The Silver Surfer is back to join the ever growing list of relaunched Marvel titles in the wake of Secret Wars. To be brutally frank, The Surfer has been associated all that much with quality (Fantastic Four 2, anyone?). Could that all be set to change after this reboot?
Nope. This entire issue is so massively underwhelming that there is a very good chance you will not remember it in a matter of hours after reading it. The story is poorly plotted and rushed to an unreasonable degree, the characterisation is practically nonexistent, and the way in which it all wraps up is laughably bad.
It looks as though this new run will just be more of the same as it mirrors the last one in every way. The dynamic between The Surfer and his companion, Dawn, is stolen straight out of Doctor Who. Not the good Doctor Who either but the awful Moffat led era that suffers from the same woes as this comic. She is a peppy nuisance designed to counterbalance his tired man out of time shtick and she essentially takes over the narrative in an attempt to make things more human and relatable. The problem is that there is nothing interesting about her. Just as with Clara Oswald, Dawn is constantly presented as being special but never actually does anything to convince you of that fact. It is lazy writing at its blatant worst.
The most insultingly idiotic thing to happen in this script is, without doubt, the way that the main story is wrapped up. The plotline saw the invading Hordax use some ill-explained weapon to drain all of Earth’s culture away, rendering people unable to even recall their favourite characters, books, show etc. although it isn’t explained why their memories would disappear along with the actual works themselves.
Obviously Dawn and The Surfer take the fight to them and during the early stages of this section the leader of the Hordax reveals that he is using the stolen information to make his mightiest warriors even more mighty. These warriors promptly turn into recognisable pop culture figures such as Sherlock Holmes and the woman from Kill Bill.
Now, as it turns out they have also inherited the heroic traits associated with these identities and as such are very easily convinced to do the right thing and return everything they stole to Earth. Literally Dawn just tells them to do it and they do, that’s the ending Dan Slott wrote.
What makes this even more ridiculously poorly written is that they then reveal they were merely cataloging Earth’s culture to save after it is destroyed. The point this raises is that, if this were true, then they would already have been doing the right thing in taking this information and so would not have suddenly seen that it was good and proper to return it. Also Dawn shouldn’t be able to remember who these characters are so how does she know that they’re heroes and will do what she asks? It doesn’t make any sense!
Somewhat predictably it is the art to the rescue again as Michael and Laura Allred deliver a good looking book. The aesthetic they create is charmingly retro and fits nicely into the pop art style. Considering the cosmic nature of this title that seems like a good fit and they certainly do it well. The colouring in particular gives off a fresh feel, it is not commonplace or pedestrian and clearly a great deal of work has gone into making it just so.
However, there are setbacks here too as Space seems to be very hemmed in with the way they depict it. It is lacking in all sense of grandeur and that seems like a very odd choice considering the character they are drawing for. The Surfer should have a story that looks vast in scope, not one so small especially in the series debut.
Whilst Silver Surfer has some charm to it it cannot be ignored that the writing is well below par on this story. Perhaps it will improve but for now you can get away with leaving this one off of your haul lists.
Score: 1.5 out of 5.
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