Archive for Silver Surfer

Silver Blaze


Silver Surfer #1

Another new #1 issue, Marvel?! I am going to hit you guys with a boat anchor.

The Silver Surfer and Dawn Greenwood are finally returning to Earth, but first, they have to foil an alien invasion by a species called the Hordax. Once they get to Earth, Dawn is excited to learn that her twin sister Eve is pregnant, and her family holds a celebration for all the holidays she missed while she was in space. But the Hordax weren’t fully defeated, and their next attack on Earth drains the planet of every piece of art, literature, and music — not just the works themselves, but the memories of the works, too.

Dawn and the Surfer fly up to investigate, and they learn that the aliens can use the stolen fiction to take on the appearance and qualities of fictional characters. This leads to several pages of the Silver Surfer dressed up as characters from Doctor Who, Harry Potter, The Terminator, Star Trek, Back to the Future, The Wizard of Oz, Zardoz, Kill Bill, The Little Mermaid, and many, many more. Can even the Surfer’s cosmic powers prevail against all the heroes of fiction?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a wonderfully fun issue, with great character interactions, an all-too-brief cameo by Mike Allred’s Madman, and a ton of aliens cosplaying as fictional characters. This is an issue where you’ll really want to pay attention to the backgrounds, just to try to identify who everyone is dressed up as.


Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #2

Patsy working retail is really not something that works very well, with constant chaos, rude customers, rude co-workers, a shoplifter with a magical Bag of Holding, and a visit from Patsy’s old nemesis, Hedy Wolfe, who’s begun reprinting all the old Patsy Walker romance comics without Patsy’s permission. Can Patsy make it through her first day on the job without getting fired?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Another outstandingly fun comic — fantastic art and dialogue and quasi-drama. It’s a blast to read, and I hope all of y’all are enjoying it, too.


I Hate Fairyland #4

Turns out Gert wasn’t as dead as she looked at the end of last issue — just incredibly badly injured, needing a quick heal from Larry’s magic stogie smoke. After that, Gert kidnaps Queen Cloudia to get her to spill about why the noxiously optimistic Happy is prancing around Fairyland questing after the magical key that Gert assumed was fated to be hers. Turns out Cloudia’s plan is to let Happy get the key — and at that point, Gert becomes just another citizen of Fairyland, which means Cloudia will be permitted to kill her very, very permanently. So while Happy is cruising through the quests and getting closer and closer to the key, Gert decides to bypass all that by harnessing the power of one of the Seven Evil Dooms — in this case, Lord Darketh Deaddeath of the Realm of Skulllllllls. Can Gert handle the monsters in Deaddeath’s dungeon?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Skottie Young’s art is really what makes this one so much fun. From Cloudia’s constantly changing cloud-hair to Deaddeath’s skull-themed everything, there’s always something wonderful to see.


The New Avengers #5

In the future, Billy Kaplan has finally become the Demiurge — unfortunately, he’s been possessed by the diabolical cthulhoid monster Moridun, and he’s tearing the future Avengers to pieces. They make their escape into the past to try to fix things. Meanwhile, the New Avengers are fighting to mad scientists of W.H.I.S.P.E.R., which is led by the Maker — the alternate reality evil Reed Richards. But the team may have much more serious concerns than mad scientists soon.

Verdict: Thumbs up — but I get the impression this is going to get way confusing way fast. I’m still hopeful — as long as they keep up the great characterizations, as well as the fun we’re getting from Squirrel Girl…

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Surfing the Silver Age


Silver Surfer #15

Together, the Silver Surfer and Dawn Greenwood have recreated the Earth and the universe — but the Surfer has left out stuff he didn’t like, and Dawn’s knowledge of Earth is really pretty limited, plus she’s created an imitation Surfer to keep her company. And even worse, their assistants, Glorian and Zee, are actually villains in disguise. Glorian steals the power of the Shaper of Worlds, while Zee reveals himself as the Incredulous Zed. Can Dawn and the Surfer figure out a way to stop Glorian? How will they choose which universe survives the end of everything? What does the future hold for them?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great to see an excellent end to this series (although I’m pretty sure it’ll continue with yet another new #1 issue) by Dan Slott and Michael Allred. It’s charming and funny and bold and exciting, and it’s some of the grandest storytelling we’ve seen about the Silver Surfer.


