If you follow Dan Slott on twitter, you’ll soon learn that he’s a massive fan of Doctor Who. Since he’s American, it’s unlikely that he’ll get the chance to write an episode of that show, so instead his new take on the Silver Surfer is very much inspired by it. A lone intergalactic warrior with a dark past but who now strives for peace wandering space with a female companion from Earth? Yep, it certainly sounds familiar. Since I’m a Brit, Doctor Who is pretty much part of my DNA, so it was fun to see Slott take what he loves about that show, and combine it with one of the all-time coolest comics characters for a fun new take. Silver Surfer has often struggled to maintain a solo series, but I think this new one will work, I’m not saying it’ll go for 50 years like Doctor Who, but you know, it’ll be more than 12 issues.
The issue begins with our introduction to the Surfer’s companion, Dawn, who we see as a child wishing upon a shooting star. Her identical twin sister Eve wishes to travel the world and see everything the star sees, whereas Dawn wishes that the star could stay up there forever so everyone could see it. Only this star isn’t actually a star, it’s the Silver Surfer, coming to Earth for the first time to prepare it for Galactus to eat.
Slott then moves to the present, where we see the now-heroic and free Surfer saving a small sun from going out, and therefore saving a whole tiny nebula. The aliens who live on one of the planets praise him but he doesn’t want that, he just wants to atone for what he did as a Herald Of Galactus. Surfer is then recorded by some strange cameras, and recruited by the brilliantly named ‘Incredulous Zed’ to help protect ‘The Impericon’ from attack. Surfer has no idea what the Impericon is, and it’s because it’s been hidden from all of Galactus’ heralds so the big purple guy can’t eat it.
The Impericon is an impossible palace full of wonders, and it’s brilliantly drawn by Mike Allred, who is just the perfect choice for this title. He’s always been heavily inspired by Jack Kirby, so it’s wonderful to see him draw what is perhaps the quintessential Kirby creation, and also for Slott to provide him with plenty of weird aliens to tackle. The Silver Surfer is a pop-art kind of character, and Allred is a pop-artist, it’s a brilliant fit.
Meanwhile, Slott fills us in on what the adult Dawn is like. Her sister has gone off to travel the world, whilst she’s stayed behind in Anchor Bay to help her dad run their hotel. She keeps telling herself that staying behind is what she wanted, but it seems that she’s starting to no longer believe that. I really liked how Slott and Allred mirrored Dawn showing her guests round the hotel with Surfer being shown the Impericon. Both had wonders and surprises of ther own, although a Moon that’s a nightclub is a bit better than a fish that Albert Einstein caught.
Silver Surfer agrees to protect the Impericon from the ‘Never Queen’ but when he does so, there’s a catch, Zed fires ‘The Motivator’ beam at him, which provides motivation for him to fight, by teleporting the person that’s most important to the Surfer as leverage. Surfer is of course furious, thinking that they’ve kidnapped Alicia Masters or Nova or someone we already know, but nope, the most important person in the world for the Silver Surfer is none other than… Dawn, someone the Surfer has never met before and has no idea who she is. It’s a great ending to the issue, and although it does feel like a bit of a rip-off of Clara Oswald or Amy Pond, I am intrigued as to what makes Dawn so special. Is it just her wish at the start of the issue?
I thought this was a strong opening issue, Slott clearly gets the Silver Surfer character, and although the Doctor Who parallels are perhaps a bit too overt, I do think having a human along will make the series more accessible and hey, if you know someone who’s a massive Who fan but doesn’t really like comics, you can use this to hook them in. Throw in some pitch-perfect Allred art, and you’ve got a great comic.