Comic Book Review: Silver Surfer Black #1

This is one of those perfect storm comics that comes along where every single aspect of the damn thing is appealing. Donny Cates? Dave Stewart? Tradd fuggin’ Moore? Silver Surfer in a bizzaro cosmic adventure? FUCK AND YES PLEASE.

This book kicks off after the cosmic powerhouses assembled early in Cates’ GotG series and had a singularity detonated right in their faces. It was a killer scene in the book, frantic and dynamic, and we saw some heroes make it out alive, and some disappear within the confines of a black hole. The opening of this book is fantastic, observing the event from the Surfer’s perspective.

Tradd Moore is just something else in the world of sequential art. His work with Justin Jordan on the jaw-dropping ‘Luther Strode’ series established Moore as quite possibly the single best action sequence artist – his work has this organic liquidity to it, and the frenetic energy of these fights blast off the panel and into the readers’ face. His work on the new Ghost Rider series added this crazy supernatural element to his work, an otherworldly incorporation that really boosted his artwork. In this book he absolutely releases the hounds and creates dreamlike sequences that…shit. Its’s breathtaking.

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This book is so different from everything on the shelves, art-wise, and Moore deserves a ton of credit for it, but we cannot even forget to lavish praise on color art legend Dave Stewart for his detailed, alien work here. The dreamlike quality of the unknown is really emboldened by Stewart’s palate. And this was not an easy assignment! Cates and Moore came up with this fever dream of a book, and Stewart produces an atmosphere that – again – makes this book unlike anything on the shelves right now.

And then there’s ol’ Donny Cates. This writer never ceases to impress me, and just when I think I’ve got a handle on the limits of his ability, the parameters on his genre choices, he goes ahead and does something undeniably brilliant that fractures my preconceived notion of a character, and of what a story featuring that character can be. Many Silver Surfer stories feature him as a brooding, regretful, or paint-by-the-numbers heroic character, but the best ones feature him as curious being with truly awesome power. Cates dips into that type of character here, following an inner narration that touches upon every wonderful aspect of this character. And the scene where he acquires that strange black hand from the cover? God, it’s stunning.

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If you haven’t guessed by now, this debut issue from a staggeringly talented crew is 100% required reading; The Surfer hasn’t looked this good, this alien, since Kevin Maguire’s rendition in the Defenders. He hasn’t been this engaging since Mike Allred and Dan Slott. This is the Surfer at his very best, at his very brightest.

10 out of 10 Crazy-Ass Vortexes