The Creators – Ethan Sacks – Writer, Andre Lima Araujo – Artist, Chris O’Halloran – Colours, Travis Lanham – Letters
The Players – Silver Surfer (Norrin Radd), Galactus
The Story – The Silver Surfer must find a planet for Galactus to feed upon and he discovers more than he bargained for.
The Take – There have been many tales of the Silver Surfer and the life he had before he was made a herald of Galactus, but as the author of this story states, there had to be something that led the Surfer to Earth in that first tale all those years ago. So here, Ethan Sacks and Andre Lima Araujo look into that inciting moment and it is, by the end of the issue, heart-rending. It begins with Norrin Radd as a child, wanting to grow up and be something different than every other child of Zenn-La. He wanted to be famous of a sort and after meeting Galactus, he would indeed have his name whispered across the cosmos, though not in quite the way he imagined it would be. As the herald of Galactus, he must search out worlds for the mighty being to devour in order that he continue living. Until this point, the Surfer found dead worlds for his master to consume, as long-time readers no doubt already know. Galactus wants more though and so it is that the Surfer comes upon a world that seems beyond saving, its populace included. The thing of it is, that there is more below the surface, literally, and what he learns there leads him to make a hard decision. Picking up this annual, one would never know that it would end up featuring a tragedy instead of some cosmic slug-fest or grand adventure. It is written by Sacks exceptionally well, almost poetically and one feels for not only the Surfer, but for the inhabitants of the planet that would soon find themselves doomed as food for a higher being. Bringing it to life would be Araujo and Chris O’Halloran and it echoes the work of Moebius found in the classic tale Parable. The book looks good and it reads even better and when reading this, it is what one hopes an ongoing Surfer book would be like. All of that aside, the story is also a fairly clichéd Surfer tale, one that has been seen many times before, but told slightly different and one that is not only about tragedy, but tragedy doubled for after what most expect to happen, there is another that affects the Surfer directly and it tugs at the heart during those final panels. Altogether, for an annual, Marvel and the creative team of Araujo and Sacks outdid themselves and it is definitely recommended.
Worth It? – Yes.