Silver Surfer #76-78
Issue(s): Silver Surfer #76, Silver Surfer #77, Silver Surfer #78
The Surfer does recover from being a self-centered prick, although even after he hears Jack's trouble - his containment armor is leaking and he's dying - he wonders why Jack hasn't gone to the Fantastic Four or the Avengers. Jack says that they are "always off fighting some intergalactic war or exploring another dimension". So the Surfer thinks and comes up with someone else who can help. This turns out to be someone that we've never seen before, a criminal space scientist named Torval, who is currently being held at an intergalactic prison run by someone that i'm half-convinced is Josef Stalin.
Stalin isn't initially willing to let the Surfer meet with the prisoner, but the Surfer apparently has dirt on the guy; Surfer rescued him back in the days when he was a cadet. His people think that he had been knocked out, but he really deserted his post. So the Surfer blackmails him into letting them see Torval.
Torval designs a new suit for Jack of Hearts. Presumably the idea was to give him something less detailed, and therefore easier for artists to draw (it's been said that one of the reasons Jack never took off in popularity is because no one liked drawing him). And of course it just had to be revealed in a two page sideways spread, because 90s.
However, it turns out that the prison they are in is the same one where Nebula's crew has been held prisoner. And Nebula and her lieutenant, Geatar, choose this time to attempt a break out. Silver Surfer runs into them while Torval is working on Jack's armor.
With Stalin as a hostage, the Surfer surrenders to Nebula.
One thing i like is that Nebula's plans are simply to get her crew back and "resume pirating". No take over the universe stuff. Just some basic villainy.
Jack eventually shows up to help the Surfer, but Nebula manages to escape with Geatar. In the process, though, she launches a spaceship while all of her crew are in the docking bay, and they wind up getting killed by the engine's backsplash. Jack of Hearts decides to stay with the prison to help the wounded before going "back to the only true home I have... the stars".
In a subplot, we learn that Galactus has been keeping Morg in a regenerative chamber, and he's keeping it a secret from his current heralds, Firelord and Air-Walker. Morg is revived during these issues, and leaves Galactus' ship to retrieve the axe that Terrax took.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 252,942. Single issue closest to filing date = 213,400.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: At the start of this arc, the Silver Surfer is sitting on an asteroid regretting the deaths of Nova (from last arc) and Shalla-Bal (from the Homecoming graphic novel). At the beginning of the next arc, the Silver Surfer is sitting on a seemingly isolated planet regretting that recently he's "only known turmoil", with footnotes to the death of Nova and this arc. Between the two spots, i think between this arc and next is the best place for his Secret Defenders stint in Doctor Strange #50. It can be part of the "turmoil" even though it's not specifically referenced. The truth is that either spot would really be ok; in either case the Surfer may just be finding a quiet time to reflect and doesn't necessarily have to mention every event that's happened to him. Beta Ray Bill will appear in the next arc after Thor #461, so Thor #460-461 should come first.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAir-Walker, Firelord, Galactus, Geatar, Jack of Hearts, Morg, Nebula, Silver Surfer
That guy must be Stalin! He even has a red guardian!
Stop throwing those tomatoes!
Posted by: Omar Karindu | September 16, 2016 10:38 PM
Maybe that's supposed to be Coldsteel on vacation from Mephisto's region of Hell :)
Posted by: Ben Herman | September 16, 2016 10:48 PM
I absolutely HATED it when they changed Jack's costume to this "simpler" version. Jack's intricately detailed and highly original costume (George Perez told me that Keith Giffen designed it after I asked George about it in 2001) is simply awesome. It's one of the main reasons why he has always been my favorite Marvel character. The 90s were a wasteland of horrible, lazy, barely pedestrian artwork as it was. They didn't need to slack in the detail department along with destroying basic human anatomy.
Luckily, Moondragon will make up for screwing with Jack's mind by restoring his classic suit in Roger Stern's Avengers: Infinity mini-series where Sean Chen is the next artist who gets to take a crack at it.
Posted by: Clutch | September 17, 2016 8:49 AM
I don't really understand the "glad you still RECOGNIZE me, Surfer" (emphasis his). It's clearly just a variation on the same costume, it's not like he has a different mask with a different color scheme and a cape or something. There was a similar instance in Roy Thomas's All-Star Squadron when Liberty Belle simply added a cape to her costume and a character actually said "My GOD... Liberty BELLE??" and I think it's just the writer trying to beat over the reader's head this is a NEW costume so it's supposed to be a BIG DEAL
Posted by: Wis | October 8, 2016 1:08 AM
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