Monday, December 24, 2018

"The End" Week: Silver Surfer #14!


This was a pretty dire year on multiple fronts, but one I didn't expect was in my pull list. I should be used to it by now, but most of the titles I was reading? Gone or going. But we'll start with one from the tail end of 2017: Silver Surfer #14, "A Power Greater Than Cosmic" Written by Dan Slott, art by Michael Allred, colors by Laura Allred.

We've mentioned before, this series of Silver Surfer took a lot of inspiration from Doctor Who, beginning with the introduction of companion, and later girlfriend, Dawn Greenwood. And here we get more Dr. Who tropes, like travelling back along one's own timeline even if you're really really not supposed to, duplicate yet still valid characters, and a more far-reaching legacy than you would've expected at the beginning. The Surfer has just returned to this universe, after being trapped in the prior, before the big bang universe of Galen, who would become Galactus. There, he had lived a long and full life with Dawn, but she aged, while he did not. Unwilling to leave her body when he returned, he brought back the molecules of her remains, then had to settle in and wait for Eternity to form. Concealing himself out of phase with reality, and in the more human-looking form "Nor-vill," he watches the Watchers, then later Galactus, and then himself.

Returning to earth, the disguised Surfer checks into the Greenwood's family inn in Anchor Bay, Massachusetts. He does cheekily tell a young Dawn that he's about 13.7 billion years old, but otherwise just enjoys his time with them. Still, that leaves him on earth as his past self was exiled there behind Galactus's barrier, trapped for a decade, which he uses to visit in the summers. When the barrier drops, the Surfer makes a quick trip to pick up a "camera" for the Greenwoods, then later invisibly follows his and Dawn's adventures, including on Inkandessa, a hologram world, where the Surfer now tells his story to the living hologram Dawn. After visiting Dawn's sister and giving her the news, the Surfer returns with holo pods of Dawn's sister and family, their dad, and one of the human version of himself, free to live out his days together with the holo-Dawn.

That leaves the Surfer alone, but he explains Dawn was always with them: when he brought her back to this universe, her remains became the first light in the universe, and every life form on every world calls it "dawn." (OK, that one's a stretch!) As the Surfer flies away, his hologram tells holo-Dawn the rest of it: when the universe was still forming, the Surfer set up the energy signature for the Power Cosmic: red with black dots, Dawn's preferred motif.

This issue feels so much like--and honestly, cribs a bit from--a modern Doctor Who goodbye to a companion, it has to be by design. I'm almost positive Slott and Allred had this end, or the big pieces of it, in mind early on, if not from the get-go. There were a number of guest-stars during this run, but I wish the Surfer and Dawn had guested in another book, to give her a presence in the larger Marvel universe. There was a Silver Surfer Annual this year, and it wasn't bad; but it did feel like a hard push back to a more traditional style for him.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

I really need to go trade-hunting for this series. Sounds so good and the art alone is worth the price of admission. Do you have the whole thing?