Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Silver Surfer, Volume 3: Last Days Review (Dan Slott, Mike Allred)

Norrin Radd, the Silver Surfer, finds a new planet for the six billion souls he made sort of homeless in the last book in this third and final volume of the latest run of the title. But will Dawn Greenwood forgive him for keeping his past as Galactus’ herald from him (she must’ve been the only one in the universe who didn’t know that!)? 

Last Days kicks off with an extra-long issue featuring a Moebius-strip on the cover. It’s representative of the clever repeating story within which switches perspectives in each telling - first the Surfer, then Dawn, and so on down the cast, until something changes and the loop is broken. Clever and imaginative - but oh so boring. Really, I wish Dan Slott had come up with something a bit more interesting to read over and over and over again than the same old same old we’ve seen throughout this series where evil aliens attack and the Surfer fights back. 

But, as expected, the Surfer fulfils his mission and finds a home for the wandering six billion and where the burgeoning romance between Norrin and Dawn can play out… if you’re interested in reading corny romance! 

And then… sigh… Secret Wars invades yet another series to obnoxiously disrupt everything. The universe ends and Norrin and Dawn must out-surf oblivion to reach a place where they can somehow bring everyone back. The escape was cool but seeing these two recreate the universe? Not really. Who knew watching two beings playing god could be so uninspiring and dull (except anyone who’s watched someone play Sid Meier’s Civilisation)? 

Thank the New Gods then that, while the book is a snore to read, we’ve still got Mike and Laura Allred’s incandescent art to keep us turning the pages. Slott can’t make a pleasure planet interesting to read about but the Allreds can dazzle the reader with lush visuals and bright colours. We’ve seen universes end before (assuming you’ve been reading superhero comics for a time) but seeing the Allreds show a universe being created is something really special. 

Last Days is the weak final book in this otherwise decent Silver Surfer series - though Slott’s work has never been that strong on this title and without the Allreds’ work, I’m not sure this series would have had much appeal. But, like nearly all the titles flattened by Secret Wars, Silver Surfer’s back with a new numbering and the same cast and crew: Dan, Mike and Laura, Norrin, Dawn and Toomie all ride again (though I wish Dan Slott’d take a breather and let a new writer in to freshen up the series)!

Silver Surfer, Volume 3: Last Days

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