By Josh Wigler
A new SILVER SURFER ongoing series blasts off toward unexplored corners of the Marvel Universe with an All-New Marvel NOW! launch coming next March. Writer Dan Slott and artist Mike Allred serve as the powerhouse team co-piloting this brand-new look at the cosmos.
"It's fun, it's full of adventure, and it wears its love of the Marvel Universe on its sleeve," Slott shares of his SILVER SURFER plans. "This book very much knows what it is."
"At one of our last Marvel editorial summits, there was a big discussion about the Surfer—what to do with him, how to make him relevant again, and so forth—but nothing particular had been landed on," recalls editor Tom Brevoort. "The night after the summit, Dan and I got to talking about that Surfer discussion, what we liked about it and what we didn't like so much. Before we knew it, we had the first six issues of a new series plotted out."
Slott's SURFER hinges on the idea of a Marvel Universe far bigger than any writer or fan has ever previously imagined.
"When some people think of the Marvel Universe, [they think] we've learned everything there is to learn," he notes. "You have your Kree and your Skrulls and this and that. Here's Galactus, here are the Elders of the Universe, and that's it. But that can't be it. It just can't. Think about how much history mankind has had. We haven't solved all of the unsolvables. We haven't discovered everything. There are parts of our oceans we have never seen. Every time we as human looks out, we find new boundaries to break.
"A character like the Surfer, who can go everywhere and see everything? Hecan't have seen it all. You'll meet a character in the first SURFER arc, a character of such cosmic importance that you'll wonder why we haven't seen this character before. It'll make you look at the Marvel Universe in a different way."
|Silver Surfer by Mike Allred|
The Surfer himself will have a new perspective of the Marvel Universe, thanks to a new character named Dawn Greenwood.
"One of the limitations of the Surfer as a character is that, by his nature, he's alone a lot of the time,” says Brevoort. “He's typically traveling from star to star all on his own, and getting involved in whatever happens to be going on that crosses his path.
“So right off the bat, we're giving him somebody new to bounce off of: the new character Dawn Greenwood. She's the victim of an alien abduction that the Surfer finds millions of light years away from the Earth. At the conclusion of their first adventure together, he needs to take her back to Earth. So the two of them wind up traveling together, and this gives the Surfer somebody to bond with and relate to along the journey."
But to bring the girl on board, Slott and Brevoort needed the perfect artistic companion—and they found him in Mike Allred.
"Not only is Mike a huge Silver Surfer fan, and not only is he himself a surfer—the first actual surfer, as far as I know, to illustrate the character—but he also had one specific quality that we knew was going to be invaluable in putting the series over: since so much of the premise revolves around Dawn, the new character, we needed an artist that was going to make you love her and care about her from the very first frame she showed up in," explains Brevoort.
”Mike is the most enthusiastic guy in the world," Slott adds. "When you look at the core elements of this book, it's the most Kirby-ish character of all time, and we're introducing a girl you just have to love the moment you see her—Mike is perfect for that."
Of course when it comes to the Surfer, Slott can hold his own.
"He was the first super hero I ever read," the writer reveals. "The first comics I ever read, not bought, were at my cousin's house when I was six or seven. I knew comics existed, but I didn't know where they came from—I thought they came from my cousin's basement! The first comics he handed to me was ‘The Galactus Trilogy’ [from FANTASTIC FOUR #48-50]. Those were the first hardcore comics I ever read."
Later in life, Slott's love for the Surfer manifested in the form of “The Adventures of the Nuke Surfer,” a comic strip he wrote and illustrated for his school paper about “a guy who surfed off of nuclear after-blasts in a post-apocalyptic world. If you looked at the shots I was trying to draw, I was clearly trying to draw Silver Surfer. So that [childhood] love never went away. I've always had a deep love for Norrin Radd.”
Slott's affection for the Surfer stems from the character's humanity:
“We spend so much time thinking about Silver Surfer, that a lot of the time, we forget about Norrin Radd. By being with Dawn, someone with human eyes, he's going to start seeing new things in himself.”
For Slott, SILVER SURFER comes at the height of the writer's work on SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN, a welcome addition to an already colorful slate of work.
"I wake up every morning thinking of Spider-Man and going to sleep every night dreaming of Spider-Man, [so] it's nice to have a new flavor on the plate," he says. "I never want to stop writing Spider-Man, but it's nice to have that other flavor, and for it to be so different. Everyone who knows me knows I'm a big sci-fi geek. I love sci-fi, and this is my chance at an ongoing sci-fi book.
"It's going to be really good escapism. If you want to travel to the stars, come on board."
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