Jim Starlin of The Infinity Gauntlet, Captain Marvel, Cosmic Odyssey, Batman & Thanos vs Hulk will return to the Warlock character on a four issue miniseries with artist Alan Davis of Captain Britain, Excalibur, X-Men & The Savage Hulk. Jeff Lemire of Descender, All-New Hawkeye & Bloodshot Reborn will be relaunching Moon Knight with the series former art team of Greg Smallwood & Jordie Bellaire. Novelist Chelsea Cain will return to the Mockingbird character that she recently wrote a one shot for in an ongoing series while Allred & Slott’s Silver Surfer will be returning in addition to Chris Sims & Chad Bowers X-Men ’92 with Starlord & Kitty Pryde artist Alti Firmansyah.
So here we are again with ALL NEW MARVEL NOW WHERE NOTHING WILL BE THE SAME BLAH BLAH ZOMG whatever. The big difference now is that instead of shuffling most of their current creative talent like they did with the first Marvel Now initiative this time we are getting a lot of new writers and artists while Marvel is introducing a lot of comics featuring characters that have traditionally had a hard time selling consistently the way your X-Men, Thor or Iron Man comics have. I’m not bothering with titles that are being relaunched after less than a few months so don’t expect my thoughts on the upcoming Daredevil or Captain Marvel relaunches (there going to be awesome. Duh.)
“His [Kirby’s] Surfer had been a being of pure energy who had to learn from Earthlings what emotion and individuation were all about. Stan’s was a man from another planet who’d made the supreme sacrifice in becoming Galactus’ herald.” – Gerard Jones and Will Jacobs, The Comic Book Heroes (1997)
Fantastic Four collaborators Jack Kirby and Stan Lee had conflicting visions for Marvel’s Silver Surfer character. Created by artist Jack Kirby, the Silver Surfer debuted in Fantastic Four #48 (1966), a silver-toned alien being travelling through space on a vessel that resembled a surf board (some context – it was the 1960s, there was a surfing craze going on, and Kirby was one of the most daring and imaginative comics creators who ever lived) to scout out worlds to be consumed by his master – the immensely powerful alien being Galactus. The Silver Surfer, moved by the humanity he encounters on Earth, rebels against his master and helps the Fantastic Four defeat Galactus.
The Silver Surfer was a popular character and his adventures continued. Writer and editor Stan Lee saw the humanity in the character, and envisioned the Surfer as an alien man who had volunteered to serve Galactus in order to save his home planet. Kirby intended the character to be a cosmic alien being whose compassion would be learned by his interactions with humans. As editor, Lee had the final say, and his vision for the character endured.
Reading the first issue of Silver Surfer by writer Dan Slott and artist Mike Allred, it seems that the creative team is trying to reconcile the conflicting visions of Kirby and Lee. Slott and Allred’s Silver Surfer is a powerful cosmic traveler with a conscience, trying to make amends for his past actions, saving planets and hoping to atone for helping Galactus destroy worlds. The Surfer gets recruited by a mysterious alien civilization that he has never encountered before to help it repel a powerful threat.
The aliens introduce the Surfer to an Earth woman named Dawn, believing her to be of great importance to the Surfer. On Earth, Dawn and her twin sister Eve are very different; Eve likes to travel the world and have adventures, while Dawn likes to stay in her home town and help her Dad. The two sisters reflect the qualities that define the Surfer – compassion and adventure. It will be interesting to see how the Surfer reacts to Dawn’s presence in future issues.
Mike Allred’s art is brilliant; he’s clearly having fun rendering all the alien characters and worlds in the comic. Allred also nicely contrasts Dawn’s small town world with the Surfer’s strange cosmic universe. Colorist Laura Allred reinforces these differences with very bright colors for the Surfer’s panels, and slightly more subdued colors in Dawn’s.
Slott and Allred’s Silver Surfer combines cosmic strangeness with very human compassion, a neat reconciliation of two very different visions for the character.
THIS COMIC IS RANKED:
Entropic! | Redshift! | Blueshift! | COSMIC!