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Reviews: Essential Silver Surfer Vol. 1

Silver Surfer #1.
 

REVIEWS

Silver Surfer #1.
Silver Surfer #1. Marvel Comics.

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ESSENTIAL SILVER SURFER STORY

STAR RATINGS:

Best: 5 to 4.5 stars.

Good: 4 to 3 stars.

Bad: 2.5 to 2 stars.

Worst: 1.5 to 0 stars.

BEST: ESSENTIAL SILVER SURFER VOL. 1 (1968-1970)

Collects Silver Surfer #1-18.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Dialogue: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Plot: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Characterization: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Art: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.

In comicdom, there are few legendary names. In 1968, two of Marvel comics’ biggest names collaborated on a timeless and favorite story: Legendary writer and editor Stan Lee worked with artist John Buscema to bring the classic Silver Surfer series of the period.

As matter of fact, I gave 5.0 out of 5.0 to Essential Silver Surfer, Vol. 1 (Marvel Essentials) for being a dreamy space (or earth-bound) soap opera about a god-like alien estranged among the mere mortals. Really, it does not get better than this Marvel Essential. Indeed, this is the comic genre at its best for all Marvel-ites to enjoy.

To recommend, the trade paperback format offers some of the biggest 528 pages that fans can enjoy. From the beginning, what separates Silver Surfer from other Marvel heroes is that he has no flaws, except that of human misunderstanding. Indeed, witness Surfer’s titanic battles against the Overlord, the Stranger, Loki, Spider-Man. And yes… the dreamy cover and the dramatic start of the Silver Surfer vs Thor rivalry..

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DIALOGUE

In many respects, Silver Surfer’s first classic story is Shakespearean melo-drama. First, our protagonist is a melancholic character who is comfortable with monologues and long speeches. At the same time, he has the flair for the dramatic and seems to experience events in a passionate way. Indeed, witness Surfer saving a young Latino woman from war only to be rewarded with a kiss. But, lo and behold, his forsaken lover Shalla-Bal witnesses the scene from a flying spacecraft.

PLOT

Volume 1 focuses on Silver Surfer after the events of the Galactus trilogy and Fantastic Four #55-60. In fact, Silver Surfer rebelled against Galactus his master in order to save the Earth from destruction. After, Galactus punished the Sentinel by removing his space-born powers. Now, the Silver Surfer is stranded on Earth which he cannot leave due to a space barrier placed by the Devourer of Worlds. During his time on Earth, the tragic hero attempts to gain humanity’s trust and understanding but with continued failures. The plot progresses quickly and takes him to Asgard, the Netherworld and into space. Really, it does not get better than a space-faring soap opera!

CHARACTERIZATION

Where Stan Lee and John Buscema succeed is in the thrill of adventure and passion. However, what is lacking is true character evolution. In some sense, despite humanity’s hatred, it takes 18 issues for the Silver Surfer to finally change his stance towards humanity. At the same time, though a hero, he initially remains a lone hero, without a regular supporting cast.

ART

Perhaps, the art is the series’ strongest point. John Buscema’s pencils are drawn to perfection and he has produced the most imposing and welcoming Silver Surfer to date. Though a bit embellished, Buscema’s pencils draw distinctive characters. Indeed, the women tend to have curvy physiques, long hair and full lips while the men have strong arms, big hands and very proportionate physiques. Really, Buscema’s classical training appears.

VERDICT

Finally, the Marvel Essentials storyline is high spectacle. Really, Stan Lee and John Buscema make a powerful combination. As matter of fact, they work seamlessly with tight plots, unrelenting action and gorgeous panels to create a work of legend.

Definitely, this storyline is one of the greatest Marvel stories ever told. Indeed, it belongs in every Marvel-ite’s collection.


RESOURCES

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REFERENCES

Silver Surfer Vol 1 (1968–1970) in Marvel Database.

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