What If…? 49 Shows How The Silver Surfer Was Broken By The Infinity Gauntlet

The single most powerful artifact in all the Marvel Universe is the Infinity Gauntlet . When all of the six Infinity Stones are placed within it, the Infinity Gauntlet holds the power to manipulate all of the entire universes at will. Before becoming the core of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in its first decade, the Infinity Gauntlet was known as the crux of Marvel’s biggest and most creative story, “The Infinity Gauntlet” by Jim Starlin, George Perez, Ron Lim, Josef Rubinstein, Tom Christopher, and Bruce Solotoff. Meanwhile, the comics and film both experienced Thanos, the Mad Titan, struggle to put together the complete Infinity Gauntlet and eventually bring destruction to the universe, What If…? #49, by Ron Marz, Scott Clark, Kevin West and Pamela Eklund in 1993, saw Silver Surfer take control of the Gauntlet and the fate of the universe instead of Thanos.

Silver Surfer Gets The Infinity Gauntlet

After he became saturated with the Power Cosmic, the Silver Surfer has already become one of the most intimidating entities in all of the universe. Silver Surfer’s understanding and very sound sense of morality, however, sets him apart from any other cosmic entity. The Silver Surfer, as the former Herald of Galactus, endures constantly after beholding his master eradicate entire planets. the Silver Surfer attempts to alleviate the demolition that Galactus causes, but is still agonized by the stellar loss of life.

The Silver Surfer
The Silver Surfer

But, not even the Silver Surfer is completely resistant to the pestilent power of outright divinity. According to the story of the original Infinity Gauntlet, the Silver Surfer was not successful in his attempt to take away the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos. A series of battles started between Thanos and each of the Celestial Abstracts, and even Eternity itself, all won by Thanos being the supreme champion. But, going by the story in What If…? it shows that if the Silver Surfer had not failed in stealing the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos, what would the situation be. The Infinity Gauntlet being in hand, the Silver Surfer considers himself to be the exclusive entity worthy of wielding the supreme weapon.

The Silver Surfer Got Broken By The Infinity Gauntlet

The Silver Surfer is requested by Thanos and Adam Warlock to give away the Infinity Gauntlet, and is told by them that godhood does not befit him and that only destruction awaited him. But having equipped the Infinity Gauntlet, to Silver Surfer it seems as if Adam Warlock and Thanos are wrong. All of the fallen heroes are revived and life is reinstated throughout the universe. The Celestial Abstracts are told by the Silver Surfer that they have nothing to fear and their existence will always be as it was earlier in the universe. The Silver Surfer brings harmony, stability, and order to the universe, a blissful paradise to all. But Galactus and Mephisto are completely destroyed without any thoughts when they do not agree to submit to the Silver Surfer.

Silver Surfer-Thanos faceoff in Marvel comics
Silver Surfer-Thanos faceoff in Marvel comics

Adam Warlock and Thanos ask for the help of Doctor Strange to stop the Silver Surfer from delegating further into an oppressor. Doctor Strange brings to the Silver Surfer the only person able to reach him in his present state: his only true love, Shalla-Bal. Shalla-Bal is granted half of his power by the Silver Surfer so that the couple may rule over all of creation in perfect unity. But Shalla-Bal realizes the dishonesty of the Silver Surfer’s spirit and a fight begins between the two. Shalla-Bal falls immediately and it is inside this moment before the Silver Surfer destroys her that he comprehends how far he has fallen for the madness of power.

In What If…? #49, a beautiful picture of what a person can become after having true power, is shown. Regardless of how pure one’s moral spirit is, no one is unerring. One man’s paradise may be another’s man’s hell, and after realizing this the Silver Surfer gives up the Infinity Gauntlet at the end of another story. He might not have become the Death-worshiping madman that Thanos was, but the Silver Surfer was to become the very kind of merciless tyrant that he despised.

Adhish Saxena
Adhish Saxena

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