Monday, July 11, 2016

Silver Surfer #5 Review and **SPOILERS** - Marvel Mondays

Home Is Where the Heart Is

Written By: Dan Slott
Art By: Michael Allred, Laura Allred,
Lettered By: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: July 6, 2016


Back to this curious run on Silver Surfer, where the alien wielder of the Power Cosmic turns out to be one of the most human characters in comic books. I mean really, how could you have the abilities of the Silver Surfer and remain humble? The mysteries of the universe laid bare, every aspect of existence revealed through your interstellar surfin’ travels, it just seems like banal Earth talk would just bore the crap out of you. “Oh, you hate Mondays? Well, last Monday, in a distant galaxy, I saw a giant translucent spider spin a web of the purest gold between two sheer cliffs of gleaming sapphire with a river of frothy goat’s milk coursing between them, so I perhaps have found something to enjoy in my Mondays. Don’t you think?” God, I’d be such a jerk. Maybe that’s why Galactus never made me his herald, you really need to be humble to have a job like that. Well, I may not be Galactus’ current or former herald, but I can still write a comic book review. And you can see if I’m lying by reading on!

Explain It!

Last issue, Norrin Radd (better known as the Silver Surfer) became planet Earth’s favorite son after he destroyed every trace of his home planet of Zenn-La’s heritage and culture. He was excommunicated, but the swell folk of Earth, who normally can’t even change lanes on the freeway without getting into a shootout, did the “gooble gobble, gooble gobble, one of us, one of us” chant from Tod Browing’s Freaks and made him an official member of the human race. The United Nations gives him the key to the entire planet, which is something I didn’t know existed, and he gets to go to a Yankees game, then attends an American History-themed musical that is TOTALLY NOT HAMILTON…ol’ Norrin’s getting the royal treatment here, folks, and it’s starting to irritate him. A little sick of his throngs of admirers, Radd and Dawn hop on Toomee (hey, if you’re not reading, you’re missing out!) and head back to Dawn’s New England home, Anchor Bay, where they’ve put out a bunch of banners advertising themselves as the “Home of the Silver Surfer!” and wearing stylized Silver Surfer sunglasses. Which, incidentally, I would probably buy.

It seems like being the most popular person on the planet has its downsides, and after Dawn ushers Norrin inside, while her pregnant sister Eve turns the hose on the curious mob outside, Radd determines he has a better chance of going incognito if he silvers down, which he does—to find that his usual Zenn-Lavian clothes have turned into a weird stark white turtleneck/tunic sort of thing! Destroying the traces of Zenn-La has also destroyed its unique clothing, so Eve’s husband Costas lends him some clothes that make Norrin look like a techno DJ from the 1990s. Once dressed, he’s just in time for the Greenwood family picture, and Norrin is touched to be included. After that, one of the regular guests of Greenwood Inn, young Jeremy, comes over and asks Radd why he ruined his comic book—and he’s holding an issue of Fantastic Four! (#72, in fact, cover dated March 1968, the first appearance of the Silver Surfer!)

Now wait a second: Marvel comic books come out in the same universe as the events they depict? Those events aren’t happening in our reality, or I would have noticed. Maybe not Ant-Man invading S.H.I.E.L.D., but certainly a Skrull invasion or something like that. So this means there’s another Marvel Comics office within the Marvel Universe, and implies that within that Marvel office another Silver Surfer is produced, written and drawn by another Dan Slott and Mike Allred, edited by another Tom Brevoort. This thought sends a chill down my spine. Norrin tells Jeremy that since the Fantastic Four has disbanded, Reed Richards is no longer sending transcripts of their adventures to be turned into four-color funnybooks. Jeremy then explains that no, dick, what he means is that in his existing Fantastic Four comics all traces of Silver Surfer have been erased, a by-product of his having eliminated Zenn-Lavian culture everywhere! Norrin decides to go see his old pal the Watcher, but when he gets to the moon he finds that Uatu has been replaced by Nick Fury, who is going by the name the Unseen…it’s a result of that Original Sin crossover from a couple of years ago, just take it for granted that Nick Fury is the new Watcher. This pisses the Surfer off and he tries to blast Nick with the Power Cosmic, but just ends up knocking over the American flag planted by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin during the first moon mission.

Nick the Unseen tells Norrin that he’ll get no satisfaction beating his Power Cosmic against a wall, he’d better head back to Earth and apologize to all those comics collectors whose runs are ruined (or made more collectible???) He goes back to Anchor Bay and Dawn takes him into the attic of the Greenwood Inn to show him an old picture of her with her sister, father, and estranged mother. Apparently, she just got on a boat one day and left, which makes her a pirate of the high seas as far as I’m concerned. All she left behind was a hairbrush, and by touching one of the hairs still entwined in its teeth (ew) the Silver Surfer can track her down! So now you’re like, “This is all well and good, Reggie, but what I would like to see are pictures by Mike and Laura Allred of large vistas like the Grand Canyon and the Golden Gate Bridge.” Well, you’re in luck, because on the way to find Dawn’s mom that’s exactly what you get. Finally, they make it to San Francisco, where Norrin and Dawn hover creepily outsider of her mother’s kitchen window!

Another great issue of Silver Surfer that I could not do a bit of justice in my recap. Despite having spoiled a lot of the issue, there are so many great moments between characters I didn’t mention that really make the read worthwhile. There’s a scene with Toomee and Norrin that is just warm and chuckle-worthy, and the budding relationship of Dawn and Radd feels natural…well, as natural as a relationship with a reformed agoraphobe and space-cruising alien without a culture can be. Mike Allred’s art and Laura Allred’s colors are, as always and forever, spectacular and worth the cover price all by themselves. But then the story is also great, and if you crunch the numbers you’ll find that if you don’t buy this comic, you’re actually losing money in the long run.

Bits and Pieces:

Here's another touching and funny issue of Silver Surfer, brought to you by the team that keeps bringing you touching and funny issues of Silver Surfer. Now Norrin Radd is dealing with the results of his decision to erase his homeworld Zenn-La's history from existence, which has rightfully made him feel out of place. Though Earth embraces him, he is yet unfulfilled, because Earth has embraced Kris Kardashian, and she's a horrible inhuman monster. Read this book, unless your doctor has told you to stay off pleasure and fun for the next six weeks. If you want to reduce your smile lines, you'll have to read Hagar the Horrible until the swelling goes down.

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  1. Are any of the people on the cover page noteworthy?? Seems odd to just have a random crowd surrounding SS and Dawn. This book and Coming Of Supermen are tied for kicking the most ass right now!

    1. I definitely see a few celebrities, past and present--as well as some Marvel staffers, past and present--in the crowd!

  2. I take it that guy is trying to get his "The Wall" album signed? Looked like there was a Beatles album and Cream (lol) album as well.


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