I’m not a huge Silver Surfer fan as far as the character and stories go, but from a purely artistic standpoint, Silver Surfer is one of Jack Kirby’s signature achievements. There is a certain zeitgeist about the character; it combines two of the strongest cultural currents of the 1960s, surfing and space travel. Most of all he just looks…so COOL! Regardless of the story, The Herald of Galactus is a character that legendary comic artists love to draw. John Romita Jr, Moebius, John Buscema and a multitude of others have given us their spin on the iconic space traveler and each time, above all else, he is…so COOL!
As we converge on Defenders: The Best Defense #1 I’m going to need a few more issues with the Silver Surfer to see if this edition of Norrin Radd measures up, but Silver Surfer: The Best Defense #1 is a pretty solid start. The issue opens with Galactus pondering the next world he will devour, when something strikes him as wrong. Some kind of cosmic “train” is using planets as fuel. Galactus still proceeds toward a planet and his herald is before him investigating this new presence in the cosmos. The inhabitants of the doomed planet are trying to get away. The Surfer is in a disguise reminiscent of western garb, like some kind of drifter that Clint Eastwood would play.
Though Silver Surfer is the titular character of the issue, the most interesting one is Goldie, a child Centaurian who was abandoned on the planet by her father. She is determined to get off the planet and though small, willing to go through anyone to save herself Eventually, Goldie’s mouth and attitude run her into trouble but the Surfer reveals himself and protects her from any real harm. The only thing Silver Surfer can’t do is prevent Goldie from becoming ruthless like her father.
The Surfer agrees to work with Galactus to find out what this new power is and determine which worlds left in its wake are worth saving and which should be completely consumed by Galactus. As the Surfer sets about his new task, he has a vision; he sees the Defenders confronting this new power, but the train is also threatening the earth. The Surfer calls his surfboard to rush to the earth and save it, but the board doesn’t respond. The book ends with the board soaring off on its own, without its rider. The Silver Surfer left behind wonders, just like us, what is next. The answers start in The Defenders #1. And I, for one, can’t wait.