Surfer #2, Vol. 3
Published by Marvel Comics
Writer: Steve Englehart
Original Price: $0.75
History Behind Issue: Steve Englehart and Marshall Rodgers continue this brand new series with Silver Surfer's return to Zenn-La.
Plot: Basically, the Silver Surfer returns to Zenn-La where he finally wants to settle down and lead his life in peace, but when he wants to reunite with Shalla Bal, he is forced to make the hardest decision of his life (and thats saying a lot!).
It all begins in space, at the constellation Cygnus, near a canopy
of stars and the first black hole ever to be discovered by man. There the Silver Surfer
soars, and he has come home at last. Flying down to his homeworld brings back fond
memories, but the fondest of them all is, of course, Shalla Bal! Shalla welcomes him
tenderly, but one Zenn-Lavian reacts quite differently, accusing him of betraying his
people by breaking his vow to Galactus, thereby making him return once more to devour
Zenn-La (this all happened in the one-shot preceding this series, and Marvel is so kind as
to reprint it
Naturally, Shalla Bal is none too pleased with these accusations,
and commands the fellow attacking the Surfer to hold his tongue, which he does quickly
enough, as Shalla turns out to be... the Empress of Zenn-La! Not a small shock for our
silver friend, to be sure. Then an elderly man informs the dumb guy about what happened
before, how Shalla became Empress. In the one-shot, Shalla Bal was kidnapped by Mephisto,
forcing the Surfer to save his love, but in turn leaving him once again trapped on Earth.
He had imbued Shalla Bal with a bit of his power cosmic, so the damage Galactus
Shalla Bal, in the meantime, is audiencing an emissary of the
Skrulls, Ptakr. His emperor wants to establish a trade agreement with Zenn-La, upon which
Shalla Bal cleverly asks which emperor hes talking about. Because indeed, Galactus
had destroyed the Skrull homeworld, with as a result a civil war between different Skrull
factions, of which the leaders all claimed to be the rightful emperor of the Skrulls.
Ptakrs emperor is Kylor, and he wants to call Shalla Bal his friend (or in other
words, he wants Zenn-La as an ally against the other factions). The Empress says she
Ptakr makes a signal to one of his cronies, who makes his way to a Skrull spy, contemplating the trouble the Skrulls are in on the way there (due to a genetic bomb, the Skrulls are unable to shift their shapes anymore, thus making them so much more vulnerable). The spy (who had been put there before the explosion of the genetic bomb, as had been done on so many other worldsthe Skrulls are no fools) brings the Skrull to the Surfers house, who is enjoying the star-filled sky.
Hes thinking of Earth, where man is so faulty in so many ways,
yet so alive, filled with passion and sorrow... Moreover, since he has stayed on Earth for
such a long time, he knows it better than he knows this new Zenn-La, which is still
growing, still changing. Even Shalla Bal isnt the woman she once was. He will have
to get used to the new situation, he thinks, just as he is interrupted by an attack from
behind with an atomizer
Of course, this has no effect whatsoever on one who wields the Power
Cosmic, and, enraged, he hurls the two lizards back. The Skrull is winging about how the
Surfer must die, since he is a possible threat to the Empire, making the Surfer even more
irritated. When the Silver Surfer mentions he knows about their current inability to shift
shapes, the Skrull is stunned, but he vows that the Skrulls wont go down without a
helluva fight! (You know, the eat-or-get-eaten-principle? Perhaps they are
fools, after all.) Norrin brings them to Shalla Bal, and she tells them they may leave,
but they will not get Zenn-La mixed up in a war with the Kree. Ptakr says they wont
have any choice in the matter, since there will be a war, in any case, whether the Kree
find out their secret or not. But what can they do against the Power Cosmic, the Surfer
asks him. Moreover, Ptakr must remember this, whosoever dares attack Zenn-La, will have to
deal with him! The Skrulls leave, and now we get the big confrontation between Norrin and
The two lovers kiss, and Norrin asks Shalla to marry him, but... she
cannot. The Surfer doesnt understand, she loves him, does she not? Of course she
does, but shes empress of their people now, her responsibilities are too great to
leave her time for a personal life, let alone a marriage. But surely the Silver Surfer,
with all his power, can
Understandably, the Surfer gets angry, and since she cannot love marry because of her rank, which she got thanks to the powers invested in her by her beloved, he will remove these powers, making her a normal woman once more. But he cannot (of course not, hes too noble, we all knew that). And though it hurts her much, Shalla Bal must ask him to remain their protector, to help them against the impending doom of the Kree-Skrull War... She wants him to stay, to wait, and when all what has to be done has indeed been done, they will finally be together.
But thats not what the Silver Surfer desires, he knows that time passes slowly for a man who waits, as he puts it. He leaves, his last word to her: majesty. Then he returns to his newly rebuilt home, and transforms it into a plaque, with on it the words Here was born Norrin Radd, a son of Zenn-La, but with hurt in his eyes, he changes the words, and they become Here was born the Silver Surfer, a son of Zenn-La. And then he soars away, back to the stars.
It ends in space, at the constellation Cygnus, near a canopy of stars and the first black hole ever to be discovered by man. There the Silver Surfer soars, and he has come home at last.
Comments: Again a strong story, wrapping up things with Shalla Bal,
making sure the
However, the coloring wasnt as good as it should be here, and even made some things look quite unclear. The Skrulls attacking ol Surfy boy was a bit dumb, in my eyes. And there wasnt enough interaction with his people (sure, that one guy attacked him, and the old guy retold a bit of his history, but I didnt think it was enough.
Also, a remark about whats going on in the current issues:
Zenn-La and its inhabitants arent real, so we have been told, and hasnt been
so for the last fifty years. Now how can this be when it is clearly stated that the
one-shot is within continuity? How come Galactus returns to devour a planet which is only
an illusion? It doesnt make much sense, and I wish Perez and DeMatteis would have
thought about it a bit more. The Surfer without Zenn-La just doesnt work, but
anyhoo, thats a discussion for another
Altogether, this story was good, very good. I think Im going to go for a full score again. Ill keep on saying it, Englehart is the god of cosmic comics. He has a knack for solidity, and doesnt bother with shock value (unlike, say, DeFalco, for instance, or Lobdell). And above all, he doesnt ignore past stories. Everything flows neatly together. I love it. I really do. Five stars, definitely.
Written by The Collector
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