Surfing with the Alien


Silver Surfer #1

New series starring the Sentinel of the Spaceways seem to come along every few years, and they tend to be hampered by the problem that the Silver Surfer is a little bit dull as a character and tends to over-dramatize everything a bit. So can a couple of creators known for strong skills in humanizing their characters — Dan Slott and Michael Allred — make the Surfer a bit less of a stick in the mud — while still offering the cosmic adventures that his fans expect?

We start out getting introduced to a very normal Earth girl — Dawn Greenwood, a dedicated homebody who never wants to leave her hometown of Anchor Bay, even while her twin sister Eve wants to see the whole world. But Dawn is perfectly content to stay at the little bed-and-breakfast her father runs and help show the tourists around. Meanwhile, the Surfer is doing his usual thing — helping alien worlds and being a bit morose. But he gets an unexpected invitation to become the new champion of the Impericon — a place he’s never actually heard of. He soon discovers an impossible, beautiful, and endlessly bizarre world — and he’s expected to save it from an unknown and terribly powerful threat. Now the question of the hour — what’s the connection between the Silver Surfer and Dawn Greenwood?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Three really great things that this comic does — it gets us a really strong look at a very mundane — but not uninteresting — person’s life on Earth; it gets us a really strong look at the fantastically weird life of the Surfer; and it gives us an opportunity to have a bit of a laugh at how weird the Surfer’s life really is. Allred’s art is, of course, fantastic — a great mixture of his signature style, Kirby’s sci-fi action, and Jim Starlin’s cosmic chaos. And Slott does a great job of both capturing the Surfer’s voice and attitude and tweaking it with a bit of contrast.


The Manhattan Projects #19

It’s the final battle for the mind of Oppenheimer, waged by the all-Oppenheimer armies of eccentric genius Robert Oppenheimer and his disembodied twin brother, psychotic genius Joseph Oppenheimer. The prize — to determine the One True Oppenheimer! The cost — complete annihilation, possibly of both personalities. Which twin will come out on top? Or will a completely different twin get the last word?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Can’t say a whole lot without spoiling everything, but it’s fantastically imaginative, and the ending is a lot like the one in the last issue — a complete game-changer.

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