CoverSilver Surfer #145, Vol. 3
Published by Marvel Comics
Late October, 1998

"And in the End..."
Reviewed by Lord Thanos

Writer: John Marc DeMatteis
Penciler: Jon J. Muth
Inks: Jon J. Muth
Colorist: Ian Laughlin
Letters: John Costanza
Chief: Bob Harras

Original Price: $1.99
Current Value: $1.99

History Behind Issue: The conclusion of "The Mergence Saga," continued from issue #144

Plot: Somewhere in Sub-Atomica...
Alicia Masters floats newly coated in quantum armor. She ponders her predicament. Alone, trapped in an endless alien universe, with no way home, atleast the armor allows her to survive. It dawns on her that her new powers, provided by the armor allow her to do more than that. The Surfer is in trouble kidnapped by Tenebrae and Psycho-Man. She vows to stop being a victim and become a hero! She uses her new quantum sight to focus in on the energy trial left behind by the villains ship and follows it to the doorway to the Macroverse. Concentrating she puts the fading particles of the dimensional gateway into stasis and then magnifies them to re-create the opening. Amazed at her control, her oneness with these new powers she enters the rift.

Earth: somewhere in the Nevada desert...
Strewn over this harsh landscape lay Psycho-Man, Tenebrae, Cy-phyrr 4 and The Silver Surfer, towering above them the combined collective being of the Mergence and he who was once the Coroner. "HEAR us, Tenebrae-- we who were once the Coroner now speak with the voice of the MERGENCE! In choosing individuality over the collective consciousness of our race-- you have betrayed us... and all that we are. And for that---  YOU MUST DIE!

But before carrying out your execution-- we must thank you for vanquishing the Silver Surfer... for he was the only factor that prevented us from absorbing Earth. This night-- at long last-- every living thing upon this world--BECOMES OURS!"

Tenebrae rises. "You are mistaken vessel of the Mergence. It was not my choice to be cut off from you. I do not prefer individual existence to existence within the group mind. This situation was thrust upon me."

The green alien face leers at her, It's razor sharp teeth glistening.
"Do you hear the words you choose, TENEBRAE? My choice! I do not prefer! You have been poisoned-- by singularity! You are no longer of the Mergence!" With her arms raised in plea, she asks them to discard the Coroner and make her their earthly host once again.

"NO!" bellows the collective entity. "You are tainted! Unlike the lower forms of life we absorb, you were one of us-- and turned your face from the ALL-IN-ALL! To let such poison re-enter the Mergence would be a desecration of what we are! Your consciousness-- -- must be totally erased from the psychic continuum!"

In a faint voice she calls to Psycho-Man and he replies, "At your service, my dear! completely-- at you service!"  With the surfer's power cosmic to fuel his weapons he has no fear that the Mergence will fall. At the click of a button.

FZZZZAKKKKTT! The weapons lock and discharge on the combined intelligence with incredible concessive force. SKTOOOOM!  At just this moment Alicia arrives. She sees the villainous couple scoop up the Surfer and begin to enter their ship. She attacks. Tenebrae whirls and points with a clawed finger and orders Cy-phyrr to terminate her. He acknowledges the order and rockets to intercept. "Subject: Alicia Masters... prepare to be eradicated."

"Y'know, Cy-phyrr-- you may fool other people with that cold and emotionless robot routine-- But I think I've gotten to know you pretty well during our journeys together! Underneath that icy exterior is a heart that is proud, as noble, as passionate as the Surfer's-- and I think it's time you admitted it!" Coldly he restates his purpose and imperatives. "Now prepare to die."

"You can't do it, Cy-phyrr! You won't! and I am willing-- to bet my life on it!"

Psycho man's ship begins to lift off as the host of the Mergence rises to his feet. Tenebrae begins linking her ship's system to Psycho-Man's. With their combined technologies, they plan to blanket the world in psycho-kinetic rays and drive the human race over the brink of madness, enslaving them. Psycho-Man boasts that with the Surfer's power cosmic driving the weapons systems Earth's super powered heroes won't have a chance. As if to cut off his bragging the Mergence/Coroner strikes smashing at the ships view ports."Surrender your vessel, Tenebrae! the Mergence will not be denied!"

Alicia Masters tries to reason with Cy-phyrr 4 as he points a rather large energy weapon at her head. "...Retract the weapon, Cy-phyrr! This is your chance to throw off the yoke of your master! Don't deny what you truly are! Let your feelings come alive! Embrace your humanity embrace your--"

Cy-phyrr interrupts "To put it in the parlance of your race--"

"EMBRACE THIS."FWA-KOOOOM!!"  Alicia, the quantum armor protecting her, is hurled across the desert. The robot realizes the armor must be dissolved if he is to terminate the subject. Crawling out of the small crater she created upon impact Alicia replies "To put it in the parlance of my race-- DISSOLVE THIS!" KRAKKAOOOOM
Alicia can't believe her naivete and vows to never be fooled again.

