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.