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Book Title: Silver Surfer: Origins|
The author of the book: Stan Lee
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 343 KB
Edition: Pannini - Marvel Pocket Books
Date of issue: June 14th 2007
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Read full description of the books Silver Surfer: Origins:For all that Peter Parker’s brash youth defines the Brill Building optimism of the early 60s it’s the Norrin Radd (and to a lesser extent Stephen Strange) who defines Marvel’s output of the late 60s. He’s a curiosity caught at the point where comics are sliding from their pop song phase of one or two issue stories to trying to deal with more philosophical issues over a raised page count – it’s notable that each of the issues collected here runs to 40 pages, double the length of a normal book. Radd is, of course, the eponymous Silver Surfer; a preposterously conceived character who once travelled the universe on a surfboard but, due to betraying his master Galactus is now limited to the environs of Earth.
The first issue fleshes out the backstory for the Surfer presented in the Fantastic Four comics in which he first appeared. Pre-Surfer Radd questions the morals and direction of his homeworld of Zenn La, and when the cosmic disaster known as Galactus arrives to eat his world he sacrifices himself to a life of subservience to save it. It’s interesting to note Lee and Buscema clearly presenting the Surfer’s philosophical nature as part of his time wandering the stars in search of tasty treats for Galactus and that a large part of his dissatisfaction with his existence is down to freshly imposed limits. It’s clear Galactus’s punishment is actually an effective one; allowing the Surfer the sight of the wider universe but keeping it tantalisingly out of his grasp. This seems prescient of post-space race times; where we’ve deliberately limited ourselves to Earth and its skies, a resonance the writers couldn’t possibly have imagined in a decade still pregnant with the possibilities presented by scientific advancement.
Unfortunately the wonderful madness of the Surfer himself gets undermined a little by presentation. Where Peter Parker’s a smart-mouthed teen, Radd chimes more with the more introspective type of teen who lies in their bedroom bemoaning the state of the world and how they’re woefully misunderstood. It’s easy to see how that chimes with the stereotype of a comic book reader; indeed tracing the analogy I’m already overusing it’s possible to see Parker to Radd as the range already growing with its readers. Over the extended page counts it makes the Surfer miserable company; you get the feeling that were he human he’d be bemoaning the girl he can’t have at the bottom of a beer glass every evening. And such a take is hammered home in each story; the Surfer is misunderstood and bemoans the violent nature of mankind, the big hippy. None of these first five stories really find their way out of that rut, even the few truly sympathetic souls end up deceived or dead. The Surfer’s world is a small, cruel place.
Buscema’s art sadly hasn’t aged particularly well, though it’s more than up to scratch in presenting some dynamic action set pieces and the fear and hatred that’s the general reaction to the Surfer. It’s competent but, lacking the idiosyncratic style of a Ditko or Romita, doesn’t present many memorable images beyond the striking free gift of a silver spaceman on a surfboard. And that’s the takeaway of these first few issues – there’s bags of potential in the raw material here but it remains no more realised at the beginning than at the end; he’s a strikingly coloured hamster running around the same wheel all the time. Full marks for the Surfer himself, not so much for the lack of doing anything truly interesting with the character.
Read information about the authorStan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber) is an American writer, editor, creator of comic book superheroes, and the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics.
With several artist co-creators, most notably Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he co-created Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Iron Man, the Hulk, Daredevil, the Silver Surfer, Dr. Strange, and many other characters, introducing complex, naturalistic characters and a thoroughly shared universe into superhero comic books. He subsequently led the expansion of Marvel Comics from a small division of a publishing house to a large multimedia corporation.
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