All-New Wolverine #2

Laura meets with the security officials at Alchemax Genetics, which created Laura’s new clones. They want her help in tracking down her renegade sisters, who have powers different from her own. She initially agrees, but then meets one of her clones at her apartment, and she tells Laura that Alchemax just wants to kill them and harvest their DNA. Wolverine ends up joining their group (after they shoot her a bit) just before Alchemax’s security forces invade their hideout. But do even four Wolverine clones stand a chance against a small army of mercenaries?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good story, good art, several really nice character moments, very nice action sequences, too. Didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as I did the first issue, but it was still good superhero fun.

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Daredevil in the Details


Daredevil #18

Last issue, the Kingpin had Ikari attack Daredevil, but warned Matt that if he beat Ikari, he’d kill either Foggy Nelson or Kirsten McDuffie. And then the Shroud went and screwed everything up by killing Ikari. Now Matt has to masquerade as Ikari and hope Fisk doesn’t figure out the switch too quickly. Will Matt be able to beat the Kingpin? The Shroud? The Owl? Will he manage to get his autobiography published after all this time?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent story and art — and the one downside is that this is the final issue of this book for writer Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, who’ve enjoyed one of the greatest runs that this character has ever enjoyed.


Silver Surfer #14

The almost-certainly-sinister Glorian and Zee offer Norrin Radd and Dawn Greenwood the opportunity to remake the universe — Dawn will be in charge of re-creating the Earth from scratch, while the Surfer is going to handle the rest of the universe. But they run into some challenges — Dawn hasn’t seen enough of the world to be able to remake it, and the Surfer is reluctant to remake the galaxy’s greatest threats, like Galactus. Can they find a way to succeed, or are they merely the pawns of more devious powers?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a fun story, and I’m really eager to see how this is all going to play out. I’m assuming we’re heading for the cancellation/relaunch all the other Marvel books are doing, but it’s hard to tell at this point.


Lazarus #19

Last issue, Forever Carlyle, the Lazarus of the Family Carlyle, able to regenerate from any wound, got shot in the head by one of Hock’s soldiers — and she’s not recovering from this injury. Her family is in a panic, the soldiers accompanying her are in a panic. This could give Hock a decisive victory over the Carlyles, and her squad is very likely to get killed by Hock’s soldiers. Is this really the end of Eve Carlyle? Oh, you can expect it actually isn’t…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nicely suspenseful sci-fi. Sure, we’re all pretty sure Eve isn’t done for, but it sure takes her a frighteningly long time to get back on her feet. And the family’s schemes and machinations behind the scenes are also pretty wonderfully done.

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Birds of a Feather


Astro City #25

This issue focuses on Amanda Hammacher, daughter of the superhero Hummingbird, and a legacy hero herself after she grows her own wings and starts gaining other amazing powers. She enjoys being a member of Honor Guard, meeting other superheroes, and fighting evil, but her continued physical changes soon lead to a shocking revelation — she’s actually transforming into a bird over time! Can this be prevented?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Another great issue spotlighting a character we’ve never had much exposure to. We get tons of great characterization along with a fantastic story, too.


Silver Surfer #13

The Surfer and Dawn are prepared to start a new stage of their relationship, and they’re traveling around the galaxy visiting many of the friends they’ve made since their journeys together began. But almost without warning, the universe begins to fall apart! The Surfer races away as fast as he can, realizing that this is the end of everything, but when Dawn realizes that Earth has been destroyed, she almost leaps off the board — until a future version of herself tells her everything will be okay and directs her to a convenient tear in reality. When she and the Surfer enter the tear, they find themselves in limbo, a plane of complete non-existence, with two new companions, Glorian and Zee — along with Eternity, the embodiment of all creation, now wearing the face of Doctor Doom! Is there any way to repair the universe with the material in limbo?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A fantastic opening, shifting from a nostalgic trip to see old friends, immediately followed by a frantic and panicked flight that feels amazingly urgent. I wasn’t so hot on what happened after they got into limbo — mainly because we went from superspeed fleeing from the end of everything to a place where nothing at all was happening — but the first half of the comic makes it a solid read.

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Spider-Gwen #5

The Mary Janes are going to be opening for Felicia Hardy and the Black Cats — not really something they’re looking forward to, because Felicia Hardy is a better musician and a colossal pain in the butt. And as it turns out, she’s also a cat burglar with a major mad-on for Matt Murdock, who killed her father. And sure enough, Murdock shows up at the show, and a fight breaks out. Can Spider-Woman reign in the chaos?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent, fun story and art, with great detail on Felicia’s past and on Murdock’s secret villainy. The major disadvantage of this is that it’s actually the final issue of the series — it’s being cancelled by the Secret Wars crossover, and since Gwen’s going to end up in the main Marvel Universe, we’re probably not going to find out any more about Gwen’s universe. That’s too bad, because we’ve just barely scratched the surface of this world’s background.


