The Silver Surfer has been a character Marvel has tried to get to work in his own series multiple times over the years. From the Stan Lee/John Buscema/Jack Kirby series in the 1960’s, to various specials from Kirby and then John Byrne in the 70’s and early 80’s to the pretty successful and long running series in the late 80’s to the more recent attempts, the character has been attempted over and over. The problem is that although the Surfer is a massively popular character, he’s not really worked in his own series, not to mention as a character he’s so powerful the problem is having opponents to come up against him to create some form of drama.
This latest #1 from Marvel sees the Surfer return to Earth with Dawn, the Earthgirl he was taking round the universe in the last series that existed pre-Secret Wars, after taking out an alien threat called the Horax, partly to stop them invading Earth and mainly to let Dawn phone home.
From the off writer Dan Slott establishes a light tone, and the art of Mike and Laura Allred is as superb as it usually is. As for the Surfer he’s still the noble alien that Kirby and Lee wrote back in the 1960’s, but he’s a warmer character as we see as Dawn’s family celebrate her return, not to mention all the occasions they’ve missed. Plus the Surfer gets to see The Wizard of Oz with people for the first time.
This bliss is ruined by all of humanity’s art and expression being stolen stolen by the returned Hordax so they can use the power of humanity’s imagination against the Surfer. Of course there’s a superhero battle which ends up in Dawn and the Surfer succeeding against the Horax while learning of a larger threat approaching.
Slott and Allred’s Silver Surfer is an easy, yet never simplistic read. It tells a tale that has a moral at the end of it and gets there in a hugely enjoyable way while trying to actually say something about humanity’s ability to create and live with art so it becomes more than just art. There’s nothing dark or grim about this comic either as Allred’s pop art inspired style jumps off the page at you as it invites you in to enjoy yourself, and that’s the thing about this comic. It’s enjoyable. It’s not going to live in the mind for long but it’s a fine example of how to tell an enjoyable, not to mention easily accessible, story.It’s fine stuff indeed!