Surfer #144, Vol. 3
Published by Marvel Comics
Early October, 1998
Writer: John Marc DeMatteis
Original Price: $1.99
History Behind Issue: The Mergence Saga Continues from issue #143
Plot: When we last saw our hero, he and Tenebrae were the bound captives of PSYCHO-MAN! Trapped inside stasis tubes flooded with chemicals, they are bombarded with psycho-kinetic photons. Tenebrae whimpers to the Surfer, "Don't let him hurt me... any more!" Psycho-Man's amused and malignant reply comes "...The Silver Surfer is in no position to help anyone -- except, perhaps...me."
Silverado takes stock of his situation, a captive in sub-Atomica. Looking at Tenebrae trapped in the next tube, he finds compassion for her where once there was only burning rage. He gathers his resolve, "I am still dazed from his wanton assault... but I must gather the Power Cosmic and escape this chemical tank before..." KLICK. AHHHHHHHHH-!! Psycho-Man renews his mental attack upon our hero, stripping away the self-image of the cosmic being once herald to Galactus, leaving only a vulnerable Norrin Radd. Shalla Bal appears, accusing him. "You played the cosmic savior when you left our world behind! But you didn't become the Silver Surfer to save us from Galactus-- you were using him to ESCAPE Zenn-La!"
Meekly, the Surfer protests if only she knew the trials his soul had under gone in the service of the monster Galactus, the loss of his humanity, she would not judge him so! Would he give it all up then? Would he renounce his powers and return to her? But Norrin knows the truth is not so simple, and this image of the woman who was once his beloved is only an illusion. He turns his back on her , on all illusions and lies! "Hear me, Psycho-Man! All beings are filled with complexities and contradictions! We are all torn by opposites... by the unrelenting duality of our souls! And if you think that showing me the contradictions in my own soul will somehow break me-- then you are painfully... pitifully--WRONG!!"
The power cosmic surges through him, again Norrin Radd is The Silver Surfer! He explodes out of the evil encasement entrapping him! Psycho-Man is bewildered at the ease of Silverado's escape.The Surfer explains, he was taken unawares when overwhelmed by the psychic assault! But he has faced his inner shadows in the past and has made peace with them. The cosmic crusader draws the swirling psyco-kinetic energies within himself, and then discharges them...into Psycho-Man!
Enveloped in a palpable wave of terror Psycho-Man whines, "Please... Make it stop!" The vile fiend is really a victim of his own intense paranoia. Believing all beings, in all realities are out to destroy him, he fears them. What he fears must be conquered! Sadistically subjugating the minds of others to ausage his own infantile insecurity. The Surfer pities him. While Psycho-Man weeps in a fetal ball, Silverado frees Tenebrae. Having endured mutual torture at their captors hands, he embraces her in solace. Tears in her eyes she whispers "thank you... thank you--"
"After all we have done... to you and the woman you love-- you still open your heart to us?! Never in all the centuries of our existence-- have we known--SUCH A LUDICROUS FOOL!
She fiercely attacks him. Now the Surfer is as bewildered as
Psycho-Man was. Our hero again falls to an unexpected onslaught!
Furious Silverado says his compassion has limits. Seizing Tenebrae by the throat, he scowls, "Prepare to have your atoms scattered across eternity!"
With an icy evil grin Tenebrae, trumps him. "Kill me-- and your precious Alicia dies, too! She is here...in Sub-Atomica-- and only I can lead you to her!" The Surfer's relief is only equaled by his pain at this revelation. His pain is suddenly physical, when the forgotten Psycho-Man skillfully siphons off the power cosmic into his machines, shocking the Surfer senseless! "What have you done to him?" exclaims Tenebrae. The malicious megalomaniac explains. The former representative of the Mergence congratulates him. Seductively she saunters toward him. Sliding her curvaceous body against him. her breasts pressed hard against his chest, she embraces him and offers an alliance. Her green pouting lips turned upward to his face, "We are both born to conquer, to absorb that which is less than us. Together, I think, we can subjugate not just one universe-- But all universes-- in all creation! From Sub-Atomica... to the Macroverse!"
Psycho-Man's hunger for power is aroused, "I am intrigued."
Breathy with passion and promise she replies, "Then teach me.
As he struggles within the awesome maelstrom, we see Galactus's
eyes. If he were a mortal being we would ascribe fear to the gleam which streams from
With the Surfer vanquished nothing can prevent the absorption of Earth! "This night-- at long last-- every living thing upon this world--BECOMES OURS!"
Comments: This is an excellent follow up to the previous issue!
Again Muth gives us a beautiful splash page. As much as I dislike the Moebius/Muth style,
I love the splash pages on this issue & on #142. Psycho-Man has a slight Kirby look
about him. The Surfer on this splash page is one of Muth's best. The pathos of the
Surfer's expression remind me of classic Buscema surfer. I only wish that Muth's art was
more consistent through out the mag. Tenebrae is well drawn through-out the issue. I also
have to make special note of the art for the last page, the teaser for next issue. A nice
full page pic of the transformed Coroner! This is great! I hate to keep making Jack Kirby
comparisons, but if this drawing doesn't remind you of Kirby, I don't know what would! I
feel Muth's art is better on large panels, the greater detail seems to allow him to
utilize his style to provide a truly awesome picture, but we don't get enough of that. If
Muth stays on SS more big panels please!
Written by Lord Thanos
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