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May 1, 2012

Normally this manner of comics-based bondage is restricted (no pun intended) to Wonder Woman comics. Glad to see the Sentinel of the Spaceways getting in on the kinky action. No, a red ball is at no point shoved into his mouth, even if it would accessorize the leash and collar quite nicely. Nor is there any sex, though the fact that the Silver Surfer is the most nude of major Marvel heroes certainly doesn’t inhibit the S&M associations.

The is one of the umpteen Infinity Gauntlet crossover comics that Marvel published during that 1991 Thanos-centric event. We can mock the cross-pollinating cash grab that such a promotion represents, but it works — and worked. I can remember buying a Doctor Strange Infinity Gauntlet tie-in, and back in those days I wouldn’t have pissed on a Doctor Strange book to douse a fire. Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in…

Many company-wide crossovers can be weak, and this one is no exception. Occurring in the overarching storyline as Earth’s heroes wage their futile battle against the Infinity Gem-augmented Mad Titan (issue #4), it’s nothing more than a dark reverie on the part of the Surfer, one that we don’t realize is a daydream until the last couple of pages. Yes, this comic takes the Bobby Ewing shower scene and filters it through the Power Cosmic. JUST WHAT YOU ALWAYS WANTED. A saving grace is that The Silver Surfer was the primary book in the lead up to TIG, and Thanos at least seems at home in these pages. Gauntlet nonsense doesn’t seem out of place. It’s not like him turning up in Dazzler, know what I mean?

A side note to these proceedings: While the normal SS creative team of scripter Ron Marz, penciller Ron Lim and inker Tom Christopher worked on this book, Gavin Curtis added an assist for Lim. Why? The book was published twice monthly at this time, Lim was also drafted into finishing TIG when George Perez backed out of that project, and Lim couldn’t clone himself. Those seem to be the most likely reasons. While the partnership here is odd, with the two pencillers divvying up pages in a haphazard, unpredictable manner, Lim was probably glad for all the help he could get. I picture him spinning on his ear like Curly Howard in a stress-induced tizzy.

On to the comic.

In this What Iffy Surfer dream (continuing a storyline from the previous issue), Thanos has conquered the universe and made the poor Mr. Radd his scribe (complete with leash and studded dog collar), in charge of writing the Book of Thanos (or something). The Thanos Dianetics, one supposes. Whatever you call it, the Infinity Gauntlet decoration on its cover is pretty nifty:

You want to know how to tell that you’re in a bleak, hellish future? Check the Statue of Liberty and see how she’s holding up, since she’s like an apocalyptic coalmine canary. See: Planet of the Apes, Day After Tomorrow, et cetera, et cetera. Here she’s been pruned, so we’re all up the creek:

I seem to remember an episode of G.I. Joe where there was an alternate universe where Cobra conquered the world, and the Statue of Liberty was replaced with the Baroness. Or maybe Cobra Commander in a dress. The precise details are a little fuzzy. Anyway, I like this better.

Thanos, now an unmatched deity and with his beloved Mistress Death at his side, can indulge his every whim. Have you ever wanted to see the Surfer as a court jester, a ballerina, a thespian reciting Shakespeare’s Sonnet #57, and a bowling pin juggling clown? THANOS CAN MAKE YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE:

The Surfer in slippers and a singlet. THANK YOU, COMIC BOOK.

As alluded to above, there’s no sex in this book. Nevertheless, there are some opportunities for kinkiness. It’s no stretch of the imagination to envision these panels, with Thanos stroking the bikini-clad Death’s cheek and tugging on the Surfer’s leash, evolving into a three-way:

“Hey. Radd. You want in on this?”

There’s more to this, but since it didn’t happen, who cares? And Adam Warlock soon snaps the Surfer out of his daydream, so he can, you know, help save the universe and all.

This interlude is memorable only for its goofiness. I liked The Infinity Gauntlet. I loved The Silver Surfer during the Lim run, as he sure knew how to draw a shining nude metal man, and was a worthy successor to the character’s Kirby/Buscema past (though you can tell he’s a tad rushed here). But I remember finding these issues an insulting waste of time — like what I imagine people felt with that Bobby/Dallas/dream debacle. And I don’t blame Marz/Lim et al for any of it. They’re given an assignment: Fill up two issues with material, but it can have absolutely no bearing on the events in the six issue mini. But it has to be related to the mini, so we can put that little Nabisco triangle at the top right corner of the cover. Under those restrictions, an extended dream sequence is just about the only thing you can do. Or maybe have the Surfer play cards with Adam Warlock while he waits to make his run at the Gauntlet. The choices are slim, that’s the point.

So thanks, boys. Thanks for giving us the Surfer as gimp. In a bit of kismet, this is the 666th post here on the blog. I think Surfer bondage makes it hellish enough, don’t you?

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