Marvel has made terrific use of their cosmic characters and settings in the past decade. Stories like Annihilation and War of Kings yielded the modern Guardians of the Galaxy team and returned Thanos to reality-threatening villain. They also cast the struggle of the Shi’ar, Kree, and Skrull societies as galaxy-spanning epic centuries in the making.
Imagine the confusion of readers who loved those stories as they look for all of the vast history they imply deep within Marvel’s classic continuity and find … nothing.
Well, not nothing. Thanos has lots of material, of course, via Jim Starlin. It’s just that those space-faring races had received their prior development in fits and starts, and in the background of other stories. We learned about the Shi’ar via The X-Men, and the infamous Kree/Skrull War was as much about the Avengers and Rick Jones as alien races.
If this fruitless search describes you, then Silver Surfer by Steve Englehart is the cosmic comic you are looking for. This was less a Surfer solo comic as a comic about all of Marvel’s vast galaxy of races and powerful entities – basically, everything that wasn’t Claremont’s Shi’ar or Starlin’s Warlock/Thanos territory.
It’s lengthy, full of intrigue, and uninterrupted by crossovers and superheroes – and that’s why fans insist it must see omnibus collection even though half of it is already in an Epic Collection.
(Note that this post was published quite a while after its post-date, as the original series was interrupted by coordinating my move to my new home in New Zealand).
Silver Surfer by Steve Englehart (AKA, Vol. 1) is the #32 Most-Wanted Marvel Omnibus of 2017 on Tigereyes’s Secret Ballot. Visit the Marvel Masterworks Message Board to view the original posting of results by Tigereyes and collect all of these issue right now as detailed in my Guide to Silver Surfer.
Past Ranking: #36 in the 2016 Survey
Probable Contents: This volume will definitely contain Marvel Fanfare #51 (a prologue story) and Silver Surfer (1987) #1-31 & Annuals 1-2.
It would also likely mirror Silver Surfer Epic Collection, Vol. 3 by including the preceding Silver Surfer (1982) #1, Super-Villain Classics #1, and material from Epic Illustrated #1.
If not exclusive to Englehart, this could could also include any or all of Silver Surfer (1987) #32-33, 38-39, & 41-43 to marry it to the Infinity Gauntlet omnibus. It might also contain material from West Coast Avengers Annual 2 and Avengers Annual 16, which tie strongly to this material, and an Al Milgrom short from Marvel Comics Presents (1988) #1.
(There’s a chance it could also include the Eisner-Award Winning Lee/Mobius Silver Surfer (1988) #1-2, though they are not in continuity (and probably have their own unique royalties challenges).)
Creators: Written by Steve Englehart with Mike Higgins (#21), Mark Gruenwald (Annual 1), Renee “Ink” Witterstaetter (Annual 2), and Peter Sanderson (Serpent Crown backup in Annual 2 – likely not collected here).
Pencils by Marshall Rogers (#1-10, 12, 21) and Ron Lim (#15-20, 22-31, Annuals 1-2) with Joe Staton (#11, 13-14). Inks by Joe Rubinstein (#1-12, 14-18, 20) and Tom Christopher (#20, 22-23, 25-30, Annual 2) with Dave Cockrum (#13 & 21), Jose Marzan Jr. (#14 & Annual 2), Keith Williams (#19, 31, Annual 2), Randy Emberlin (#24 & Annual 1).
Colors by Marshall Rogers (#1-12) and Tom Vincent (#13-25, 27-31, & Annuals 1-2) with Gregory A. Wright (#26 & Annual 1). Letterers by John E. Workman Jr. (#1-7) and Ken Bruzenak (#8-22, 24-29, 31, Annuals 1-2) with Joe Albelo (#23) and Richard Starkings (#30).
Marvel Fanfare with John Buscema pencils, Jack Abel inks, Christie Scheele colors, and Rick Parker letters.
Can you read it right now? Not entirely
Worse, Marvel Unlimited doesn’t have any of this material as of this writing!
Steve Englehart’s run on Silver Surfer is more than just a comic about one space-faring hero. It’s an intergalactic epic of multiple warring empires that will feel just right to modern fans who love stories like War of Kings and Game of Thrones. It was the first time Marvel’s cosmic characters had received such focus outside of a small cluster of 70s titles, mostly penned by Jim Starlin.
Ironically, Englehart’s Surfer run served to pave the way for Starlin’s triumphant return to Marvel, as he crafted the run-up to Infinity Gauntlet in the run that followed this. [Read more…] about Silver Surfer by Steve Englehart (AKA, Vol. 1) – The #32 Most-Wanted Marvel Omnibus of 2017