> Reprinted in: Silver Surfer Masterworks Volume 1  •  Silver Surfer Omnibus Volume 1

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"From cradle to grave, your lives are rooted in senseless violence! Since power is your god, I'll show you power such as you have never known!"

- - Silver Surfer, lashing out at the humans of Earth, page 3

Mephisto does not lie! (He only cheats, steals, connives, deceives...!)


Silver Surfer #3
December 1968 • 40 pages

Publication Date: September 1968

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

I: Feature Story: "The Power and the Prize!"
Part Two: "Duel In the Depths!"

Pages: 40

Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: John Buscema
Inks: Joe Sinnott
Letters: Artie Simek

First Appearance: Mephisto

Guest Appearance: Shalla Bal, female Badoon hostage

Villain: Mephisto

First Appearance: Mephisto

Synopsis: The Surfer is in the hospital room of the girl whose life he saved from the Badoon (see SS #2), but the reactionary doctor calls in the police, thinking the Surfer is responsible for her condition. What the Surfer really wants to do is apply his cosmic power to her wounds, thus healing her, but the hospital staff and security don't understand this. The police officers fire upon him with their guns, but the Surfer is easily protected by his force shield. He flies into a rage at this constant bullying, melting the guns and flying from the window. He threatens the humans with "the vengeance of the Silver Surfer!" He flies up into the atmosphere, near apoplectic with rage at the constant harrassment he receives from ignorant humans, and unleashes his power cosmic to stop every man-made machine that operates. All around the world, electricity stops flowing, rockets fail to launch, control panels go out of order and ship engines halt.

In a subterranean dimension of hellfire, the demon known as Mephisto demands of his servile lackey the mystic vapors which allow him to witness the activities on Earth. It is from these stygian depths that Mephisto holds court, collecting the souls of the damned. The mystic vapors uncover the panic on Earth caused by the lack of power, and its cause - the Silver Surfer! Realzing the martyr status of the Surfer and the goodwill that lives in his heart, as well as his immense power, Mephisto ordains that he must die in order to not threaten his plans for humankind. The first part of Mephisto's mission of evil is to search out the Surfer's greatness weakness, which leads him directly to Shalla Bal.

Norrin Radd's long-lost lover, Shalla Bal pines for him on Zenn-La, far away from Earth, but not far enough for Mephisto, who tracks down the young woman and promises her a reunion with her star-flung lover. She agrees to go with him to Earth, and they depart (somewhat curiously to Shalla Bal) in a space ship. They head for the Silver Surfer, who has been reflecting on his recent behavior and realizes he has gone too far, striking back at ignorant humans in an uncontrollable rage. He undoes all the damage he caused, and humankind emerges from his cosmic tantrum wondering if it had all been just a dream. At that moment, both the Surfer and US military personnel detect Mephisto's spacecraft. Connecting the worldwide loss of power to the oncoming UFO, nuclear weapons are launched at the craft by the Army to stop its approach. The Surfer, recognizing the craft as being from Zenn-La, descends upon the missile batteries and destroys them so they cannot launch any further bombs.

A bomb meets its target, however, and sends the UFO holding Shalla Bal hurtling towards the planet's surface and crashlands into the side of a mountain. Before crashing, Mephisto teleports away, confident his plan is unfolding perfectly. Upon inspecting the wreckage, the Surfer finds Shalla Bal still alive. He heals her with his cosmic power and she awakens in his arms, hearing the Surfer rhapsodize about their reunion. She warns him that all is not as it seems, but before she can fully enlighten him, Mephisto arrives. He announces to the Surfer his plans to kill him at the time and place of his choosing, and whisks Shalla Bal away to his hellish dominion.

But Mephisto's arrogance doesn't account for the Surfer's resourcefulness, and shortly the Surfer has entered the demon dwelling for a face off with the demon. Mephisto takes time to tell the Surfer how his immense goodness and purity of spirit fills him with an incredible loathing, and how it challenges his plans to claim all human souls for eterntity. He tempts him with treasures, female flesh, and power over empires if he will merely submit to him, but at each turn the Surfer refuses. Realizing that such measures cannot work against the noble Surfer, he unleashes demonic rock creatures to wrestle him to submission, which the Surfer's power cosmic is able to shake off. Next up in Mephisto's scheme to attack the Surfer is a giant, orange furry creature with ram's horns, and then a flying lizard creature, both of which the Surfer is able to destroy.

Unable to use his demon creatures to destroy the Surfer, Mephisto traps him inside a stasis field, reduces him to an atomic size ("reduced to a random thought", in Mephisto's words) and implants him in his mind, where he can bend the Surfer to his satanic will. However, Mephisto finds that the Silver Surfer is every bit his match, and, unable to transform him, expels him from his mind. The final showdown to break Norrin Radd's will is to deal him Shalla Bal for his undying allegiance. Shalla Bal pleads with her lover to ignore the offer, to not capitulate to evil no matter how tempting it may seem, and tragically the Surfer complies. In a flash, Shalla Bal is transported back to Zenn-La, and Mephisto expels the Surfer from his kingdom in disgust that he has been defeated.

--synopsis by Gormuu

Issues Reprinted
Silver Surfer #1-6, FF Annual #5 backup story

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


SS #1

SS #2

SS #3

SS #4

SS #5

SS #6

FF Ann #5


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