Silver Surfer #12

On the paradise planet of New Newhaven, everyone’s perfectly happy, Norrid Radd hasn’t felt the need to “silver up” in months, Dawn Greenwood is happier with Norrin than she’d been before he used to be the herald of Galactus, and even the Surfer’s board is enjoying exploring with the help of a creature called Euphoria. But something is wrong, and Norrin and Dawn have to figure out what’s up — and what their personal futures hold.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Dan Slott, Michael Allred, and Laura Allred bring us another great story. It’s great to see Norrin and Dawn in a more relaxed setting. It’s looking like this is getting close to the end of this series, too — and I hope it’ll be back after Secret Wars, because the series is just so much fun.

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Loop the Loop


Silver Surfer #11

This is one of the best designed comics of the year, and it’s a near certain bet that it’ll be nominated for oh-so-many awards. Most of the story is actually set up like a Moebius strip — we follow the Surfer’s story to its end, then it literally flips around, upside down, and starts over from a new perspective and new point-of-view character, then it flips around twice more. It’s an astonishing feat of storytelling and graphic design.

Our plot: The Silver Surfer is escorting a makeshift fleet of billions of aliens, all of whom have lost their homeworlds, thanks to Norrin Radd guiding Galactus to their homes. But another set of aliens opposes them, fearing that they’re an invasion force. And when they can’t defeat the Surfer, they unleash a doomsday weapon that sticks everyone involved into a time loop. Can the Silver Surfer break free and save those he’s promised to protect?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Again, an absolutely astounding comic book. It’s an amazing and fun read, and y’all better get your hands on it before everyone starts giving it trophies.


Bitch Planet #4

Kamau Kogo has to put together a team of her fellow prisoners — all women hated and feared by the patriarchal government of Earth — to compete in the futuristic — and all-male — sport of Megaton. While she’s putting together her list of potential players, she’s invited to take a shower with a couple other inmates — the guards can’t follow them into the showers, so they’re free to warn her that the authorities are setting her team up to be murdered. Can she field a team that can win? And can she use the shower’s secret peephole to snare a mole on the inside?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great story, great art. Love the background on the Megaton game. If you’re queasy about nudity and sexual situations in comics, well, this one has a heck of a lot of nudity and sexual situations. Consider this one Rated M for Mature — and then you mature readers should go read it.

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Duck and Cover


Howard the Duck #1

It’s been a while since we had a high-profile ongoing comic starring Howard the Duck, and we can pretty much credit it all to that one post-credits scene from “Guardians of the Galaxy.” This one is written by Chip Zdarsky and illustrated by Joe Quinones.

So we’ve got Howard, now trying to make a living as a private detective — and getting thrown into jail now and then for being unable to control his temper. He meets a new friend there, a girl named Tara Tam, a tattoo artist, and once he gets released from the slammer, he quickly gets a new client, a suspiciously wrapped-up schlub who’s looking for a necklace stolen by the Black Cat.

He heads out to pester Jennifer Walters, the She-Hulk, in her legal practice, hoping to get a moment alone with her rolodex so he can yoink Spider-Man’s contact info. Spidey is less than helpful, but as it turns out, Tara knows exactly where she lives. So after a terribly thought-out plan, they break into her place — alerting her, her goons, and the cops — and steal the necklace. And then an oversized space mook kidnaps Howard for the Collector’s space zoo. Hey, do I smell a Guardians team-up?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I wasn’t really expecting much from this one, so I was pleasantly surprised by how good the story was and how consistently funny it was all the way through the issue. It’s great to see She-Hulk and her supporting cast from her just-cancelled comic, and it’s cool to think that we may get to see more of them in this comic. Wonderful dialogue, excellent humor — some slapstick, some punning, some surreality. I approve of this comic, and I hope we get to keep enjoying it for a while.


Captain Marvel #13

Well, Cap has gotten herself stranded in a quasi-multi-dimensional subspace pocket, and it’ll take her weeks to steer her way out, all while her cat and her friend Tic are threatened by interstellar slavers. So she has to steer her ship through some deeply unscientific hyperspeed gel to accellerate herself to safety. Can she make it out without blasting her ship to pieces? Can she save her friends in time?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nicely whacked-out space opera, complete with unlikely physics, improbable piloting and laser-shootin’, aliens galore, and witty banter with a computer. As always, lots of fun.


