The Silver Surfer has been thrown through time and space and come face-to-face with the evil that is the symbiote god Knull. In seeking help and survival, he meets up with Ego, the living planet and finds something lurking deep within: the incubator containing his future master, Galactus. As if the Surfer didn’t have enough on his mind with the Power Cosmic draining from his body and on the run from Knull, now he’s faced with the toughest decision of his life. Can he kill the sleeping Galactus and prevent all the death and destruction he’s caused?
As a quick aside, it’s a little funny that Silver Surfer: Black is dealing with the idea of killing a baby (albeit a sleeping giant) and writer Donny Cates‘ previous series, Cosmic Ghost Rider had the title character traveling through time in an attempt to kill an infant Thanos. That’s quite a theme to stick to.
In any case, Cates brings up quite a moral conundrum here. There’s no doubt that Galactus represents a force of nature, literally eating worlds as he travels through the cosmos, including the Surfer’s own home. If he destroyed this incubator, all of that would be prevented and his world could be saved, but at what cost? He’s done a lot of good with these powers and all of that would be erased if Galactus was never around.
This weighs heavily on Norrin Radd and artist Tradd Moore captures that trepidation perfectly. You can see the introspection play out on the Surfer’s face. This leads to a trippy mind meld as he looks for answers and guidance. Moore’s work on this book is out of this world. There is nothing else like it on the stands today and it’s a great fit for this epic story.
Moore really plays up the liquid nature of the Surfer’s abilities. The hero shifts and changes based on what is needed. At one point he uses his powers to create a huge silver chain to tug the incubator around. This is joined by the shifting appearance of Ego and Uatu, adding to the alien aspect of the series.
Much of this is aided and amplified by colorist Dave Stewart. The colors are like nothing I’ve ever seen. This is a cosmic book through and through. What especially stands out is how the Surfer changes throughout the issue as more and more of his power is sapped away, turning his body black. It’s not black like darkness. It’s more like a swirling vortex, like you can stare into it and see things moving within. It’s a great effect that is only heightened by how it continues to spread.
Just in case you needed to further engross yourself in the cosmic elements of Silver Surfer: Black, letterer Clayton Cowles is here to help. Ego’s speech comes through in balloons filled with swirling colors that coincide with the similar nature of his surface.
Silver Surfer: Black is an incredible character study with a truly unique perspective. This is what the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe looks like and it’s glorious. I would totally read an ongoing series of these kind of adventures. Imagine all the other characters bouncing around space that could get this treatment.