Marvel Comics story.

Buscema: The Surfer and Mephisto
7: 1966

Until then, super heroes fought mad scientists, monsters, super vilains. They changed up a gear with Fantastic four 48 to 50. This time, it's the allmighty Galactus, who devores planets, whom our heroes have got to save Earth. This trilogy suggests several remarks.

Firstly, it well illustrate the major importance of Stan Lee in Marvel Comics creation. When Kirby took him his pages, the writer got the surprise to find a character he didn't intend, a chromed folk going across the universe on a surf board.
"What is that?
_Well. That? -answered Kirby- It's Galactus' herald. I though such an important people must be preceded by one, as the lords in middle age. I call him the Silver Surfer."


The saga of the Silver Surfer is also typical of the higger bide and scorched earth policy of Marvel. Just like the resurrection of dead characters without care for the credibility of the issue where they died.Those three issues should have go down in history. This was the first time in universe history that the allmighty Galactus, he whose powerfulst peoples of all galaxies didn't dare whisper the name, was compelled to give up the object of his covetousness. They should will recall this event in the four corners of the universe, dubting it's reality, during billions years to come. But Lee and Kirby found it would be quiet a great idea to make Galactus come back. So he came back, and he came back again and he came back again. Geting a clobbering every time. At the end he even got a hammering from... aunt May, the Spider-Man's old aunt. I am ironical of course? Not at all. 't was in Marvel Team Up 137. I must admit that the old lady was assisted by Franklin, Mister Fantastic's son, a five old kid. Two against one, what a pair of cowards!


Condemned by Galactus to stay on Earth, as a punishment for his betrayal, the Silver Surfer soon got his own series, drawned by John Buscema. Buscema begined at Marvel's... in 1948. From 1950 to 1966 he done minor works for several publishers. Back to Marvel he did Hulk, Submariner and the Avengers but the Silver Surfer of May 1968 was his first own creation. Creation this world ain't too strong, for it takes good glasses to recognize Kirby's character. And I don't talk only of the graphic difference, even though it was considerable, but of the radical contraste between the essence and the personnality of those two characters who were yet supposed to be only one and who theorically had the same writer.


The Surfer of (Stan Lee and ?) Jack Kirby was an extra terrestrial in the most rigorous sens of the word. When somebody gave him to eat, he answerd. "Wath a funny idea. Why not merely convert all this into energy?" He couldn't fly but he found more convenient to leave the roof of a sky scraper by letting himself fall since he didn't see any desagrement to be knocked out by the shock on the ground. He knew nothing about human feelings. So, he never understood the causes of the Thing's hanger, in the issue where the latter found him with his girlfriend. This absolute stranger had spent the eternity crossing the cosmos. Allmighty, he was, as said Kirby" a god on Earth".

The Surfer of (Stan Lee and ?) John Buscema had been a human beeing no more than a few years before. He had been turned by Galactus into the silver creature he was. He had left on his native planet his fiancee and that teared his heart apart.With bounded power, very vulnerable, Buscema's Surfer was the critical witness of humanity's faults: wars, crimes, selfishness. Persecuted by this humanity that he never missed an opportunity to defend from diverse extra terrestrial menaces, he was, above all, confronted to Mephisto. From here, Buscema gave an almost metaphysical background to the story. Mephisto, the Devil, could have killed the Surfer without even making a gesture, but what did he want was his soul, the only not-corrupted soul of our planet. Stan Lee didn't feared to compare the Surfer with Jesus Christ.


This series was a commercial failure and disappeared after heigteen issues. What you can't Know his the extraordinary hit that it was in France when it was published in Fantask in 1969. The surfer made a star out of Buscema, the most popular american artist in France, before Neal Adams and Frank Frazetta. The french artist Jean Mitton did a 19th issue of the Silver Surfer (no more because Marvel didn't allow) And it's not by chance, if when Moebius did something at Marvel's it was the Silver Surfer.






December 65
First appearance of the SILVER SURFER in Fantastic four 48
December 65First appearance of Hercule in Thor Annual 1
April 66First appearance of Black Panther in Fantastic Four 52
November 66Return of the Human Torch of the fourties in Fantastic Four Annual 4
November 66First appearance of Banshee in X-Men 28
July 67 First appearance of Him (future WARLOCK) in Fantastic four 67
September 67Begining of the first series Inhumans in Thor 148
November 67Resurection in super hero of the Black Knight of 1955 -56 in Avengers 48
December 67 Creation of CAPTAIN MARVEL (Marvel Super Heroes 12)
May 68 Begining of the series SILVER SURFER
August 68 First appearance of Polaris in X-Men 48
August 68 First appearance of Vision in Avengers 57
October 68 Birth of Franklin Richard in Fantastic Four Annual 6
December 68 First appearance of the Guardians of the galaxy in Marvel Super Heroes 18
April 69 First appearance of Havok in X-Men 58
June 69First appearance of Falcon in Captain America 117
(becoming " Captain America and the Falcon ")
July 69 First appearance of Stingray in Submariner 19
August 69 First appearance of Nighthawk in Avengers 69
September 69 First appearance of the Prawler in Spider-Man 78
October 69 First appearance of Sunfire in X-Men 64
October 69 Captain Marvel changes his costume, his side, his powers, his secret id.
November 69 First appearance of the Squadron Sinister in Avengers 70


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1970-1974 Conan, Steve Gerber, Gwen Stacy...



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