Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Tradd Moore
The penultimate issue of Donny Cates’ and Tradd Moore’s Silver Surfer: Black brings us one step closer to the epic confrontation between Norrin and Knull. I mean, it’s bound to happen, that’s just how comics work. Not complaining, just stating the obvious (and raking in my word count!).
Last issue saw the Surfer coming across the Cosmic Incubator of his former Master, Galactus, inside of Ego, the baby Living Planet. The Surfer had promised Ego his help in handling the foreign object that has entered his system, and expected his help against Knull in return. However, seeing the Cosmic Incubator so early, before Galan became Galactus, opened up a new possibility. Surfer, ever remorseful for enabling genocides on a cosmic level, contemplated about destroying Galan before he becomes the Devourer. He sees this as the one last good thing he could possibly do, before being consumed by Knull’s darkness. However, nothing is ever so simple in the Cosmos.
I’m gonna be real with you – Tradd Moore is killing it with this book. If he doesn’t get at least an Eisner nomination for his work, it will be a crime against comics. The Silver Surfer, being a man who roams the Cosmos on a damn surfboard, was always a rather trippy character that benefited from some trippy, mind-bending artwork. And I don’t think it can get trippier, weirder and more mind-bending than what Moore has been doing with this mini. It’s probably the most ‘out-there’ big-two book at the moment.
The most commendable thing about this psychedelic gorgeousness is how Moore manages to convey the primordial aspect of the timeframe. The are a lot of solid and ‘sharp’ objects interacting with melted-like elements, signalling that the universe is still in its infancy. Hell, even some panels are melting at one end and forming at the other, displaying just how chaotic and young the Cosmos is.
I’d also like to give a shout-out to the colourist, Dave Stewart. Tradd Moore’s artwork is fantastic on its own, but it’s even better thanks to the vibrant colouring. It just gives it that extra psychedelic edge.
While Moore and Stewart are melting our brains with the gorgeous artwork, Donny Cates is trying to reshape them by going full-on philosophical with the Surfer. I’m not afraid to say that Surfer is the most complex character in Marvel’s roster. Serving a higher, incomprehensible cause, yet constantly questioning its morality. Abandoning said cause, yet questioning the consequence the absence of that cause might bring. For a space-faring alien, Norrin Radd is one of the most human characters and I, personally, find him extremely relatable.
This is the most I can talk about the writing without stepping into some serious spoiler territory. I will say that the issue is some nice food for thought, though.
However, I have one complaint about the book. I can see you thinking “you already praised the art and the writing! What could possibly be wrong?”. Well, I’ll tell you what’s wrong. What’s wrong is that Donny Cates decided to totally ignore Slott and Allred’s Surfer run and the best character and the TRUE love of Norrin’s life – Dawn Greenwood! I mean, Shalla-who? Honestly Donny, how could you? What were you thinking? Dawn is GOAT and it hurts that you would just overlook her so easily. Shame.
With only one issue to go, I can easily say that this has been the best mini of the year. Donny Cates and Tradd Moore are fantastic and I’m looking forward not only to the conclusion of Silver Surfer Black, but to their Cosmic saga as well. And I hope they show Dawn some respect!
Silver Surfer: Black is like acid, only cheaper and legal.