Silver Surfer: Black #1 Is Like A Cosmic Fever Dream

by James Ferguson

Back in Guardians of the Galaxy #1, Thanos’ forces sent the Silver Surfer and a few other cosmic heroes into a black hole. Somehow, they survived and the Sentinel of the Spaceways found a way to save the others, but as a result, he ended up lost on the other side of the universe. How can he hope to get back? And what happens when a new villain rears its ugly head?

Silver Surfer: Black is some super trippy stuff. Artist Tradd Moore has outdone himself with these crazy visuals. His artwork speaks to the heart of the Silver Surfer and how insane his adventures can be. It’s like a fever dream.

Moore plays with the boundaries of the medium, stretching them just as the Surfer stretches the edges of oblivion he’s found himself in. His body is broken down and rebuilt piece by piece. The liquid nature of his form and his surfboard is used to great effect, allowing him to move and transform as he passes through the darkness and into the unknown.

Throughout all of these amazing visuals, the Silver Surfer’s narration plays with a somber outlook. If this is to be his end, he accepts it, knowing that he’s done everything he can to make this universe a better place. Of course, he’s not unarmed as the power cosmic courses through his veins. Writer Donny Cates steadily builds the tension in this issue, taking the Surfer to the lowest lows before building him back up in an epic crescendo.

Moore’s artwork is complemented by Dave Stewart’s colors, rounding out this bizarre and incredible universe. The journey through the black hole creates some jaw-dropping images that explode with color. You’d think a black hole would be…you know…black, but this experience is a collision of every shade. This extends out to the other side of oblivion with some great Kirby-esque creations.

This experience is trying on the Surfer. When he eventually makes it out of the black hole, he’s weakened. Letterer Clayton Cowles shows this in the Surfer’s speech, using word balloons with a shaky outline as the character struggles to stand.

Cates said in the Silver Surfer: Black launch trailer that everything he’s written has built to this point. There are definitely elements of his other Marvel work here. It’s exciting to see how these pieces fit together. While it’s rare to get a long run on a single title now, it’s interesting how a writer can build on previous stories, creating a Frankenstein-esque run for the eagle-eyed reader.

Silver Surfer: Black is unlike anything else on the stands today. It’s a testament to what the comic book medium is capable of, testing the limits of visual storytelling. More importantly, it gets to the core essence of the character, taking him back to his roots and building him up all over again. It’s downright impressive.

Silver Surfer: Black #1 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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