Read This/Avoid This! Volume 2

If you think there is nothing new worth reading of our favorite jade mass of muscles then read on!  Basically I am going to highlight two books – One you should totally read – like, right now, and the other is one to avoid like the plague!  Let’s get started!

Avoid This!

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What If? #70
What If the Silver Surfer Had Not Betrayed Galactus? (1995)
W: Dixon
A: Barney/Hudson

The story idea itself sounds like a great idea – and it intrigued me since I am knee deep reading the 3rd volume of the Silver Surfer (a review will be coming of this entire series). Unfortunately, they did not deliver what could have been an amazing battle.  Instead the Earth is destroyed, the ultimate nullifier is incinerated, and Galactus makes Reed Richards look like a complete wuss.  But hey, they lived – so happy ending, right?  Ugh.  Not to mention, Doom kills the Surfer (or Surfer kills Doom) and they are both no more.  I was thinking the story would show off an epic battle between all of the heroes on Earth and Galactus withe the end result of Galactus still being beaten – but instead the Surfer betrays the FF and hands over the one thing Galactus feared to his master.  The Ultimate Nullifier.  With that in Galactus’ hands he wastes no time in turning the Earth into rubble.  All but the FF who stow away in a storm cellar of sorts inside the Baxter Building.

After that the FF tear after Galactus, bent on revenge.  Doom somehow survives the event as well and wants the power that Galactus displayed for himself.  He tries to catch up to Big G’s ship but runs into Surfer instead.  The two battle it out and, surprisingly, Doom overloads Surfer with power, and blows the Surfer up – killing them both.  Meanwhile, Reed – who takes the Nullifier back – shows his hand holding nothing as he can’t even bring himself to use it.  Instead, he says that he and the rest of the team will be his new heralds finding non-populated worlds for him to consume.

So… the Earth dies off but he won’t kill anyone else?  And that’s a happy ending?  The fact that Doom beat Surfer in space so handily was also a sore spot with me.  How?  Why?  What?  If you read a full story with all questions still being left unanswered than you know someone hasn’t done their job properly.  Grade: D+

Read This!

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What If? #49
What If The Silver Surfer Possessed the Infinity Gauntlet? (1993)
W: Marz
P: Clark / West
I: Ekland

The month before Hulk kills Wolverine the What If? series hands us one of the best What If? stories in the whole run!  One that I am still bummed they omitted from the Infinity Gauntlet Omnibus.  This is certainly an issue that would have fit in nicely!  The story begins with the Surfer tearing toward Thanos (who is about to dispatch Cap) and instead of missing taking the Gauntlet off of Thanos’ hand – he snatches right off.  Warlock congratulates the Surfer on a job well done but then asks for the gauntlet.  Surfer, having no intention on filling that request puts the golden glove on himself.  He reverts the world back to normal and undoes all of Thanos evil-doing.

Trying to purge the world of all evil and keeping peace everywhere Surfer even visits Mephisto – and when he doesn’t get the answer he sought actually destroys the lord of the underworld.  With Thanos and Warlock watch the Surfer trying to handle being a God (and realizing that this will all go wrong) they seek Strange’s help in dethroning the former herald turned deity.  Strange’s only real suggestion is to bring back Shalla-Bal.  She does convince the Surfer to re-think his current plan – but not before a little domestic dispute, including a little celestial assault.  It ends in an almost predictable fashion – but still fulfilling jus the same.  Really great issue! Grade: A

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