Who Cares What I'm Reading #1
Updated: Jun 16, 2019
Who cares what I’m reading? Probably nobody, at all. But I’ll tell ya about it, anyway. Here we go.
I was rummaging through old comics of mine and came across an old favorite, so I picked it up and gave it a read for the first time in a long time. What was it? Oooh, look who cares about what I’m reading, now! Kidding; still nobody.
All right, enough suspense. I found my copy of The Silver Surfer, issue #64. This one was written by Ron Marz with art by Ron Lim. Man, I love going through old stuff like this. I don’t do it often enough. Those old comic books had a special feel to them. Something about the rough, thin paper is nostalgic as hell. Lovely. Nostalgia: That tickle for the naughty bits of your memory… #amiright (yes, I just hashtagged for no reason)
So, this issue is dear to me. I used to have this sitting out somewhere around my room, at all times, for a long time. Surfer was always one of my favorite characters. As with a butt-load of the comics I had as a youth, it’s marred with tracing lines. I couldn't help it! I really liked Ron Lim's art. I still think it holds up well, too.
Ahh, the good ol’ days. That was my thing, back in the day. I probably screwed myself out of reselling virtually all of them, heh… but, hey, who cares! (Adult me cares, that’s who. *cries softly*)
Let’s get in to the story, itself. This one is full of classic symbolism. As a kid, I felt like a real smart guy in recognizing the themes. It’s pretty on the nose, to be honest. But it’s still a story I enjoy. Plus, I always thought the Dark Surfer was kinda cool. Not particularly imaginative as a villain, but the thought of a Surfer who “just don’t give a f**k” is still a menacing thought. I don’t recall this particular Dark Surfer concept ever being used again (correct me, if I’m wrong). Probably because, like I said, it was pretty much just heavy-handed symbolism. What did it symbolize? Well… his dark side (told ya).
This came out in 1992, but it’s part of the ‘87 run, so you may be able to forgive the simplicity. It was 64 issues deep in a 100+ issue run, after all (filler, anyone?). If it’s any consolation, Rick and Morty basically did the same thing in 2017, a little over 25 years later. The story pretty much hits all the points you’d expect. The Surfer has been afflicted with a “madness virus” that’s messing with his psyche. In order to deal with it, he faces his literal dark side and his demons, along with it. The Surfer has to wrangle his guilt, his anger, his obligations, etc., take responsibility and accept that responsibility. After getting literally bitch slapped by his dark side, the Surfer faces off with the entity, sans his power cosmic.
Needless to say, Surfer ain’t havin’ that shit. He goats the Dark Surfer into giving him his power back, like a good villain. DS is basically like, “Fine, take it, bitch. See if I give a shit”
Surfer is like, “F**k yeah! You done f**ked up, pal.” Then the two do what heroes and villains do and duke it out, superpower style. They go at it while the two narrate exactly the themes I’ve been talking about. You know, facing your inner demons, finding who you are, rebirth, self reconciliation; all the good stuff. Eventually, the two realize that they need each other. “Two halves of the same whole”, as it were.
So, they do the merger thing and the Surfer has one more obstacle: self affirmation and acceptance. He talks to another one of those rarely used cosmic villains in a tattered robe (Garnok Rebbahn) and finally learns to love himself, dawwww (didn’t I say I like this story?).
The end of the issue has him confront The Collector, who was banking on the Surfer being infected and used as a courier for the virus. Then Surfer’s like, “Oh, I got rid of that shit, bro...” Ol’ Collector is none too happy about it, but in typical villain style, he monologues a bit too much and offends his hired goons until they peace out. Poor ‘Lector.
Anyway, again, as simple as it is, I really do like this issue. Maybe it’s purely nostalgia, but it was still fun to break this puppy out again.
Long live the Surfer!