Silver Surfer #44-45
Issue(s): Silver Surfer #44, Silver Surfer #45
Note the comparisons to the Hulk. Strong as either Geatar or Thanos may be, i don't know that they're as physically strong as the Hulk.
The next question is how to find Thanos now that they know he's still alive, but that problem is solved for them. Thanos now has the Infinity Gems...
...and has adopted Uncle Ben's philosophy.
Given his godlike powers, going after the Surfer at this point almost seems petty, but Thanos kind of talks himself into it.
And he's already engaging in the sort of thinking that will lead to his own defeat.
So instead of just causing all of his enemies to blink out of existence, he brings the Surfer and Drax to him to fight.
What follows is a reiteration of the powers of the Infinity Gems, maybe for people that didn't read Thanos Quest. As Thanos describes each gem, it changes color; they all start off green.
Meanwhile, he uses the gems to mess with Drax and the Surfer (what's grey Hulk doing there?).
The two heroes are knocked out. He steals their souls and imprisons them in the Soul Gem.
Thanos then returns to Sanctuary III and learns that the orders he left, to attract mercenaries from throughout the galaxy, have been fulfilled successfully. He generates a pile of gold and gems to pay them. Then he detects that Nebula is still alive and on his ship. Instead of killing her, he transforms her into a zombie-like form. He does kill the lackey that assisted her, though.
At that point, Mephisto, who has been observing Thanos, appears.
Mephisto reveals that he was once a part of the entity that the infinity gems came from. Before it committed suicide, it attempted to alleviate its solitude by taking a part of itself, which happened to be the evil part, and created a number of life forms, including Mephisto and a number of other demons. The entity was displeased with its creation and destroyed them, but they were recreated when the entity died.
Therefore, Mephisto has knowledge of the Infinity Gems and how they can be used. He pledges service to Thanos, and offers to be his advisor.
Thanos initially rejects this, saying he has no need for lackeys. But Mephisto opens his eyes to how he can think beyond his mortal mind's ideas for the gems.
While Thanos is being one with the universe, Mephisto tries to grab the gems from him...
...but Thanos was prepared for that (note that we're calling the combined gems on Thanos' glove a gauntlet now).
Thanos nonetheless decides that Mephisto is valuable enough to keep around. Mephisto still thinks that Thanos' mortal body is not going to be able to handle the gems in the long run, though.
All it really takes for me to love a super-hero book are some well written villains acting competently. Ron Lim's big blocky designs are a plus, and the fact that Jim Starlin has crafted unique motivations and flaws for the characters is also great.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Some time has passed since last issue, since the Silver Surfer is already back on Titan and investigating Geatar's corpse at the beginning of this issue. And i'm allowing a little time to pass between this issue and next, which begins with the Surfer and Drax waking up inside the Soul Gem world (if they can sit unconscious throughout all of issue #45 they can wait a little longer).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showDrax the Destroyer, Eros, Geatar, Mentor, Mephisto, Nebula, Silver Surfer, Soul Gem, Starfox, Thanos
Okay now why the hell weren't these included in either the Infinity Gauntlet trade or the Thanos Quest one? Yeah I got a feeling of what happened in between but I like my stories complete.
Posted by: david banes | July 22, 2015 5:45 PM
Can't wait for next issue and the revival of you-know-who. It will be a true return to the classic epic of the 70's.
Posted by: clyde | July 22, 2015 6:03 PM
I wonder how much of what Mephisto told Thanos about his origins are true. We know that he and several other demons were once part of the same being but then again, Mephisto is the father of lies.
Posted by: Michael | July 22, 2015 8:50 PM
The title had a real vitality at this time. Starlin's run was very epic. One of my favorite titles at this time.
Posted by: Chris | July 22, 2015 9:39 PM
Ron Lim's art here is terrific. But he doesn't stay this cosmic, post Silver Surfer, sadly. I guess his inker was a big part of it, combined with the wonderfully cool stuff he's being asked to draw? Lots of good art in this period still, it seems, but Imageification is coming. None of us are safe!
Isn't it the Infinity Gauntlet because gauntlet sounds fancier than Infinity Glove? Or Infinity Mitten, even better.
