Monday, October 31, 2016

Silver Surfer #7 Review and **SPOILERS**

High Rollers

Storytellers: Dan Slott & Michael Allred 
Color Artist: Laura Allred 
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino 
Cover Artists: Michael & Laura Allred 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: October 26, 2016


I’ve never really been big on gambling. My wife and I talk about playing the state lottery, but neither of us are sure how it works. I’ve played scratch-offs now and again, and I’ve played slot machines and a little roulette, but once I’ve burned through my fifty bucks, or whatever I’ve allotted to games, I stop. I don’t feel that craving, the belief that my big win is on the next pull or the next hand or the next horse. I know people that struggle with gambling, though, and it is rough. That’s why I never gamble on comic books! I always get a real Marvel™ brand comic book drawn and colored by husband-and-wife team Michael™ & Laura™ Allred®! “It’s Simple Economics: Buy Marvel™ Comics!”® Why, when you get a comic book by the Allreds® you can’t lose! I’ll prove it to you! Check out my review of Silver Surfer #7!

Explain It!

You might think that cruising the galaxy with the aloof former herald of a planet-eater would be an unmitigated gas, but it turns out that it gets old eventually. After his blundered attempt to reunite Dawn and her estranged mom, Norrin is content to show Dawn the safer side of outer space: a world with a surface made of bouncy material, a planet inhabited by tame three-eyed catbunnies, and a place with grown-up sized plastic ball pits (namely because the babies on this planet are the size of human adults.) Dawn is having a blast, until she realizes that Norrin is making things easy because he doesn’t want to hurt her again! She bristles at his thoughtfulness and demands they do something risky, because otherwise this whole venture has no point. Of course, Norrin agrees, but he always agrees with Dawn so it’s not worth mentioning. I’m also not going to mention again a brief scene where a somewhat transparent guy in rad eyewear is creeping on Norrin and Dawn and prophesizing heartbreak, but this must be seeder for a story in a forthcoming issue. If you want to read the one or two other moments of foreshadowing, you’ll have to get the book!
Radd dolls Dawn up in a fancy polka-dotted evening gown and they go to the Casino Cosmico, an entire dimension of gambling! Before even stepping onto the casino floor, Dawn and Norrin watch Mephisto lose an impromptu bet with some six-armed guy, which rightfully floors Dawn. Over the bubbles that transmit images from security camera, Dawn and Norrin are watched by the proprietor of the Casino Cosmico, who happens to be the Grandmaster! To his earthworm-looking supplicant, he suggests that they be extended a small line of credit and get a taste for winning, before something something nefarious plan etc. et cetera. So the pair get down to betting, with mixed results: Dawn loses her shoes, but gains a space tiara. Norrin, meanwhile, is plated in gold, but then quickly loses his surfboard Toomee at a weird roulette table. When Dawn wins a bet with some blobulous lump for something precious, and receives its memory of the birth of their daughter, Dawn knows they had better get while the gettin’s good.
They can’t leave without Toomee, though, so Dawn gives the wheel another spin, and loses her ability to see red. Radd gives it another whirl himself, and loses his ability to say the letter B. The Grandmaster, obviously wanting to stop the hemorrhaging, steps in and offers to play Norrin Radd for the whole kit and caboodle—the big enchilada, all the shmagoolies. Radd chooses a game taught to him by the Thing: poker, and the two sit down to what looks like some Texas Hold ‘Em. As cards get laid down, they keep upping the ante—first, Silver Surfer must give up all of the star maps in his head, then has to offer his Power Cosmic. Everything on the table, the Grandmaster offers the Infinite All-In, which grants either player to ask anything of the other. The Grandmaster asks for Dawn, and Norrin is quick to point out that she is not his possession and therefore not for barter, but Dawn asks Norrin if he feels confident that he can beat the Grandmaster, to which he answers in the affirmative. They accept the Grandmaster’s terms, and then Norrin insists that if he wins this hand, the Grandmaster will never play games of chance again. This proves too much for the Grandmaster to bear, and he folds.
And it was a pretty cool ending, because just before that the reader has every indication that Dawn and Norrin have developed serious gambling problems. Which, come to think of it, they may yet have, but at least they were able to leave the casino dimension with the surfboard and the Power Cosmic. All of the weird aliens roaming around the casino look cool as heck and perfectly suited to the Allreds’ artistic talents. Another slam dunk for the Silver Surfer team, who have been compiling a collection of issues that may go down as a definitive take on Galactus’ former herald.

Bits and Pieces:

Dawn nags Norrin about never taking her anywhere dangerous, so he takes her to the most risk-filled dimension in the multiverse! There, they learn some lessons about themselves and their limitations, but the mutual trust between them is more powerful than their individual shortcomings. And guess what? Mike and Laura Allred make this thing look beautiful, as usual. Get yourself some Silver Surfer, true believer.


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