Silver Surfer #4

Story by
Art by
Michael Allred
Colors by
Laura Allred
Letters by
Joe Sabino
Cover by
Marvel Comics

"Silver Surfer" #3 featured the Surfer going up against his resurrected lover Shalla Bal and the forces of his home planet Zenn-La; in the end, the Surfer had to use his powers to protect Earth (and many other planets) by wiping out their homogenizing force, even as he knew it meant separating himself from his own world forever. In reading "Silver Surfer" #4, Dan Slott, Michael Allred, and Laura Allred's comic sure looks fantastic, but there's nothing here that we didn't see in the previous issue.

The art is great, as the Allreds give us action in the streets and drama in the hospital room. Normal people like Dawn or Alicia come across as attractive but not ridiculously so, and -- just as importantly -- they come across as real. The way they dress or react to characters like Shalla Bal make them look like someone you might just see walking down the sidewalk. Even slightly improbable moments (like the fight between Alicia and Shalla Bal) are entertaining because of the way they're drawn. Michael Allred makes Alicia move and dodge gracefully, even as Shalla Bal has a certain drive to her attacks. There's even something adorable about the thumbs up that Dawn's reflection gives herself, without ever appearing overly saccharine. Laura Allred's colors continue to look handsome and never over-rendered; her ability to use color palettes for each location without ever drawing attention to that fact is admirable, and -- at moments where there are lots of characters (like the huge crowd at the end) -- she never holds back.

On the other hand, Slott brings the Surfer and Dawn to more or less the same exact spot they were in last time (except the Surfer isn't unconscious anymore). In the previous issue, Surfer and Dawn's relationship being that much stronger now was front and center, and this doesn't change anything. Similarly, the rift between the Surfer and his people was pretty well established last time, but now we have to walk through the new status quo again. It's nice that the assemblage of the heroes of the Marvel Universe (who did very little in "Silver Surfer" #3) get three pages of action as they fend off the forces of Zenn-La, but that has more to do with the art than the script itself.

"Silver Surfer" #4 feels like a comic that just spent an issue treading water. There's little going on here that we haven't seen already, and that's a shame. "Silver Surfer" is normally an inventive and fun comic, and -- while the Allreds' work on the issue is up to their high standards -- there's little for people who read the last issue to get excited about.

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