CoverSilver Surfer #23, Vol. 3
Published by Marvel Comics
May, 1989


Writer: Steve Englehart
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inks: Tom Christopher
Colorist: Tom Vincent
Letters: Joe Albeld
Editor: Craig Anderson
Chief: Tom DeFalco

Original Price: $0.75
Current Value: $4.00

Warning: Let me start out by declaring that this review is going to be slightly biased. Issue #23 is my favorite Silver Surfer story of all time. Surprised? I mean: It's just a "filler" issue! It isn't part of some huge plot. It doesn't have any guest stars.

It is, however, the kind of action/tragedy that completely suits the Surfer. Englehart remains, in my opinion, one of the best writers of the third volume.

The first few pages are nothing out of the ordinary. We get a few shots of the people of an alien world spying the Surfer flying past. Presumably this all happened long ago. We cut to a few panels of the Surfer flying through space with some appropriately philosophical text.

Then we hit page 3.

A lot of people believe that Ron Lim draws the definitive Silver Surfer. I'm not one. However, this full-page shot of Norrin is one of the best you'll see in any issue. Number 23 is worth having just for this page.

Anyway . . .

Plot: When their star threatened to nova, a race of peaceful, reptilian "dragons" loaded their entire population onto a huge space fleet, and set off looking for an uncolonized planet to live on. Soon, however, they ran short of fuel, and so stopped on a planet inhabited by humanoids in search of the cazalyte crystal that powered their ships.

The humanoids, however, considered the dragons a threat, and so tricked them into fuelling their ships with a volatile crystal, thus destroying the entire fleet. All but one of the dragons were killed.

Since then, this lone dragon has made it his life's work to kill off the "evil" humanoids one by one. In a desperate attempt to attract help, the humanoids set their planet alight.

Their call alerts the Surfer, who hears a rather one-sided version of events from the humanoids, and goes off in search of this "evil" dragon.

After a brief fight, the Surfer learns the truth. Norrin no longer considers the dragon to be a threat to him, so he discusses the possibility of transporting the dragon to another world. The dragon refuses to stop his killing, however, and turns his back on the Surfer, walking towards the humanoids' towns with murderous intent.

The Surfer hopes to use his power cosmic to restructure the dragon's body - rendering him harmless to the planet's inhabitants. His experiment, however, goes hopelessly wrong, and he reduces the dragon to a charred corpse.

When he returns to the humanoids, they greet him as a hero. He is angry, however, at their ignorance and prejudice, and tells them so before leaving.

Comments: Need I say more? This issue has everything! Killer art, a fight scene, and an ironic plot that has both a happy and sad ending.

Written by Matthew Hamilton


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