Silver Surfer: Black #5 Review

by Nick Devonald on October 30, 2019

Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Tradd Moore
Colours: Dave Stewart
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles

Silver Surfer: Black has meant a lot to Donny Cates personally. When he began writing this series he learned that Stan Lee had passed away. Knowing that that surfer was Stan Lee’s favourite character meant he was invested in this miniseries being the best it could. In his own words “This issue had to be perfect. It had to mean something. For him. For Stan.”

Well you know what? I think it’s fair to say he succeeded. This series has been something special. The artwork and colours have been out of this world. There is a psychedelic quality to the work that is both a tribute to the older comics while still being its own thing. Dave Stewarts colours are amongst the best in the industry, and here his work is truly exceptional.

But good colours only go so far, and they work as well as they do because of Tradd Moore’s unique art. This is an epic cosmic story with gorgeous imagery.

Well what about the story itself? It’s clear that Donny Cates is paying tribute to the Silver Surfer comics of old, whilst also doing his own thing. And it works so well. There is a beautiful symmetry to this series, the beginning reflecting the end, Norrin Radd becoming his mirror.

This comic could have been a simple battle of the Silver Surfer versus Knull. With the creative team involved it would have been good. But this, this is something else entirely. Poetical, lyrical, fantastic.

There is redemption in these pages for the Surfer. It has seriously broadened the mythos surrounding him, adding to his story without taking away anything in the past. And the end of this series marks an end of one story for the Surfer and the beginnings of another. I can’t wait to see where he goes next.

There is a clear reverence for the source material on show here. There are plenty of nods back to the classic Silver Surfer: Parable, from the artwork on the front cover, to the final panel, and quoted within Silver Surfer: Black. Nothing but respect on display here.

Once again Donny Cates puts a new spin on a classic Marvel superhero, respecting the original while making it new and relevant today.

This comic is filled with imagery that goes beyond the stunning art and terrific colours. This is light versus dark. Birth, death and rebirth. There is a poetry in Cates’ writing on show here. The artwork augments this and raises it above just a comic book. This isn’t just a comic. This is Art. And in case you worry this takes away from the comic it doesn’t. This is a comic that NEEDS to be read. And Donny? I think Stan would be proud of this comic.

Our Score:


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