Friday, April 25, 2014

COMICBOOK REVIEW: Silver Surfer #1


         It's comic book review time and I've got a hankering to talk about Silver Surfer #1. Silver Surfer is a comic book character that always appealed to me as a kid, he's got a cool look that is unique. He has one of the best modes of transportation in all of comics, he has a strong power set, and an interesting origin. The reality however of his cosmic tragedy however was never that entertaining to me. The Fantastic Four movie he was in, and his appearance on Super Hero Squad (where he talks like a surfer dude) hasn't helped his cause either. However, he has all the makings of a great character and I've always appreciated him. So with the right creative team maybe he can shine brighter than ever. Usually I'm all about DC comics, but when one of my favorite comic book artists on the planet, Mike Allred, has work at Marvel. I must follow. I've spoken briefly about how Mr. Allred drew me into the world of comics with his glorious cover for X-Statix #1. He draws me in yet again to Silver Surfer #1 which boasts this cosmic cover.




The cover delivers on the romanticism of the Silver Surfer character, with him appearing to save a punky woman in a polka dotted dress. Immediately you know this book is about this girl thrust into the middle of something galactic and only the Silver Surfer can help her. The book starts off twenty years ago. Two twin sisters are wishing upon a shooting star that is actually the Silver Surfer flying across the sky. One sister (our heroine in the polka dot dress) makes a selfless wish, and wishes that the star never fall so that everyone can get a wish. Her sister doesn't like her wish and storms off, leaving the perfect opening for a father daughter bonding moment.



The Silver Surfer has a couple of panels from when he was under Galactus's control juxtaposed with the little girl's sweet wish. However, a splash page brings us back to the present where the Silver Surfer is saving the Brundlebus nebula by reigniting it's sun. The inhabitants are grateful and begin to treat him like a God. The Silver Surfer tries to explain that he seeks not praise, but it is too late and the inhabitants are confused.



The Silver Surfer leaves Brundlebus 3 lamenting his existence like the space Hamlet he is. In like four pages Dan Slott has delivered both the history and character of the Silver Surfer to the non-fan.  All of a sudden the Silver Surfer is teleported to a strange alien named Zed who needs his help to save something called the Impericon. No the Impericon is not an intergalactic comic book convention, that would be awesome. It turns out it's an intergalactic secret. However, before we learn more about the Impericon were thrust back into the now aged polka dot dress girl whose name we learn is Dawn.



Dawn is running a bed and breakfast with her dad living a very ordinary unadventurous life. Her twin sister Eve is more adventurous and is on all sorts of travels but Dawn is comfortable and happy with her life. Allred draws all of it the mundane and the fantastic with the same loving detail and eye towards clear storytelling. Meanwhile, the Silver Surfer get's into a brief fights with Zed's gatekeepers, but takes them out easily.


Zed then introduces the Silver Surfer to the Impericon. It's worth buying the book alone for this two page splash that looks like intergalactic modern art.


The Impericon is safe haven of commerce for cosmic travelers. On the Impericon all structures defy logic and physics to accommodate everyone. Its sort of like the ultimate Disney Land, it has a bazar of shops that run across the equator and never close, it has skiing and other intergalactic extreme sports, it's the ultimate in luxury and entertainment. The best part is it's been a secret to the Silver Surfer to keep it safe from Galactus or any other threat. As the Surfer is introduced to the Impericon Dawn is introducing her guests to their cozy bed and breakfast. Zed asks the Silver Surfer to be the champion of their cause, which the Silver Surfer is considering. Until Zed initiates the motivator which scans the Silver Surfer. Allred ingeniously lays out the history of the surfer across his shiny body, as a sign that the motivator is working. I love this panel and would love to see something with the same design as a print.


Zed then explains that the Never Queen a being of unimaginable power wants to steal the Impericon's impossible power source. Apparently Zed has sent other champions to fight the Never Queen and she's killed them all. The Surfer starts getting flummoxed when Zed reveals the true purpose of the motivator. Leverage, the motivator pulls the most important person in your life out of time and space and into Zed's custody. The Surfer demands to know who, and is confused when it shows him Dawn.



I love the Zoey Deschanel vibe coming from Dawn and it'll be fascinating to see how her relationship with the Surfer will evolve. Will it be platonic, or romantic? Slott does an excellent job keeping the issue moving and delivering an engaging bunch of twists. I'll be following this book hopefully for a good long time or until Slott or Allred leave.