Quote1.png Earth!! So small... so weak... and yet... more dangerous than a thousand plagues! Quote2.png
-- Stranger


Appearing in "-- And Who Shall Mourn for Him?"

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Synopsis for "-- And Who Shall Mourn for Him?"

Brief Summary:
The Silver Surfer breaks into the Baxter Building and steals Reed Richard's latest experimental device. He uses it in an attempt to break Galactus' barrier. Instead the device explodes and the Surfer falls back to Earth. He's found by Al Harper, who offers to help him build another device. Harper ends up creating a device that allows the Surfer to leave Earth, but he is forced to return after meeting the Stranger and finding out that he intends to destroy the planet. The Surfer fights the Stranger as Harper finds the alien bomb. He defuses it, but dies in the process. The Stranger leaves and the Surfer remains stuck on Earth.

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Detailed Summary:
An intruder has broken into the Baxter Building and stolen Reed’s space-scrambler. Before the Human Torch can catch up with him, the mysterious thief speeds into space. The thief is actually the Silver Surfer and he has stolen the device in hopes that he can use it to break through Galactus’ barrier. Unfortunately, the device malfunctions and explodes, knocking him unconscious and sending him back to Earth.

He sees a vision of Shalla-Bal but wakes up in the house of Al Harper. Harper was walking in the woods when he saw the Surfer falling from the sky. He took the unconscious Surfer back to his cabin so that he could recover. The Silver Surfer explains to Harper his dilemma, who ends up sympathizing with his plight. Harper is a physicist and agrees to help him. However, he needs a good amount of money to create a device that could breach Galactus’ barrier.

Donning human clothing, the Surfer sets out to get the money that Harper needs. First, the Surfer tries to find a job at various employment agencies. Due to his lack of work experience and proof of identity and his silver skin, no one wants to take a chance and give him a job. Next, he breaks into a bank to take the money, but realizes that doing so would make him just as bad as the humans that anger him. Suddenly a security guard spots him and tries to stop him. Instead, the Surfer erases his memories of the incident and fixes the damage that he had done.

Out in a near-by alley, he runs across a man who had been roughed up after being in an illegal gambling room and finding out that the game that he was playing was rigged with weighted dice. He lost all his money during the altercation, but the Surfer insists that he show him the location of the gambling den. Upon entering the establishment, the Surfer uses his cosmic powers to control the dice and win a large amount of money. However, the operators of the gambling room are not impressed with having lost so much money and beat up the Surfer as he leaves. As they get in their car, the man who told the Surfer about the gambling room tries to stop them from leaving. They are about to run him over when the Surfer intervenes and destroys the car. He gives the man some of his winnings for his help and returns to Harper with the rest.

With the money, Harper is able to build a device that can disguise the Silver Surfer’s molecular structure and thus enable him to cross Galactus’ barrier. However, as he was about to pass through the barrier, he comes face-to-face with the Stranger. The Stranger warns the Surfer that he should leave, because he has come to Earth to destroy it. After his previous experiences on the planet, he has realized that mankind is a plague that no longer deserves to exist and plans to use the null-life bomb to destroy them. The Surfer attempts to stop him, but the Stranger disappears in order to carry out his plans.

The Surfer decides to return to Earth in order to save mankind. He tells Harper of the threat and he goes to the police in order to warn them. Nobody believes his story of the alien bomb, so he decides to build a device that will be able to locate it. While Harper is trying to find the null-life bomb, the Surfer seeks out the Stranger. Upon finding him, they engage in combat. Meanwhile, Harper must escape a mob of locals that are suspicious of his device and claims of an alien attack. He locates the bomb and begins to dismantle it. Toxic vapors begin to emanate from the bomb and slowly start to kill Harper. However, with his last breath he disables the bomb and saves mankind.

Sensing that his bomb has failed, the Stranger accepts defeat and leaves the Earth unharmed. Realizing that Harper has perished, the Surfer tracks down his friend and gives him a proper burial. As a tribute, he leaves an eternal flame at his grave site.

Appearing in "Run, Roco, Run!"

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  • Roco

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Synopsis for "Run, Roco, Run!"

Roco is a car thief that is tired of the pressure the police on Earth put on criminals. He decides to move to Jupiter, because they seem to be easy on crime. However, the first day he arrives he's arrested for stealing a car and sentenced to life in prison. While in prison, he thinks he successfully escapes but instead is just hypnotized by the prison staff to believe that he's free.

Solicit Synopsis

The Stranger strikes! The Surfer walks the streets as a human! The Fantastic Four make a guest appearance! The greatest one yet!

Notes

"-- And Who Shall Mourn for Him?"

  • The Silver Surfer appears to have heard of the Stranger, since "even in far-off Zenn-La, his name is breathed in whispers."
  • The Stranger also seems to have heard of the Silver Surfer and his cosmic powers.

"Run, Roco, Run!"

  • Adapted from the story Run, Rocky, Run with the Watcher as the host. [1]

Trivia

  • -- And Who Shall Mourn for Him? won the 1969 Alley Award for Best Full-Length Story. [2]
  • The "Who Speaks for the Surfer?" letter column has letters published from: Bennet Marks, Marc Coleman, Mike O'Neal, Wendy Fletcher, Alan Kovner, Mark Griswold, and Mike Mahaney.
  • Comic book professional Wendy Pini (Wendy Fletcher) has a letter printed in this issue.

See Also

Recommended Reading

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Links and References

Footnotes

  1. Tales to Astonish #26
  2. Alley Award. Wikipedia. Retrieved on 4 December 2019.



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