Herald No More?

Posted by jloneblackheart (5483 posts) - - Show Bio

Ready for my rant? Spoilers ahead...

I've been saying it since I begun reading the Mighty Thor, Matt Fraction has no business writing the Silver Surfer or Galactus. First he puts Odin on near equal footing with Galactus and totally misses the character of the Silver Surfer (and Thor I might add), but now he has done some great damage to the character that I originally thought was material in a non-canon book. Apparently, it is not as it states that this book takes place before Fear Itself (but who knows where in the Surfer's timeline).

So if you haven't read Mighty Thor #6, Thor and the Silver Surfer have discontinued their battle for whatever reason and are trying to stop Galactus from eating the Worldheart of the Tree of Life. Who knows why the Surfer changed his mind, but let's just roll with it. Turns out that Loki hid the Worldheart and now they can't find it. So you think they would just leave right? Nope.

The Silver Surfer decides to stay on Earth to guard the seed. Galactus makes Pastor Mike from Broxton, Oklahoma his new herald, the Surfer is given a human form and a limitation - the further from Earth he travels, the weaker he becomes. The entire character of the Silver Surfer (and Fraction's own creation, Pastor Mike), is thrown to the side.

Why would the Silver Surfer, who knows the great burden and sacrifice of becoming a herald of Galactus, offer the position to another person? Why all of the sudden does the Silver Surfer care about one life over that of cosmic consonance and his great duty to the structure of the universe? Why would he think that this amateur man of God could do what he couldn't and find planets for Galactus that wouldn't cost a single life? Why would Pastor Mike betray his God in exchange for the burden of providing worlds for a cosmic being to destroy? Why would Pastor Mike think by leaving Earth and being a herald of Galactus that Broxton would be safe?

If you add these questions to questions like, why couldn't Galactus simply destroy Odin and all the Asgardian Gods with the snap of his fingers and take the Worldheart in the first place, and you basically have an open ended story that's only purpose was to change a non-title character. Really, all we got out of this for the main character was a small bond between Thor and Loki. Otherwise, it just kind of crapped all over the Surfer and Galactus.

I supposed the "tethering" of the Surfer to Earth was done for the upcoming Defenders book and might explain why the Surfer does not appear in the new Annihilators book (disappointing). I have to say, I finally understand why most fans dislike Matt Fraction. Stick to what you are good at Matt, and it isn't Thor or the Silver Surfer.

#1 Posted by SC (13365 posts) - - Show Bio

Awwh, know you know what it has been like for Uncanny X-Men fans for like the last three years lol Sorry man, I know how much you like Surfer and Galactus and oh, are you reading one of the... I know Surfer is in one of the Fear Itself mini series? The Deep I think? Its the one with Namor and Strange and lil She Hulk. I guess that is one possible upside is that it puts his power into context now? Though yeah, and ah yes, thinking about future Defenders book helps add another context.  
 
Anyway, sorry man. I had many a rants over Fraction. His Iron Fist and indy books are good...(Iron Man milage may vary)

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#2 Posted by RazzaTazz (8968 posts) - - Show Bio
@SC
Not really familiar with the Surfer as much, but I can sympathize if a galactic character lost their scope and were restricted to a planet.   
 
Speaking of Freaction, I don't know why I read Iron Man, maybe its that his work constantly has the promise of being good, but usually ends up a little short. 
#3 Posted by jloneblackheart (5483 posts) - - Show Bio

@SC: I haven't read the Fear Itself tie ins. Three years you've had to deal with this type of thing? I have no problem with change, but it should be in character change.

#4 Posted by God_Spawn (38312 posts) - - Show Bio

First X-men now Surfer. Bad Fraction

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#5 Posted by daredevil21134 (12647 posts) - - Show Bio

This is the same way I feel about his work on Iron Man.Senseless

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#6 Posted by jloneblackheart (5483 posts) - - Show Bio

I will clarify that I'm not mad that the Surfer is not Galactus' herald any longer. Actually, I've been thinking he needed to break away for some time so we could get more character development. But seriously. Fraction just tethered the Silver Surfer to Earth for as long as the Asgardians are alive. So until Marvel decides to kill off Thor and the rest of them, the Silver Surfer is an Earth hero. And boy do the need more of those.

