Surfer #9, Vol. 3
Published by Marvel Comics
Writer: Steve Englehart
Original Price: $0.75
History Behind Issue: Doomsday is here! (No, not the Superman guy
:-) Nuff said? Oh yes, and if the universe doesnt die, somebody will (insert
foreboding drum roll here)...
Plot: The concluding chapter in the Elders vs. Galactus story begins
in deep space, where nine dark figures meet to alter destiny. The Contemplator is telling
the Astronomer how the Surfer drove the Supreme Intelligence mad last issue, and how he
now has the sixth Soul Gem they so desperately need to kill Galactus! But, lucky for them,
he is unaware of this, as he is about the predicament of two of the people he cares most
aboutShalla Bal and Mantis, who are trapped by the Elders in an energy bubble. The
Grandmaster assures his brothers there is nothing to worry about, and the
In the meantime, the Surfer actually does know that something happened to Mantis, and since she obviously wasnt able to escape via plant-mode, the Gardener must have something to do with it. While hes fondly remembering her beautiful body, and the way he and his board will be there to save her (as he overcame all other obstacles), he is greeted by the awesome image of the Gardener himself, who tells him where they currently are. If he comes to them and gives them the Soul Gem, their prisoners wont be harmed. I guess you know what his reaction is, right? Right, he swiftly soars to the Cone Nebula to save his loved ones. He arrives very quickly thanks to the use of hyperspace (is it me, or has it been a long time since hyperspace was mentioned in the Surfers comic?), and tells them he has been waiting for this confrontation quite some time.
Of course, he cant actually do something, or Mantis and Shalla will die. Mantis doesnt want Norrin to give the gem to the Elders, because she knows the destruction it will cause in their hands. She is nothing compared to the entire universe. Shalla Bal cant help but agree with her lovers new friend, and says theyre not worthy to give up the universe for. (Hey, tough choice, either they die now, or they do a few minutes later!) The Surfer contemplates his actions, and suddenly tries to fly to the rescue, but the Gardeners soul gem (because thats what the energy bubble is) is swiftly snatched away, and itll always be quicker than Norrin Radd.
Under the protests of the two women the Surfer then decides to give them the gem (huh?), and the Grandmaster repays him in kind by hurling Mantis and Shalla into the depths of space, making sure the Surfer wont be around to bother them when they prepare todestroy all that is! And, as is the way of villainy, the Grandmaster has inserted a way to cheat (dont they always?). Faster and faster the Surfer approaches, ready to save his women, but, at his faintest touch, the sphere explodes! Only one of them can be saved, and its not this one... Indeed, although the Surfer reached for Mantis (and he says so himself), knowing only one could be rescued, its Shalla Bal who he know holds in his arms. He cries out Mantiss name, and swiftly returns to the place of the explosion. Only 15 seconds have passed since that fateful moment, but theres nothing to be seen, no one to be found.
Shalla Bal wants to say something, but the Surfer rudely interrupts her, and just as quickly he apologizes for snapping at her. Shalla Bal tells him how Mantis tried to escape, tried to warn him, and although she didnt like Mantis, she knew her former lover did indeed love her. But what is love for Zenn-Lavians, the Surfer retorts. In all the centuries that have passed since he became Galactuss herald, they have only met four times. They called that love. We Earthians however, are much more passionate, much more appreciative of life, and it probably rubbed off. And we mustnt forget that Mantis was chosen as the Celestial Madonna because she was the most important representative of Earth. And then he admits he loved her...
...And for her death, he will have his revenge!
Meanwhile, in deep space, Nova, Galactuss current herald, is inspecting a planet to see if it can feed Galactus, who once again hungers. When she arises from the mists surrounding the planet she sees a flare resembling hers signaling Galactus, who undoubtedly will go to it, assuming his herald will have found a suitable planet to provide the necessary energy. She flies to her masters aid, who is standing on his space ship, contemplating the arrogance of the Elders, the only beings in the entire universe rivaling his own age. (By the way, this page is an awesome piece of art!) The Elders tell Galactus he wont grow any older, since his death is quite imminent. On that, Nova replies they must be crazy, as she asks them if they dont know Galactus is necessary for the universe to survive! Naturally, as we all know, they do. Thats just the plan! Then Galactus himself speaks, emphasizing their folly, as he knows for a fact that this universe isnt ready to perish yet, since he alone knows Death and Eternity as brothers in being. (Interesting, that. Lets hope we get to know some more about that, okay?) The Elders arent about to give up, however, and they boast how even mighty Galactus can be brought to his knees, if one can only find the right power and uses it wisely! And then their plan finally unfolds: the Elders have aimed on the big Gs primary weakness, namely his reliance on planets to keep him alive. Theyre using the Soul Gems on the six planets of the star system theyre in to absorb Galactuss energy through the resonances of the gems on the planets. Without his energy, hell simply starve to death! (Cunning, aint it?) And lo and behold, Galactus is faltering, without the possibility to strike back. Nova wants to help her master by trying to destroy the planets being used by the Elders, for her power is that of a sun, but against the combined might of the Soul Gems, nothing can avail! The Elders are actually winning, Galactus is falling apart! Oh no! And then, from out of nowhere, faster than the eye can see, the Silver Surfer, whom the Elders thought to have perished in the blast earlier on, reappears and deflects the energy beam which is sucking away Galactuss life force. The Surfer hurriedly advises Nova to destroy the sun holding the planets, ensuring that the planets will be thrown out of their respective courses, undoing the Elders plan. She dives into the sun, and it goes nova! Woo-hoo! But what happens when a sun dies? It becomes a black hole! The platform of the Elders, the very fabric of the universe is ripping itself apart and being sucked into the black hole, over which the Elders dont have any hold, since black holes dont tend to have souls! While the Grandmaster is cursing the Silver Surfer for a fool (because the Elders cannot die, but the Surfer can!), Galactus is attempting to get to the control board of his ship before its consumed by the raging powers around him. When he does so, the power hes lost returns to him, and during this process, the Elders and the Surfer are about to be engulfed in the black hole. But if his own demise is the price for saving the universe, the Surfer sees no harm done! (Always the noble guy, isnt he? Nova thinks so, too.)
When all seems lost, when Nova, Norrin and the Elders are almost gone, the tide changes, for Galactuss trembling might has been returned to him, and with the help of his machines he has stagnated the black hole, saving everybodys life! Galactus lives,to say it in his own words: And now, gnatsnow we shall have a reckoning! (Do I have to tell you this story is to be continued?)
Comments: Where to begin? I dont know, but this story had it all: heart-gripping drama, beautiful art and exciting space-faring action! The cover was a masterpiece! Page 12 with Galactus was a masterpiece too, as were the pages depicting the ravaging effects of the black hole! We got three wonderful women by Marshall Rogers, and although one of them dies, we dont actually see a body, so anythings possible (yay!). The dialogue was great, you could really feel the Surfers emotions (and those of the others as well, of course). I loved the Grandmasters boasting, especially when moments later his plan quite literally explodes in his face! This one is a sight for soar eyes, people, and a must-read! Absolutely! Im not telling anymore! Just get the issue!
Written by The Collector
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