CoverSilver Surfer #8, Vol. 1
Published by Marvel Comics
March, 1969

"Now Strikes the Ghost!"

Writer: Stan Lee
Penciling: John Buscema
Inks: Dan Adkins
Letters: Sam Rosen

Original Price: $0.15
Current Value: $60.00

History Behind Issue: With a big 15cents on the front cover this is the first normal sized issue of the Surfer. It features the Surfer's most hated foe the evil Mephisto!

Plot:  It starts with Mephisto looking at a projection of the Surfer, wandering how to get his hearts desire, the Surfers soul. While having the power to destroy the Surfer, it is still the Surfers soul that he most desires, but the Surfer's spirit defies him (check out review of #3)!

Filled with hatred Mephisto sends out his negative feelings across dimensions to the Surfer. The Surfer is suddenly filled with pain that engulfs him for a brief moment in time. After it's gone all that is left is the memory of the experience and the unmistakable odour of fir and brimstone! The Surfer knows that this is the work of his enemy.

Mephisto weary of killing the Surfer before he gets his soul hatches a new plan. Searching for someone on earth that is involved in the Forbidden arts, when he finds them he will get them to do his bidding. Seconds later in a room somewhere a man is performing Black magic, trying to summon evil demons, much to his surprise he has succeeded!

Mephisto seals the room from intruders and uses his servant to build a bridge to limbo. It seems that only a mortal's mind can bridge the gap between dimensions, so Mephisto uses his pawn well and the bridge is formed. A humanoid form starts to appear dressed like a pirate and ask who has freed him from Limbo. Mephisto responds that he has freed him, and only he can give the ghost rest. The ghost immediately pledges the remnants of his soul that he will do anything Mephisto wants to be freed of his endless life in limbo, So the deal is done.

But before Mephisto reveals his plans he wants to hear the Ghosts tale of woe, so that he may revel in the tale of torment. The origin starts with the ghost revealed to be an honest sea captain before Mephisto filled his heart full of greed. On the fateful day the Captain would not take his fellow sailors advise that the waters they were sailing into were too stormy. But the captain would not listen all he was interested in was finding long lost treasure. So the Ship continued in to the storm and when the waves started to sweep over the ship and drag the men into the sea the captain still made them continue, their lives meaning nothing to him. Eventually the ship was swamped by the sea and all aboard died. While the crews dead souls were taken to heaven. The captain though found out that death would not claim him for the crimes he has committed, instead he was cursed to sail the seven seas for eternity and become known as the Flying Dutchman.

Hearing this Mephisto then shows the Flying Dutchman about his opponent the Surfer and how he had resisted Him (see review of #3). Seeing this the Flying Dutchman asks Mephisto how he, a humble ghost, will be able to defeat the Surfer when Mephisto has failed. Mephisto then replies "What you are is of no consequence! But think what Mephisto can make of you!" With this Mephisto uses his power to transform the Dutchman into a power to be reckoned with!

Meanwhile what of the Surfer? Wary that Mephisto plans another attack, the Surfer flies in to orbit around the earth finding comfort in the memory of his long lost love Shalla Bal. "Though fate has cast us a universe apart… So long as the Beauteous Shalla Bal still lives" thinks the Surfer "then I too must live … that we may one day be united!" But then! He sees an image of Shalla Bal appear in front of him beckoning him to come closer and hold her hand but as he draws nearer she vanishes! While, an unimaginable distance away Shalla Bal wakes up from a dream, wondering why the Surfer disappeared before she could touch him (I leave you to your own conclusions on this)!

Back at the Devil worshippers apartment the Flying Dutchman is trying out his new improvements as he blasts various objects in the room. Seeing this the Satanist asks Mephisto if the Flying Dutchman should serve him as well? Mephisto answers him by getting the Flying Dutchman to test his new found might on him, killing him instantly! With the testing done Mephisto sends the Flying Dutchman to get the Surfers soul, not before giving him a vessel to fly in, a replica of the ship he died in!

The flying ship heads off into the city. The people of the city stare up at the ship amazed at what they see thinking it's an airship advertising dome product. That is until the Flying Dutchman lets loose with his power and starts to attack the city in the hope that this will gain the Surfers attention.

Continued in Silver Surfer Vol. 1 #9

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.
Click here to order from Amazon.Com!

Written by Nathan Harvey aka Babylon


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