I'm also not totally opposed to this Pastor Mike becoming the new herald. It just seems forced. My problem with Pastor Mike becoming herald is this: GALACTUS DID NOT NEED A HERALD! STARDUST! REMEMBER STARDUST MARVEL??!?!? WHERE DID STARDUST GO??

#7 Posted by King_Thor (96 posts) - - Show Bio

With regard to Matt Fraction and Thor as his new assignment...my guess is Marvel wanted one of their top writers to be able convey (re-convey?) to a newly introduced America to Thor and what Thor is all about.

Unfortunately, I agree with you. Fraction should stick with the X-men.

With regard to Galactus: He has become Marvel's ultimate jobber. There was a time when, if Galactus came 'a-callin'', it was a major event and the reader was left in serious doubt as to how he was going to be stopped. Sad. I miss those days.

And yes, my Silver Surfer shadows his master, becoming a 'min-jobber'. The recent mini written by Pak was a huge let-down. Pak promised crazy feats of power on the part of the Surfer.

Baloney.

I haven't read Thor #6 and it sounds like there is no real reason to. I hate to sound like a broken record, but I miss Stan Lee's touch on characters, particularly his heavy hitters. I could be wrong, but I think the reason many fans are fans of characters like Thor and the Surfer is because they are so powerful. Marvel has failed to convey just how powerful each of these characters really are. Only in the last year has Marvel made effort to re-estabish Thor as their top dog...I assume largely because of the movie this year. They still fail as far as I'm concerned. I don't think Marvel has much regard for either character, and therefore we see it reflected in poorly written comics featuring these characters.

#8 Posted by SC (13365 posts) - - Show Bio
@jloneblackheart said:

@SC: I haven't read the Fear Itself tie ins. Three years you've had to deal with this type of thing? I have no problem with change, but it should be in character change.

 
Oh well, imagine if Tyrant came back during the middle of the story and then bowed before... Terrax and ceded that he was always the better Herald, and then Morg started appearing always in the background and then Nova (Frankie) came back and started acting like a total ditz, and then the Silver Surfer decided that he should actually start living life as like an overly aggressive MMA cage fighter and then all the Heralds of Galactus moved to San Francisco and then moved to an island in San Francisco bay and uh... oh, actually you know, I literally know four people who were life long fans of X-Men books, one person actually the age where she had been collecting since the 80's, and Fractions run on X-Men, actually offended her so much she gave up all Marvel and DC comics.  
 
Fraction can be a great writer, just his characterization (as far as consistency with other writers characterization) and his knowledge of continuity, like really basic continuity can be a tad bit... I think he should be in Ultimates, he would excel and thrive in that corner of comics.  
 
 
@RazzaTazz said:
@SC: Not really familiar with the Surfer as much, but I can sympathize if a galactic character lost their scope and were restricted to a planet.    Speaking of Freaction, I don't know why I read Iron Man, maybe its that his work constantly has the promise of being good, but usually ends up a little short. 

I think thats.. i notice with your reviews, that say Green Lantern books have a healthy amount of 4.5 and 5 star ratings, because thats how story arcs should progress, build momentum and then deliver one or two really exemplary and terrific issues, then ebb a bit with a new story idea, or plot and then build up again. What I remember with your Iron Man reviews, is that the story never quite gets to that point you might feel it should. It doesn't capitalize on its momentum or concept. So I agree with what you say here. I think he is a good ideas writer but not so much as good at execution. His work with non established characters tends to be better to than his work with traditional characters (see Pepper/Rescue)  
 
Oh, putting Surfer on Earth, is like putting Soranik on Earth. I mean, as much as it might be to see her on a Justice League team... well it has risks? (especially if the writer almost seems to not quite get what makes her appealing) 
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#9 Posted by RainEffect (3240 posts) - - Show Bio
@jloneblackheart: You may hate me for it, but I thought it was about flipping time that the Silver Surfer got de-powered and had another role rather than being the Herald of Galactus. I was getting incredibly sick of him and his omnipotent powers; granted that could be because I've encountered some ridiculous Surfer fanatics.
#10 Posted by SC (13365 posts) - - Show Bio
@RainEffect:  Might be the later I think? I have met Surfer fanatics too.  
 
