Monday, May 11, 2020

Marvel Immersion Project: Silver Surfer #12-17

I'll be leaving the Silver Surfer soon.   The original solo series only ran for 18 issues.  I'll be moving on to Doctor Strange.  Before I go, a quick tribute to the man who eventually became the primary artist for the Silver Surfer series: 
John Buscema - Wikipedia
via Wikipedia
John Buscema was born Giovanni Natale Buscema, December 11, 1927 in Brooklyn, New York.  Beyond The Silver Surfer,  he is best known for his work on The Avengers and over 200 stories featuring Conan the Barbarian.  He died of stomach cancer on January 10, 2002.  He was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame the same year.

My Recent Reads

Silver Surfer #12
Originally Published January 1, 1970 (new decade)
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: John Buscema

Abomination (comics) - Wikipedia
via Wikipedia
  • Nemesis: The Abomination, summoned by a coven of witches and warlocks, led by Nigel Carruthers
  • We learn that among his many talents, the Silver Surfer has healing powers.  What's more, he's willing to use this power to save his own adversaries.

Silver Surfer #13
February 1, 1970

Doomsday Man (Earth-616) | Marvel Database | Fandom
via Marvel Database
  • Nemesis: The Doomsday Man

Silver Surfer #14
March 1, 1970
  • Crossover: Spider-Man
  • We are reminded, Earth's super-hero community still isn't sure what to make of the Surfer.  Spidey sees him as a threat and picks a fight.
  • In the course of the battle, the Surfer jeopardizes his own safety to rescue a boy, causing both Spidey and the ordinary human onlookers to reconsider their preconceptions. 

Silver Surfer #15
April 1, 1970
  • Crossover: The Fantastic Four
  • For the second month in a row, the Surfer shares his cover with another Marvel superhero: the Human Torch this time.  Cancellation was looming.  Sales for the title probably weren't so great at this point.  Leveraging the more established characters was likely an effort to boost the appeal.
  • An exploration of the Surfer's deep trust issues.

Silver Surfer #16
May 1, 1970
  • Nemesis: Mephisto
  • The Surfer's least favorite demon holds Shalla Bal hostage, forcing the Surfer to attack S.H.I.E.L.D., led by Nick Fury.  I learned some interesting history about that character in researching this post.  In 1970, Fury was still white:
Nicholas Fury (Earth-616) | Marvel Database | Fandom
via Marvel Database

  • When Marvel re-invented Fury for Marvel Unlimited, the character's image was patterned after Samuel L. Jackson, several years before the actor was cast in the role for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Meanwhile, in Marvel's main canon storyline, Nick Fury, Jr. is the original Fury's African-American son - naturally, also based on Samuel L. Jackson:
Nick Fury Jr. - Wikipedia
via Wikipedia

Silver Surfer #17
June 1, 1970
  • Part 2 of the Mephisto/S.H.I.E.L.D. story
  • The Surfer manages to get out of his Faustian bargain, though he still makes a mess of S.H.I.E.L.D. 
  • Shalla Bal slips away yet again.
  • We are left with a cliffhanger and a tease: the Inhumans will be featured in the next issue.


  1. Spider-Man was sometimes a jerk. It's probably one of the things that made him such a remarkable hero in early Marvel.
    I mean, Superman was and has always been just... boring. It takes kryptonite to make him act like a jerk.

    It took me a long time to appreciate Buscema as an artist. He did a long run on Spectacular Spider-Man (unless that was Sal, but I'm pretty sure it was John), and I was not onboard with the art for years.

    1. Spidey can definitely be a jerk, and in his crossover stories in particular.

      I can't say I feel too strongly about Buscema one way or the other. Kirby's FF work blew me away - far more so than I expected. To be honest, I didn't expect to notice at all. Buscema's is fine.

      And I checked. It's Sal on Spectacular Spider-Man.

    2. Ah, okay, then I like John's work just fine. I have some of his stuff I'm selling, right now, I think.

      Kirby was always iffy for me. There are times when his art is what can only be called genius, but a lot of his work became just too Kirby for me. Like it was Kirby imitating Kirby, if you know what I mean.

    3. Sure. I mean Kirby and Buscema literally wrote a book on how to draw the Marvel way - clearly sticklers for consistency.

  2. Nick fury has a halted slowed aging process and all the ultimate bad ass Marvel characteristics created by Stan lee now pit him against Mr Glass, heck of a difference

  3. Did the Silver Surfer ever have a crossover to the DC universe?

    1. It would appear there have been several. The earliest I found was a Rune/Silver Surfer two-parter in 1995. He has also had stories with both Green Lantern and Superman.

    2. I have the Green Lantern crossover. I don't remember if I ever read it, though. Well, I'm pretty sure I did, but I have no memory of what it was about.

    3. I hadn't thought of it before but they are parallel characters in many ways

    4. In practice, I suppose.
      Other than, you know, the Green Lantern Corps.

    5. A similar idea of powers granted to one deserving.

      Maybe even similar powers, as long as GL is wearing the ring.

      I don't know DC well enough to know if there's a better parallel. Superman, in some ways. Maybe there isn't one.

    6. Maybe in the early days of GL there were more similarities.
      I think DC has mostly wiped that out, though.

    7. Unless they've fixed that stuff? I don't know.
      I haven't read GL since the 90s.

    8. I dove into DC when they did their big New 52 reset in 2011. The Green Lantern thread was my favorite. I can't say I've read any more since then.

    9. Ah, yeah, I forgot they re-set everything.

    10. And they've done it at least once since.

    11. They've done it something like half a dozen times.
      It's one of the things I can't stand about DC.

    12. They should really try character development instead.

    13. Yeah, you'd think.
      I mean, there's no real reason Superman -has- to be so boring, but DC seems just fine with keeping him as he was in the 40s.

    14. And yet, he survives - thrives even. In nearly every poll ever conducted, he's #1 among American superhero characters. Even within DC, Batman is clearly the more interesting character and yet, he is always the runner-up. Superman is a symbol people respond to. I'm sure some brand marketing expert somewhere understands it all perfectly - probably teaches a freshman seminar on the subject.

    15. Oh, I understand why it is. It's the non-comic book crowd who find him easy to identify with. All those people for whom Superman is the easy answer to the question of which super hero you'd be. Which is probably -why- he's so bland, the whole mary-sue thing.
      I'm sure it's related to why the DC movies are so horrible across the board.