Magic happened to me. It was a Wednesday.
Much like many Wednesdays before, I was driven by my mechanical carriage to the shoppe of what we all know to be “comic bookes.” Surely you know of these places. It was at one of these wondrous places that I found myself gripping a slender booke of the character many of us know to be “Silver Surfer.” Flipping the pages of this slim booke, I found myself enamored. I found myself nigh-overwhelmed. I found myself… loving something.
Now, to get out the made-up-half-thought-out-Olde-Speeke, I’ll just dive into Silver Surfer #1.
I’ve been anticipating this comic since it was announced way back when, and having read only a handful of comics featuring the Silver Surfer and only really knowing the “myth” that is the character, I was a bit worried about what this comic was going to be.
For those who don’t know, Silver Surfer was (is?) a herald of Galactus, giving him powers, which basically boiled down to him having the job of prepping cosmic-dinner for the planet devourer in purple. And that’s about all you need to know.
After some long, convoluted, but probably very interesting backstory, The Surf (I’m calling him ‘The Surf’ now) got out of his bind with Galactus and realized he sort of ended the lives of billions and billions of people. Because of that, he feels the need to atone for this. It’s kind of tragic. And I think he’s banned from Earth. But that’s not important.
What is important is this: You don’t need to know much of anything about The Surf–bah, that sounds weird now–Silver Surfer to get into this comic. And that’s what this comic is about; a totally fresh take on a character who has been around for decades. He rides a surf board and he’s pretty… epic.
Unlike the handful of other Marvel #1s I’ve read in this last iteration of relaunches, this one holds the least amount of baggage for the focal character. Seeing that Silver Surfer has sort of been out of the spotlight for a while, Dan Slott has taken advantage of this and written a miraculous, totally organic first issue. I know a bit about Silver Surfer–being the geek I am–and I felt like I was meeting a totally new character who I wanted to know more about.
This is how you properly deliver a #1 to new readers.
The issue covers a lot of the points I mentioned above with ease, but above and beyond, it captures a fun side of comics I haven’t read since Daniel Way’s Deadpool. It helps that there’s an enormous scale to things given that Silver Surfer’s whole thing is travelling around the universe and because of this there’s a great opportunity to create and be goofy at the same time. And adding to the story, Slott delivers a subplot that feels very human and natural leaving an itch that only issue #2 can scratch.
In the art department, you couldn’t have asked for a better pairing to Slott than Mike Allred. The man and his art are absolute gems to the culture of comic books. Lucky for us, his style–with colors by Laura Allred–fits the setting in ways I cannot describe. You need to see this comic for yourself. Allred’s pop-art style feels like an “older” comic similar to any cosmic Jack Kirby comics you may have seen, but with a modern crispness that leaves you unable to close your mouth at the sheer beauty of it all.
There’s one particular two-page spread this issue that I was simply stunned by. I had to get up and come back to it to fully grasp it. Alone those two pages proved that this comic is going to be of the highest quality Allred has to offer. I couldn’t be more excited.
To say the least, this is a comic you should be reading. Before it’s release people were calling this “the Doctor Who of Marvel” and I can see why. But that’s not why you should be reading this comic. Read this comic on the promise of fun, gorgeous art, and, above all, a guaranteed amazing story. If Dan Slott has proven anything to long-time readers (through Amazing Spider-Man, Ren & Stimpy, or Arkham Asylum), it’s that he can tell a damn fine story. I trust he and Allred to amaze us.