Norrin Radd once again gets to be the star in his own comic, both literally and figuratively, in the form of Dan Slott and Michael Allred’s “Silver Surfer” #1. Readers got a taste of Slott and Allred’s Surfer a couple of months ago in the “All-New Marvel NOW!” sampler, but this story takes place beforehand and features the Surfer’s first meeting with Dawn Greenwood, his new and apparent travelling companion.
Norrin’s figurative appearance as a star leads off the comic, and in fact is Dawn’s first sighting of him, albeit twelve years earlier when, as a child, she and her twin sister mistook him for a shooting star blazing through the sky. Slott uses some intriguing double meanings and parallel situations throughout the issue; for example, a tour of the New England bed & breakfast owned by the girls’ father is contrasted against the Surfer’s own tour of a seemingly wondrous resort world across the galaxy.
Conversely, Dawn and her ironically-named sister Eve are polar opposites; Dawn, always wearing polka dots, is content to stay put in Anchor Bay, while Eve extensively travels the world; and always wearing stripes, no less. The significance of these similarities and contrasts within the issue aren’t really made apparent, at least yet, but Slott plays them up enough to indicate that some relevance is pending; especially regarding how Dawn eventually transforms from a beach-loving homebody to a cosmos-hopping sidekick.
The Surfer has gone through a bit of a transformation himself; under Slott, he’s a little bit looser and even dryly comical at times, and no longer acting like he sat down on his surfboard the wrong way. A line like “Okay, I have absolutely no idea who that is” carries a Jimmy Fallon-like dryness that is downright funny coming from the mouth of Norrin Radd, and funnier still from a guy who only pages earlier bragged to be a sightseeing know-it-all. Slott ensures that these tweaks to the Surfer’s personality are sprinkled lightly throughout, so the character still seems familiar, but also a little bit fresher.
Allred might not initially seem the ideal choice to illustrate such a galaxy-spanning story, but his tenure on “FF” has prepped him well. His simple, almost elementary style is actually perfect for the character of The Silver Surfer, which really doesn’t lend itself to any kind of fancy artistry anyway. He does get to cut loose and render plenty of pulpy, Saturday matinee-style aliens, though, and some familiar looking Marvel ones, as well. His double-page spread alone of the alien metropolis is impressive, made more so by Laura Allred’s painstakingly detailed and almost psychedelic coloring.
It doesn’t have the feel of anything epic or outrageously unique, but Slott and Allred don’t really seem to be aiming that high. Instead, it’s a solid attempt at simply putting together something fun, and on that level they succeed. “Silver Surfer” #1 is a nice showcase for both Slott and Allred’s talents, and it’s also a worthy introduction to a new series that should please Silver Surfer fans.