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Forever War
Review By Arsenal, Media by Stu

Episode #11 Forever War
Original Airdate May 29th, 1998

Continuing his search for Zenn-La, the Surfer takes on a deadly task at the request of the Kree. Featuring Adam Warlock!
Written By: Larry Brody, Mark Hoffmeier
Directed By: Marc Strange, Alison Sealy-Smith

Review: Heroes are defined by their weaknesses. Samson liked fast women and long hair. Achilles had a trick heel. Superman is powerless against kryptonite. Green Lantern couldn’t handle yellow… or something.

If a hero is infallible or his weaknesses are not clearly defined, then we don’t know what can beat our hero. If we don’t know what puts the hero in danger (be it kryptonite or yellow), the there is no sense of tension. If there is no tension, then there is no point to the action.

Silver Surfer is a godlike character with seemingly limitless powers. We know he depends on suns for energy, but nothing can continually best him. And when some macguffin does get the best of him, all he has to do is spout a monologue about how far he has come and he escapes.

It gets old.

In “Forever War,” we are introduced to Adam Warlock—another godlike character with undefined strengths and weaknesses. In fact this series is chock-filled with them: Thanos, Nova, Galactus and the Kree Supreme Intelligence all come to mind.

So what we get is a bunch of characters shooting different colored rays of energy at each other. Sometimes it hurts the other character and sometimes it does not. It all seems arbitrary, and it makes the action scenes dull.

I’m not certain why the writers didn’t identify strength levels or weaknesses. This show revels in exposition, so why not shed a little light on that?

“Forever War” is certainly not the worst of this series. In fact the voice of the Silver Surfer, Brian Essiembre, turns in one of his better performances. And there are a couple moments of levity involving a cheeky, planetary security system.

Computer: “We are being attacked.”

Kree soldier: “What happened to the warning?”

Computer: “This is the warning.”

But all levity is brushed aside for the introduction of Adam Warlock, an angsty hero that is too similar to the Silver Surfer to merit use. He adds nothing to the show except the glee of a couple dozen Adam Warlock fans. (However, I admit I got a kick out of the Magus cameo.)

This is a middling effort. It has a strong first few minutes, but the fun is washed away to make room for another hero who just wants to complain.