Archive for Silver Surfer

Academy Awards


Gotham Academy #1

Holy cow, a new DC series that’s teen-girl-friendly? Stuff like that happens mighty rarely.

Our setting is, natch, Gotham Academy, a high-class prep school operating out of a building that looks like Arkham Asylum. Our lead characters are Olive Silverlock, a silver-haired second-year student with an anti-authority attitude, and Maps Mizoguchi, an incredibly innocent first-year student who Olive has been assigned to as a mentor to get her accustomed to the school. There follows a great deal of teenaged angst — until Olive decides to take Maps on a tour of the strictly-forbidden North Hall, just before the evening’s school assembly, featuring a speech by school benefactor Bruce Wayne. Unfortunately, the North Hall and its tower are “structurally unsound” — and it’s a long way to the ground for a couple of teenagers.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I didn’t love it as much as some folks did, but it’s a nice story, it’s got excellent characters, and it’s got great art. If they work it right, it’s got promise of becoming something transcendental — something that’ll become one of those sleeper hits no one really expects, that comic fans, non-comic fans, and future comics creators will talk about in reverent tones. But it’s got to do a bit more work to get there. For now, it’s a very fine debut comic, and it’ll be fun to see where it goes from here.


Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #5

The Titans travel to Paradise Island to find a new treehouse, but the boys aren’t allowed to touch the ground, so they have to wear pink slippers. Cheetah decides to hide Wonder Woman’s invisible jet by painting it camouflage colors… which works perfectly! Meanwhile, back at Sidekick City Elementary, Trigon has decided to hold a practice run of the demonic takeover he plans for the Earth once Raven has her 18th birthday. And there’s a discussion of the many different kinds of alternate earths there are…

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s as cute and funny as we always expect the Tiny Titans to be, but I’ll admit my favorite bit is everyone’s complete inability to see the invisible jet once it’s actually visible.


Silver Surfer #6

The Surfer and Dawn Greenwood are leaving Earth — well, they’re leaving Earth slowly, because Dawn needs to eat, then she needs to go to the bathroom, then she needs to eat again, then she needs her tonsils out, and because she’s gotten her tonsils out, she demands ice cream — the greatest ice cream in the universe! That leads them to Planet Prime, a planet even the Surfer has never visited before. All the people there strive to be the most perfect at whatever their job is. So there’s one perfect architect who designs all the buildings, one perfect builder who builds all the buildings, one perfect painter who paints all the buildings — and one perfect warrior to defend the planet from cosmic-powered aliens. Can even the Silver Surfer defeat Warrior One?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Really nice art, as always, and a fun story. It probably hits its peak early on, with the Surfer’s growing frustration with Dawn’s human limitations, but the rest of the story, though contrived, is nicely done.

Comments off

I’m Tired, and It’s Labor Day, So Let’s Do Some Really Fast Reviews


Silver Surfer #5

Things are really weird at the Greenwood Inn. Dr. Strange and the Hulk show up, and Nightmare has a dastardly plot to put everyone on Earth to sleep to gain ultimate power. Luckily, the Surfer never sleeps — oh, wait, he’s asleep and dreaming right now? And the world relies on Dawn Greenwood to stay awake?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very cute story and fun art to boot.


The Manhattan Projects #23

LBJ wants in on the Projects, and the alien-corrupted Soviets, led by Monster Brezhnev and a robot with three animal heads, want some mind-controlled dupes to help them control Cuba. So we get to meet up with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, too.

Verdict: Thumbs up. LBJ is fun, even if he’s very similar to General Groves, and Castro and Guevara are all kinds of cool as they battle the Soviets.


Groo vs. Conan #2

Sergio is still looped out of his gourd and thinking he’s Conan. In the fictional reality, Conan has been led to believe that Groo is a gigantic monster, so he doesn’t recognize him when he meets him. But how do the townspeople think their first meeting is going?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of great, weird fantasy fun.

Comments off

Glowing in the Dark


The Wicked + the Divine #2

Lucifer has apparently murdered a judge with her godly powers — but she claims she didn’t do it, and only god-wannabe fangirl Laura believes her. She overhears Luci asking Amaterasu to get her someone named Ananke. Unable to learn anything about Ananke, Laura bluffs her way into the prison holding Luci and gets an audience. She learns that Ananke is an old woman who reveals to teenagers that they’ve become gods — and Luci makes Laura an offer: help her, and she’ll make Laura the first of her demons. And later, Laura goes to see an underground concert — literally underground, deep in the subway tunnels under London — by the Morrigan. But who they get definitely isn’t the Morrigan.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Beautifully illustrated from cover to last page, with great writing to go along with it. My favorite bits: Laura’s perfectly normal and fairly happy family life, which she apparently hates because she’s young and angsty, and young angsty kids hate the world if it’s not ending; the flashback of Lucifer’s deification, which is horrifying and beautiful and awe-inspiring; and the long, dark trip into the underworld to meet the Morrigan.


Silver Surfer #4

The Surfer is returning Dawn Greenwood to Earth. They meet up with the Guardians of the Galaxy (Gee, they’re in every one of Marvel’s comics lately — it’s like they’ve got a movie coming out or something) who check them for contraband. The Surfer tells Dawn about the days when he was unable to leave Earth as he returns her to her home at Anchor Bay. Everyone is glad to see Dawn back and eager to show the Surfer proper hospitality, but something seems off — might be the way the furniture grows teeth whenever no one is looking.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Gorgeous retro artwork from Mike Allred, of course, and it really is very creepy when we realize something unseen is stalking Dawn and the Surfer.

