Comic Review – “Essential Silver Surfer Vol. 1”

The Sky-Rider’s first series was collected in a single volume.

General Information

Title: Essential Silver Surfer Vol. 1
Author: Stan Lee
Illustrator(s): John Buscema and Jack Kirby
Original Publication Date: 1998 reprint of material first published
from 1967-1970
ISBN: 0-7851-0271-X
Cover Price: $14.95 US, $20.95 Can
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The Issues

This collection includes the entire eighteen issue run of the Silver
Surfer’s first series, and the Silver Surfer story from Fantastic Four
Special #4. The issue breakdown is as follows:
#1: The Silver Surfer reminisces about his transformation from Norrin
#2: The Silver Surfer prevents the invasion of Earth by invisible
#3: Mephisto tries to destroy the Silver Surfer, since he is so
incredibly good.
#4: Loki tricks the Silver Surfer into attacking Thor.
#5: The Stranger comes to detroy the Earth.
: The Silver Surfer travels to the future, only to find the Universe
in ruins.
#7: The heir of Frankenstein attempts to dupe a now-wary Silver
#8-9: Mephisto recruits a Ghost to help acquire Silver Surfer’s soul.
#10-11: Shalla Bal comes to Earth seeking the Silver Surfer.
#12: The Abomination returns to Earth.
#13: The Doomsday Man threatens Earth.
#14: The Silver Surfer meets Spider-Man.
#15: The Silver Surfer battles the Human Torch.
#16-17: Mephisto asks Silver Surfer to trade his freedom for Shalla
Bal’s life.
#18: The Silver Surfer faces the Inhumans.
Fantastic Four Special #4: The Silver Surfer meets a creation of the
Mad Thinker.


The unfailingly noble Silver Surfer is trapped on our hostile planet.

High Point

The Spider-Man battle. It’s nice to see characters trying to subdue
each other rather than hurt or kill each other.

Low Point

Ending the series before the story was finished. I know that that’s
the way it happened, and that there is no issue 19 to put there, but
it still sucks from the reader’s perspective.

The Scores

This feels original. Most of the comics from this era felt
like they were being churned out, but this one feels like it has a
purpose, and caring writers behind it. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork in the first 17 issues was excellent. I must
say, I’m not a big fan of Kirby’s version of the Silver Surfer, even
though he created the character. I give it 5 out of 6.

The stories here are very good. The Surfer’s personal
musings were a bit repetitive at first, but that’s probably because
the title was bimonthly at that stage. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization of the Silver Surfer and Mephisto was
excellent. The characters that originally appeared in other titles
were well written, but I don’t know how well a reader would understand
the characters if they hadn’t read the other titles. The other new
enemies were one-dimensional, and very similar. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response was flawed. The philosophy was
interesting, but the plots didn’t grab me. I give it 4 out of 6.

The flow was very good, especially for a Stan Lee comic.
John Buscema timed the art well. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is one of the better Essential volumes I’ve
read. It’s got some great stories, and collects a complete series. I
give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Essential Silver Surfer Vol. 1 receives 33 out of