Surf's up.
I've been lax in my Silver Surfer reading lately. This is not a commentary on the most recent runs by Dan Slott and Mike Allred. The issues I have looked through by that team were fun and appropriately weird tales of the Surfer with his companion Dawn. It was fun. It wasn't the old Surfer I was used to though- the lone rider in space conflicted over his mission as the herald of Galactus.

The just released Silver Surfer Annual is the retro Surfer I'm familiar with.

The Annual begins with a look back at Norrin Radd's life as a boy on Zenn-La before he had to make the decision that would ultimately transform him into the Silver Surfer. We have only, to my knowledge, seen Zenn-La in quick bursts as the background paradise for Norrin and a serene setting for his love story with Shalla-Bal. Here we are presented with a very young Norrin, Shalla and several of their peers in a classroom that isn't as idyllic as that prior version of Zenn-La. Norrin's people seem to prize conformity and his wish to see what lies beyond in outer space is openly mocked by his teacher and fellow students. It actually reminds me of how Mon-El and his Daxamite people are often portrayed in DC Comics. The only one who supports Norrin's dream is the young Shalla-Bal.

Fast forward to a later time and Norrin is in full Silver Surfer mode.

Full Silver Surfer mode.
Here, the Silver Surfer is working to complete his mission to find a planet with the proper energies for his master Galactus to consume. He remarks that he doesn't like his mission but if the cost is the fate of his world then he will complete it. The Surfer still has a heart so he is looking for a world with no inhabitants or inhabitants that will probably wipe themselves out without outside intervention sooner than later.

I won't say anymore but the story pretty much goes where you expect it to, which is not a knock on the writing of Ethan Sacks and is definitely not a commentary on the always exceptional artwork of Andre Lima Araujo with a fitting color assist by Chris O'Halloran. The story is a commentary on looking deeper into what makes a people worthy and also our own human nature. It comments a bit on tribalism and hits a bit on how one trait or action isn't indicative of the actions of a person or people as a whole. There are also the questions of legacy that are raised. How will we be remembered when we are gone? Should we even be remembered?

This was a good read. I would have preferred the addition of possibly another story but for the narrative that was presented it was a well done synthesis of writing, drawing and the weird coloring of the Silver Surfer in very alien landscapes. It's retro Surfer and I approve.

Check it out.

Sean Fields is an aspiring writer and has been in the education field for more than a decade. He works mostly with teenagers nowadays which both keeps him well informed on pop culture and makes his hair turn grayer daily. He has a few blogs but is currently focused on this one and this other one. You can also find him on TumblrTwitter and Instagram, if you want to be entertained or infuriated.

Waveform Waveform Reviewed by SeanFields on Monday, September 10, 2018 Rating: 5
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