From major comics events by the big publishers, to unexpected crossovers, movie tie-ins and much, much more, In a short series of articles, I review some of my favourite titles, and moments from the world of comics in 2015.
Love/Hate Comic 2015 | Doctor Who on a cosmic surf board? | Silver Surfer | Marvel Comics
I know this is a controversial stance to take, but I’m torn with equal parts love and hate for Marvel‘s current run of Silver Surfer written by Dan Slott and illustrated by Mike Allred. The book has proven to be a huge fan favourite with many loving a new take on a classic character. Sadly, in my opinion, what we’ve ended up with is a simplified version of a previously complex character in a setting that borrows so heavily from Doctor Who that Mike Allred may as well be drawing a Tardis and a Sonic Screwdriver in each installment.
Launched in March 2014, Silver Surfer has been ongoing ever since, and indeed continues into 2016. The Herald with his gift of the Power Cosmic has been my favourite Marvel character since I first received a Hulk Vs The Silver Surfer hardcover annual way back in the eighties. Most kids preferred the Hulk, I found something very appealing about this sombre romantic, tortured by his task as The Herald – finding planets for Galactus to consume – and his lost love Shala-Bal. There have been many terrible portrayals of The Silver Surfer over the years, but I was excited to learn that the character was coming back in an ongoing series. My excitement was dashed early on and has continued to be so.
Dawn is a sweet natured Earth girl who has always stayed home to help with the family business whilst her twin sister gallivants around the globe seeking out adventure. She could never have expected that an encounter with a cosmic being would lead her to explore the universe as the companion to The Silver Surfer. Feared by the many alien beings they meet along the way the Surfer must earn their trust and prove his good intentions now that he is no longer servant to the planet eater Galactus. Throughout these adventures Dawn helps the Surfer to become more human, to become more Norrin Radd. However, their every effort to make right the harm the Surfer did as The Herald, the more adversity they are faced with by various opponents. As we reach the end of Marvel‘s latest multi title event, Secret Wars, The Silver Surfer plays out a pivotal role along with Dawn. The pair must rebuild and repair the Marvel universe.
What I hate.
The tone of the writing is simplistic in the extreme. Plot points move from A to B to C and so on. The sombre nature of The Silver Surfer I know and love is missing completely, replaced with a whitewash of cute, sentimental romanticism. They called the Surfer‘s board ‘Toomie‘ for fucksake! Yeah, I get it, “To me my board!“, but jeez… On top of all that (and again, I know a lot of people will disagree here) I just don’t care for Mike Allred‘s artistic style in this book.
What I love.
Oddly, what I love about Silver Surfer are much the same as the things I hate… I’ll explain. The tone of the writing is simplistic in the extreme. Plot points are linear. It’s cutesy and feel good in both writing and artistic style. It’s romantic and sentimental. All things my eight year old daughter can relate to. And for the first time ever we can both read the same stories about a Marvel character we both care about. She often reads it first and I enjoy seeing her bursting with the desire to discuss the story as I’m working my way through it. Silver Surfer, bridges a thirty year gap between my daughter and I and we enjoy a common interest in comics.
Silver Surfer | Marvel Comics | Written by Dan Slott | Drawn by Mike Allred