Silver Surfer #70-75 (1992): The Herald Ordeal; Nova dies

These six issues comprise a story called “The Herald Ordeal.”  It’s not a “gambit.”  Not an “event” or “crisis.”  An “ordeal.”

Note to Editorial: “Ordeal” isn’t a great word to generate excitement.

Having said that, it’s not a bad story but, like many comics of this era, the story is fairly simple.  The days of complex tales are kind of over for a while at Marvel, with the bulk of most issues being spent on full-page poses and big fights.  In fact, you really only NEED to read the covers to understand the story.  Part one, above, tells that Nova betrays Galactus.  Then…

Morg is introduced as the new herald in town.

The covers of ssues #72 through 74 show all the old heralds assembling, and then the conclusion…

…Is an extravaganza with lots of cosmic characters.

To put a little more flesh on that skeleton, Frankie Raye is tired of feeding entire populations to Galactus and wants him to find another way to meet his needs.

She even tries to mislead him away from a planet, but he resists and resents her efforts.  From there, we see one of the denizens of this new planet—Morg—who serves as a local “executioner.”

Obviously, that’s a job that provides good experience to become a herald.  Given that she’s unhappy with the job, Galactus dismisses Nova and empowers Morg.

Silver Surfer and Nova have been having an ongoing (romantic?) relationship, and when Surfer finds out that she’s no longer providing a conscience to limit Galactus’ feedings, he gets cheesed and goes to fight Morg.

Morg fairly easily defeats Surfer, and that’s when he goes to assemble all the former heralds, who also have issues with Galactus’ dining methodologies.

During the “getting the gang together” scenes, all of which are handled well and make for a fun read, it’s established that Morg is merciless.

And now it’s time for issue #75.

And a huge battle. And by the end…

Nova is killed by Morg.  

Frankie Raye dates back to John Byrne’s epic run on Fantastic Four.  She’s a major character who has been around for a long time, and her death is handled well—and has consequences.  Surfer goes into a rage when she dies, and even Galactus gets mad because, regardless of her behavior, she and Galactus have been linked together for a long time.  He pulls back the power cosmic from Morg, and Terrax kills him.

Meanwhile, for those who are fans of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, Nebula gets cyborg-ized during this arc.

In all, this is a good story—Jim Starlin has stepped away from Silver Surfer again, and Ron Marz does a nice job taking a less cerebral and more action-oriented approach to these characters.

1 thought on “Silver Surfer #70-75 (1992): The Herald Ordeal; Nova dies”

  1. When dealing with these types of characters, “cerebral” is the way to go. Otherwise, all you’ve got is a bunch of cosmic-powered titans blasting away at each other. Stan Lee’s approach to the Silver Surfer, during the late Sixties volume one, was extremely cerebral, which is what stood it apart from everything else on the market. Since 1970, the character has, unfortunately, been passed down to much lesser hands. Nothing in Marvel’s subsequent takes on this series has been the least bit memorable, whereas the volume one run remains some of the most memorable comics Marvel has ever produced.


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