Silver Surfer #10

Galactus is ready to devour the planet of Newhaven, and the Silver Surfer has been depowered and left to die in space. But wait — he was just playing possum all along! But his attacks still aren’t doing enough to harm Galactus — until the citizens of Newhaven hear how Norrin agreed to become the World-Devourer’s herald in exchange for sparing his own world — and they all volunteer for the same duty! But Galactus is uninterested — he’s already destroyed their own worlds, so he doesn’t care. But he’s never destroyed Earth, and when Dawn Greenwood volunteers, he takes her up on the offer. But the transformation is agonizing, and the Surfer can’t save her. Will anyone else make the supreme sacrifice for Dawn?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a fantastically epic story, with every character in the story, including every person on the planet, willing to sacrifice anything to stop Galactus. Mike Allred’s art is epic, Dan Slott’s writing is epic, pretty much everything in the comic is epic!

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Going Beyond


Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #5

First things first: Ladies and gentlemen, that is just about the worst comic book cover I’ve seen this year. Maybe all of last year, too. It’s a terrible, muddy, over-chaotic muddle with a style entirely different from the art between the covers.

Now that that’s out of the way — forget the cover. What we’ve got inside is a just plain wonderful comic book. Or rather, what we’ve got inside is a pretty typical comic — until the last page happens.

While Monica Rambeau experiments with her light powers by adopting the form of the Blue Marvel — in the altogether, as they say in the hipster circles — Dr. Positron, the Marvel’s mad scientist son, shows up for a short brawl with the Marvel, Monica, and Spider-Man before revealing that he’s found his brother in the Neutral Zone, but he’ll need help to get him out. Elsewhere, Power Man and White Tiger go hunting for whoever killed Gideon Mace and run into way more trouble than they can handle. And Luke Cage and Jessica Jones have a meeting with Jason Quantrell, sinister CEO of Cortex Incorporated — and we learn who’s really behind Quantrell’s diabolic grin.

Verdict: Thumbs up. No spoilers, folks, but no kidding, when I read the last page of this one, I sat there in Flabbergasted Jawdrop Mode for at least 30 seconds. I don’t know if they can follow up with the promise of that last page, but I’m really looking forward to the next issue now.


Red Sonja #100

Well, it’s not really the 100th issue of this series, but they figure they’ve got the 100th issue to feature Sonja. Sounds iffy to me, but it makes a decent anthology comic. We’ve got creators ranging from Gail Simone to Roy Thomas to Michael Avon Oeming and many more. We get Sonja facing off against spider demons and mutated Rapunzels, we get Sonja taking on an unexpected assistant in a battle against a monster, and we get Sonja meeting one of her own heroes and earning a few wishes.

Verdict: Thumbs up. An incredible variety of stories offered here — some classic hack-and-slash battles, some more introspective stories, and all of them excellent reads. It’s especially wonderful to see a story by Roy Thomas, Sonja’s creator.


Batgirl #39

All of a sudden, everyone in Burnside is after Batgirl — whoever’s running the Hooq app is offering $20 million for her capture, dead or alive. And Barbara is being plagued by weird memory troubles, too. She enlists the aid of Black Canary, then realizes that her brain scan is part of Hooq’s programming — is Batgirl trying to kill herself?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nice art and a much more relateable story. This comic’s emphasis on social media and smartphone apps is making more sense now, and it’ll be interesting to see where things go from here.


Silver Surfer #9

Galactus has come to the planet Newhaven, home to the last survivors of millions of worlds destroyed by the Eater of Worlds. Rejected by Dawn, the Surfer heads out to stop Galactus — by surfing the planet’s moon into his face! That gets Galactus’ attention, but he reacts by stripping the Surfer of his cosmic powers, leaving him powerless and adrift in space. Can anyone stop Galactus now?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Outstanding art, as always, from Mike and Laura Allred. Big ups for Dan Slott’s story, too — surfing a whole moon is pretty inspired, even if it’d pretty obviously be something Galactus would shrug off. I’m assuming Norrin will get re-powered next issue — but with this comic, who knows?


Loki: Agent of Asgard #11

Everyone in Asgard is mad at Loki. Loki is very depressed. Old King Future Loki is very mean.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Just a bit too overdone on the woe-is-me stuff.

