You might think that “Silver Surfer” #10 was the conclusion of the series, as Dan Slott, Michael Allred and Laura Allred wrap up a storyline pitting Surfer, Dawn and Newhaven refugees against Galactus — but don’t worry, it’s not. In terms of how to end a story arc, “Silver Surfer” #10 does so in a grand and dramatic way that ultimately gives this story that much more impact.
At first, this storyline — introducing the planet Newhaven, which is full of alien refugees whose worlds were destroyed by Galactus — seemed to be a fun and clever idea, if nothing too out of the ordinary. We’re proven wrong here, as Galactus’s arrival turns into a fight that both defines what it is to be a hero and sheds some more light on what Galactus looks for in a herald. Slott’s story about trying to save the residents of Newhaven ends up being much more because it not only plays with the history and mythology of the Silver Surfer, but it takes the familiar clash of Galactus wanting to devour an inhabited planet and brings it into new territory. In terms of the writing, it’s why Slott’s run on “Silver Surfer” works so well; it’s not content to simply rest on past glories and rehash the stories we’ve seen before, instead drawing off of them and creating something different.
Along those lines, Dawn Greenwood certainly had the possibility of becoming a cliche — the human who falls for the Silver Surfer — but, ten issues in, I need to say that I’m a big fan. Emotional attachment aside for the time being, there’s a lot to like about her. She has a mind of her own, something that makes her less of a sidekick and more of an ally to the Surfer. She’s also someone who is never content to be a victim or a puppet; we’ve seen it before in previous issues, and we get it again here in her attempt to save Newhaven from Galactus. As a result, it’s that much more believable to watch the relationship between Dawn and the Surfer grow and mature; she is, ultimately, a good match for him.
Michael and Laura Allred’s art is, as always, great. The character designs for all of the different alien species on Newhaven are fun; Michael Allred gives them varied shapes and sizes, and Laura Allred’s always-excellent colors help continue that variety. The layouts that Allred uses here are excellent; the two page spread on pages 5-6, for example, works in part because of how Allred takes the upper half of the pages to show us the trail of the Silver Surfer whipping through the sky in his assault on Galactic. The long, horizontal panel gives us the feeling of motion in a way that simply wouldn’t have worked in a standard panel. That motion and emotion is all over the place, too; when Galactus seizes Dawn, you can see the agony radiating off of her body both figuratively and literally. Those expressions of pain sell the moment as something truly awful.
As I said earlier, “Silver Surfer” #10 feels like it could have been the end of the series, and it’s hard to wonder if this was an artificial conclusion point in case the sales weren’t strong enough to warrant more issues. I’m thrilled that it’s not the end, even with the slight change in the status quo holding a lot of possibilities for where “Silver Surfer” #11 and beyond will take us. Once again, kudos to all involved; Slott and the Allreds continue to breathe life into a character who is far too easily made stale.