Thursday, December 12, 2013

Back-Issue Spotlight: The Silver Surfer#63(Vol.2)


So I haven't done this in awhile, but here's another fun edition of Back-Issue Spotlight.
Today's pick is The Silver Surfer#63(Vol.2). Sure it may seem like a random issue, and it really is, but it holds personal significance for me. While it wasn't the first Silver Surfer issue I ever bought(that honor belongs to Silver Surfer#47) it is the first time I saw Captain Marvel. At that point I didn't know he'd been around since the late 60's, or even that he'd died almost 15 years later. All I knew was that this very colorful superhero caught my eye, and that he was standing back-to-back w/the Surfer, so I was instantly intrigued to find out what the hell was going on.

Well today we'll find out why together, on a little trip through back-issue memory lane.....

The Silver Surfer#63(Vol.2) (March 1992) by Ron Marz and Ron Lim.

What a splash page right? This would fit in right at home with Dan's column about splash pages.

Right away we get right into the action as Surfer finds himself on what appears to be a barren planet, save for an army of deadly skeleton warriors out to kill him. Surfer quickly finds out he's sans powers, so he'll have to fight 'em off the old-fashioned way. And boy does he.

Of course he then runs into what seems to be the main source of his current prediciment, the ghost of Garnok Rebahn. This is a guy Surfer was forced to kill in Silver Surfer Annual#3. I didn't have it at the time, so a quick recap was much appreciated. I have it now, and it does make sense, and really does lead in/tie-in to this very issue. Basically he tells Surfer that he'll be hunted down by the very dead he helped make that way when he worked for his old boss Galactus.

So they come and of course the numbers game catches up with him, so he's gotta' beat a hasty retreat. Luckily he happens to find an isolated cave quickly enough to hide in. It's while in the cave, Surfer quickly finds out he's not alone.

Nope, not by a longshot

Captain Marvel and Surfer share a meal and as Surfer tries to figure out how he got there. He asks CM how he wind up there as well, but CM doesn't know either. Surfer fills him in on why he thinks he's there, and they briefly discuss what it was like for CM to die. Again, this was my true first time discovering this character, and already I felt bad that he was dead, and that outside of this obvious one-time deal, I wouldn't see him again unless he was brought back to life. It happens all the time now, but back then, death still meant something in comics.

Captain Marvel and Surfer then stake out the undead army, with Marvel choosing to act as decoy, long enough for Surfer to confront whoever's in the tent.

It's then that we see just why Captain Marvel ws a true hero, as he sacrifices himself as the neccessary diversion.

I fucking love these panels now just as I did back then!

That my friends is what's missing with today's heroes. They just don't act like the selfless heroes they used to be nowadays. Sad really.

Surfer fights his way down to the tent, and inside he finds the leader of the army......himself?
Yep, it all ends on a cliffhanger as Surfer comes to face to face with a dark reflection of himself. Literally.
The whole thing gets wrapped up in the next issue, but I'm sure it's worth it.

I gotta say, again, this was the first time I was introduced to Captain Marvel, and I already quickly grew an attachment to him. I attribute that to the excellent writing of Ron Marz, to get me to care about a hero long since dead, but definitely no less relevant.

Of course years later Marvel would fool all of us into thinking Captain Marvel was back from the dead during Civil War. But that only turned out to be a Skrull spy. Plus, I'm pretty sure the real CM would've never went along with the whole pro-registration thing. Sounds too much like the Supreme Intelligence and the whole Kree culture that he escaped from in the first place. If he had been brought back, I could easily see Mar-Vel telling Tony to go fuck himself, but in a more polite manner than that.
Then during the whole A vs. X saga, the Phoenix briefly reanimimated his corpse. I don't know if it was a facimile like when the Phoenix pretended to be Jean or not, but he didn't stay alive again for long either, once again sacrificing himself for the greater good and others.

I don't know if it was the feathery blond Farah Faucett hair, but he reminded of Hal Jordan somehow. I've always wanted to see those two team-up, and if the originally planned JLA/Avengers crossover had happened back in 1981, we would've seen it. Damn shame.

That's me for this week. Have a great weekend people, and happy holiday shopping.


karl said...

