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Silver Surfer #7: Review

Jan 1988
Steve Englehart, Marshall Rogers

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Review & Comments

4 stars

Silver Surfer #7 Review by (May 22, 2020)
The triangle of the title is presumably Silver Surfer, Shalla-Bal and Mantis.

In late 1976 Steve Englehart quit Marvel, including Avengers, Captain Marvel and Dr Strange. His creation Mantis wasn't used by Marvel in his absence. (Some say he took her  with him as Willow in DC's Justice League Of America and Lorelei in Scorpio Rose published by Eclipse.)
Then after his Coyote series for Marvel's Epic line he returned to their mainstream superheroes in late 1985 with the 2nd Vision & Scarlet Witch limited series and the West Coast Avengers ongoing series. Now in mid 1987 he started this new Silver Surfer series, and brought Mantis back.
In #4 Mantis briefly explained what happened to her since Giant-Size Av#4, but she will add more details in West Coast Avengers #39. She left her mortal body behind when her spirit merged with the Cotati spirit. Later she returned to the mortal plane and created a body out of vegetation to bear and raise her child as a human. Later still the Cotati took over to teach the child its plant heritage, leaving her as a free agent now. (In WCA#39 she will find her original body in suspended animation and reoccupy it.)

We met many of the Elders Of The Universe before we knew that the group existed:- Collector in Av#28, Ego The Living Planet Thor #132, Grandmaster Av#69, Kamo Tharnn Thor #235, Mr Buda Captain America's Bicentenniel Battles, and Gardener Marvel Team-Up #55.
Av#174 started combining them. Collector claimed he and Grandmaster are Elders (not yet stated as Of The Universe) before being killed by Korvac. Grandmaster organised the 1st Contest of Champions to exchange his life for Collector's. This included the 1st mention of the EOTU by full name.
Then Champion turned up in Marvel Two-In-One An#7 as an EOTU. Kamo Tharnn was outed as an EOTU in Thor #335, and EOTU Runner debuted in Defenders #143.
Then came this series. Champion figured in #1. Collector organised another contest to win back Grandmaster's life in WCA An#2 and Av An#16. Here we learned that the EOTU are each a lone survivor of an early race, each focused on a single activity. Gardener and Possessor (who we recognise as Kamo Tharnn) were mentioned as well. Runner was in #3 and others were mentioned including Contemplator. When the Elders gathered in #4 we saw that Contemplator was Mr Buda (except we'll later learn that this isn't the real Contemplator but a Skrull imposter, there and here and in many later issues). We were introduced to Astronomer, Obliterator and Trader, and the meeting was held on Ego - another EOTU.

Adam Warlock was given the 1st known Soul Gem in Marvel Premiere #1. Captain Marvel #45 introduced us to another 1 and revealed that there were 6 in total. Gardener and Stranger had 1 each in MTU#55. Thanos collected 5 of them in Av An#7 but Warlock used his Gem to kill Thanos in MTIO An#2 and the other 5 Gems were apparently destroyed. Warlock died too and Gardener took his Gem from his grave in Hulk #247. But now we know that the other 5 are still out there and the Elders have now got 5 of the 6.

There seems to be some confusion over the planets Hala and Kree-lar. The 2009 Handbook says that Hala in the Pama system was the birthplace of the Kree. Later the city Kree-lar spread to cover the whole planet. This seems to be what is referred to in this issue. But there is also a planet Kree-Lar in the Turunal system. At some point this takes over from Hala as the capital and Hala becomes a sacred site. The Supreme Intelligence has been known to exist in both places.

The Elders vs Galactus story will continue to #10. Steve Englehart will continue to chronicle Surfer's adventures through to #31. After a guest spot by Jim Valentino in #32-33, Jim Starlin will take over from #34 and bring his creation Thanos back to life.

After the Galactus story Steve Englehart will take Mantis into others of his series to follow the storyline of her son the Celestial Messiah:- West Coast Avengers, Fantastic Four and the Avengers: Celestial Quest limited series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Silver Surfer #7 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Silver Surfer's banishment to Earth by Galactus was ended in #1. But another Kree/Skrull War has broken out. In #2 Norrin Radd's homeworld Zenn-La declared neutrality, and Surfer helped Empress Shalla Bal tell the Skrulls to stay away. At the end of last issue he got a message from Shalla-Bal asking for help against the Kree.

Reaching Zenn-La space he finds 3 Kree battlecruisers. He disables 1 by flying through it on his cosmic surfboard. But the other 2 descend to the planet and transform (like Transformers) into Destructoids (containing thousands of soldiers). They see an apparently agrarian world (Galactus consumed its energy but Shalla-Bal with the aid of Surfer's Power Cosmic made the planet bloom, all in the Silver Surfer 1-shot). The Empress orders them to leave or face the consequences. When they don't SS shows them the consequences by flying through 1 of the Destructoids. The other vessel staggers him with a blast but he destroys the ship's weapons and the rational Captain surrenders.

