Silver Surfer: Black #1 Review

by Harlan Ivester on June 12, 2019

Writers: Donny Cates & Tradd Moore
Artist: Tradd Moore
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics

            Because Donny Cates has been insisting that Silver Surfer: Black #1 will sell out, more people than usual have been curious as what would be going down in its pages. Knowing Cates, it’s sure to be some new development that probably ties in to a certain story he’s been heading towards for a while… A certain story that certain people are expecting to sell eight million copies… A good reason to sell out, in other words.

            Silver Surfer: Black picks up in Cates’ Guardians of the Galaxy #1 when Norrin, among other heroes, is sucked into a black hole. Most of it tells of him fighting tooth and nail to save his allies and then endure the seemingly endless black he finds himself in. Probably my favorite thing about this setting is that it gives us some really surreal concepts for Norrin to think on. It doesn’t rhyme or anything, but his narration reads like poetry. From beginning to end, this issue covers all aspects of the Silver Surfer’s character, so I think die-hard Surfer fans or those brand new to him will be able to enjoy this. He’s stoic, yet badass; fighting against seemingly impossible odds. It’s a tried and true formula for a good story. If I have one complaint about the story, it’s that I saw the ending coming a mile away. I think that’s more because of the real-word publishing context rather than anything wrong with the story telling, though.

            Tradd Moore is perfect for this book. At first, I thought his art was just a little wonky, but then I remembered that this takes place in a black hole. He makes so many cool choices with how he portrays some abilities, like Cosmic Ghost Rider’s chains reaching through the panel borders to the end of the page. His visual story telling is top notch. Even without Norrin’s narration, you can clearly tell exactly what state of mind he’s in, credited to his body language and shading. He can show any degree of hopelessness in a refreshingly subtle way. Dave Stewart brings so much to the table, too. There’s such an awe-inspiring sense of chaos when Norrin & co. first enter the black hole. Similarly, he summons dread and turns it to hope on a dime. It’s truly impressive what a vast range of emotions these guys can add.

             Silver Surfer: Black #1 is surreal. I really can’t think of a better word to describe it. It’s surreal and chaotic in all the right ways. This is a great next step for Cates’ cosmic Marvel. It’s a perfect starting point for any kind of Marvel fan, and they’ll surely stick around for more of this juicy script brought to life and served with more eye-candy than you hope for. Doesn’t really matter where you stand on Silver Surfer or cosmic Marvel or Marvel in general. You’ll want to pick this up.

Our Score:


A Look Inside