|“The Silver Surfer: In Thy Name” on sale November 7|
The cosmos of the Marvel Universe is vast place and nobody knows that more than the Silver Surfer. In his wanderings through infinity, the gleaming Sentinel of the Spaceways has met a variety of alien species and cultures and tried to help them rise above their differences and solve their problems. On November 7, the Surfer will find himself embroiled again in the dangerous and delicate matters of an intergalactic empire in the four-issue “The Silver Surfer: In Thy Name” miniseries by writer Simon Spurrier and artist Tan Eng Huat. CBR News spoke with Spurrier about the mini-series.
Spurrier credits his editor for making “In Thy Name” a reality. “It came about through the sheer awesomosity of my editor, Aubrey Sitterson,” Spurrier told CBR News. “I met him last year at the New York Comic Con and he’s been keeping an eye open for potential projects ever since. He wanted to run a Surfer serial and I guess all my ‘2000AD’ work gives me sci-fi credentials, because I was one of the guys he got to pitch for it.
“As for his flaws–I can think of only two. The first is that he simply won’t allow himself to accept that people are vicious, brutish creatures; he’s so convinced that we all have the potential to be better that he’ll do anything to bring that about. The second is that there’s still a lot of the man he once was inside him, which ironically can sometimes make him subject to the same flaws – temper, impatience, self-centeredness – as the people he’s trying to help.”
“In Thy Name” does not depict the Surfer serving as the Herald of the planet devourer, Galactus. “He’s in a phase of simply wandering the galaxy; contemplating the harsh realities of life and death and exploring the wonders of the void,” Spurrier said.
The Surfer’s wanderings in Spurrier’s series bring him into contact with a diverse collection of beings. “It’s all set in and around an empire of worlds and races known as the Ama Collective. They consider themselves highly progressive: peace-loving, idealistic, inquisitive,” Spurrier explained. “The administrative hub – Ama Prime – is thought of as a Utopia, and it’s there that much of the series is set.
“The other major location is a world called ‘Brekknis’: a recent addition to the Collective,” Spurrier continued. “It’s poor and industrialized, and its people have a history of religiously motivated war. That’s all stopped now, thanks to the collective’s intervention, but there are one or two worrying traces of the old ways still lying around: not least a ghostly presence that torments the capital city every night.”
|“The Silver Surfer: In Thy Name” cover by Michael Turner|
The tone of in “In Thy Name” will include elements from a variety of science fiction styles including Sci-Fi Action, Hard Science Fiction, and Space Opera. “The story’s far more about the actions of the people involved than any particular sci-fi tropes, so I’ve used the genre as a way of generating ideas, of setting-up stunning visuals and pulse-quickening situations, and of exploring rhetorical situations which don’t exist on the earth,” Spurrier said. “I guess it has more in common with a ‘fantasy-in-space’ vibe (‘Star Wars,’ say) than with any straight-faced attempt to play with ‘real’ physics (‘Star Trek,’ etc), but even then a story needs the internal logic of science and technology. It’s very easy to ‘cheat’ in sci-fi – inventing some daft macguffin to pep things up at the expense of plausibility – and that’s something I’m dead against. There’s a difference between things being weird/inventive/imaginative, and things being unbelievable.”
Spurrier hopes readers enjoy “The Silver Surfer: In Thy Name” because he’d love the chance to take readers on more intergalactic wanderings with the wielder of the Power Cosmic. “My suspicion is that Surfer stories live or die according to how empathetically he’s presented. It’s hard for readers to have any emotional investment in an alien of unimaginable cosmic power who’s always in danger of becoming – let’s face it – a smug bastard. So it’s really important that we can get inside his head and see his decency laid-out.
“I’d enjoy taking him off on a romp through the galaxy,” Spurrier continued. “Visiting the earth once in a while, but mostly just exploring; tangling with all manner of weirdness and galactic scum. The thing to remember is that despite his power and age, the Surfer can be childishly naïve. When he’s immersed in some really sinister debauchery it creates fantastic scope for drama.”
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