Are you a fan of big sweeping space epics? You might have already read Annihilation so apologies if you have, but if you haven't, I'd recommend it as a great general story line and also a great Surfer storyline. Ironically for me, my problem with the character is the opposite of yours lol *smile* too often he is depowered in a mini series only for a writer to repeat the same themes as the last time Surfer was depowered. (Like the last Greg Pak mini which was alright) 
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#11 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23238 posts) - - Show Bio

Surfer doesn't belong on Earth. Keep him in the stars, that's where Jack and Stan envisioned him, that's where he's done his best work, that's where he should stay. IMO, at least.  
 
And jlone, didn't know you had that sort of rant in you, I'm proud ;)

#12 Posted by RainEffect (3240 posts) - - Show Bio
@SC said:
@RainEffect:  Might be the later I think? I have met Surfer fanatics too.   Are you a fan of big sweeping space epics? You might have already read Annihilation so apologies if you have, but if you haven't, I'd recommend it as a great general story line and also a great Surfer storyline. Ironically for me, my problem with the character is the opposite of yours lol *smile* too often he is depowered in a mini series only for a writer to repeat the same themes as the last time Surfer was depowered. (Like the last Greg Pak mini which was alright) 
I think so too.
 
I've read Super-Skrull's mini-series during the Annihilation arc which was quite interesting (though I had no idea what was going on as far as context was concerned). I own the first two issues of The Thanos Imperative, but, again, I was confused. I guess it comes with not paying attention to Marvel's Cosmic Universe. Did he (Surfer) have good character development in either of those stories?
#13 Posted by Billy Batson (58319 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice rant.
BB

#14 Posted by SC (13365 posts) - - Show Bio
@RainEffect:  I think Annihilation was superior to Thanos Imperative. I felt Imperative had too much character regression (it was basically a tribute/homage to Thanos). Annihilation actually let its characters develop, and, well at least to me, all Marvel cosmic stories since then have had a sad and slow decline, for the most part barring one or two more series that unfortunately were cancelled.  
 
Oh, yes Super Skrulls mini was nice, I think you will appreciate it even more getting to know the other going ons. Surfer had great character development in Annihilation, but Thanos Imperative not so much. He got some nice moments, but nothing to me like Annihilation. He recently had a mini series Silver Surfer by Greg Pak you might like, he was depowered and on Earth/Moon and was vastly better than anything Fraction has done with the character. 
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#15 Posted by Mercy_ (91871 posts) - - Show Bio

Fraction getting characterization wrong? How absolutely shocking.

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#16 Posted by SC (13365 posts) - - Show Bio
@The Dark Huntress said:
Fraction getting characterization wrong? How absolutely shocking.
 
I think he has to be a troll... I mean, maybe five or ten characters... mischaracterization, eh? Not every writer can be a Slott or a Yost. Fraction is at a point where he has mischaracterized like 3089 out of 3080 characters though... *grin* 
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#17 Posted by TheGoldenOne (38789 posts) - - Show Bio
I agree with everything you wrote. The whole arc was lame and disappointing. Fraction should just leave characters i like alone >_>
#18 Posted by vidarrodinson (134 posts) - - Show Bio

I salute the staff of Marvel for presenting this arc.  Stan Lee wanted to do this in the seventies. Odin thought Galactus was a renegade Celestial.  So we got what we got.  By the way.  The full power of Odin is nothing to sneeze at.  Marvel has had Odin at the top for a long time.  They added so many other characters that sometimes we forget the cornerstones.
#19 Posted by jloneblackheart (5483 posts) - - Show Bio

