescued. Now he finds the people virtually destroying their planet with volcanic activity just to attract the Silver Surfer's attention...
...and he finds that it's because they need his help to slay a dragon that has come to the planet. When the Silver Surfer finds the dragon, the dragon explains that he was part of a race of alien refugees that landed here to ask for help, and were instead betrayed by the locals. And he's too enraged now to be talked out of killing. After a cool battle by Ron Lim...
...the Silver Surfer accidentally kills the dragon (its foreign energy patterns make it difficult for the Surfer to use his powers non-lethally). The Surfer chews out the natives and leaves.
Funny bit in the beginning where the Surfer is using the infra-red spectrum to hunt the dragon, who has a teleporter, and the Surfer therefore neglects to spot a tree branch.
I like this issue and (to a lesser degree) next one. I don't know what Englehart's plans were; i.e. if he would have just jumped directly into the story for issue #25 (maybe stretching it out instead of fitting it all into one double-sized issue) after Fantastic Four #325. But the way things worked out, we get a two issue change of pace with some nice Strange Tales philosophical type stories before getting back to the second Kree-Skrull War. And that works to make that war seem more epic because it's happening in the background for these two issues instead of us just jumping right to it. Not what anyone intended, but the back and forth conflict between editors and writer worked to the benefit of the book, this time.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 221,585. Single issue closest to filing date = 172,700.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Fantastic Four #325 takes place between last issue and this one.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Englehart detailed his rejected story for this issue in Amazing Heroes #171: Death was angry over the In-Betweener forcing her to kill off some of the Elders, and she wakes up Thanos at the end to get revenge for her.
He confirmed that DeFalco wanted a return to single-issue stories with the Surfer "all by himself, flying around moaning over Shalla-Bal" and that each issue had to have a moral.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 26, 2015 9:35 PM
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