Review: Silver Surfer Black #1

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Silver Surfer Black #1 / Writer: Donny Cates / Artist: Tradd Moore / Colorist: Dave Stewart / Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles / Publisher: Marvel Comics / Publish Date: June 12, 2019

Silver Surfer Black Cover

Silver Surfer in the Darkness

Silver Surfer Black takes place after Thanos’ death. Some heroes are called to the reading of Thanos’ will, only to be attacked by the Black Order and sent into a black hole. In the blackness, the Silver Surfer reflects on his life and eventually figures out a way to get his fellow heroes home. Unfortunately, this leaves him alone in the darkness until he falls on a dark planet with dark beings, protecting a mysterious door with their master inside.

Life’s Journey

Donny Cates skillfully takes the reader on an adventure following the broken consciousness of the Silver Surfer. We see the Surfer’s regrets associated with being Galactus’ herald and how he ultimately came to be saving those around him. Cates weaves the character’s past into his present making it easy for a new reader to know the depth of the Silver Surfer’s struggles and life.

When the fight with the dark beings begins, Cates not only guides the reader through the physical pain of the Surfer, but also through his emotional struggle to not hurt another being. Cates also shows us the great power that the Silver Surfer yields. He does not have to endure this pain. No, he does so out of compassion for others, even when they are attacking him. Ultimately, Cates shows us that even when in the darkest place, the light will prevail, even if it leaves a mark.

Silver Surfer Black panel


Tradd Moore’s art is beautiful. The Silver Surfer’s slick muscular physique against his textured enemies speaks volumes to the roughness of their characters. Moore also manipulates the Silver Surfer’s body in ways that signify sickness, exhaustion, and a multitude of expressions. Some panels are fascinating avant-garde works full of movement and trippy shapes. The only odd spot would be what looks like a view from the surfboard peering up at the surfer’s crotch to see the chaos around him. It was not needed at that angle and reads as awkward.

Dave Stewart’s colors are a journey to match the voyage of the character. He begins using simple red and blue. Then he progresses to the fire tones of the heroes’ escape followed by the black of the abyss. Finally, he returns to the primary colors and the gray of the lost planet. Following along, the silver/blue hero, the sticks out from the rest of the colors, showing his importance and his light in the darkness. The colors are striking, diverse, and impactful.

Cates the Craftsman

Overall, I loved this book. My knowledge of this character was limited, but now I cannot wait to read more. Donny Cate’s craftsmanship is like no other, and he has a great artistic team with which to create. I cannot wait to see more experimental art from Tradd Moore. This issue has made me a fan of how he sees the world. The cliffhanger of an ending will grab most readers, especially those with knowledge of past Cates created villains. Silver Surfer is a great read, and I recommend picking it up, whether a long-time fan of the character or just Surfer curious.

Verdict: 5 out of 5

Danielle is a lover of all things comics, superheros, fantasy, and supernatural. She is a Doctorate of Education student, while working full time event planning for a University. When not working or comic reading, she can be found snuggling her dog, Sir Dublin Von Fuzzypants or her husband Dave.

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