Silver Surfer #79-82
Issue(s): Silver Surfer #79,Silver Surfer #80, Silver Surfer #81, Silver Surfer #82
After the Surfer leaves, we learn that Atlas was actually faking his "suicidal warrior" attitude. Minerva says that the two of them actually intend to parent a race of supermen.
The bigger story in these issues is the introduction of a new villain. This villain is sooooo powerful. Why, he's even more powerful than the last mega powerful villain we just introduced two stories ago (Morg), and to prove it, this new villain will wipe the floor with Morg and easily capture him. Why, this new villain is so powerful even Galactus is afraid to fight him. And they have a Secret History. And his name is Tyrant, which just conveys
The fact that Terrax's civilian name is Tyros makes the name "Tyrant" feel all the more ridiculous. I also think he looks identical to Morg, except for the coloring. Or maybe he's like Morg infected with the techno-virus or something. However, any confusion about who is who is settled when the camera pulls out and we get to see his chicken feet.
The arc also introduces Ganymede, a warrior from an ancient order, the, ah, Spinsterhood, which is dedicated to fighting Tyrant. She's been in suspended animation, but she's been reactivated because Tyrant is back.
It's suggested that other members of her order didn't survive the suspended animation process.
The Silver Surfer, Ganymede, Morg, Terrax, Beta Ray Bill, and Gladiator all wind up as prisoners of Tyrant.
They're rescued by the newly revamped Jack of Hearts. He was captured too, but rather than be put in the thingy with the others, he allows himself to explode.
And that frees the others, who are able to fight Tyrant and his robots long enough for Galactus to show up. Actually, Morg and Terrax fight each other; the rest fight Tyrant and the robots. And Ganymede develops a crush on Jack. But the fighting stops when Galactus arrives.
Galactus really only wants his herald back, but Morg is the main guy that Tyrant wanted anyway. And Galactus backs down rather than fight Tyrant for Morg.
The rest of the group then depart. Beta Ray Bill tells the Surfer about Thor's madness, and the Surfer says that he'll come and help when he's able to.
I'm dismissive of this story because it doesn't feel like ANY effort was put into making Tyrant into an interesting and unique villain (well, except for the chicken feet) beyond having Galactus show up to be humiliated in order to improve Tyrant's standing. And that's a cheap way to introduce a new villain. You especially don't do that to Galactus (except, more and more, writers will do exactly that to Galactus).
But despite that, Marz and Lim deliver a story that is fun along the way. Lim is a good artist (although his use of splash panels is getting more and more egregious) and it's nice to see him depicting all of the characters that wind up together here.
This would have been a fine story if the antagonist wasn't being presented to us as "teh most awesomenest everz!!!11".
There's a good character moment in issue #80 where the Surfer is reflecting on the fact that Galactus tampered with his soul, as revealed in Silver Surfer #48. We learn that the Surfer's current motivations are essentially making up for what he did as Galactus' herald.
This gives the Surfer a renewed reason for being a hero. He's always been a force for good, but now it's not just because he's this benign pure being. In fact, as the Resurrection mini-series will point out, the idea that the Surfer was totally pure was really an artificial construct; Galactus' tamperings made the Surfer blissfully ignorant. You don't want guilt to be the Surfer's driving force, but those kinds of angsty emotions were always part of the Surfer's series, and now Marz gives the Surfer a reason for continuing to do good. Of course, it would have been nice if the Surfer kept all this in mind at the beginning of the previous arc when Jack of Hearts approached him for help.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Beta Ray Bill appears here after Thor #461. He is shown just recovering from that fight. Thor hit him pretty hard, so allowing a little time for recovery is fine. I think it's therefore ok to place a little space between this arc and the Thor story (but Bill shouldn't appear elsewhere in between). See the entry for last issue regarding the Surfer's appearances.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): show
The chicken feet stood out to you? Not the ropes he ties to his shoulder spikes that he's constantly chewing on?
Posted by: Berend | September 19, 2016 4:12 PM
No! Carnage is the best villain ever!
Posted by: david banes | September 19, 2016 5:37 PM
This is one of Marz's better efforts notwithstanding your accurate comments that it is generic. I see it as a decent set up issue for the Cosmic Powers series involving Thanos. I am not saying this is awesome like the Thanos Quest. It is deriative but with Ron Lim's art and the involvement of some major cosmic characters it felt relevant and worthwhile.
Posted by: Grom | September 19, 2016 8:31 PM
I could never take Tyrant seriously. What sort of "ultimate evil" always has dental floss stuck in his teeth?
And what the heck was the point of bringing back Doctor Minerva and Captain Atlas?
Posted by: Ben Herman | September 19, 2016 9:18 PM
True, these fossils just keep getting dug up. I blame Gru. He dug them up in Quasar.
Posted by: Grom | September 19, 2016 10:11 PM
Not only is his name generic, it isn't even accurate: we never see Tyrant rule or tyrannize anything. He's a boss villain with no flunkies except for Morg, and really, you're better off with no flunkies than with Morg, as we'll see as this terrible storyline runs its course.
Tyrant's design is Lim trying to do HR Giger-style biomechanical design and failing badly.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | September 19, 2016 11:47 PM
Tyrant's design is poor. That dental floss is distracting. Like nose rings, my first impulse is to rip them off.
Posted by: Grom | September 21, 2016 12:26 AM
I...somehow completely missed the dental floss.
Posted by: david banes | September 21, 2016 2:20 AM
Imagine the Carnage symbiote taking over Tyrant's body, a mix of the two. Bloody, oozy dental floss! Grimdark!
Posted by: PeterA | September 21, 2016 3:13 AM
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