NOVA (french serie) #25-26 (Silver Surfer story)

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Giant Ant
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NOVA (french serie) #25-26 (Silver Surfer story)

Post by Giant Ant » Fri May 02, 2008 11:08 pm

As promised, here is my analysis for the french Silver Surfer story in NOVA #25-26 published by Lug editions in 1980. Please keep in mind that this is my first analysis and that English is not my prime language. If you have any questions or if anything isn't clear enough, feel free to ask. I won't bite.

First of all, let me give you some context… NOVA was a reprint serie by Lug (and later Semic) editions that lasted 233 issues and was published from February 1978 to May 1998. Each issue usually reprinted 3 to 4 different comics. AFAIK, this story is the only original material with Marvel characters published by Lug/Semic.

In NOVA #25, the first story is a reprint of Spectacular Spider-Man #28, the second is the Silver Surfer one and the third is a reprint of Nova #24.

In NOVA #26, the first story is a reprint of Spectacular Spider-Man #29, the second is the Silver Surfer one and the third is a reprint of Nova #25.

If you want more informations on French reprints, this website is great ; http://www.comicsvf.com

I recommend you look at the Lug Editions cover gallery ( http://www.comicsvf.com/fe/77.php ) for some beautiful original painted covers.

On to the analysis now…


NOVA (French comic) #25/2

Published : February 1980

Written by J.K. Melwyn Nash, Drawn by Jean-Yves Mitton (with the autorisation of the Marvel Comics Group)

Appearances by Silver Surfer, Shalla-Bal, Galactus, Mephisto, Belzebuth (demon of Mephisto), Astaroth (demon of Mephisto), many astronauts working for "Transworld Meteo" (is this new?), many members of the UN (none are named).

The following synopsis (and the one for #26) is taken almost verbatim from the Alter Ego article ( http://www.twomorrows.com/alterego/arti ... urfer.html ) :

The Silver Surfer detects a threat to Earth--the asteroid Ceres has mysteriously changed its orbit and is on a collision course with our world. Mankind doesn't realize it because humans lack the cosmic awareness of the Surfer. The only folks to find out (in a Transworld Meteo space shuttle) die when Ceres' gravity waves send their ship out of orbit.
The Surfer realizes that only Zenn-La's anti-matter-based "Weapon Supreme" (from S.S. #1) can destroy Ceres. He begs Galactus to let him go through the barrier which the space god created to keep the Surfer on Earth. Galactus refuses, but points out that when Ceres destroys our world, the Surfer will be freed; all he is to do is wait! Nevertheless, the Surfer vows to try to save his adopted planet.
The Surfer tries to alert the United Nations, but is scorned and hunted after he bursts into the General Assembly. He decides men can be reborn only if they die in a state of grace, so he decides to alleviate mankind's suffering until the catastrophe comes. He sweeps across the world, transmuting molecules into manna for starving masses, bringing rain to parched deserts, healing the sick in hospitals, all with his transmutational powers. (Clearly, Navarro had chosen to eschew super-hero violence to concentrate on the morality of the Surfer.)
All this goodness naturally arouses the enmity of Mephisto, who was looking forward to the arrival of four billion souls of sinners in his realm, thereby defeating the plan for Earth of his adversary (God). So Mephisto dispatches his demons Belzebuth and Astaroth (on spectral motorcycles!) to counterbalance the Surfer and to spread evil on Earth. Which they do, in spite of the Surfer's admonitions.
In a scene reminiscent of the "Temptation of Christ" sequence in Silver Surfer #3, Mephisto tries to bargain with the Surfer. He will free him, if the Surfer lets the humans die as they are. The Surfer naturally refuses. Then Mephisto offers a trade: the Surfer's soul against Earth's four billion. But the Surfer rejects that, too.
He returns to Earth to help fight the tsunami caused by Ceres' approach, but is instead blamed for it. Mankind still does not realize that it is doomed. The Surfer is struck down by lightning. (Mephisto's doing, or just dumb luck? The story never says.) Fallen, he is stoned and buried (except for his outstretched hand) beneath rubble by an uncomprehending mob. He appears to be dead. The doomed humans shamble off to await Doomsday--while the gleaming surfboard hovers above the debris.

References : The Silver Surfer is still trapped on earth because of Galactus' barrier and he knows Mephisto. There are leafs in the trees in New York. It is said in the first part of the story that Ceres will hit Earth "in 3 days and a half, on Monday at 12h24:36".




