I became interested in the Silver Surfer again in early 2018 after a long hiatus. At this time though there were no Fantastic Four or Silver Surfer titles, likely because Disney didn’t have the right to make Fantastic Four movies, either way, he wasn’t around very much. Silver Surfer toys and shirts were also not being made. I know, because I looked. Disney has since acquired the rights to make Fantastic Four movies. Now recently, as in the last couple months, a new Silver Surfer Marvel Legend figure and shirt were released. While the Surfer has been making some appearances in other comic titles across Marvel, those have really just been teases. Finally, though, we are getting the comic book return of the Silver Surfer with last week’s release of Silver Surfer Black.
My favorite Silver Surfer period is the 1987 series with the muscular, shiny depiction of Silver Surfer. This series is filled with cosmic adventures, creatures and lots of guest appearances including Thanos. This series may not have always been the best writing, but it was cosmic fun and the art by Ron Lim is classic 1990’s comics.
The new series is written by current Marvel superstar Donny Cates(Thanos) and drawn by Tradd Moore(Secret Warriors). I’m excited to see what Cates does with the Surfer because of his great work on Thanos’s recent cosmic story. Cates displayed obvious love for the Surfer based on his appearance in the final few issues in the Thanos run. This new story is supposed to be about the Surfer battling to save himself from being lost forever in a black hole. It seems like a darker take on Silver Surfer, which will be a new and interesting angle.
The first issue really gets things moving. We are quickly caught up on where the Surfer is at and join him on his journey. The story then takes a dark turn. We get to see the Surfer, alone and essentially lost. The story seems like it will frequently delve into the mental battles the Surfer must fight to keep going. The issue ends with some good action and the Surfer finally coming upon other powerful beings.
The story is narrated by the Surfer, so we get to hear his thoughts on everything as it’s happening. I like this because I feel he often just gets tossed around by everything and everyone else he encounters. He seems to just be an obstacle or power gauge without an option or opinion. Getting to read the Silver Surfer’s thoughts and his knowledge on all these cosmic occurrences adds some appreciated insight and depth to the character.
The action in the story is very satisfying as well. Silver Surfer is a powerful character. He’s not a fighter by nature, but he has the ability if he needs to use it. It seems like this story will require the Surfer to really push himself and use his powers to their full extent. I would not be surprised if he evolves in some way during this series due to the extremes he’s being pushed to.
The real standout in this comic though is the art. I am not very familiar with Tradd Moore, although I do recognize his Luthor Strode art. It definitely is a distinct style. When I see his Marvel work it always seems like the variant cover art. The style presents a different side of the characters, whether Moore is trying to or not. It is a trippy style with a lot of heavy washing and flowing colors. The designs are very wavy and there are many layers, even in the Surfer himself. So far I’m still adjusting to this style. I think it makes the comic seem more desolate and dreary. I usually prefer the more smooth, shiny, friendly Silver Surfer. The art just may be perfect though for the seemingly dark cosmic direction of this story.
I’m hoping that this series brings back the love for Silver Surfer. He is a versatile Marvel character with endless stories to tell. Marvel needs more strong cosmic storylines that can incorporate more infrequently used cosmic characters. This version is quite different from when we last saw the Surfer drawn by Mike Allred in 2017. Hopefully, this edgier turn is welcomed and readers understand the need for Silver Surfer. This may be a short series that just tells a new Silver Surfer story, but its success will likely determine his fate in the next few years.