@vidarrodinson: I'm aware of how powerful Odin is. He's just not Galactus level. And for him to have a mental battle with Galactus? Galactus, whose Power Cosmic originates from the Astral Plane? The Surfer is virtually immune to telepathic attacks and someone is going to assault Galactus in such a way and actually play mind games with him? (someone may also want to let the artist know that Galactus in made of energy and does not sweat). Galactus has destroyed billions of worlds, each with their own "gods." Odin should not be at his level.

Odin was defeated by the Celestials in the Destroyer armor. Galactus was the last being standing at the battle of the Fault, with all the Celestials defeated. The Destroyer armor was his herald for a time. Galactus has put Thanos down in moments, while Odin could not. Odin is a bad ass, but he doesn't play in Galactus' league.

#20 Posted by daredevil21134 (12647 posts) - - Show Bio

@The Dark Huntress said:

Fraction getting characterization wrong? How absolutely shocking.

LOL

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#21 Posted by Decept-O (7292 posts) - - Show Bio

A bit late to the game on this, and while I've not read the actual comics, none of this sounds very good. Yeesh. I realize perhaps Surfer's situation with being "tied to the Earth" and all may be a temporary plot device, I would agree that Surfer would not willingly put his mantle and responsibility as a Herald on to anyone else.

#22 Posted by thanosrules (546 posts) - - Show Bio

Sorry for such a late weigh-in, but I am new to the site (as well as blogging/posting about issues and story-arcs)...

I am glad to see I was not the only one that thought #6 failed at a satisfactory completion of the Galactus Seed Arc. As I read through all six issues at once (saved them up), I felt (at the end of #5), "how is this going to end in just a couple pages?". I felt that it was rushed. Sad.

Not only was it rushed, the entire storyline had some stuff that just didn't sit right with me:

  1. "Human Looking" and Limited SS
  2. Mental Battle between Odin and Galactus
  3. Actual "head smashing" and "galactus parts" flying around after impact... I guess pure energy reacts differently to brute force in this marvel universe ;)
  4. Unnecessary "oh my SS is nude, cover up" dialog
  5. Forgettable Destroyer "cameo"
  6. Pastor Mike's new role where he calls Galactus "master" and apparently renounces his faith? (I am not trying to start a religious debate, just interesting)

Anyway, IMO, this representation of the SS (and Galactus for that matter) is better than in the Ultimate Galactus Trilogy...

#23 Posted by DrLove (47 posts) - - Show Bio

amen!... the Sentinel of the Spaceways is now a naked dude on earth....great

#24 Posted by Malevolent1 (1072 posts) - - Show Bio

Agreed. I think, maybe Marvel was hoping that Fraction could inject his success from X-Men into Thor. I mean, I don't know how to say it any nicer. We need someone else writing Thor. I got an idea Marvel. Why don't you beg Stracynski to come back because he DID have Thor figured out and his books rapidly established what Thor really is in the Marvel universe. Their top dog. The one guy every other hero in the Marvel universe would look to when all else and everyone else has failed. Fraction just doesn't seem to get that. Stracynski did. I swear to God, Marvel has it in for the character. Stracynski managed to re-establish Thor as Marvel's top dog, along with the character's credibility after the JLA/Avengers debacle and what does Marvel do? Get rid of Stracynski.

I hope that Fractions vision is not limited when it comes to the Defenders and the Silver Surfer. It seems Galactus has become the ultimate pawn when a writer in Marvel wants to make a statement about their character's power level. What a shame. And no one since Starlin really gets the Surfer. Man, I wish we could have Lim and Starlin back writing the Surfer (and the Defenders for that matter). I would feel much more at ease. But I have a feeling Fraction is going to screw this one up too (if the Surfer's appearance in Thor #3 and 4 is any indication).

We'll see.

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