Tuesday, 1 April 2014

New Beginnings - Silver Surfer #1

by Matt Puddy

Now if anyone read this year's Marvel Point One review you will have already seen that new Silver Surfer comic from Dan Slott and the Allred’s was not a favourite of mine based on it's initial brief outing. I'm keeping as open a mind as I can though...

Norrin Radd has been a well established figure in the Marvel Universe. In his time he has been part of the Defenders and the Titans Three, has been a gladiator and prisoner on Planet Hulk, and in Marvel Zombies he was arguably responsible for the creation of space faring flying zombie super monsters. Most, however, will know him as the former herald of Galactus. This final salient point is what is currently pushing him forward.

Driven by the combined guilt and grief from the deaths of billions of life forms across the multitude of planets he selected for his master, the Surfer is now trying to atone by helping and saving others.

In the comic we see how he rekindles a star to save a world and prove his worthiness to become a champion. He has been selected by the residents of the Impericon. This partially confuses him as he’s never heard of them but they have hidden themselves from him for fear of being destroyed. Ironically it is their technology which has created a new power hungry threat to them, for which they need they help of the Silver Surfer. They need him to protect them from The Never Queen.

At the same time we also learn the slightly more mundane New England life of a young girl called Dawn. This is the same girl we met in Point One but this is set before that mini adventure. Dawn hasn’t been anywhere, nor does she have the inclination to go anywhere either. She is happy and content with her feet firmly on the ground. A backstory that is well established through the issue. It also makes a nice but complete role reversal, when she is torn from it all to be leverage in making the Surfer go through with being the Champion of the Impericon. It’s also made stranger by the fact he’s never met her or seen her before yet she’s meant to be the most important thing to her.

As writing goes the story is good and well structured. I’m currently reading Superior Spider-Man which is also Dan Slott, so have an open frame of reference. I don’t feel he’s disappointing in it, but then again I've also seen stronger from him. It flows well, even though it is split over two main areas, but at the same time also feels a little basic and doesn’t challenge the reader. This could be partially brought on by the artwork.

Unfortunately I’m not a fan of Michael Allred’s style of drawing so for me it really takes some of the gusto from the comic. It’s full of very strong lines and bright colours (courtesy of his wife Laura Allred) but lacks enough detail for me. I had the feeling that there was no background to the comic. It was also a little disappointing that the cover, also by Allred and Allred, had little bearing on the story at this present time and was the one from Point One, which I also feel was from a different point along this tale.

That said I did find the double page spread of the Impericon quite bemusing and almost played tricks on the eyes which was certainly a new experience.

This is a shot at redemption for Norrin, although it is with his arm twisted behind his back, and with Slott writing it I have no worries over the story. However, for me this is one comic I’m not sure I can read as I just can't reconcile Allred's artwork with the Marvel Universe.

Matt Puddy is very excited about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles teaser trailer even if it is Michael Bay.

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