Norrin Radd faces the ghosts of his past, with Earth hanging in the balance! Your Major Spoilers review of Silver Surfer #3 awaits!
Previously in Silver Surfer: As an alien force attacked his adoptive planet, The Silver Surfer chose to oppose it, and save the Earth. Now, he has discovered that the aliens are his own people, trying to rebuild lost Zenn-La.
Oh, and their leader is his first love, Shalla-Bal. Awkward!
REVERSAL OF FORTUNES
It’s the Fiftieth Anniversary issue to end all Fiftieth Anniversary issues! Until, y’know, the next one… Still, this issue starts off with a real corker: The Silver Surfer has engaged the alien fleet in battle, only to find that their champion is his old friend The Thing, and their leader is Shalla-Bal, the woman for whom he gave up his humanity to become the Surfer in the first place. As her Illuminatrix reweaves the entire world, The Surfer finds himself in a terrible position. The people of New York are rooting against him, finding that Shalla’s transformation will leave them healthy, strong and wealthy in a new world, while the actual Zenn-Lavians root against him in the hopes of replacing their world. Add to that the punishing fists of The Thing, and Norrin is having a really bad day. Thankfully for him, Dawn Greenwood and Alicia Masters have his board, and once again Alicia intervenes to try to save her planet, as she did when The Surfer came to destroy the Earth. The Thing is barely able to shake off mind control (he’ll do anything to save his Alicia) but the arriving Avengers are converted to Zenn-LaVengers, forcing The Silver Surfer to do the one thing he hoped he’d never have to do…
A TERRIBLE PRICE TO PAY
Slott and Allred’s work on this book has been utterly amazing since the beginning, but this is clearly a milestone to which they’ve been building. Even in the midst of the chaos, there’s still clever dialogue, wonderful character work (As the Avengers arrive, The Vision makes everyone quiet down because he promised Ms. Marvel she could call ‘Avengers Assemble!’) and some of the sweetest Dawn Greenwood moments yet. Slott’s Alicia Masters is wonderful, a gentle artist with a core of steel (when Dawn points out that she’s blind, Alicia responds “And you’re from Massachusetts” before setting off into the heart of the superhero battle anyway) and the Surfer’s final decision is heart-rending, in more ways that one. As the issue closes, I actually yelled “WHAT?” out loud, and even though things look dark, I have faith in this creative team that it’s going to be okay.
Or, at least, not okay in a way that will be a great read.
THE BOTTOM LINE: WHAT? *WHAT???*
Most impressively, Slott and Allred take a couple of the most-used comic tropes (the Alien Invasion, the Sacrifice Play), brush off the dirt and put them into play like new, giving us an issue that isn’t like any previous use of these story elements. Silver Surfer #3 is flat-out amazing, celebrating the character’s golden anniversary with style, and also leaving us with a very different world (or is that “worlds”?) for the Surfer going forward, earning a truly impressive 5 out of 5 stars overall.
Just go read it, okay?