Writer Donny Cates apparently decided to tie a lot of his Marvel work together. He gave the symbiotes a god, worked the death of Thanos into the relaunch of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and a host of other things.
So, why not a Silver Surfer mini-series that spun off that aforementioned Guardians of the Galaxy relaunch? That’s the basic premise here for this mini-series, titled Silver Surfer: Black.
That aforementioned Guardians of the Galaxy series opened with all the cosmic heroes meeting to discuss Thanos’s last will and testament, but an attack opened up some sort of black hole of some kind that sucked most of the heroes inside, including the Surfer. The Surfer did manage to rescue all the others, but he found himself trapped in the thing. He eventually got out, but in the far distant past. That puts him on a direct course to a force that seems to be destroying stars and planets in the distance.
That would be Knull, the aforementioned god of symbiotes. The Surfer knows he somehow had a confrontation with Knull in the past, but at this point, Knull is too powerful. Evil incarnate as Knull may be, the Surfer can’t defeat him in his current state. Especially since, for some reason, his silver skin is slowly turning a corrupt black color.
In many ways, this was a fun story. Yes, the Surfer has always been a more philosophical hero than anything else, someone who feels great guilt for his past with Galactus and is still capable of great nobility for defending those weaker than he is. That is on full display here. As the Surfer regains his strength throughout the story, he has a few interesting encounters with beings he will know much better later: a young Ego the Living Planet, a Watcher who already knows his future, and a newly reborn Galactus. These encounters help the Surfer see the path he has to take, and he certainly wasn’t planning it out that way.
Of course, I generally expect fun stuff from Cates, and the handful of times he hasn’t delivered, he generally has a little further down the road. This one goes a bit deep at times, but what really makes it isn’t so much Cates’s words as artist Tradd Moore’s work. His Surfer looks truly alien, like one of those “greys” that appear in a lot of pop culture. Combine that with a lot of bright colors and psychedelic imagery, and this mini-series has a truly unique look to it. It may not be the best Silver Surfer story ever told, but it certainly is one of the most unique-looking ones.
8.5 out of 10 planets of the dogs.