NOVA (French comic) #26/2

Published : March 1980

Written by J.K. Melwyn Nash, Drawn by Jean-Yves Mitton (with the autorisation of the Marvel Comics Group)

Appearances by Silver Surfer, Jimmy Carter, Leonid Brezhev (Soviet premier), Shalla-Bal (and others unnamed Zenn-Lanians), leader of the CIA (unnamed)

Synopsis : The planetoid Ceres is getting ever closer to Earth. An almost unrecognizable President Jimmy Carter talks to a more recognizable Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev. They decide not to tell their populaces the truth. Carter learns that the Surfer knew of Ceres' coming. The authorities go looking for him, but his body is gone.
For, meanwhile, a mysterious light (whose source is never revealed) shines down from the stars, takes the Surfer (board and all), revives him, and transports him past Galactus' barrier to Zenn-La. There the Surfer meets with Shalla-Bal, but he tells her they have no time to spend together. He must obtain the Weapon Supreme, which is kept in a space station in orbit.
With Shalla-Bal's help, he steals the Weapon and escapes in the ship that carries it. She is arrested for treason. The Surfer's ship escapes the Zenn-La fleet by going into hyperspace. He rematerializes it near the Earth and blasts Ceres out of the sky in the nick of time.
But the Surfer pays a price, of course. His ship is destroyed by the explosion, and he and his board topple down toward the Earth. He recovers, only to find that the uncomprehending New Yorkers (and presumably everyone else) blame him for the devastation caused by the space debris from the obliterated planetoid. The American and Soviet leaders plan to grab the credit and usher in a new era of world cooperation, and don't want the Surfer to interfere. The leader of the CIA comes up with the idea of blaming the Surfer and offering a reward for his capture.
Someone recognizes the Surfer (wearing a hat and trenchcoat) and tries to turn him in. The Surfer flees into the sky, but finds that he is again trapped within Galactus' barrier. He blames God for having given him a taste of freedom and then abandoning him. His final line of dialogue is a paraphrase of Christ's cry from the Cross: "Why have you forsaken me?"

References : The Silver Surfer is still trapped on earth because of Galactus' barrier. It seems to be the first time he returns to Zenn-La (and to Shalla-Bal) since he was transformed into Galactus' herald (upon his return, the populace yells stuff like "Norrin Radd, the exiled", "Galactus gave him his liberty" and "he's finally back to his own people", and Shalla-Bal says "My love, my love, you're back…"). Sahlla-Bal is arrested for high treason. The story ends with the Earth populace mad at the Surfer, and the Surfer pretty mad at the humans' incomprehensibility and inhospitability.

NOVA #24 reprinted Silver Surfer vol.1 #17, #27 to 32 reprinted the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby graphic novel from 1978, and #33 reprinted Silver Surfer vol.1 #18.
Would it be possible to place the French story between #17 and 18?

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Re: NOVA (french serie) #25-26 (Silver Surfer story)

Post by Enda80 » Sat May 03, 2008 5:27 am

http://www.captaincomics.us/forums/inde ... ic=2131.30

Shalla Bal's appearances create granny knots.

At first I was inclined to dismiss Silver Surfer #129 as a time travel story (the present-day Silver Surfer travels back to the past), but he encounters an earlier version of himself while there (“while then”?), so this story must be taken into account. The present-day Surfer discovers Galactus and his own past self floating unconscious in space in the vicinity of Zenn-La, victims of “The Other,” the alien race from Silver Surfer #-1, which pre-dates this story (placing it no later than… early 1947?). Surprisingly, the present-day Surfer discovers that Zenn-La has been destroyed by The Other and Shalla-Bal has been killed. (It is unclear why Galactus and the past-Surfer have returned to Zenn-La in the first place, but the implication is that it has something to do with The Other and Silver Surfer #-1).

After Galactus and the past-Surfer recover from The Others’ attack (in #130), they journey to the surface of Zenn-La where past-Surfer’s memories briefly resurface and Galactus wipes them again. After that, Galactus decides, “I could devour the remains of this world – there is enough living energy remaining to satiate me – but I will not.” Because Galactus vowed that Zenn-La would be spared when he made his pact with Norrin Radd and he failed to avert its destruction, Galactus uses his stored energy reserves to create the illusion that Zenn-La has not been destroyed, because “when (his) herald is released from servitude, he must have a home to return to!”

My head really hurts.

That means that after the Silver Surfer betrayed Galactus (in FF #50) and Galactus returned to Zenn-La (as revealed in the Lee/Byrne/Palmer SS one-shot), he devoured a planet of illusions, and every appearance of Shalla Ball ever (except the flashback in the original SS #1) has been an illusion! (Although that would render moot the question of how long-lived the Zenn-Lavians are as a race.)

One of the Handbooks, the FF one, called this story into question without actually dismissing it.

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Re: NOVA (french serie) #25-26 (Silver Surfer story)

Post by Col_Fury » Sat May 03, 2008 12:53 pm

Giant Ant wrote:Please keep in mind that this is my first analysis and that English is not my prime language.
You did better than MY first analysis! Thank you, Giant Ant!
-Daron Jensen

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