Tales of the Marvels: Blockbuster #1: Review

Apr 1995
Mike Baron, Shawn Martinbrough

Story Name:


Review & Comments

4 stars

Tales of the Marvels: Blockbuster #1 Review by (June 6, 2023)

Review: Grim, intense look at the aftermath of an exciting superhero battle, centering on the damaged lives left in its wake. The tale contrasts Joan, who doesn’t blame the Silver Surfer for the disaster, and Roman, embittered and seeking revenge. The story brings the two together in an unlikely romance that serves the narrative point on love versus hate. Meanwhile, the Silver Surfer is exonerated by claiming he was attempting to minimize damage and loss of life during the mad battle. If any hero could be even remotely believable making that claim, it’s the Silver Surfer. With Marvel at one time claiming even the Hulk never killed anyone, it’s nice to see a hero taking responsibility for his actions. The gritty painted art serves the story well and is easier to follow than most such efforts.

Comments: Tie-in to MARVELS. Book is part of the Marvel Select line with heavier covers and better production values than the usual comics. Silver Surfer’s battle with Tyros the Destroyer occurred in FANTASTIC FOUR #259-260. FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Maltese was Kingpin’s aide in DAREDEVIL #296-300. Homeless woman Sunshine Mary also appears in TALES OF THE MARVELS: INNER DEMONS.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales of the Marvels: Blockbuster #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

A battle in Queens between the Silver Surfer and Tyros the Destroyer destroys an apartment building on Ocean Avenue, killing many. Among the survivors are Joan Weis who saw the Surfer through her telescope, a burglar named Clyde Comeaux, and Dr. Ronald Burns whose mistress is killed. Private investigator Roman Stewart, hired to discover Dr. Burns’ infidelity, witnessed the disaster and lost his elderly parents who also lived in the building. Clyde decides he is lucky and commits himself to being the best thief there is. Dr. Burns was heavily disfigured in the fire and his angry wife sues for divorce, intending to take everything he has. A lawyer approaches Joan about joining a class action suit against the Fantastic Four as the instigators of the battle; Joan doesn’t believe they are responsible and turns the lawyer away. Jay Nathan forms the Ocean Ave. Survivor’s Group and applies for government aid through FEMA and other government agencies but is turned down. The class action suit is delayed. Roman and Joan meet and he is interested in her theory that alien beings can be tracked by their energy signatures….

Two years later: Clyde is hijacking trucks belonging to the Kingpin, reasoning that he is too small a target for the gang boss to notice—and then he learns he has cancer. Dr. Burns is homeless, approaching former colleagues for money or drugs to help a group of homeless and destitute people he is associated with. Joan earns a doctorate in astrophysics and Roman comes back into her life and they start a relationship; he still wants to confront the Silver Surfer over his part in the disaster. She shows him her experiments in tracing the energy signatures of cosmic beings, identifying Quasar and Super-Skrull. Joan also mentions that Stark has invented a hand-held particle beam projector which could theoretically kill the Surfer but she believes he is a friend to the human race….

Months later, Kingpin gives orders to kill Clyde, Burns is in despair over the homeless needing more than he can give, the survivors group has been turned away by the Supreme Court and decide to take their case to the media, Joan detects a signature that may be the Silver Surfer on his way to Earth, Roman breaks into Stark international and steals the particle beam projector.

The next day, five years after the disaster, survivors arrive at the site, a new building having been erected in its place. Kingpin’s henchman Maltese is there to murder Clyde and destroy the new building but Clyde doesn’t care, he has only months to live. And then the Silver Surfer arrives. He knows each of the people who survived the disaster, having saved as many as he could during the incident, and presents the group with a huge blue diamond that will fund homes and a new life for all the survivors. Clyde and Maltese fall out of a window together and the Surfer catches them, sending the hitman back to his boss with a warning and healing Clyde by withdrawing the bit of the power cosmic which has poisoned him. The Surfer gives Burns encouragement to build a clinic to help his destitute friends. Roman steps forward, intending to kill the Surfer but Joan interposes her body to protect him. Roman realizes his live for Joan outweighs the hatred he has carried for years and everything is oaky. The Silver Surfer departs.

Shawn Martinbrough
Shawn Martinbrough
Shawn Martinbrough
Tristan Shane (Cover Penciler)
Tristan Shane (Cover Inker)
Tristan Shane (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Wilson Fisk)

(Wendell Vaughn)
Silver Surfer
Silver Surfer

(Norrin Radd)

(Ben Grimm)

Plus: Super-Skrull, Tyros the Destroyer.

> Tales of the Marvels: Blockbuster: Book info and issue index

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