causticlad: Matter-Eater Lad doing his cracky thing (Default)
[personal profile] causticlad posting in [community profile] scans_daily

Marshall Rogers and Steve Englehart were in a select group of people that revitalized Batman in the 1970s. The pairing of Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams was first and probably more famous, but the artist Rogers and writer Englehart had a highly influential short run on Batman during the mid-70s that more or less defined how the character was written and drawn well into the 21st century.

Englehart and Rogers were something of a dynamic duo themselves, working together on a mid-70s revival of Miracle Man for a while, as well one of DC's earliest direct distribution comics (the one-shot Madam Xanadu) and on early indie comic Coyote for Eclipse. Their longest run together, however, was on a mid-80s revamping of the Silver Surfer.

From his first appearance in 1966 to the printing of this story in 1987 (Silver Surfer vol 3, #1), the Surfer had been trapped on Earth. Englehart had a penchant for cosmic-scale stories and spent issue one of the new series liberating Galactus' ex-herald so he could get down to writing some. After hearing that his ex-boss' new gofer, Nova, has been captured by the Skrulls in an attempt to weaponize the World-Eater by extorting him into eating the Kree Empire, the Surfer uses a temporary escape from Earth to negotiate his permanent release. Nova has been stashed in a facility with plotnecessitium vibranium walls that are primed to blow if damaged. Slow and ponderous as he is, Galactus will only kill Nova if he tries to rescue her. The Surfer is a different matter, though. If he gets Nova back, Galactus promises to stop acting like a spoiled child and will let him go on his way.

This leads to a virtuoso stretch of pencilling from Rogers, whose background before coming into comics was in architectural drawing. His sci-fi buildings always rather looked like real buildings, and for this he basically "plotted out" a Skrull facility for...well, look at it yourself:

Kudos to Rogers (he's also the colorist) on the fourth panel above for using blue in the center, yellow off to the side, and red reflected on the back of his leg -- implying it's behind -- and so subtly showing us that the Surfer is moving so fast he's Dopplering light.

Heh heh at the little people running out of the page grid, bottom left.

The page above and the previous actually work out to a double-page spread even though the pages aren't opposite each other in the printed product. Either Rogers goofed or, I'm inclined to think, he was just too much of a craftsman to let it slide even if no-one was going to see it.

Aaaand bendy page grid for the superhot flames. It's the little things, y'know?

Yes, ladies and genn'lm'n, that was no less than seven consecutive pages where the panels stretch the entire width of the page side-to-side or top-to-bottom -- or else Rogers just said "%$#& it, do both and have a splash page."

Oh and "If not --" my butt, Norrin...she's fine. Pretty badass for a guy who rides a surfboard buck naked.

Alas, Rogers passed away after a heart attack in 2007; perhaps not coincidentally this story was reprinted in black-and-white a few months later in the Marvel Essentials Silver Surfer volume 2 -- I believe it's out of print now, but I can't imagine it would be too difficult to dig up a copy at your local comic store.

Date: 2011-09-09 04:31 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] wonderwomanhero
What is going on in that icon?

Date: 2011-09-09 04:34 am (UTC)
aaron_bourque: default (Default)
From: [personal profile] aaron_bourque
Matter Eater Lad, to the rescue!

Date: 2011-09-09 04:35 am (UTC)
aaron_bourque: default (Default)
From: [personal profile] aaron_bourque
That's not the good Nova . . .

Date: 2011-09-09 04:46 am (UTC)
pyrotwilight: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pyrotwilight
Nope. It's the hot one. *He said, knowing an argument over said hotness and who is hotter may erupt*

Date: 2011-09-09 05:02 am (UTC)
pyrotwilight: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pyrotwilight
As in who's the prettiest? Me and my poor Greek...

Date: 2011-09-09 05:29 am (UTC)
pyrotwilight: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pyrotwilight
Hah. Wasn't sure if you were going there but it is funny two golden characters named Nova. XD


Date: 2011-09-09 05:39 am (UTC)
aaron_bourque: default (Default)
From: [personal profile] aaron_bourque




Date: 2011-09-09 05:45 am (UTC)
pyrotwilight: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pyrotwilight
I have never made this joke before. I swear!

Plus she's hot, like dead sexy.


Date: 2011-09-10 06:19 am (UTC)
zenbro: (mystique)
From: [personal profile] zenbro
Smokin'. No, really.

Date: 2011-09-09 04:51 am (UTC)
citygod: (Default)
From: [personal profile] citygod
Thank you so much for posting this - I love Rogers work, and it's very hard to find either his Silver Surfer or Dr. Strange. So, this is fab.
And nice commentary, too.

Date: 2011-09-09 09:10 am (UTC)
tacitoz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tacitoz
holy shit, if he's dopplering LIGHT so it's noticleable he must be moving...I have no idea HOW fast, but VERY very fast. I guess his mass would even be considerably increased at that point.
god I REALLY love those panels where you just see his legs and the board, it's really immersing.
The little things indeed :)

Date: 2011-09-09 09:18 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] arilou_skiff
Silver Surfer IS very fast.

There's that bit in Infinity Gauntlet where he starts out I believe, six light-years away from Thanos, and then gets there in the time it takes for Thanos to throw one punch...

Date: 2011-09-09 09:22 am (UTC)
tacitoz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tacitoz
let's say he takes half a minute to throw that punch
1/2 minute should equal 1/6307200 of 6 years if I didn't make any mistakes when typing
that means he travels 6307200 times faster than light
I think my brain just broke

Date: 2011-09-09 09:23 am (UTC)
akodo_rokku: (Default)
From: [personal profile] akodo_rokku
Power Cosmic. Accept no substitutes.

Date: 2011-09-09 11:51 am (UTC)
wizardru: Hellboy (Default)
From: [personal profile] wizardru
I wonder heavily at the Rogers/Englehart run. I think it was influential, but it's hard to gauge how much. Englehart seems to think Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were essentially ripped right from his work. While I think they definitely had an influence, I'm prone to wonder if 'Who made Batman the way he is' isn't a variation on 'everybody invented Spiderman'. Honestly, I have no idea.

This is solid stuff, though.

Date: 2011-09-09 12:52 pm (UTC)
filkertom: (Default)
From: [personal profile] filkertom
Damn skippy she's fine.


Date: 2011-09-09 06:22 pm (UTC)
capt_satellite: (Default)
From: [personal profile] capt_satellite
,,,,beautiful cosmic revival stuff in that series.
steverodgers5: (Default)
From: [personal profile] steverodgers5
So many great moments in that issue. Not just the above, but the satisfaction of seeing the Surfer smack down the arrogant Champion, and laughing at Ben Grimm being the one to figure out how Surfer could get past Galactus's barrier. Particlularly the moment where Reed is at first all..'shut up Ben the grown up's are talking..' and then that moment of silence where he realises that they've never even tried what Ben suggested, and how stupid they've been for not even having it occur to them. Priceless!


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