Silver Surfer: Homecoming
Issue(s): Silver Surfer: Homecoming
The Silver Surfer receives a mental distress call from Shalla Bal. When he tries to respond, he finds that the entire planet of Zenn-La is gone. A few distressed scientists manning a research satellite tell him that the planet just disappeared thanks to a giant space brain with eyeballs.
Then Moondragon reveals herself.
Surfer tries to confront the brain thing on his own...
...but fails to get it to even notice him.
So he accepts Moondragon's help.
Moondragon can be dangerous and untrustworthy, so the idea of Silver Surfer having to place himself under her power is risky. But Moondragon's role in this story will turn out to be entirely altruistic. I think this is good writing, but it may be lost on Surfer fans that maybe didn't know Moondragon. There are no references to Moondragon's past actions when she wasn't such a good guy.
Anyway, she transfers the Silver Surfer's brainwave into the Dreamer. Inside, it turns out that the people of Zenn-La are happy, and the Dreamer/Great One is protecting them (see the Considerations regarding the Kree/Skrull War).
It's said that the people of Zenn-La have been made immortal (i feel like they already were) and they've unanimously decided to stay. The Surfer says that he's going to stay too, and he converts himself back into regular old Norrin Radd.
However, the other people of Zenn-La all feel a connection to the Great One, while Norrin is cut off. And eventually the Great One comes for a visit, and notices Norrin and declares him an invader.
They battle inside the Great One's brain for a while, and eventually a moon is destroyed. The moon turns out to represent the Great One's heart. So the Great One is dying. Surfer tells him that he would have accepted paradise on the Great One's terms and there was no need to attack him in the first place. But in any event, Moondragon (who seems to have been waiting around on an asteroid in space with the Surfer's body for what is described as a "few weeks" on the inside), helps bring Zenn-La and the Surfer out of the brain. However, Shalla Bal doesn't make it.
The people of Zenn-La then get mad at the Surfer for ruining their paradise, but Moondragon yells at them.
I am 100% in favor of giant space brains, and i like the interactions between Moondragon and Silver Surfer (like when she calls him a jerk). But things slow down a lot when the Surfer gets into the brain, and the maudlin tone that the Silver Surfer often brings to a comic is not avoided here. William Reinhold's art is fine, but not enough in and of itself to make this story interesting. This is better than the average in-continuity Marvel Graphic Novel, but that of course is a pretty low bar. It's definitely not as impactful as Jim Starlin's first Marvel Graphic Novel. It's basically a decent issue of Silver Surfer stretched out to 60 pages.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This was published in 1991. But Moondragon has the Mind Gem, so Starlin was writing this in anticipation of the events of Warlock and the Infinity Watch #2. And the Infinity Watch characters are basically unavailable starting from issue #2 until after Infinity War. A slight problem with that is that the Kree-Skrull War is described as being ongoing, and even if the war was meant to have continued after the Silver Surfer book stopped focusing on it (after Englehart's run), it's surely over now that the Kree leaders (Clumsy Foulup, Ael-dan, Dar-benn, and the Supreme Intelligence) have all been killed and the Kree empire is run by the Shi'ar. But it's not like the Dreamer or the Zenn-Laians have to know that.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I know I am raising a very uncomfortable and never solved topic, but when you get to the DeMatteis' Silver Surfer (1998, i think) perhaps you will need to review all the Shalla Bal's appearances ...
Posted by: Midnighter | April 19, 2016 9:38 AM
It's issue #130. See the note that i put in Silver Surfer #3.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 19, 2016 9:55 AM
One thing to note- Shalla Bal dies in this story and she's not resurrected until the Silver Surfer/Warlock: Resurrection series.Of course, that gets back to Midnighter's point- how could Shalla Bal not be real if she died and was resurrected?
Posted by: Michael | April 19, 2016 7:58 PM
Note that the Infinity Watch are called the Infinity Guard- Starlin must have written this before deciding on the name.
Posted by: Michael | April 19, 2016 8:08 PM
Bill Reinhold is an enjoyable artist, but if you had told me he was doing a cosmic book, I would have said he wouldn't be a good match. However, from the panel scans, his work is very appealing and appropriate. Both the backgrounds and figures look good.
Posted by: Chris | April 19, 2016 10:01 PM
I didn't even know this existed.
Why is this not in either of the Infinity Watch or the Infinity War Aftermath or the Infinity Gauntlet Aftermath trades.
Posted by: AF | April 20, 2016 6:06 AM
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