At laaaaaaaaaassstt!!! I’ve enjoyed much of Silver Surfer’s ongoing book—the quality has been pretty high—but now we’re in the epic zone. Jim Starlin returns, and he brings Thanos with him!
This is the first time Surfer met Thanos, by the way. Hard to believe it took this long.
You may recall that in his last appearance, Thanos finally got to be with Death. In this story, Death sets him free because there’s too much life in the universe and she needs him to balance the scales.
Put differently: Starlin reimagines Thanos’ goals from abstract imperialism (“I will rule the universe!) to his role as a servant of death. Science has reduced disease and other natural methods of population control, so Thanos will bring death her due.
And his first mission is to go after Silver Surfer, who Death believes is the only one who can stop her plan (since Captain Marvel is dead).
By the end of these issues, the concept of Thanos wanting to wipe out half of the life in the universe (to solve problems like overpopulation and pollution) is established, and Surfer is set to stop him. Oh, and one other thing…
Chronos, an Elder of the Universe, revives Drax to stop Thanos.
This is the first time Surfer and Thanos have met, and it’s also the first appearance of Thanos in years, so there’s a lot of flashbacks, explanations, and exposition, but nobody does that kind of thing better than Starlin.
This issue is part of the return to Thanos story that is one of the top 10 Jim Starlin stories of all time.