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Everyone Needs a Friend


Shutter #8

Kate Kristopher and her recently-discovered half-brother Chris have been captured by one of her other previously-unknown siblings, the vengeful Kalliyan, who takes them both to her home in Cambodia. Chris is making new friends, and he’s being treated a great deal better than Kate, who Kalliyan appears to blame for a lot of her misfortunes over the years. Meanwhile, Alarm Cat recently lost his head. He’s still functional, but he’s settling into a bout of serious depression. Can Chris help him recover?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It was all fine, but I found myself a lot more interested in the backstory of Alarm Cat (told through a bunch of excellently created comic strip knockoffs) and his struggles with the loss of his head.


Rat Queens Special: Braga #1

We get a story fully focused on the one-eyed orc princess Braga and her history — she started out as Broog, the son of an orc chieftan, and the mightiest orc warrior around. But he was less interested in battle and more in pushing orc society higher — and that meant education, less slavery, and a lot less war. But his father wasn’t happy with that, and his younger brother saw a way to advance his own cause. What finally pushed Broog out of his tribe and deprived him of the people he loved?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A very cool story and great art, along with an unexpected story about a character we never knew was transgender ’til now. There’s action and intrigue and humor and smart dialogue and characterization and even a little sex. Worth picking up if you love the Rat Queens characters.


Lazarus #14

Forever Carlyle has been sent to kidnap her traitorous brother Jonah from the diabolical Jakob Hock — and then to kill him, while making it look like Hock did the deed himself. But Forever isn’t so keen on blindly following every order her father gives her anymore. So she helps Jonah escape — in a desperately risky way that makes it look like he’s dead. But they’ve gotten away with it — everyone thinks Hock had Jonah killed. But Hock has his allies among the families, and he’s going to order one of their Lazarii to fight Forever to the death.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fantastic story and artwork, with lots of action, claustrophobic intrigue, devilish double-dealing. Jakob Hock is a desperately awful villain, and I hope he gets what’s coming to him.


Silver Surfer #8

Norrin gives Dawn Greenwood a chance to drive his board, and her entirely unpredictable surfing style accidentally leads them to a world the Surfer has never seen before — Newhaven, where the entire population is composed of the sole survivors of lost alien races — in fact, they’re all from worlds devoured by Galactus! And when they learn that Norrin is really the Silver Surfer, Herald of Galactus, they reveal to Dawn his history helping to slaughter entire worlds. Is this the end of their budding relationship? And is it the beginning of a new rampage by the Devourer of Worlds?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent story and art — though I do wonder how Dawn never managed to hear about who Galactus was…

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Anime Action


Batgirl #36

Barbara is meeting more of her supporting cast, but runs into unexpected trouble — someone has stolen a couple of experimental motorcycles from the university, so it’s not long before Batgirl has to take on a two girls dressed in weird anime-style costumes who are terrorizing the campus on the bikes. They get away, but Babs realizes they were made up to look like the villains on an old anime she watched when she was a kid. Can Batgirl stop the villains? And why do they think Batgirl herself hired them?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Really fun art, full of cool fashions and kinetic action, plus the occasional awesome slow moment — in this issue, Barbara’s memory of watching cartoons with her father is a real standout.


She-Hulk #10

Steve Rogers finally takes the stand in his own defense in the wrongful death suit against him, explaining some information that the jury wasn’t aware of before — namely, that the gang they ran into on that night back in the late 1930s wasn’t any run-of-the-mill mob — it was run by a gas-masked Nazi. But is that going to make any difference to the jury?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a great issue with lots of great speeches, both in and out of the courtroom, and relatively little face-punching. Fantastic art, fantastic writing, multiple fun guest stars. And I’m still deeply disappointed that this one is getting cancelled in just two more issues.


Silver Surfer #7

The Surfer and Dawn explore an utterly starless area of space. They’re lured in by a mysterious beacon, and then Dawn is unexpectedly kidnapped by a hidden monster. The Surfer and his board (Toomie, remember? Best possible name for a cosmic surfboard) are unable to find her. This leads to several flashbacks to their previous unrecorded adventures, including an attack by space hillbillies in which the Surfer foils them by turning their Hostess fruit pies into golden rings. Can the Surfer find Dawn again, or will he have to make a sacrifice he swore he’d never attempt?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’d love this one just for the bit with the space hillbillies and the fruit pies. But the art and storytelling throughout are fantastic, which makes it even better.

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