CoverSilver Surfer #5, Vol. 3
Published by Marvel Comics
November, 1987

"Obliteration"

Writer: Steve Englehart
Penciler: Marshall Rogers
Inks: Joe Rubinstein
Colorist: Marshall Rogers
Letters: John Workman
Editor: Michael Higgens
Chief: Jim Shooter

Original Price: $0.75
Current Value: $5.00

History Behind Issue: While the Silver Surfer and Mantis must confront the deadly Obliterator, the Skrulls face their greatest challenge and the Kree attempt to infiltrate the Skrull ranks! And it all leads to the second Kree-Skrull war!

Plot: We start in the middle of a battle between the Surfer and the Obliterator. Since Mantis can’t fly, she isn’t of much use in the battle and must be content to just float and pray the Surfer will beat or outrun the Obliterator. When the Obliterator nearly hits Mantis, the Surfer attacks head-on, hurling them both unto a planet where lava is the main attraction. An interesting sidenote, when the Obliterator calls the Surfer by his real name, Norrin says that part of his persona is gone, along with the woman he cared for. Nice. As they crash into the surface, Mantis hopes he’ll come out unhurt, since there are no plants on the planet, and she needs those to cure his injuries, should he have any. Luckily, the Surfer is alright, and the Obliterator is temporarily held up because he cannot fly through the molten lava.

Shifting to the Skrulls, we see the Celestial of last issue still standing above the city, doing, well, nothing at all really. Kylor, self-appointed emperor of the Skrulls wants to know what the Celestial’s business is, and attempts to converse with Jemiah the Analyzer, as he is called. (Hey, does anybody know what the names of all the known Celestials are? I for one don’t, so I’m really curious. Just a question.) Kylor then recaps the history of the Skrulls, and we get a bit of cosmic pedigree here.   When their race was only in its earliest stages, they were experimented on by the Celestials, who created three species where there was only one before, namely the Deviants, the Eternals and the latents (normal humans). The Deviants, who could shift their shapes, grew into two strains, the Skrulls and the Dire Wraiths. The Skrulls then destroyed the Eternals and the latents, drove the Wraiths away, and began to build their galaxy-spanning empire. So much for some Skrull background. Kylor now tries anything to get the Celestial to talk, but it doesn’t work. So they attack him... And it doesn’t work. They threw everything they got on him, but he still stands there, unmoving, waiting for what? And at the very same time Kylor hopes that the Kree haven’t discovered that they lost their powers, a Kree spy is being brought to his world to confirm the Supreme Intelligence’s suspicions.

Meanwhile, the Surfer confronts Mantis about their kiss last issue. She admits she likes him, and he must admit it has been a long time since last he kissed a woman (not that he ever kissed a man, mind you :) Not only that, he and his beloved actually only kissed three times since he became silvery all over, can you believe it?! After all these years of unsatisfied longing, he finally meets a woman who not only cares for him, but has time for him too. Not only that, she’s an empath, and so she knows what he’s thinking (heh heh). But when she calls him Norrin, again he stresses that Norrin Radd does no longer exist. His body is silver, not flesh, and as the Silver Surfer, he must always be alone. Suffice it to say, Mantis doesn’t agree, not by a long shot. But then they are blasted by the Obliterator again, and they are caught in a battle for dear life!

This time it’s the Surfer’s turn to stand back, as Mantis is master over all the plant life on this planet, ensuring her of a powerful array of weaponry indeed! Though the Obliterator believes her to be just a flea to be easily taken caren of, she’s more of a hardcase than he thought. But it seems as if Mantis is a little bit too overconfident, as she is knocked down by some kind of gas and then... obliterated.

In the meantime, the Kree spy has landed on the Skrull world. After disguising himself, he hitches a ride with a Skrull. But luck isn’t on his side, as the Skrulls had been expecting him, and are eager to find out what his commander knows exactly—and they aren’t going to be picky about the methods to extract this information from him.

Meanwhile, the Surfer is trying to beat the Obliterator, but fails (funny enough; you’d think that the Power Cosmic would be no match for some guns, now would you) and is about to be destroyed, when he comes up with a cunning plan. His Power Cosmic cannot hurt the Obliterator (why I don’t know exactly, are the Elders really that powerful?), but he sure can transform his weapons’ molecules, rendering them harmless. And so, the Obliterator shall obliterate no more (since his transportation devices are also changed). Now he has nothing to live for anymore, and yet he cannot
die. What cruel fate (serves him right). As the Surfer agrees that death would be kinder for the Obliterator now, he reminds his enemy that he too has lost something someone precious today.  But then a voice out of the blue (or green, in this case) asks him what
that might be. You guessed it, Mantis is still alive, but in a different body! After all, she can move to the plantlife from her human body and grow a new one for herself—that’s the way she travels through the galaxy (not all of us have a silver surfboard to soar the spaceways, you know). Ooh, happy day, happy happy day! And the Obliterator will assist them in their quest to defeat the Elders, since he has been gifted eternal dispair by the Grandmaster, and wants to see his former boss pay for this.

And at that moment, on the Skrull world, after having learned that the Kree about their inability to shift shapes, Kylor has declared war on the Kree once again—and the universe shall tremble! Woo-hoo!

Comments: I loved it! The story was exciting all the way, we got some great emotion, some angst, some mystery, and an ending that made me gasp! The art was gorgeous, the coloring was beautiful, and the page with just twelve times Kylor’s head was fantastic (all the different emotions on his face, it was fun and dramatic at the same time)! The best issue yet, really!

The Obliterator gave up a bit quickly, making the battle end somewhat disappointingly in my opinion, but I’m still going to give it five stars (yet again, is this getting boring or what? :) Read it, read it, read it, that’s all I have to say!

Written by The Collector

 

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