Friday, February 24, 2012

This issue features my favorite Silver Surfer cover, but I didn't scan it...

Silver Surfer #41, "Job Hunting" Written by Jim Starlin, pencils by Ron Lim, inks by Tom Christopher. Trapped and powerless on Dynamo City, the Silver Surfer is forced to try to find gainful employment, so he can make fifty credits for the exit tax and get out of there. After a long wait in line, a robot interviews the Surfer, who isn't exactly work-force material, and sheepishly admits his last job was Herald to Galactus:

Although he gets a job lugging girders around a construction site, the Surfer is fired when he overheats; his silver skin roasting him. Now a vagrant, he is directed to Tent City, a shantytown home for Dynamo City's underclass. Some are trapped there like the Surfer, but for others this is just a setback on the road to fabulous wealth. (Or not.)

The Surfer meets Zeaklar, an old man who's been stuck in Dynamo City for three years. He explains the underground economy, which pays in food or goods, but never credits; keeping the poor workforce right where the city wants them. Run by the never-seen "Great I," the city is supposedly a masterpiece of free enterprise, where anyone can make it big. In reality, that's propaganda, and the bureaucracy is a never-ending series of hoops to keep the poor jumping through. It's a theme Jim Starlin's used before, and I would love to go with him to say, the DMV. That would be a hoot.

A small urchin tells the Surfer he could sell his dreams, which would be broadcast as entertainment. Then, he could earn the five credits (it was fifty last issue!) and get out, but Zeaklar warns him of the negotiators. Still, the Surfer blurts out his price (200 credits, so he could take 39 people with him) before hearing their offer...

The broadcast doesn't go especially well either, with the Surfer strapped to a chair and mind-probes ripping out his memories to show. It does give Ron Lim five or so pages to run down the Surfer's history, which seems to run from sad to sadder. And then it gets worse: violated and enraged, the Surfer tries to restrain himself until he gets paid. And he gets: two credits.

The Surfer gets roughed up by the guard robots, and thrown out into the street. When he wakes up, even his two credits are gone (it's not like the Surfer had pockets...) and he's left to shuffle back to Shanty Town. Of course, this is merely fiction, and I'm sure none of this would never happen in real life. Uh-huh.

We'll check back with the Silver Surfer next Friday: will his luck improve? Well, it's part three of four, so I'm gonna go out on a limb and say no.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Poor guy; and yet a very accurate portrayal of the current economic situation. I smell a skit here.