CoverSilver Surfer #50, Vol. 3
Published by Marvel Comics

June, 1991

"Secrets from the Surfer's Past"

Writer: Jim Starlin
Penciling: Ron Lim
Inks: Tom Christopher

Color: Tom Vincent
Letters: Ken Bruzenak

Editor: Craig Anderson
Chief: Tom DeFalco

Original Price: $1.50
Current Value: $10.00

History Behind Issue: Continued from issue #49.

Plot: The Silver Surfer heads towards Earth, to warn it's heroes of Thanos, who now possesses god-like powers.  But before he can make it, he is attacked by Thanos.  Using the unlimited power of the Infinity Gauntlet, he dwells in a rock-like figure, and decides to have a little fun with the Silver Surfer's pasts and secrets.  Thanos forces the Surfer to tell of his childhood, to reveal his soul's inner recesses, all the way to his childhood.  Where a young Norrin Radd constantly studies, never having fun because he wouldn't want to disappoint his father.   Shalla-Bal tries to convince him to go out and have fun, but he refuses to have fun, like his role model Jartran Radd, his father.  His father has taught him that Zenn-La has become a world without a purpose, computerized, without spirit.  The Silver Surfer tries to resist Thanos's mental probe, but is unsuccessful.  Thanos then watches Norrin Radd's father teaching his son not to grow up like the rest of society.  Teaching him that the world will soon need change with fine young minds like his. Next, Thanos watches a young Norrin Radd enter manhood by having his head shaved, a custom in Zenn-La for the youth as they get older.  If only his mother, Elmar, could have seen it.  But she could not handle Zenn-La's existence and committed suicide.  Next, the story shifts to Jartran Radd receiving the Delta award for his invention of the Psi-Sonic Transmitter, a device which has revolutionized the Psycho-Recreational Arts.  Although his invention was an improvement, he could do much more if he had the proper funding.  The next part of our story, however, is a tragic one.  The news reports that Jartran Radd  had stolen much of his ideas from another researcher.  Norrin is ashamed of his father.  He stops talking to him.  At this point, Silver Surfer tries to resist Thanos's continuing pleasure in his memories.  But Thanos is too powerful and forces the rest of the story out of him, and finds Norrin's father committed suicide.  Norrin is heart-broken and blames himself, but he tries not to show it on the outside, or to himself.  Thanos laughs.   The great "saint" that he thought his foe was, was really a sham.   The Silver Surfer is angered and blasts Thanos's rock-like figure into pieces.   He cannot even believe what he has done to his father so many years before.   He finds he is not perfect, he is not flawless, but a man like everyone else.   And as he flies towards earth, he is weakened by Thanos's probe and falls into the home of Dr. Strange.

Continued in the Infinity Gauntlet Saga.

Comments: Excellent story and art by Jim Starlin and Ron Lim.   Here, we learn allot about Norrin Radd, his father, and the customs of their world.   One of my favorite stories.

Review written by James Pedrick


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