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Quote1.png Have ya ever tried to get out without usin' yer board? Quote2.png
Thing (Ben Grimm)

Appearing in "--FREE--"

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Synopsis for "--FREE--"

Brief Summary:
The Silver Surfer is attacked by the Champion, who is convinced that the Surfer has the ability to meddle in his cosmic plans. The Surfer is surprised that the Champion believes he could escape Earth, but the Elder disappears before revealing any more information. The Fantastic Four brainstorms with the Silver Surfer on other ways to try and break through Galactus' barrier. The Thing suggest not using his surfboard to leave the planet and the idea turns out to be successful. The Surfer heads directly to Galactus to ask him to remove the limit on his powers and he agrees to do this if the Silver Surfer saves Nova from the Skrulls. He accomplishes this task without delay and Galactus grants him his freedom.

Silver Surfer Vol 3 1 page 4.jpg

Detailed Summary:
During his last failed attempt at breaking through Galactus' barrier, the Silver Surfer comes across the Fantastic Four. Their conversation had only started when the Surfer is suddenly attacked by the Champion. The Champion is quickly defeated in battle by the Surfer and concedes that he has come to kill the Surfer so that he can not get involved with the Skrulls' plans for conquest. He also tells the Surfer that Galactus' current herald, Nova, is the Skrulls' prisoner. The Surfer is surprised that the Champion believes he could escape Earth, but the Elder disappears before revealing any more information.

This gets the Silver Surfer and Fantastic Four thinking of all the times they tried to free the Surfer. When the Thing wonders if the Surfer ever tried to leave the Earth without his board, the group suddenly realize that they never considered this idea. Perhaps it's the Surfer's board, not the Surfer himself, that is held back by the barrier. Flying out into space aboard one of the FF's space shuttles, the Surfer is amazed when the idea really works. Converting his board into pure cosmic energy he manages to get it past the barrier as well. Thanking the Fantastic Four once more for helping him get free of the Earth, the Surfer soars off into the vast universe.

The Surfer searches for Galactus, who is not very pleased to see that his former herald has escaped his banishment. Galactus is about to destroy the Surfer when he offers to save Nova for him in exchange for the removal of his punishment. Galactus agrees and the Silver Surfer storms the planet where Nova is being held prisoner. Freeing her with ease, the Surfer smashes their way off the planet and returns Nova to Galactus. With his herald safe, Galactus keeps his end of the bargain and pardons the Surfer. With his space-time powers once again fully restored, the Silver Surfer is finally free. He leaves the two behind, happily soaring through the cosmos.

Solicit Synopsis

Galactus lifts the curse that held the Silver Surfer on Earth! But have the Surfer's shackles truly been shattered?

Notes

  • During the story, the Silver Surfer and Mr. Fantastic review a number of times in the past that the Surfer had successfully breached Galactus' barrier, but had to return to Earth:
    • Al Harper had created a device to disguise the Silver Surfer's molecular structure, but had to abandon the device when the Stranger threatened the Earth. [1]
    • The Silver Surfer meditated for months, conserving all his energy, so that he could power his way through the barrier. It was successful, but he was severely weakened and had to return to Earth. [2]
    • The Hulk allowed the Silver Surfer to syphon the gamma radiation out of him, in order to use this extra power to push through the barrier. However, he had to return to Earth to save a powerless Bruce Banner. [3]
    • Mr. Fantastic created a device that would allow the Silver Surfer to cross the barrier, but only at a specific planet alignment. He had to return to Earth to save Shalla-Bal from Mephisto. [4]
  • However, there were additional times when the Silver Surfer escaped Earth, but in the end had to return:
    • Using Mr. Fantastic's lab, the Silver Surfer escaped to the Microverse, but had to return to Earth to save it from Galactus. [5]
    • Loki brought the Silver Surfer to Asgard, avoiding the barrier, but then sent him back to Earth once he was done with him. [6]
    • Flying around the Earth at the speed of light enabled the Silver Surfer to go into the future where the barrier no longer exists. However, the future was so horrible that he decided to go back in time to the present day. [7]
    • Mephisto uses his powers to free the Silver Surfer from Earth, but the Surfer returned when he discovered that Mephisto had captured Shalla Bal and brought her back to Earth. [8]
    • Dr. Strange brought him to another dimension to escape Galactus' barrier, but had to return when it became to dangerous and disorienting. [9]
  • The Silver Surfer appears to know of the Champion, as he is "known throughout the cosmos."
  • While this is the first time that they have met each other, the Silver Surfer and Nova already know about each other.

Trivia

  • As it is noted in the third issue's letter column, the title logo was created by Alex Jay.
  • The coloring of the cover's logo differs between the direct-sales and newsstand edition.
  • The letter column for the first three issues was reserved for a retelling of the history of the Silver Surfer by Steve Englehart.
  • As reported by Marvel: this issue was the third best-selling direct sales title for the publisher during the month that it was released, just behind Punisher Vol 2 1 and Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 219. [10]
  • This issue marks a reversal in the trend of drawing silver briefs on the Silver Surfer. Jack Kirby originally drew the Surfer shortless, but since Fantastic Four Vol 1 55 Kirby and most others had been drawing him covered up.
  • The original plan for this volume was a 12-issue limited series written by Steve Englehart and drawn by John Buscema. It was going to be "the most spectacular space epic yet devised, with the Silver Surfer acting as general of an inter-galactic armada fighting the Kree Empire from his 'prison' on Earth." [11] The first issue was finished before the plan was changed. This issue was later published in Marvel Fanfare Vol 1 51.

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