I go to work, it’s fairly negative right now. I put on the TV, it’s fairly negative right now. I go out, oh wait no I don’t.
The point is, there’s a lot of reasons to not be cheerful, so I want to do some about positive stuff.
Earlier this year, I was finally able to finish my back issue run of Dan Slott and Mike Allred’s Silver Surfer. It was 29 issues which was split over two series that started in March 2014. I missed the boat on it at first, but picked the first few issues up for 50p per issue at a mart and decided to try to get the whole thing. A month or so before lockdown I finally got the whole thing collected and then over a couple of days read them in one go.
You know what, it’s good.
Mike Allred is an artist with a very clean style that looks animated. It’s simplistic in some regards, even cartoonish. It is however very consistent and despite its simplicity is as detailed as anyone else on the scene at the moment. The writer Dan Slott is someone I have a 50:50 opinion of. I have been mixed with his recent Fantastic Four issues and I liked maybe half of his very lengthy work on Spider-Man, but I can see one thing. He is a passionate writer, who clearly loves what characters he writes about.
His Silver Surfer run seems to be the answer to the question, isn’t the Silver Surfer a bit like Doctor Who? Think about it, human looking alien, keeps getting involved with Earth, teams up with human beings, powerful and yet not violent by nature, has an implausible method of transport. Sound familiar? It’s this aspect that Slott leans into, pairing the Surfer with a woman called Dawn. Dawn gets pulled into an alien’s plan to coerce the Surfer into helping them and they start having adventures together.
There’s weird concepts, familiar characters and brand new ones. Dawn becomes the co-star of the book, rather than a supporting character and both of them grow and change because of their association. One thing I do like is that it’s optimistic. It’s hopeful and full of wonder and a nice counterpoint to both the grimgrittydark feeling of most comics and the grimgrittydark feeling of actual reality and part of that is the art, which is mostly the pencils of Mike Allred. The creator of Madman and the artist of the X-Statix version of X-Force, his art is bright, colourful and fun.
Do you remember fun? It’s all so dark sometimes, but from time to time you need some cartoony, some funny, some silly and all of that is here. It’s a fairly contained run of around 30 or so issues, broken up by 2015’s Secret Wars event, but honestly none of that matters. It’s a good comic that isn’t tied quite so heavily to the rest of the Marvel Universe and is very accessible. The art is amazing, consistently throughout and it does tell a complete story. It has heart and consequences and I really enjoyed it.
It’s probably available in trade, it’s easy to find back issue wise and it’s available on Comixology and is well worth checking out.
Anywhere and Everywhere – Hang On!