There are a lot of potential pitfalls of space travel, and many times, other planets are a nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t wanna live there. Which is kind of a shame for Dawn Greenwood… Your Major Spoilers review of Silver Surfer #9 awaits!
Previously in Silver Surfer: “On a recent visit to Earth, the Surfer reunited Dawn with her estranged mother, who had walked away from the family when Dawn was a child. But it wasn’t a happy reunion, and it took such an emotional toll on Dawn that she asked the Surfer to take her away to space again. Norrin began to wonder where he was doing more harm to his companion than good, but neither of them could resist the call of cosmic adventure. But, unbeknownst to Norrin and Dawn, a mysterious figure predicting a dark future has been tailing them, and the Never Queen believed their story is coming to an end…”
UTOPIA HAS ITS PRICE
Our story beings on the seemingly perfect planet Inkandessa-4, the fourth planet of a system whose other three planets have all been rendered uninhabitable due to various abuses. The people of the planet welcome Norrin and Dawn, excited to meet their first aliens, explaining that their current utopian existence was created after they destroyed Inkandessas 1 through 3, but their current world provides every convenience. Speaking of conveniences, Dawn finds herself in need of a restroom, a moment which shocks the Inkandessans, and also me as a reader, since I don’t recall anyone in the Marvel Universe has used the bathroom since Secret Wars II. Once she has returned, Dawn and the Surfer take the grand tour of the planet, including its beautiful cityscapes and a zoo full of exotic animals. When one of the creatures passes through the bars of its cage, a shocked Dawn is informed that the creature is a hologram. In fact, everyone on the entire planet, as well as their buildings and great works, is a holographic construct. “Dawn understands,” purrs their host, “we converted her into a hologram HOURS ago!”
NOT YOUR USUAL COMIC-BOOK TOPICS
That shocking moment is incredibly effective, and the Surfer’s response is likewise surprising, as he flies into a silvery rage and takes on the terrible aspects of Galactus’ herald again, threatening to bring the entire planet down if his lady friend is not restored immediately… Added to the horror factor is the fact that Dawn’s physical body is scheduled to be shredded and rendered into fuel for the machine that keeps the planet going, a truly disturbing idea and visual. There’s also a guest-star that Dawn recognizes, one who clearly knows more than he is willing to admit about what is going to happen to our duo in their new future. This whole issue is wonderful, filled with just enough cute Dawn/Norrin moments (including her admitting her love for him, even if he can’t bring himself to say it, and his utter dismay at reverting to his violent ways at the thought of Dawn endangered) to balance the terrible aspects and the ominous rumblings of something bad coming.
THE BOTTOM LINE: EXCELLENT, IF OMINOUS
With this creative team, I’ve come to expect good comics, but this done-in-one story is wonderful, with a clever take on alien utopias, a growing sense of unease and the truly wonderful one-two punch of our hero and his companion (or is that the other way around?) For many years, the Silver Surfer was used sparingly at Marvel with an unspoken rule that only Stan could write him correctly, but I’d be happy to see that rule return for Slott and Allred, whose Silver Surfer is a refreshing take on one of Marvel’s oldest characters. Silver Surfer #9 balances drama, romance, horror and space travel into a coherent, personal story with top-notch art and coloring, earning a dead-solid 5 out of 5 stars overall. I can’t recommend this book enough for fans who want something more than just the punchy-punchy crossover explosion-town…