This book is the rare example of a Stan Lee joint created after 1980 that’s actually pretty good. The story involves Silver Surfer finally being able to get through the barrier that Galactus put in place to imprison him on Earth. It was published as a $1, giant-size floppy book, but could just as easily have been a graphic novel (and if it were released today, probably would have been).
After a recap of his origin and the reason the big G put him on Earth, we see Surfer get Reed Richards’ help to escape, and quickly fly to Zenna La only to find it in ruins because Galactus ate it after Surfer betrayed him to save Earth. It’s a bit strange that G allowed the residents of the planet to evacuate and return after his life-sucking process had run its course. Seems out of character.
We also learn that Mephisto snatched up Shalla Bal, Surfer’s one true love, apparently because he recognized the value of having her as a hostage.
He’s keeping her on Earth, having wiped her memories, which basically means Surfer has to return to Earth—and once he does, the barrier will imprison him again. He does, he fights Mephisto, and Mephisto tricks him by sending Shalla Bal back to Zenn-La, so Surfer can’t get back to her.
At the end, we see that Shalla Bal now has the power to bring back life to her planet. As she returns, things start growing again.
A nice story that doesn’t change the status quo at all, despite the fact that it seems about to change it several times throughout.
At some points, the art looks definitely like Byrne, but at others he was clearly just doing breakdowns for Tom Palmer. Hence, I’m giving Palmer some art credits.
Creators: Stan Lee and John Byrne, with Tom Palmer on inks and colors