Posted by: PeterA | July 23, 2015 2:11 AM
PeterA, i'm just noting that we're on the path to seeing something called the Infinity Gauntlet for the first time. And showing its origin, so to speak. Sometimes i think of the Gauntlet as an artifact in its own right, but it's really the glove Thanos has been wearing since 1973, merged with the Soul/Infinity Gems.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 23, 2015 7:22 AM
The Silver Surfer issues leading to Infinity Gauntlet were included in the IG omnibus, but I agree they should've been in the trade too. Unfortunately, for completeness' sake the omnibus also includes all the IG tie-in comics, even though most of them have little to do with the main story, as we'll see when Fnord covers them.
Posted by: Tuomas | July 23, 2015 9:53 AM
I'm ok with Thanos being about as strong as the Hulk, he'd already been shown fighting Thor and Thing both at the same time. Not keen on suggestion that Geatar the non-entity is that strong too though. But there probably aren't enough villains in the Class 100 range to fight Thor/Hulk/Hercules etc on equal terms. There's monsters like Fin Fang Foom, and gods like Galactus who are way beyond that range, but I can only really think of Goliath, Juggernaut and Thanos as villains in that Class 100 range. And Thanos is usually too smart to bother using his strength in that way. I really like Peter's Infinity Mitten suggestion. Maybe Squirrel Girl has one, it would explain a lot.
Posted by: Jonathan | July 26, 2015 1:04 PM
Class 100 range: Abomination and Apocalypse came right to mind. Mangog must be one of the physically strongest Marvel villains ever.
There a Marvel "Strength Scale" list here, with a good number of characters listed at the 100+ level:
Posted by: Instantiation | July 26, 2015 1:41 PM
I’m no expert in Marvel post about 1991, so I knew Apocalypse was possibly on that level from what I’d read but I wasn’t sure. Now you mention it I think I’d heard that they recently had him fighting a young Thor centuries ago, which seems a good move, to make the mutant side of Marvel less “separate”. And Mangog definitely is, though I think I’ve only read two storylines he appeared in so I don’t count him as a regular villain, I don’t know if he’s appeared more recently. I’m pretty sure the old 80s TOHOTMUDE had Abomination able to lift about 90 or 95 tons, in that he was stronger than calm Hulk but weaker than enraged Hulk. If they’ve since made him Class 100, I fully approve as he is pretty much the definition (along with maybe the Scorpion, and Mr Hyde before Stern repowered him) of a diminishing threat villain, who started off as a real challenge and got weaker every appearance afterwards).
Posted by: Jonathan | July 28, 2015 7:18 AM
That list I had linked to has Abomination at 200 tons. It doesn't include everyone, though--for instance, I'm not seeing Mr. Hyde. To my knowledge (and like you I'm not as up on the more recent stuff), Mangog appeared only a few times, so I agree he's not a regular villain. He was one of those "ultra-threats" that only got diminished with reappearances, because they of course had to find some way to beat him each time. Since this is a Surfer page, I'll mention that he fought the Surfer in Marvel Fanfare #51, but as fnord notes in his recent comments, that isn't regarded as canonical. The original Mangog story, btw, was reprinted earlier this year in the "Epic Collection" titled "To Wake the Mangog," which also includes some classic Galactus, Ego, Him/Warlock, etc. material by Lee/Kirby.
Posted by: Instantiation | July 28, 2015 9:27 AM
@Jonathan - It could easily be called a mitt. In Twisted Toyfare Theatre, Aunt May buys it at Dr Doom's yard sale (she won't pay more than $2 because there's only one) and she later uses it as an oven mitt to make infinite wheatcakes for Peter.
Posted by: Erik Beck | November 16, 2015 11:58 AM
Concerning the Abomination's strength, the deluxe edition of the OHotmU listed him at exactly 100 tons, and noted that wouldn't technically make him Class 100, which was defined as being able to lift over 100 tons.
But I also approve of him being a bit stronger than that.
Posted by: Mortificator | November 16, 2015 1:49 PM
Perhaps it can be reconciled using Abomination's appearance in Incredible Hulk #271, where the Galaxy Master doubled his strength. So he starts out at 100 tons, and then gets boosted to 200 tons.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | November 28, 2015 8:57 PM
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