Tuesday, August 14, 2012

From Silver Surfer #128, "Beneath the Silver Skin" Written by J.M. DeMatteis, pencils by Rick Leonardi (prologue) and Ron Garney, inks by Bob Wiacek.

Recently, I re-read the last year-and-change of the Silver Surfer's regular book, from #121 to #145. (We saw the last issue, #146, during 'The End' week some time back.) Coming off George Perez's run, DeMatteis would start with #123 and stay until #145, with Tom DeFalco co-writing or scripting a couple issues; and a good batch of artists: Ron Garney, Cary Nord, Paul Pelletier, Tom Grummett, and Jon J. Muth.

Plot-wise, DeMatteis had a good start: the Surfer's homeworld, Zenn-La, is destroyed. Retroactively. It's implied that it's been gone for years, and has only been a holographic projection, which comes as a surprise to the Surfer. He loses some of his memory and all of his emotions, and returns to earth to try and put them back together. This was just after the Onslaught crossover, so the Fantastic Four and the Avengers were MIA, presumed dead; so no help there. Instead, the Surfer returns to Alicia Masters, who inspired him to help humanity when he first came to earth with Galactus.
After encounters with the Hulk and Dr. Strange, the Surfer gets the Puppet Master to build one of his clay replicas of himself, to use it to find his own memories. Of course, the clay Surfer steals the real one's cosmic power and rampages, while Daredevil and Spider-Man try to stop it. Powerless, Norrin Radd confronts himself, which seemingly causes a massive explosion. Instead, the Surfer regains his power as he and Alicia are thrown back in time to 1947; while the spent clay Surfer is stolen by an organization that thinks the Surfer could be a new messiah for earth...

We may come back to some of this run, since there was a lot to enjoy: a "minus 1" issue with gray aliens and an abducted Stan Lee! The truth about Zenn-La! A dead Surfer versus the ghost of Mephisto! Alicia and the Surfer as a couple, even when the Thing returns! There were some weak bits, too, though: the last set of villains--the Coroner, Tenebrae, and the Mergence--weren't great: an existential version of the Borg, with an aged Goth and a woman in a praying mantis suit. That storyline went too long, and wasted Muth on art. The big bad "the Other" are interesting, but derailed by the Mephisto appearance and the sudden appearance of Scrier, a mysterious figure from Spider-Man comics of the time.

Still, overall not too bad, especially the Ron Garney issues.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

I have an issue or two of DeMatteis' run, but stopped quickly after that. I lost interest in the Surfer after the Marz/Lim years, but that doesn't mean the Surfer's a bad character. He just seems to have lost a bit of what made him special in his earlier years.

IDK off-hand who could work magic with him other than a dream project by Morrison and Laddron. Now that would be stellar.