Last time around, Norrin Radd and Dawn Greenwood figured out the real reason that the Incredulous Zed captured the Silver Surfer, but neither of them are sure why it is that she has been deemed important the Surfer’s future. Will they find any clues back on Earth? Your Major Spoilers review of Silver Surfer #4 awaits!
SILVER SURFER #4
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Michael Allred
Colorist: Laura Allred
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Silver Surfer: Summoned to the Impericon, a strange alien resort city/state/planetoid, The Silver Surfer was tasked with destroying the evil Never Queen. In order to guarantee his cooperation, the Impericon’s comptroller (a being with the rather appropriate name of ‘The Incredulous Zed’) also kidnapped the person deemed most important to the Surfer: a young woman named Dawn Greenwood. Problem is, neither Dawn nor the Surfer have any idea why she’s in any way important to him. The problem of the Never Queen has been solved (and it wasn’t precisely what Zed had claimed it was), and now the Surfer is ready to return Miss Greenwood to her home in Massachusetts…
“I AM GROOT!”
This issue opens not with the Surfer, but with his old Defenders comrades, Doctor Strange and The Hulk, fighting off an invasion of black-and-white Universal Movie Monsters in a retirement community in New Jersey. Strange suddenly realizes that the person who can help them unravel the mystery has just arrived, as The Silver Surfer arrives back in our galaxy. The cover promises an appearance by the Guardians of The Galaxy, mere weeks out from their big movie premiere, but the actual appearance is quite brief (if funny). Dawn is concerned as to why Norrin is so annoyed when the GoTG intercept and scan them (they claim it’s to remove alien microbes, but their true purpose is to ascertain that Surfer is not under the control of his old boss, Galactus) and off-handedly jokes that he should just judge her whole planet already. The Surfer grimly replies, “I have”, reminding all of us of why he’s less than comfortable to come back. Dan Slott’s character work has been the soul of this book, and this issue is no exception, especially in a quiet conversation between Dawn and The Surfer in which she tries to explain a reference to ‘The Wizard Of Oz’. “I know the Wizard of Oz,” he explains, reminding her that he spent over a decade on her planet with cosmic awareness, and knows all about her culture, pop and otherwise. He confides in her that he doesn’t hate her world, he just remembers the cosmic barrier that kept him trapped here for so long, leading to a lovely bonding moment where she grabs his silvery hand in quiet support. It’s really lovely work…
Upon returning to Anchor Bay, Surfer feels that something is… off, and sticks around long enough to have some nice lobster bisque with Dawn’s family (after first mistaking her identical twin sister for a Skrull). Upon my first read-through of the book, I didn’t notice how incredibly subtle some of the visuals were, but Allred’s art makes it 100% clear that SOMETHING is absolutely wrong in Dawn’s hometown, and it’s incredibly creepy stuff to behold. Having actually powered down from his cosmic form at Miss Greenwood’s behest, The Surfer actually falls asleep on her porch, which turns out to be a good thing for his old friends Doctors Strange and Banner. The founding Defenders make their way to Massachusetts just as our hero awakens and takes to the skies. It seems like the reunion of the Defenders (or, technically, ‘The Titans Three’ as this trio predates the original Defenders, and yes I know these things right off the top of my head, shut up) isn’t going to happen as Norrin Radd and his board rocket into space, entering Earth’s atmosphere…
…and once again finding themselves unable to pass the Great Barrier, leaving The Silver Surfer once again trapped within the confines of planet Earth.
THE BOTTOM LINE: STRANGELY ADDICTIVE
This series has been great fun since day one, and this issue, while quieter and more introspective than the space-battles in the Impericon, is still a really fun read with lovely art. I actually want to go back now and check out Dawn’s appearances in issue #1 and see if there were any hints of the “strangeness” we see this ish, and highly recommend that you read this one more than once, with a careful eye. Whatever is going on here, the mystery of Dawn Greenwood’s importance just got a little deeper, and Slott has given us a window into the mind of Norrin Radd that we haven’t seen since Englehart’s Surfer solo series back in the late 1980s. Silver Surfer #4 is absolutely enchanting, with some lovely touches of character and art, a shocking moment that makes perfect sense (OF COURSE he’s heard of Star Wars, he has cosmic awareness!) and continues the streak of Surfer excellence, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. It’s a good book, and one I think you should absolutely be reading…