Really, Dale, you never even knew that Captain Marvel was dead? I thought that would've been well known to most comic fans. I myself never got the Death of Captain Marvel Graphic Novel in which it happened - Ive never even read it, in fact - but its so well-known, I thought Mar-Vell's passing was a universal 'given'/
I have to love Ron Lim and his work on the Silver Surfer - I think like many others that Lim was the DEFINITIVE Surfer artist during the Nineties. For most of us it had a been a lifetime since Buscema's take on the Surfer, and Lim embodied the modern age of him, all odd angles and power lines and zapping rays. I don't think he suited any other heroes except him.

Dale Bagwell said...

@Karl: Hey, give me some slack man, I was only what, 11 at the time?
Plus I didn't move stateside until around that time period, so I missed out on a few things. I've caught on since then I assure you:)

I did on a post devoted to the brillance that is Ron Lim called "Going out on a Lim" if you're interested in looking for it.
I agree wholeheartedly, Lim was THE Silver Surfer artist of the 90's from Infinity Guantlet until his last issue on Surfer. I love his all-too brief run on Captain America as well. I really wish he had a run on FF at some point, as I loved his renditons of the Fantastic Foursome. I know it;'s probably considered blasmphemy, but I'd rather Lim had been on FF instead of Paul Ryan at the time. Sorry Dan:(
Lim's work has gotten somewhat more cartoony over time, but he's always maintained his speed and storytelling ability. He wasn't always as flashy as some of his contemporaries, but he was dependable on on time.

Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

speaking of the Silver Surfer Dale, check out today's posting on the
Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues blog.

Randomnerd said...

Everybody's got their favorites. :) I don't think I've ever read a single issue of Silver Surfer. I've perused them, of course, but never held an actual comic in my hand. This looks like a good one, as I like the artistry (good 90's, not bad 90's) and I like anything with Captain Marvel in it.
You're right, Dale, he really does grip you. And only in a good touch sense.

Facilitator said...

Hi, I just found your blog through my Google alert for all things Surfer. I love to read retro-reviews like this as it spurs my own efforts to stay acquainted with my collection. The panel you highlight seems to me an homage by Lim (encouraged in script by Marz?) to Jim Starlin who made active use of that kind of transition/fade a lot - and who also penned one of my favorite Surfer sagas in his buildup to Infinity Guantlet in late number 30's and 40's of this same volume.

I think that coming to someone like Capt. Marvel this way is what great comic reading is about. There's always so much more than one can read and it takes this kind of character 'resurrection' to provide exposure to young fans like you were then.

Great blog. Thanks!

Dale Bagwell said...

@Shlomo: The one w/ the Siver Surfer and Battlestar Galactica? Yeah, that one was actually a very intersting premise. A Galactus/Cylon invasion would be epic for those two franchises. I liked the recent GL/Vision one myself.

@Ging: Good touch indeed, not the "point on the child molester bear where the bad man touched you" touch;)

I'd give this issue and the one leading up to the Infinity Guantlet as highlights of Marz's run myself. He gave Thanos a slow burn build up until that event, really driving home how bad Thanos returning would be.

@Facilitator: Hey, how are you? Thanks for giving the blog a shot, I hope you stick around for awhile. It can be a crazy good around here, jus ask the regulars.
The only truly weeird and crazy area, other than the skits I do, are is the comments section. It can get pretty weird quick;)

Speaking of Surfer, if you're a big fan of his, I'd highly suggest looking up a few skits of I've donw with him in it. I've got one on the way next Monday actually, involving the perils of internet dating. A subject near and dear to my heart;)

You maybe be right about the Starlin Homage by Lim. Now that you've mentioned it, I can defintiely see it. And you're very right, Starlin experimented with that all sorts of panel progression, especially the fading of images. I like the ones where they gradually fade to another character, often the darker side/dark reflection of a certain character, like Adam Warlock to Thanos. Plus as you well know, phychological drama in space was and still is(although not really recently with that horrible Stormwatch run) Starlin's calling card/go-to theme he often uses.

Again, this was my true first exposure(not that kind of exposure you sickos;) to Captain Marvel, and he just excuded by example of his character and selfless sacrifice what a hero should be.
I'm worried he might not have that same air of nobility as he once had if he were brought back for real during this era of unncessary grittiness and tragic ret-conned backstory just for the sake of making one angstier than they need to be. I blame everyone for copying Geoff Johns too much for that.
What are your thoughts on that?

karl said...

