Review: Silver Surfer (2014) by Dan Slott and Mike Allred

Silver Surfer (2014) #1

Written by: Dan Slott
Art by: Mike Allred
Colored by: Laura Allred
Lettered by: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Published by: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.99

Note: This is a review of the digital version which can be found on Comixology.

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

Before I start, I just wanted to say Kudos to Marvel for making the preview story for Silver Surfer from All-New Marvel Now Point One available for free on Comixology. It was a great intro for the series. They also did this for Ms Marvel.

Considering how many Marvel series are 4 bucks, getting anything free is always nice.  And that All-New Marvel Now special was 6 bucks when it came out.  I hope they also put out the great Avengers World story from that special.

Summary (contains spoilers): This issue starts twelve years ago, on the day Silver Surfer originally came to Earth to scout it as a potential food source for Galactus. We are introduced to two young sisters, Dawn and Eve Greenwood, who live in a peaceful New England town called Anchor Bay. They see what they believe is a shooting star and make wishes. Eve wishes:

At first Dawn just tries to mimic Eve’s wish, but at her father’s prompting, she decides to make her real wish:

Eve thinks that is a stupid wish…just like Dawn thinks Eve’s wish is stupid because she couldn’t imagine anyone ever wanting to leave Anchor Bay. She calls Anchor Bay “the most special place in the whole world.” The scene pulls back and we see it’s not a shooting star at all; it’s the Silver Surfer arriving on Earth and declaring “All of it must burn!”

We jump forward to now. Silver Surfer has long since left Galactus and travels the universe trying to make amends for his past sins. We see him rekindling the sun for a small race of beings on a planet called Brundlebus 3. The inhabitants start to build statues to him and idolize him as a god, much to Surfer’s dismay. The people of Brundlebus 3 think they have offended him and beg his forgiveness, fearing he is about to destroy them. This scene in a nutshell sums up the Surfer’s existence brilliantly.

He is spotted by a small device who greets him as “Champion!” The device asks him to return with it to a place called the Impericon to help protect it from “the great threat.” In all his travels, he had never heard of this place, so his curiosity and desire to help causes him to seek it out.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, we find out that Eve got her wish and travels all over the world. Meanwhile, Dawn runs a Bed and Breakfast in Anchor Bay. Both girls seem to be living their ideal lives.

Surfer arrives at the gateway to the Impericon, and discovers that it had been intentionally hidden away from Galactus and his servants. Gatekeepers attack the Surfer, until they realize he had been summoned here by the leader of the Impericon, the Incredulous Zed:

The Impericon seems like the ultimate vacation getaway. Surfer considers championing their cause, so the Incredulous Zed hits him with a device called “The Motivator.”

Back on Earth, Dawn suddenly finds herself vanishing from Earth and ends up in what seems like a massive prison with aliens of many different worlds.

The Motivator has decided that the Surfer is a worthy Champion, and he is told the threat he faces is called the Never Queen. The Surfer is shown a clip of the last Champion. The Champion is quickly and easily dispatched by the Never Queen, and mentions fighting for his father.

The Surfer asks what he meant by that. Zed reveals that The Motivator “finds the one person in all of creation who means the most to [the champion, in order to get him to fight his best].” Surfer is pissed, thinking that Zed kidnapped his ex-girlfriend Shalla Bal, or his mother, or Alicia Masters…and is very confused when the Motivator reveals that it took Dawn…who the Surfer has never even met before.

Review: There is a lot of things to praise about this book, but I need to start right with Laura Allred. She is pretty much the best colorist in the business and all her books have a great distinctive look to them. And she deserves tons of credit for the incredible look for the Impericon:

I can’t even imagine how difficult that must have been to color. Slott and Mike Allred are both tyrants!

I have been a Silver Surfer fan pretty much since I started reading comics (Starlin and Lim for the win), and it has been a long time since I felt that a creative team really “got” the Silver Surfer. On his own, the Surfer can be a bit of a dull character, unless you place him in interesting settings and create a strong supporting cast. Slott and Allred did this brilliantly. I immediately felt engaged by Dawn and the quirks of the Impericon.

I also loved how careful Slott was about showing what the Surfer means to the rest of the universe. He can be a hero, but a lot of people still fear him. Even those he is saving are not sure whether to see him as a friend, a god, or a threat.  This really helped set the stage for this series very well, while also introduce Surfer to anyone who might not know the character all that well.

One thing that I was real curious about is this issue seems to set a firm timeline that in the Marvel Universe, Galactus and the Surfer first arrived on Earth 12 years ago. I am not quite sure if EVERYTHING that has happened in the Marvel universe since then could possibly have happened in 12 years, but I guess it mostly makes sense. Peter Parker would have been a teenager then, and is now  around 30 years old, same for Cyclops and the original X-Men.   Typically, comics avoid giving set timelines like that. It didn’t affect my enjoyment of this issue one way or the other, but I did find it curious.

It really would have been harder to expect much more from this book. It was fun, real well written, had gorgeous art, and deep characters. Yeah, I guess I can say some of the characters and place names seemed kind of generic (especially the Never Queen), but that really would just be griping for the sake of griping.

This issue was also real thoughtful with how all the pieces fit. In just a few pages, I found myself very interested in what happens to Dawn (and even Eve back on Earth). I also loved the quick glimpse into the lives of the Brundlebus 3 and the Impericon. In a lot of ways, I sort of felt like I was watching an episode of Doctor Who with an unlimited budget.

Dan Slott and Mike Allred would be a great creative team on just about any book I can imagine, but I am VERY glad that they ended up on Silver Surfer. Like I said earlier, Surfer has long been one of my favorite characters, and it is great to see him in being written and drawn by two guys that are easily in my top five comic creators ALL TIME. A real strong first issue with a lot of promise for better stories to come.  Highly Recommended!

Final Score: 9.0: I was looking forward to this series since I first heard about it, and it definitely lived up to some lofty expectations.

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