When a pair of siblings set out to explore their new home, little did they know they would uncover a ghost from The Silver Surfer’s past, your Major Spoilers review of Silver Surfer: Ghost Light #1 from Marvel Comics awaits!
SILVER SURFER: GHOST LIGHT #1
Writer: John Jennings
Artist: Valentine De Landro
Colorist: Matt Milla
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Editor: Darren Shan
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: February 1st, 2023
Previously in Silver Surfer: Ghost Light: The niece of Al Harper has recently moved into her late uncle’s house with her brother, grandmother, and parents. Little is known about the details surrounding her uncle’s death.
THE SHINING MAN
Silver Surfer: Ghost Light #1 opens with Toni in the middle of a dream, where a green glowing man is calling out to her. She is awoken by her mother who’s trying to get ready to go out. The two have a heart-to-heart about the recent move and changes the family has made. Her parents then leave and her grandmother goes to sleep leaving Toni and her younger brother alone. The two then set out to explore the house and learn more about their uncle. Along the way, they uncover his underground laboratory by means of jazz. While exploring around they accidentally activate a device that releases a red ball of energy that promptly escapes. The two chase it down, while out in the cosmos, the energy signature draws the attention of The Silver Surfer.
A DEEP DIVE
Silver Surfer: Ghost Light #1 is a bit of an enigma. On one hand, it’s written like the first issue of a new series; There’s a lot of clunky language that squeezes in as much exposition as it can and there’s a heavy focus on the setup and putting pieces into place rather than jumping right into the action. On paper, it sounds like it would be a pretty accessible book to get into, and for the most part, it is, but the elephant in the room is that this whole series is based on a character that appeared in a single issue of Silver Surfer in the 60s. While this has worked in other places, here there isn’t enough explanation of who this character is, so when the reveal is made it was met with a resounding “who?” Beyond that issue, there are some pacing problems here. The first half of this issue is essentially devoted to showing just how loving and functional this family is, even if they don’t always agree. The rest of it is a series of convenient moments that manage to get the characters into the lab and then to where they meet Silver Surfer. What this pace does manage to do though is to establish some emotional investment in the family and particularly the kids. So the hope is that going forward this will be a nice foundation.
The art in Silver Surfer: Ghost Light #1 is good, particularly the coloring. With the linework taking a less is more approach to detail, the coloring steps in to fill in the gaps very nicely. Even though a time of day is never mentioned, it’s clear what time it is due to little details like how light is coming through the windows. The one nitpick I have has to do with the eyes. While the characters here have lots of emoting via their faces and gestures, the eyes remain very neutral. It’s a minor thing but if you focus only on the eyes it gives the impression of everyone being stuck in a neutral emotive state.
BOTTOM LINE: A VERY QUIET AND NOT VERY EXCITING BLAST FROM THE PAST
Silver Surfer: Ghost Light #1 banks a little too much on its deep pull from the annals of Silver Surfer history to provide the punch in this issue. There’s a noticeable lack of action or even drama here. This makes it feel like you’re reading about the relatively stakeless hijinks of a brother and sister with a cameo from one of the most powerful beings in the galaxy. 3 out of 5 stars.