Warning: The following contains spoilers for Avengers #27 by Jason Aaron, Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales, Jason Keith and Cory Petit, on sale now.
After defending the Earth from invading Celestials, bloodthirsty vampires, Dark Elves and the new King of Hell, the Avengers are now heading to the stars for the "Starbrand Reborn" story arc. First teased in 2017's Marvel Legacy #1 and followed up in Avengers #10/#700, Avengers #20 and Free Comic Book Day 2019 Avengers/Savage Avengers #1, a new host for the cosmic Starbrand has surfaced in the Shi'ar galaxy.
Whoever this new wielder is, they are carving the signature Starbrand mark on numerous planets in a prison the size of an actual galaxy. Something of this magnitude will naturally draw the interest of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, with Captain America inviting Black Widow along for extra backup as Black Panther searches for the currently missing-in-action Iron Man.
Unfortunately, after rocketing into the maximum-security prison galaxy, things have gone from bad to worse for the Avengers. To start, their spacecraft is stuck in magnetic webs set up by the prisoners to snare ships. They've been shipwrecked for three days as the ship loses oxygen, and members of the team are lost in space after Thor is infected and turned into an alien Brood monster.
Luckily, the lost heroes -- Ghost Rider, Blade and Black Widow -- are still alive but being chased across the stars by a familiar hero with a slightly new look: the Silver Surfer.
To the amazement of Robbie Reyes, his hellcharger is no match for a cosmic surfboard in a race. Avengers #27 ends with the tease of "The Three Heralds," with the implication being that Silver Surfer will be joined next issue by two more former Heralds of Galactus. The creation of a new Starbrand is obviously having massive repercussions across the cosmic portion of the Marvel Universe, so we should expect to see even more surprising guest-stars as the saga continues.
You also may have noticed Silver Surfer looks a bit different than how he is usually illustrated. Instead of his metallic-looking skin, the Silver Surfer and his space board are now completely black. This is a result of the events in the Silver Surfer: Black miniseries by Donny Cates and Tradd Moore, with Norrin Radd sucked into the distant past after falling into a black hole. Silver Surfer's battle against Knull, the God of the Symbiotes, drained the hero of his cosmic energy one body part at a time until his entire body is replaced with the new dark form we see in Avengers #27.
Of course, this isn't the first time we've seen Silver Surfer as a Dark Rider. Cates' epic Thanos run introduced the Silver Surfer Black, aka the Fallen One, in the far-flung future as he battled present-day Thanos, Future King Thanos and the Cosmic Ghost Rider.
This new form for the Silver Surfer appears to be his new status quo for the time being. However, his reasoning for chasing after the Avengers is unknown at this time. As "Starbrand Reborn" continues, we could see a team-up between the former Herald of Galactus and Earth's Mightiest Heroes.