Thursday, January 27, 2011
Marvel Essential Silver Surfer Vol.1
Yesterday I posted about Marvel Essential Fantastic Four Vol.3, which includes the first appearance of Silver Surfer, his defiance of Galactus, and subsequent exile on Earth. This was an enjoyable read that I'd recommend to anyone, though I bought it primarily due to the aforementioned appearance of Silver Surfer. When researching the subject, I realized this and purchased both.
Before I go any further, I want to say that I am by no means an expert on comics- upon getting into toy collecting just a few months ago, my long-sleeping passion for reading them was reignited, and so I have been reading everything I can get my hands on. Still I feel it's important to include them here on the Super-DuperToyBox, because they focus of my collecting is comic book heroes & villains. So, I hope I'm not boring you too much- Never fear, I shall get back to the fantastic plastic soon enough!
In collecting advice & sharing what I've been reading with contributing editor of my newly favorite blog, New Readers... start here!, Saranga asked if I liked the Marvel Essential Silver Surfer I had read. She felt the dialogue was old-fashioned, and the exposition gave her a headache. I definitely understand what she was conveying- this volume can be like that. Comics are written with a lot more depth and realism currently- the art form has come a long way. Conversely, I knew nothing of Silver Surfer and wanted to really experience it... from the beginning. And for that, it was worth it to me. Additionally, I stand by my opinion that Stan Lee was a visionary story teller, and I worship the man- if not for this talented man, the world of comics & superheroes you love so much would not be, let's face it.
The woeful alien, exiled to Earth by his former master, has a hard time fitting in through these chapters, always trying to help the humans he openly deems ungrateful, yet is time & again misunderstood. When Norrin Radd pledged to serve as herald for the planet-consuming Galactus in exchange for mercy on his people, he knew it would separate him from his love, Shalla Bal, and he comes to regret this deeply. He sorrowfully recounts this misgiving throughout the volume, and at one point is even reunited briefly, only to lose her again. The Silver Surfer battles a host of both villains and heroes throughout the book: Loki Mephisto, The Stranger, Quasimodo give battle, as well as Thor, Spiderman, Nick Fury & S.H.E.I.L.D., The Inhumans, TheFantastic Four, and even the U.S. military. The man hardly gets a rest, and at some points becomes angry and vengeful in his desperation- it's quite tragic, and yes laborious to read at times. You really have to have patience to give in and let it be what it is- if this sounds unappealing to you, it probably will be.
Jack Kirby pencilled the last two chapters, but the "Michelangelo of Comics", John Buscema handled the bulk of the drawing in this volume. Again, the Marvel Essentials series are all black & white, but they are a lot cheaper than the Marvel Masterworks series which are in color. I love the work of both these artists, and as I said before, I found a new kind of appreciation for their work when stripped of it's color.
*Pictured above, my 10" Deluxe Edition Silver Surfer action figure by ToyBiz (1994)!