SILVER SURFER #4 (1969): vs Thor

The story is Loki versus Silver Surfer, which is an awesome concept flawlessly executed in what is turning out to be my third-favorite Stan Lee comic (behind Spidey and F4).  Loki pits Surfer against Thor.

It starts with Loki sulking in “Mephisto pose” (above) and Surfer being sad.

Loki has no trouble manipulating Surfer.

Once tested, Loki sics Surfer on Thor.

During the battle that follows, we see that although he can’t lift Thor’s hammer, Surfer can drop it in mid-flight.

Anyway, Surfer and Thor figure it out and then Surfer takes on Loki directly.

It doesn’t really end up being important, but there’s great battles here and great art.

Big John’s younger brother Sal Buscema signs on as inker before he, like his big bro, becomes a legendary comic book artist.  This may have been his first Marvel work.  I’m pretty sure it is, because I don’t remember seeing his name in any credits before this one.

Another cool thing in this issue, is how Stan and John wove it into continuity, by showing the contemporary goings on of Thing (from Fantastic Four #80) and Hercules.

This is of the best single-issue stories of all time, according to this objectively accurate list.

And finally, the cover. It’s beautiful. And artist Doug Braithwaite did a sequel to it.

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