Id be happier if Captain MarVell didn't come back - his death resonated so deeply with the comic community at the time it would cheapen his good name to bring him back.
Only Jim Starlin wrote him with any worthiness - his 'cosmic grace' just lifted the character beyond anything there was else going on in comics at the time. I got into him [could've phrased that better] around the time his green and white costume was phased out, and his appearance during the Kree/Skrull War made me seek out his series.
I found the whole Rick Jones 'share a body/soul' thing rather contrived but it did elevate his characterization somewhat.
He should not return - because he left a great legacy both in how to be a good hero brought down by a human disease and because Carol Danvers [aka Ms Marvel and now the new Captain] inherited his role and that should stay.
When he apparently returned in Secret Invasion I was relived he was a sick Skrull stunt - I thought that was a cheap and nasty way to possibly bring him back to the MU.

Dale Bagwell said...

@Karl: exactly, it really was a sick stunt that totally almost disregarded and disresepcted Starlin's story no matter how they tried to justify it.
He should stay dead, and serve as an example of what true hero is. Bendis kinda of briefly explored that aspect in the original Illuminati mini, when the the team was trying to "rehabilitate" Morrison's Marvel Boy. Pointing out just how much of a hero Mar-vell was for rebelling against his own people to protect humans.

While I'll agree that the Rick Jones merging things was kinda silly, at at least elevated Mar-vell's status by pairing him up with such a well known, and beloved sidekick character. Plus the variety of stories it told, and allowing Mar-vel to become an Avenger, even if it was in a reserve/honorary position.

Dan W said...

Thanks for the plug Dale! Like you it was this series that introduced me to this Captain Marvel too.

I tell Dave how his ROM efforts often bring me close to starting a Surfer based site. Norrin is my fav Marvel character and I have a clear idea of how to make it different. Just two things stop me. I'm a bit timestrapped atm and I don't see Ron Lim's work on this book like the other 6billion people do.

Ron's style to me couldn't render the Surfer that well, and he was better off on more human characters like CM here. I can't even picture him on FF having the same 'success' every month with Human Torch. (sorry Karl).

To me plenty of other artists in and around his run that went too long did way better work and yet live in his awkward shadow. Infact I think folks like Barry Windsor Smith did more in one issue than Ron did in his run.

Sorry to be all negative and the grinch that stole Christmas, but yeah. He wasn't and still isn't for me.

Dale Bagwell said...

@Dan: No worries mate, us bloggers gotta' stick together right?;)

So not a big Ron Lim fan huh? Well I won't hold it against, as it's always to each his own, but I'll say I'm kinda' surprised about that though.

I think his clean, kinda' shiny art would look great on at least an FF mini. I know back in the early 90's he contributed an used cover for Wizard magazine of the FF, and he briefly drew them in all 3 Infinity sagas if I'm remembering correctly.

I will agree with ya' that a Barry Windsor Surfer would look great. That'd make an ideal one-shot or graphic novel. Maybe since the comic media seems to listen to you, you can kinda' persuade them to do that;)

A Surfer-only blog huh? Hey I say go for it. I'm lazy, so I can't imagine having the creative energy or interest to maintain two blogs when just maintaing one is enough for me. I don't know Super Dave does it, especially with work as well.

I hear ya' on the whole hoilday thing though. It's definitely a state of mind, but if you;re not in that siad state of mind, it's often very hard to deal with people who are cheery or overly upbeat. I saw fuck it and pop open a beer.

Dan W said...

That's one thing I don't need to convince the comic world of Dale - check out Rune / Silver Surfer in your local used to be $4 now 4 cents bin and watch BWS soar :)

It just happens so fast the whole holiday thing. I just finish setting barb wire traps and Indiana Jones type rolling ball thingies for trick or treaters then I gotta do it all again for carollers. I mean what gives. If you gona show up at the door at least phone ahead an ask if I want a few groceries picked up first is all I'm sayin'. Tis only decent.

Dale Bagwell said...

@Dan: LOL! That's awesome you do that man, really;)
And right? That's the very least they could do after having to put up with their horrbile "singing".

"Get Snakey"

Hey whattaya' know, it's a brand new skit this week. Enjoy this fun little homage to one of the more recently popular "danc...