The evil duo scramble in the control room. Psycho-Man asks Tenebrae for suggestions.
"I suggest we annihilate them! As they so accurately observed- I am no longer of the Mergence! I have eaten the apple of individuality! I know the glories of physical form--
--And I will not have my very self taken from me! Re-rout all the surfer's power to the weapons systems! If there is one force in all the universes that the Mergence cannot survive-- IT IS HIM!"

The Surfer lays groaning on the floor "Alicia...?" Psycho-Man notices our hero stirring, but Tenebrae dismisses Silverado in his weakened condition. "Fire!" she urges her companion. Bombarded by Psycho-Man's weapons the Mergence's host kneels, writhing in pain.

"It is too late, Tenebrae! We have unleashed the null-wave! In a matter of seconds it will engulf your ship-- and all within it-- --permeating your hearts, your minds, your souls! In a matter of seconds-- you will be erased from reality! It will be as if you have never existed!"

The Surfer has crawled his way to the quantum core of the ship's engines, where his stolen power cosmic is. Despite all the pain, he knows Tenebrae, Psycho-Man and, above all the Mergence must be stopped.

The null-wave begins to ripple through the evil duo's being. Growing terror spreads on Tenebrae's face as Psycho-Man races to focus his psycho-Kinetic weapons upon the Mergence and stop the null-wave. The Surfer plunges into the blazing engine core.
As the weapons strike, The collective being screams. The darkest fears buried in its consciousness are tearing it apart. In agony the Mergence returns the Coroner to his form and expels him from the group mind. Without a human host to focus through, the Mergence is defeated. But before Psycho-Man and Tenebrae can celebrate their victory, the psychic feedback from the Mergence begins to wash over them. Psycho-man tries to return them to Sub-Atomica, but there is no time. Searing pain soaking his every cell the Silverado gathers up his power cosmic from the engine core.

The ship explodes and the Surfer flies out of the fiery clouds, FREE! The Mergence confronts the Surfer and thanks Jim for saving it from the psychic onslaught of the mental weapons. Silverado asks them to show their gratitude by departing and leaving this world in peace. The Mergence agrees.

"But there is another question-- that hovers, unspoken, in your thoughts." "Yes," says the Surfer, "When last we met-- when I repelled your invasion of Earth-- I felt a gleaming terror emanating from you. As if I--"

The Mergence finishes his sentence, "--Were the one being in all creation that the Mergence fears? Yes it is true. We see no reason to deny it. Someday you will understand-- who and what you truly are. Someday you will know why, in your presence, even your creator, the great GALACTUS-- knows a deep undoubted dread."

But before the Surfer can get any more answers Alicia appears and the Mergence vanishes.  Silverado rushes to her side and embraces her. They kiss. He asks about the armor. Alicia says it may not be fashionable but it helped her take care of herself.
An icy precise voice interrupts, "The body-suit belongs to me." He voices confusion at what to do now that Tenebrae is destroyed. Alicia forgives him and offers to help him adjust.

"This unit-- does not require your assistance"
With a wave of his hand he takes back her armor and flies away.
On her knees holding her head Alicia tells Silverado how embarrassed she is. How foolish she feels for trying to redeem ever monster that crosses her path. He holds her, and comforts her.
"I seem to recall a monster from another world who was desperately in need of the redemption you offered." They then fly off together into the sunset.

Also In this issue!
Writer: John Marc DeMatteis
Penciler: Bob Hall
Inker: Al Milgrom
Letterer: John Costanza
Colorist: Ian Laughlin
Editor: Jaye Gardner
Chief: Bob Harras

A five page reflection by The Silver Surfer on Life, The Universe and His love for Alicia Masters.

Comments: This issue was less spectacular than the last two. The action was a little rushed and everything tied up too neat and tidy. I would have liked more hint of Tenebrae's return or more about the exact fate of the Coroner. It was not made clear whether he was reabsorbed by the Mergence or abandoned. Muth's art is still inconsistent. The best thing about this issue (other than it being DeMatties's last) was the double sized splash page! Though no quite as good as the previous two issues splash pages, it was still very enjoyable. Muth's splash pages make me like him more than any thing else in the mag. The parallel between the Surfer and Cy-phyrr falls some what flat. If you thought it was leading some where, sorry, not really. At best it shows that The Surfer had more humanity in him when he first met Alicia then he thinks. I found it disappointing that this foil for the Surfer did not give us greater insight to the depths of the Surfer's being. I also found these cryptic references toward a "great destiny" to be trite and unsubstantial. It feels more like hype & fluff than good writing, especially since DeMatteis isn't going to be around to do something with it.

The five page story at the end is more fluff! A small speech by the Surfer winding him up in The Arms of Alicia Masters. Not really enlightening. All in all a descent issue, standard for this collaborative team but not their best either.

Written by Lord Thanos



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