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Silver Surfer #57: Review

Oct 1991
Ron Marz, Ron Lim

Story Name:


Review & Comments

4 stars

Silver Surfer #57 Review by (April 30, 2021)
This is another tie-in to the Infinity Gauntlet event, and is part 1 of another 2-part digression.

It's James Brock who shares the pencilling with Ron Lim this time. (Well, Ron is doing IG too.)

The 2 Reptyl pages have nothing to do with IG. Reptyl is an SS foe from the pre-Starlin #11-29. During those issues he angered Super-Skrull who took revenge in a backup tale in Fantastic Four Annual #24 and left him for dead floating in space, which is where we find him here. But we won't see his new form again until #63 after the end of IG.

The main Silver Surfer part of the issue obviously begins after he fails to get the Infinity Gauntlet, when Thanos casually kills Captain America in IG#4 (as repeated here) and then blasts Surfer. That bit happens before Adam Warlock calls in Galactus and other cosmic beings at the end of IG#4.
The Marvel Chronology Project has the rest of this issue and the next happening between IG#4 and IG#5 because SS is back with Warlock very early in #5.

Virtual Reality is possibly supposed to be Jim Starlin.

The Doors Of Perception is obviously taken from the title of Aldous Huxley's book, which was itself taken from a quote in William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell.

The events of Norrin Radd's life on Zenn-La are based on what Jim Starlin wrote in #50.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Silver Surfer #57 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue opens with a page which has nothing to do with the body of the story. The lizard-alien called Reptyl is floating in space (left for dead in Fantastic Four Annual #24) when a cocoon forms around him.

Now we pick up the story from within Infinity Gauntlet #4. Earth's heroes attacked Thanos in the throne/palace in space he built for his love Death. Thanos has killed them all except Captain America. As per Adam Warlock's plan Silver Surfer zoomed in to take the Infinity Gauntlet off the villain but failed.

Now as Surfer flies away bemoaning the fact that he's doomed the universe to the fate he imagined in the last 2 issues, Thanos fires up the Infinity Gems and blasts him in the back. At 1st Norrin Radd thinks the blast had no effect, but then reality warps around him.  Then everything goes black ...

... and when he returns to 'normal' he finds himself without his surfboard standing on a fragment of white surface floating in space with enormous black doors in front of him. The doors tell him to stop dawdling and come in. Inside there's a large black and white room (with archways leading to other rooms - there's obviously a TARDIS-effect here). The single occupant welcomes him through the Doors Of Perception to the Hall Of Absolutes, and introduces himself as Virtual Reality (although he has many other names too and suggests Surfer has heard of him by another 1).

SS says that Thanos has obviously sent him here to get him out of the way, so he must get back to save the universe from him. VR says it doesn't matter how he got here, but now he's here he must see things through to the end. And he leads him down a corridor which he says will show him the truths of his life.

The 1st scene which confronts our hero is of his young self discovering his mother dead from suicide in the bath. Distraught Surfer asks why he is being shown this and VR replies that these are the things that most prominent in Norrin's memory. The next scene has young Norrin being introduced to equally-young Shalla Bal. It is apparently a Zenn-Lavian custom to help assuage grief. But Norrin rejects her (which makes Shalla cry). Later he and Shalla have obviously developed a relationship, but he turns down chances to be with her in favour of his scientific research. She is 1 of the few who comforts him when his father too commits suicide. But then he leaves her behind on Zenn-La when Galactus makes him his herald as Silver Surfer.

Surfer finds excuses for all of this. And obviously when he fed inhabited worlds to Galactus that was because Big G had tampered with his mind (as he and we learned in #48). Next he sees the Defenders. He could have stayed with them and done much good, but as usual he left them. As he also left other loves Mantis and Nova (Frankie Raye). The final scene is his defeat by Thanos and/or the statue version from #50.

VR says this is the end of the show, and leaves him in darkness.

But we get 1 last page which shows Reptyl bursting from his cocoon in a much more fearsome form.

Ron Lim
Tom Christopher
Tom Vincent
Ron Lim (Cover Penciler)
Tom Christopher (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Ken Bruzenak.
Editor: Craig Anderson. Editor-in-chief: Tom DeFalco.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Silver Surfer
Silver Surfer

(Norrin Radd)

Plus: Reptyl.

> Silver Surfer: Book info and issue index

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