CoverSilver Surfer #7, Vol. 1
Published by Marvel Comics
February, 1969

"The heir of Frankenstein"

Writer: Stan Lee
Penciling: John Buscema
Inks: Sal Buscema
Letters: Sam Rosen

Original Price: $0.25
Current Value: $85.00

History Behind Issue: This is the last double issue book of the Surfer's. The experiment to offer double length stories backfired as many people were put off by the then high price tag of 25 cents was more than double the normal cover price of 12 cents.

Plot:  The issue starts in a small village somewhere in the Alps Two people are carrying a dead body into a castle laboratory. The two figures, Frankenstein and his miss-shaped servant Borgo, place the body on a table. Frankenstein then throws a switch, causing energy to flow in to the dead body, while stating to his servant, if his ancestors can create life why can't he! The dead bodies arm starts to move but before anything else happens the whole body burns up, the power being too great!

Before they can think more about the failed experiment, Borgo hears the villagers marching to attack the castle. The villagers siege the castle to stop Frankenstein from unleashing another monster upon them. Luckily for Frankenstein he has enough time to prepare for these invaders and tells Borgo to prepare the Electro ray Barrier. The villagers knock down the door and start to march into the castle, but before they can get any further Borgo throws a switch and electrocutes the villagers. The villagers knowing they can't enter the castle attempt to burn the castle down. Seeing the castles fate Frankenstein declares That he must complete Experiment X so that he can destroy all the villagers, Borgo pleads that he cant he do this as surely, no living subject could survive the process.

As if by coincidence a possible candidate for Experiment X, flies to the castle on his board attracted by the smoke he could see in the distance. Seeing the villagers trying to burn the castle the Surfer attacks the crowd scaring them from the Castle. Seeing the Surfer display his powers, Frankenstein realises he has found his victim!

The Surfer enters the Castle wanting to know why the villagers attacked. Frankenstein tells the Surfer he was only trying to cure their ills and ease their poverty, but they are fearful and full of mistrust. The Surfer mentions that he too knows distrust. Frankenstein then shows him round the castle, The Surfer mentions that he has been mislead before
(see FF#57) and will not easily trust another, and Frankenstein tells the Surfer he is sorry to hear this. Frankenstein then shows the Surfer the burnt out body from his earlier experiment telling him that it is a victim of an accident he tried to save. Frankenstein has heard of the Surfer and how he has been hounded and realises that to get his help all he needs to do is win the Surfer's sympathy. But the Surfer is weary and leaves the castle to consider things that have been said.

Frankenstein meanwhile performs a test to see if Experiment X will work. He has in one cage a savage wolf and in a bell jar a rabbit. Frankenstein flicks a switch and both animals appear electrocuted! Borgo goes to pick up the rabbit, ignoring Frankenstein's warnings. The rabbit attacks him, its mind having been swapped with the Wolf (you could not make this up), but Frankenstein shows some mercy and kills the rabbit! Frankenstein then sets about setting up his equipment ready getting ready for the Surfer.

A beam of intensive light is projected from the earth in to space, the Surfer sees this and decides to follow it to its source, Castle Frankenstein! Greeting the Surfer is Frankenstein who explains he needs his help, for he has found the Means of Ending Crime and War! Explaining further he says has created a device which will emit a ray that will erase Evil from Men's mind, but the first test will be dangerous and only the Surfer has the Strength to Survive. The Surfer cautious, accepts to participate but will do the experiment in a cosmic force that surrounds his body protecting him from harm.   Unknowingly to the Surfer the device will actually duplicate his powers and transfer them to some lifeless clay, creating a double that Frankenstein will control. The process begins and the Surfer senses that there is evil afoot but allows it to continue as he wants to know the nature of it. Meanwhile Frankenstein seeing the clay changing shape siphons more power from the Surfer.

Knowing he has been betrayed the Surfer breaks free from the device, where upon he sees Frankenstein's creation, an exact replica of himself! Frankenstein then orders the Duplicate to Slay the Surfer, the duplicate fires a cosmic bolt at the Surfer and leaves him Unconscious on the floor. Frankenstein then sends the Duplicate out to the village to enact his revenge on the villagers.

The real Surfer meanwhile begins to stir from his unconsciousness seeing this, Frankenstein fires a gun at the Surfer, much to Borgo's protests! But the Surfer is resistant and rises up" No mere Firearm can fell the Silver Surfer" Asking Frankenstein where his duplicate has gone, one problem Frankenstein won't tell, But Borgo does! Telling the Surfer about his double's actions the Surfer races off to protect the village, leaving Borgo to be beaten up by Frankenstein for betraying him.  The Surfer flying to the village is shocked to see the villagers mistaking him for his double and worshipping him in fear! Before he can think about this any longer he is attacked by his double and hurled through a nearby house. In the house is a woman with a baby, the duplicate comes in for the kill and the Surfer protects the innocents by blocking the cosmic bolts with his body. The duplicate still fires at the Surfer continuously knowing that not even the Surfer could survive for much longer but he does not notice the Surfer's board as it knocks him off his own!

To keep the fight a way from innocent victims The Surfer then heads off into earth's outer atmosphere with his duplicate in hot pursuit. There the two race on to each other meeting each other head on and SPTAKKAMM! (?1969 Stan Lee!) , a blinding flash fills the earth's skies. But Frankenstein has done well, as his duplicate Survives, So the Surfer continues with his fight!

Back at Village the villagers realising the cause of their disaster attack Frankenstein castle. Seeing his attackers Frankenstein tells Borgo to get his gun, much to Bongo's protests. As the villagers attack the castle Frankenstein starts firing his gun at them, filled with rage Borgo leaps at Frankenstein, sending both of them hurtling out the window to their deaths below.

In space The Surfer prepares for his Final attack, upon seeing his target he lets his double feel the power cosmic, but the double survives, their power being equal. The double the plunges back to earth to cause more havoc he flies over a city and starts to attack the buildings. This action gets the military's attention and they send out jets to intercept the Surfer. The Surfer meanwhile intercepts his double and grasps his doubles hand, both combatants are now surrounded in a blinding energy field, not even the pilots of the intercepting jets can see a target.

Inside the energy field the Surfer is still grasping his doubles hand, The Surfer drains the energy from his opponent until he is nothing! Before he can think any longer the pilot of the aeroplane attacks him (thinking he is responsible for damage), instead of fighting back he flies off in to space to think about what has happened this day.

Comments: It's hard sometimes when you have to review a book featuring your favourite character. You wonder if you should make excuses for the unbelievable script  that should never have gone to print. Perhaps it was well written for a comic in 1969, hoping this is a good defence of the comic, but you really know that it's not. Or whether the inking of the pages looks too heavy, because of trouble with the final printing process. But in the end I am grateful that there is something in the book that does not make the book completely bad! The fight with his double just about manages to save this book from being bad to poor! (thankfully!)

Back up story with the obvious ending "I the gargoyle"

My rating: with killer bunnies a maximum of 3 out of 10

Buy it at Amazon.Com! Buy the The Essential Silver Surfer, reprinting Silver Surfer Vol. 1 #1-18 for only $10.39 (you save 31%!)  Written by Stan Lee!  Art by John Buscema and Jack Kirby!  Featuring 528 pages of comic continuity, including stories of the Origin of the Silver Surfer, the Silver Surfer vs. Mephisto, the Silver Surfer vs. Thor, and appearances by Spider-Man and more! For more information, check out other reviews of comics reprinted in this tradepaperback.
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Written by Nathan Harvey aka Babylon

 

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