Comments off

Monkey Shines


Silver Surfer #3

So the Silver Surfer is running around the Impericon in disguise, hiding his silver coating and cosmic power, while he looks for Dawn Greenwood, who has been helping save all the prisoners. The Surfer and Dawn find the Never Queen’s stolen heart, which is powering the Impericon. Once it’s disconnected, the Surfer will have to power the Impericon himself to keep it from collapsing before everyone’s evacuated, and Dawn takes possession of the heart, which shrinks down into a creepy drumming monkey toy, for some reason. Can the Surfer save everyone on the planet? Can Dawn save the Never Heart? Can they stop the Incredulous Zed from executing the Never Queen?

Verdict: Thumbs up. An outstanding, adventuresome, humor-filled story with wonderful artwork. It has great moments big and small, but perhaps my favorite is Dawn giving the Surfer’s board a name. Hope it sticks, too.


Axe Cop: The American Choppers #2

Axe Cop and his team are being attacked by axe monsters, and they’re too powerful to fight off, forcing the team to flee, disguising themselves as campers. Axe Goat infiltrates the villains’ hideout and discovers they’re actually all demons. The demons and axe beasts attack again, all backed by Satan himself. The axe beasts turn on the demons and take over their bodies, and the American Choppers have to flee again. They all go to visit Captain Axe’s uncle, who kills Axe Cop with poisoned cereal. Is Captain Axe a bad guy? Can anyone save Axe Cop?

Verdict: I hate to say it, but thumbs down. It’s all a little too self-aware, which may be an ongoing problem now that the writer is getting old enough to be aware of how goofy these stories are. And self-awareness is really not a good thing for this series.

Comments (2)

High Plains Robo


Atomic Robo and the Knights of the Golden Circle #1

After the events of the last storyline, Atomic Robo has been stranded in the American West in 1872. He’s trying to keep a low profile and avoid upsetting the timestream. But of course, this is a Western, and keeping a low profile never works for the hero, does it? He rescues an old man shot by outlaws and carts him off to Alamosa, Colorado to find a doctor — too bad the only doctor in town is a dentist named Doc Holliday. But the outlaws have chased them down to the local saloon, and they’re threatening to kill everyone in town. And why does everyone think Robo is actually a guy named Ironhide — who died years ago?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Atomic Robo in the Old West? With Doc Holliday? Shut up and take my money!


Southern Bastards #1

We got Earl Tubb, an old man come back to his old home town in Craw County, Alabama. His father was the heroic and ass-kicking sheriff decades ago who carried a baseball bat signed by Bear Bryant, Joe Namath, and Elvis Presley to beat down the thugs who attacked him. But Bertrand Tubb has been dead for years, a tree is growing out of his grave, and Earl is trying to clean out the old homestead so he can get out of Alabama once and for all. But it isn’t long before Earl runs afoul of the local redneck crime cartel, and things are just gonna get worse for him from here on out.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’ve lived in the South and the Southwest my whole life, but I’ve never been in the Deep South, or even East Texas. But I recognize these characters, and I feel sorry for them at the same time as I hate ’em at the same time as I love ’em. Stupid Southern cultural genetics. Anyway, this is a great slice of deep-fried Southern noir by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour, and I’m really, genuinely looking forward to more of this. Pick it up while it’s still in the stores, guys.


Silver Surfer #2

The Surfer heads out to battle the Queen of Nevers, a being more than powerful enough to destroy him. Instead, he discovers that the Queen is the wronged party here — her heart has been stolen away to keep the glorious Impericon powered. The Surfer resolves to retrieve her heart, but he must be able to sneak back into the Impericon, so he has to disguise himself and hide his cosmic powers deep inside him. Meanwhile, Dawn Greenwood, captured and held captive with a bunch of other aliens in the Motivator Cubes, leads a daring breakout. Can she and the other prisoners escape the planet and save the Silver Surfer at the same time?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fantastic art, and a story that combines the high cosmic adventure you’d expect from a Silver Surfer comic with a more down-to-earth human story. This strikes me as something that’s really going to be amazing.

Today’s Cool Links:

Comments off

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.

Today’s Cool Links:

Comments off

Friday Night Fights: Silver Hammer!

Oh, sweet mercy! It’s finally September! It doesn’t mean autumn is here, but maybe, maybe it means we’ve got a chance of finally escaping from this endlessly long, endlessly hot, and endlessly dry summer. And that alone is worth celebrating with a little… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight, we’re going with November 1990’s Silver Surfer #43, by Jim Starlin, Ron Marz, Ron Lim, and Keith Williams, as the Sentinel of the Spaceways unleashes some whupass on a bunch of pesky robots.

Mmmm, silver, so nice and cool. I feel cooler already! Thanks, Silver Surfer!

Comments (1)

Friday Night Fights: Gum!

Another weird and vaguely irritating week has finally past, and that means it’s time for all weekend-loving peoples to get ready for FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

This week’s brawl comes courtesy of September 1991’s Silver Surfer #54 by Ron Marz, Ron Lim, and Tom Christopher, in which we are treated to the sight of the Rhino beating the Silver Surfer with… a gumball machine.

That’s some whallop. I wonder how the Surfer wrigley’d his way out of that one.

Yeah. I said it.

Comments off