This post on Silver Surfer #11 is brought to you by Downtown Comics, Indianapolis’ largest comic book shop! They love to nerd out just like us at Pure Fandom. Head to their website for deals and updates on your favorite comics, swag, and more!
The last time I read any Silver Surfer stories, it was in the halcyon days of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning running the cosmic end of the Marvel Universe. The Surfer is depicted there as he typically is: glum, righteous, and aimless save for the occasional rescue of imperiled aliens. These new adventures, however, written by Dan Slott with art by Michael Allred and colors by Laura Allred, inject some of the wacky cosmic fun of early Surfer tales.
A quick catch up: free from his servitude to Galactus, Devour-er of Worlds, the Surfer rescues quirky New Englander Dawn Greenwood after she gets kidnapped by aliens. Now best pals, Dawn and the Surfer ride the space-ways and help the innocent. Meanwhile, back on Earth, Dawn’s sister Eve is 9-months pregnant, living with her overburdened Dad who runs their family business, the Greenwood Inn in coastal Massachusetts.
Through their adventures the pair make a few enemies. One that’s been lurking in the shadows, the disgraced Warrior Zero, makes his return this issue. The clock is ticking for Dawn to get home for Eve’s baby, and only the Silver Surfer can get her back in time.
My only past experience reading Dan Slott is with his long-time Amazing Spider-Man run, which is still going strong. While always quip-heavy and entertaining, the Spidey writing tends to lean heavily on recap exposition. A character will drone on about what happened last issue, filling the panels with more bubbles than action.
I’m grateful that isn’t the case here, possibly due to Michael Allred’s co-storyteller credit. Silver Surfer the brooding loner is now Silver Surfer the noble hero, complete with plucky sidekick. Dawn brings a lot of levity and plays well against the Surfer’s straight-man. As they defend a bee-like honeycomb world from Bearbarians (and yes, they’re just Bears with laser guns, which is awesome) she impatiently pesters him to get home to Eve, but the Surfer is honor bound to protect the Bee Queen.
As they finally depart, the duo are beset by Warrior Zero, who challenges the Silver Surfer to a fight to the death. His goal is to reclaim the lost title of Warrior One (his whole culture is based on rankings, which must be great for self-esteem). Compared to the Surfer’s power cosmic, this guy is peanuts. With each encounter on their way back on Earth, Dawn and the Surfer get more exasperated. Their eye-rolling makes for great fun leading up to their final confrontation, as a fed-up Dawn advises the Surfer to “kick his ass.”
Finally, the triumphant pair arrives on Earth, where Eve has already given birth to a healthy baby. An elated Dawn motormouths through apologies for her lateness and introductions to Uncle Norrin, stopping short to ask the chilling final line: “where’s Dad?” Given the black attire of Eve and her boyfriend, the news next issue is bound to be tragic.
The Allreds are quite an art team. I initially had to avoid the new Silver Surfer run because it came off as too cartoony. Bright colors and large eyes on each character remind me more of the old Silver Surfer cartoon of the 90’s rather than the bleak vastness of the Lanning/Abnett sagas.
However, upon getting into this issue I find I was way off. This is full-on, Kirby-esque space insanity. The panels are laid out exquisitely, setting up fantastical space battles that give the characters room to move around. In the final journey home, the last panel is framed in black to bring the reader (literally) back down to Earth. We’re all subject to the gut punch, the regret and mourning, and left wondering what Dawn and the Silver Surfer’s next move will be.
For this and more space adventures, be sure to surf by Downtown Comics for future issues!