CoverSilver Surfer #6, Vol. 1
Published by Marvel Comics
January, 1969

"Worlds Without End!"

Writer: Stan Lee
Penciling: John Buscema
Inks: Sal Buscema
Letters: Artie Simek

Original Price: $0.25
Current Value: $80.00

History Behind Issue: The penultimate double sized issue is one of only 4 lucky Surfer books that had both Buscema brothers work in!

Plot:  The Surfer returns to Al Harpers house to pay his last respects to the physicist (see review of 5). While looking through Harpers possessions he comes upon a book of scientific formulas of which one is the Speed of Light! Upon seeing this, the Surfer realizes he may have his means of escaping the barrier.

The Surfer flies to earths outer atmosphere and attempts to time travel into the future by going faster than the speed of light hoping that the barrier would have disappeared in the future. The plan works and the Surfer finds himself in the future. Checking to see if he has actually traveled in to the future the Surfer returns to the earth's surface, where upon he is shocked to see the cities turned to rubble and the earth devoid of life. Over coming his grief the surfer then flies to the barrier and to his elation the barrier is gone!

Free to return to Shala Bal the Surfer suffers more grief as he finds his home world, Zenn-La, has suffered the same fate as earth! The surfer then spends the next few hours searching the galaxy looking for signs of life but finding the same fate has befallen all the worlds he visits.

Finally the surfer finds a planet that contains life, on closer inspection the inhabitants are primitives, but the Surfer in desperate need of answers decides to question them. Flying closer to talk to them, the Primitives see the Surfer and talk amongst themselves declaring there is a new victim for the Overlord, thinking they had all gone! So they attack the Surfer hoping that the Overlord will reward them. Hearing this the surfer is devastated and allows himself to be beaten by the savages "What will a victory avail me?" thinks the surfer "If this is the fate of the Universe, Then let the Surfer perish, For the dreams and hopes of mankind have turned to ashes!"

With the Surfer defeated the primitives start to fight amongst themselves to claim who will give the Surfer to the Overlord, but before they can finish two aliens appear on a flying vehicle. The aliens are revealed to be Servants of the Overlord, they take the Surfer not before rewarding one of the primitives with his death!

The aliens present the now semi unconscious surfer to the Overlord. The Overlord picks the Surfer up in his clawed hand and starts to question the Surfer. When the Surfer realizes the Overlord is questioning him he is suddenly filled with life and attacks him. The Overlord falls down with the attack and one of his servant's pulls out a gun to kill the surfer with but before he can fire, the Overlord kills him! The Overlord declares he has never faced a foe worthy of battle and none of his servants are going to rob him of the pleasure!

But as soon as the battle has begun it is ended when the Overlord reveals that he is not an ordinary mortal but a mutant that can't be killed by any known creature, army or weapon. With the fight ended the Overlord decides to dine in front of the Surfer. The overlord's servants bring out his food with the overlord throwing the scraps to them when he is finished.

After he has finished eating he calls for his dancers to entertain him. One of the Dancers is mistaken by the Surfer to be Shalla-Bal and when the Surfer moves towards her she asks the Overlord to protect her from the Surfer, but the Overlord replies "Silence! Your Life is of No consequence"

Seeing the treatment the Overlord gives his servants the Surfer attempts to fly the dancer away but before the surfer can leave the building the Overlord kills her! The Surfer is now stirred in to action and attacks the Overlord. Despite his blasts being powerless against the Overlord, it's the Surfers speed that is saving him. The overlord then decides to bring the building down on the Surfer. The Surfer seeing the servants
will be killed tries to save them, but while his back is turned the Overlord strikes and renders the surfer unconscious.

Summoning his guards the overlord tells them to dispose of the Surfer, they take him to a machine that will disintegrate him. But Luck is with the Surfer! The operator of the machine is the last survivor of Zenn-La, seeing the Surfer, the Operator can't force himself to kill Zenn-La's fabled savior and revives him instead. He then smuggles the surfer back to his home.

At the operators home he explains to the Surfer the origin of the Overlord. This starts with the Overlords Father who worked in an atomic power plant. One fateful day an accident occurred and bathed the worker in atomic rays, forever altering his genes. Later his wife gave birth to a mutant child, the child rapidly grew, at age four he was the size of an adult, and by the time he reached maturity he was an inhuman giant that was seemingly indestructible. Only his parents could keep him in check, but after their death no law could control him. So the rulers of the planet decided to exile him in space. Though the populace tried to carry out the order none could carry it out, all they succeeded in doing was to make the monster realize mankind would be his enemy. So he vowed" Since they can not crush me, I will Crush them!" the Overlord was born!
He quickly destroyed his home planet in hours and any Survivor was made to join the Overlords army. The army then set out and conquered the many worlds in the Galaxy and so his empire began.

With the origin told the Overlord interrupts the Surfer and the operator, as he sends his guards in to kill the duo. Unable to react quickly enough the operator is killed but before they could fire at the Surfer he destroys their guns. He then declares that he shall reshape the universe and flies off in to space.

Once again the Surfer uses his speed and time travels, not in to the future but back to the past. Having accomplished this he flies off to the planet of the Overlords origin, where he finds the atomic plant that the Overlords father worked in. Before the accident could repeat itself that day the surfer surrounds the atomic plant in a cosmic field making sure the accident will never happen, So erasing the timelines creating the Overlord.

Exhausted from his ordeal, the Surfer returns to his time line and earth. Wondering whether he has saved Human Kind from a Future of destruction.

Comments: This is a good story through out the book until the last panel, which creates a major plot hole. It seems plainly obvious that the Surfer need not have gone back to earth but could have chosen to attempt time travel anywhere in space outside the barrier, thus returning to his original time line but free from the barrier! Perhaps Stan Lee had a busy day! But I will forgive, as Lee's and Buscema's portrayal of the Overlord is excellent creating a dark and twisted soul out for revenge on mankind. As for the Art John Buscema excels himself again almost to the heights of issue#4 with some of the servants looking quite menacing, just check out the Cover! Back up Story: The rather ludicrous, The Unsuspecting!

My rating: despite the plot hole, a healthy 8/10

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Written by Nathan Harvey aka Babylon


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