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Silver Surfer - The Herald Ordeal a review by Kevin Tanza

image of a comic book panel with the silver surfer from Marvel Comics - Animated Apparel Company

(Image Credit: Marvel Comics) 
The Silver Surfer is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most fascinating characters of the Marvel Universe and one that I’m particularly fond of. The Surfer truly captures the essence of that comic book universe’s cosmic landscape very well and often adding a degree of humanity (ironically enough because he is not human) and depth that you don’t often read in mainstream space opera comics.

But the early 90s were a rarity for the Silver Surfer as he enjoyed a very profitable commercial success on his solo title and writer Jim Starlin managed to have him back in the middle of the Marvel Universe through his Infinity Gauntlet storyline, but later on, it was writer Ron Marz who added an element of action and intensity to the Silver Surfer comics, along with what I consider historical art of Ron Lim, that I don’t think we have witnessed before or since. And the crowning achievement of this run for me is this storyline that we have here, The Herald Ordeal, which goes from issue #70 to #75.

What is The Herald Ordeal?

Image of the Comic Book Cover for the Herald Ordeal by Marvel Comics - Animated Apparel Company

(Image Credit: Marvel Comics) 

The story is actually quite simple: Nova, Galactus’ latest herald, has decided to walk away from after major differences between the two of them and the Devour of Worlds doesn’t want anything else to do with her. Later on, as Galactus is about to devour a planet, he discovers that the king of this world, a man named Morg, has no fear of dying and the former, now without Nova, decides to imbue him with enough power to turn him into his new herald.

The big twist here is that Morg is one of the most sadistic men of the entire and plans to use his new-found powers for personal gain, thus resulting in facing and defeating the Silver Surfer when the latter tries to stop him. Knowing that he can’t do this alone, the Surfer recruits all the former Galactus heralds, such as Nova, Firelord, and Terrax to face Morg in an epic conclusion.

How was it?

Image of a Comic Book panel with the Silver Surfer fighting by Marvel Comics - Animated Apparel Company

(Image Credit: Marvel Comics)

Ron Marz plays it straight on this storyline: he decides to go with a full action blockbuster and does it in tremendous fashion. The Silver Surfer rarely has storylines with such levels of action, but he manages to tell that kind of story here and connect it with the lore around the Surfer and his relationship with Galactus that long-time readers are surely going to enjoy.

It’s a very classic good vs. evil kind of story and it works just fine: Morg is a dictator that was given even more power and became a lot more dangerous for the whole galaxy, so the Surfer and his allies need to stop him. Simple as that: a clear distinction and metaphor of what Norrin Radd could have been under Galactus’ influence if he didn’t have the life experiences that he had.

If you’re the type of reader that wants to get into the comics of the Silver Surfer but are not sure of where to start, this storyline explains the continuity very well and it is accessible enough in terms of storytelling to get your attention (even more so because Marvel apparently is going to release the trade paperback this year).

What about the artwork?

Image of the Silver Surfer soaring through space with a few companions by Marvel Comics - Animated Apparel Company

(Image Credit: Marvel Comics)

No disrespect to M.C. Wyman who also does pencils in this storyline and actually does a phenomenal job here, but Ron Lim is to me the last great Silver Surfer artist and one of the best that Marvel has enjoyed in the last thirty years or so. He knows how to portray cosmic Marvel in an epic and yet action-packed way, always adding a level of kinetic energy and dynamism that most artists can only dream of.

I think this whole Ron Marz Silver Surfer run is Lim’s crowning achievement as an artist, with a knack of how to truly capture the Surfer in the context of the early 90s and making it feel over the top but yet very detailed and visually appealing. He was (because apparently he has disappeared from the industry, as far as I know) one of the most talented artists that I have ever seen in Marvel and I have a lot of respect and appreciation for his work here.

What it represents?

Image of the Silver Surfer restraining someone on his board by Marvel Comics - Animated Apparel Company

(Image Credit: Marvel Comics)

The Herald Ordeal is a cosmic action blockbuster and one of Marvel’s best-kept secrets. The Silver Surfer is a beloved character and one of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s greatest creations, so I always love it when someone takes this character and writes great stories with him–sometimes I think he doesn’t get the credit he deserves.

A phenomenal story and definitely worth your time if you want some classic comic book action.

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This post first appeared on Pop Culture News, Comic Book, And Anime Reviews - Animated Apparel Co., please read the originial post: here

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Silver Surfer - The Herald Ordeal a review by Kevin Tanza


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