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Slott & Allred Celebrate “Silver Surfer’s” 50th Anniversary With A Character-Changing Saga

by  in Comic News Comment
Slott & Allred Celebrate “Silver Surfer’s” 50th Anniversary With A Character-Changing Saga

In 1966, Jack Kirby and Stan Lee introduced the Silver Surfer in “Fantastic Four” #48, the first installment of the “Galactus Trilogy” starring the titular world devourer and his herald, the Surfer. In the story, Earth is saved from destruction when the FF’s ally, Alicia Masters, appeals to the Surfer’s humanity, convincing him to rebel against his master and save the planet.

In the decades that followed, the Surfer’s distinctive appearance, vast cosmic power and innate sense of nobility made him one of Marvel‘s most beloved characters. The aftermath of the “Galactus Trilogy” left the Surfer stranded on Earth for many years, but the character eventually won back the freedom to travel anywhere in the Marvel Universe.

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Recently, he picked up a traveling companion in the form of an Earth woman named Dawn Greenwood. Writer Dan Slott and artist Mike Allred chronicled Dawn’s adventures with the Surfer in the first volume of their critically acclaimed “Silver Surfer” series. This January, the duo launch a new volume of the book, which will find the Surfer and Dawn returning to Earth for a character redefining arc that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Surfer’s first appearance.

CBR News: In January, you and Mike are returning to “Silver Surfer.” How does it feel to be launching a new volume of the book?

Dan Slott: We never left! [Laughs] Working with Mike Allred and working on “Silver Surfer” has consistently led to some of the best stuff of my career. I don’t think we’ve clunked any issue. I look at the book and I go, “Man! We’re nailing this!” Every issue makes me so happy. If this is a ride, I don’t want it to stop.

That’s what’s great about doing the relaunch; it’s the chance to bring in more people to see what we’re doing.

One of the things I loved about “Silver Surfer” was that you and Mike often really challenged yourselves and what you could do with the medium you’re working in. That led to some really fun and unique issues, like “Silver Surfer” #11. Are you and Mike talking about the next big experiment that you want to do?

Oh, yeah! As long as we get to keep doing this, you’re going to get some weird stuff coming your way. We’ll try to do something weird and out there like the Möbius Strip issue [#11] at least once a year.

We’re also going to keep exploring as we try to tell stories throughout the universe in weird new ways. That’s part of the fun of the Silver Surfer! He can go anywhere and do anything!

In “Silver Surfer” #1, you’re picking up the adventures of your title character and Dawn Greenwood eight months after the close of the previous volume. What’s changed for them off panel during that time?

[Laughs] Something that we knew about Dawn and her journey was that we were going to limit how many times we go back to Earth. Whenever we talked to other writers and creators during things like Marvel summits, one of the things that I would be very strict on was, if you wanted to use the Silver Surfer, you need to use him in space, because every time he comes back to Earth, Dawn’s home, that’s a milestone.

That’s an important part of their journey, and that’s where we are right now. It’s the first time we’ve been back on Earth since issue #4 of our last volume. All this time, they’ve been off in the universe exploring and doing all these things, and now we get to go home to family and friends and see what’s happened in the interim. It’s a good jumping on point for new readers because it’s about our Earth girl going home.

What can you tell us about the adventure the Surfer and Dawn get caught up in when they return to Dawn’s home planet?

Our first arc of stories is firmly on Earth. Who and what Norrin Radd is revolves so much around Earth. He was Galactus’ Herald for centuries. So he found planets for his master to feed on and led him to them. It wasn’t until he came to Earth and saw the beauty and potential of Earth that he turned on his master.

We are a critical planet in who and what he is. We’re such an important part of the universe for Norrin Radd, and something about that is going to drastically change in this opening arc. When we hit issue #3, it’s the 50th anniversary of the Silver Surfer from when he first appeared. It’s been 50 years with this character, and we knew that the story we were telling had to be big.

This first story is a four-issue arc, so we hope people jump on right at the gate, because by the time we hit issue #3 something so major in the life, history and time of the Surfer happens. We throw this phrase around a lot when we say, “This character will never be the same again!” Boy, do we mean it this time! There’s something that happens in “Silver Surfer” #3 that, if you have any love for this character in the Marvel Universe, you can not miss this issue. You need to jump on now. This saga is epic. It forever changes the character while being true to the character. It’s such a turning point in our characters’ lives and history that this adventure will forever be a part of them.

I imagine setting this story on Earth gives you the opportunity to have fun with some guest star heroes and villains that wouldn’t normally appear in the book.

Yes, we’ve been off in deep space for so long and during that time we have seen only the occasional guest star. We had a big fight with Galactus, and we met up with other Marvel characters like the Shaper of Worlds, Glorian and Eternity. SYou still felt the size and the scope of the Marvel Cosmos, but it’s going to be fun to be back on Earth.

We’re going to run into Benjamin J. Grimm, the Thing! So we’ll have a Silver Surfer/Thing throw down. We’re going to see some Avengers, and as we move along, it’s possible that we might see a certain Web-Slinger. [Laughs] There’s stuff a happening on Earth.

What can you tell us about Dawn’s role in this arc?

If you’re a new reader, you don’t need to know this, but if you were following the old series, you will notice something very strange and familiar with Dawn’s wardrobe and her haircut. [Laughs] So what’s going on there? Is there a hidden reason for that? Yeah, sure.

One of the fun developments of the first “Silver Surfer” volume was the changing dynamic and relationship between Dawn and the Surfer.

There will be some interesting developments in the opening arc with Dawn and the Surfer’s relationship. On the cover of “Silver Surfer” #2, you can see Dawn hanging out with Alicia Masters — the Earth girl who showed Surfer the beauty of her world and spared the planet. There’s going to be some very interesting things with that; it’s going to be fun to see Alicia and Dawn play off of each other.

What’s it like having Mike explore Earth with you? What do he and colorist Laura Allred have in store for readers?

Everything Mike and Laura do on this book makes me so happy! [Laughs] We geek out when I run stories by them. There’s some really bizarre cameos that you will see in “Surfer” #1, including a fun Allred-ian one that’s worth the price of admission alone. We don’t want to spoil anything, but you will see some of the weirdest cameos we’ve done yet in a Silver Surfer book. It was so much fun to see Mike go to town on that.

One of the things I think we’ve done a nice job on when we get feedback from readers is, “Silver Surfer” is a reader-friendly book on multiple levels. It’s something parents read with their kids, and it’s something significant others read with their significant others. It’s not mired in Marvel continuity, and while sometimes it can be high on melodrama, it’s big on fun and adventure. It’s a nice, big, fun escape. It’s a really great book to hit as the last in your stack so you’re left with a pleasant feeling. [Laughs]

You walk away going, “Oh, yeah! Yay, comics!” I think so much of that is the Allred magic where you go, “Oh that’s just fun!”

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