On a far-off world, a child scavenges for supplies. A local warlord offers the last ship leaving the planet, and the planet’s survivors are searching for something, anything to offer to the warlord to get transport off-world. It is here that the Silver Surfer roams, cloaked and with his surfboard hidden away. He and Galactus have a wager, and, if the Silver Surfer wins, the planet and its inhabitants live.
The Best Defense: The Silver Surfer #1 puts another piece in the puzzle of The Best Defense storyline. Here, we learn of something called the Train. It is a constantly-moving mass of celestial energy that rips through worlds, consuming their energy, and leaving a husk in its wake. Its conductor is a mysterious godlike being that confounds even the mighty Galactus.
The Train is also lightly referenced in The Best Defense: Doctor Strange.
I was most looking forward to the Silver Surfer installment of Best Defense, and I find myself somewhat disappointed by the resulting comic. Norrin Radd hasn’t had a comic since the Dan Slott and Mike Allred series, and he hasn’t been seen since Infinity Countdown. I was hoping for something more with the character here, but much of the comic revolves around the child.
That child may or may not be the offspring of the modern-era Yondu, which resembles the Michael Rooker rendition of the character in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy films.
The story feels a little disjointed too, jumping back and forth through time in its attempts to explain what is happening on this world and why the Silver Surfer is here. The story isn’t that complex, but being presented in a convoluted manner leaves it feeling a little limp and more confounding than it should be.
Jason Latour’s artwork is decent. Latour’s style adds a lot of personality to this dying world, and his rendition of Galactus is quite good. The Silver Surfer himself looks great, even with the strange American Western garb he wears throughout much of the comic. The color-work adds a lot of character to the comic as well, jumping between cosmic shades of purple, blue, and black and the brown and gray-centered palette of the dying world.
The Best Defense: The Silver Surfer #1 is a slightly disappointing read. The story is a little more winding and complicated than it needs to be, and Norrin Radd isn’t in the comic as much as a Silver Surfer fan would hope. That said, it’s not so bad as to make me suggest staying away from it, and it contributes a fair amount to The Best Defense story. If you’ve liked this Defenders crossover, then feel free to pick it up. If you’re just a follower of the Silver Surfer…well, it’s still something, and it’s not outright bad.
The Best Defense: The Silver Surfer #1 comes to us from writer and artist Jason Latour, letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles, cover artist Ron Garney with Richard Isanove, and variant cover artists Pasqual Ferry with Chris Sotomayor, Skan, Skottie Young, and John Buscema with Morry Hollowell.