Monday, November 19, 2012

Eating Disorder

You've no doubt been breathlessly waiting to see what happens next in


Or as I like to now call it, after reading issue #2:

Now, you may think I'm cynically trying to say that the presumed star of this series--Galactus--is once again pretty much on the sidelines, just as he was in issue #1. Please, if only we saw that much of him this second time around.

Let me put it another way. In the first issue, after a couple of pages of watching him harvest a planet's life force, we didn't see him again until the last page, in a moment of dread, declaring: "I HUNGER." In this second issue, the last page is virtually all we see of him. And he's not exactly running off at the mouth this time, either:

Galactus, recycled. Oh, well. So we've got to assume that a lot of important stuff must be going on in all the rest of the pages in this issue to shove Galactus out of his own title, right? Well, maybe not as important as the title character showing up, but not a bad distraction. Alicia, still in her armor and assessing the damage to her artwork after the Mole Man's attack, is beginning to feel claustrophobic since the armor isn't retracting; so she decides to accompany the Surfer as he surfs out into space to head off whatever threat the alien from the last issue warned was approaching. And even though we don't get Galactus, we do get his current herald:

Red Shift can open dimensional rifts with his swords--and in one of those rifts, he shows the Surfer an image of Galactus as he heads for Earth, ravenous for its life energies. A battle then ensues between Red Shift and the Surfer, with Alicia suffering injury as a result of a misdirected blast from the Surfer. He quickly sends Alicia back to warn Earth, and turns his attention to Red Shift, trapping him in a black hole. But as Red Shift meets his fate, his parting words give us yet another reference to one of the running themes of this series so far--the Surfer's role in the destruction brought to so many worlds by Galactus:

The Surfer, meanwhile, compresses his size in order to enter the microverse (as he's done before) in order to ensure his safe escape from Red Shift's rift. Yet when he enlarges and emerges near Earth, he finds his worst fear realized with the arrival of Galactus. (Words I was wondering if I'd ever get to actually use.)

As for Alicia, she made it back in time to warn everyone, so they're all gearing up for a fight. Though in this series' subtle undertone of implying that something has changed with Galactus, Firestar makes this curious statement:

But what's so new about Galactus absorbing the life force of a world? It's just another way of saying he absorbs a world's energy (converting the world's oceans, going after the core, etc.), but it's the same result--rendering a world lifeless. And it's not like Galactus himself hasn't made this crystal clear to us before:

I'm guessing Firestar means he's now draining the life from the planet's inhabitants, as well.  In any event, we're all set for a battle royale in the next issue--Galactus vs. the Silver Surfer and the heroes of Earth. (And let's not forget Alicia Masters, Warrior Sculptress.) Still, something isn't right. We know from Red Shift that Galactus is somehow being poisoned by his feeding. We've also seen that Galactus isn't his usual loquacious self.  And interjecting itself is the Surfer's conscience vs. his right to happiness.  We're almost halfway through this series, and we have more questions than answers.  Along with the Mole Man and sewage plants. And by the way--why hasn't the Watcher shown up?

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