Norrin sees his love Shalla-Bal waving and calling to him from her distant tower but he ignores her and enters that last Destructoid. 1 fanatical trooper tries to attack him but the Captain orders him to stop. Surfer tells the Captain the Zenn-la is under his protection, and the Kree must leave it alone. The Kree soldier replies that only the Supreme Intelligence can agree to that, so SS says he'll go to Kree-Lar to tell *him* that. And he'll tow the the Kree ship a long way from here on the way.

But 1st he goes to visit Shalla-Bal. He responds to her stiffly and says their love is over. He now loves Mantis. And then he leaves her weeping.

Mantis turned up at the end of #3 and since then has been helping Surfer investigate the Elders Of The Universe's plans. At then end of last issue when Norrin headed back to Zenn-La she followed the Elders in her own unique way, which we see now is by transferring her consciousness to be reborn from a plant on the planet where they are now meeting. Which turns out to be the Earth because it is the 1 planet that Galactus has sworn to leave alone.

Present are Astronomer, Champion, Collector, Gardener, Grandmaster, Possessor, Runner and Trader. Missing are Contemplator, Ego The Living Planet and Obliterator. Ego obviously can't actually land on another planet. Contemplator is on a mission we'll learn about later. Obliterator went after Silver Surfer and Mantis (last 2 issues) and they can't imagine he failed to kill them (we know better), despite Champion and Runner having failed to stop SS (#1 and #3 respectively).

Gardener now outlines their plan for us (and eavesdropping Mantis). Astronomer has deduced that by destroying Galactus they will collapse this universe, and a new 1 will be born in which *they* will take his place. To accomplish this they will use the 6 Soul Gems that Thanos gathered together for the battle that killed him and Adam Warlock (Avengers Annual #7 and Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2). Warlocks's Soul Gem was left on his grave where Gardener retrieved it (as revealed in Hulk #248), but the other 5 Gems were believed destroyed. But Astronomer knew they could never die, they were scattered throughout space-time.

Collector discovered where 1 was but then he was killed by Korvac (Av#174). Grandmaster organised the Contest Of Champions played between him and Death, which resulted in Collector being brought back to life, after which he was able to get the Soul Gem. Champion won another Gem in 1 of his fight contests, and Trader traded for 2 more. And Contemplator is currently negotiating for the 6th.

At this point it becomes clear that some of the Elders expected Mantis to be watching, and deliberately arranged this meeting in a lush tropical setting. Gardener takes control of the local plants and turns them against her. She manages to mobilise some plants in defence but she is soon overwhelmed. She has only 1 chance to get what she learned to Norrin Radd, and so she sends her consciousness across space to the plants of Zenn-La. And Shalla-Bal thinks she hears her plants whispering the name Mantis.

Later Silver Surfer reaches Kree-Lar. He is allowed through its encircling battleships to talk to the Supreme Intelligence. He descends to the planet that is completely covered by city and enters the Hall Of Judgement where resides the Kree Supremor and his chief coordinator Nenora. He faces the screen showing the giant head which is the representation of the collective of the greatest Blue Kree minds from all history and asks that Zenn-La be kept out of the Kree/Skrull War. Surprisingly the SI acquiesces because the place isn't worth fighting over.

But then SS asks that Earth be excluded too because he's grown fond of the place. But Supremor can't agree to that because the place is too dangerous. It has a high proportion of superbeings, including Rick Jones whose mental powers ended the previous Kree/Skrull War (Av#97) and which the Supremor tried to use to restart Kree evolution (Captain Marvel #41-46). It is also the place where the Kree created the Inhumans (as explained in a backup tale in Thor #147). And where the Kree's plant enemy the Cotati merged with Mantis to give birth to the Celestial Messiah.

Surfer claims that if that is the case then he will be forced to side with the Skrulls to oppose the Kree. But Supremor reveals that *he* has the missing Soul Gem and uses it to steal Norrin Radd's soul. He explains to Nenora and the watching Contemplator that he needs the Gem to enable him to absorb great minds from the *Pink* Kree race too and suppress the millennia-long racial hatred between the Pinks and Blues. So he can't let the Elders have the Gem, but at least Silver Surfer is now out of both of their hairs.

Marshall Rogers
Joe Rubinstein
Marshall Rogers
Marshall Rogers (Cover Penciler)
Terry Austin (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Ken Bruzenak.
Editor: Michael Higgins. Editor-in-chief: Tom DeFalco.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Silver Surfer
Silver Surfer

(Norrin Radd)

Plus: Astronomer, Champion, Contemplator (Skrull imposter), Elders Of The Universe, Nenora, Possessor (Kamo Tharnn), Runner, Trader.

> Silver Surfer: Book info and issue index

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