Silver Surfer: Black (Treasury Edition) – Donny Cates, Tradd Moore & Dave Stewart (Marvel)

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Some books effortlessly capture the zeitgeist, personality and spirit of their subject. Silver Surfer Black is one of those books. A love letter, ode and homage to Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, John Buscema and the late sixties heyday of Marvel Comics, Silver Surfer Black is the story of Norrin Radd’s redemption and how he came to find, and know, peace and his place in the Universe. Beginning with the “death” of the Surfer as he was drawn into a black hole following the theft of Thanos’ body by The Black Order, Black follows the journey of the reluctant hero when he finally emerges from the other side and realises, just as so many others in the four colour universe have, that no-one except Mar’Vel and Uncle Ben ever stay dead.

Even in the blackness and nothingness of the eternity that physics postulates lies within, and on the theoretical other side of, black holes, Norrin Radd is forced into battle, as he comes fact to face with a God, who is the anti-thesis of everything the Surfer, is imprisoned beyond the veil. His conflict with this new foe compels him to revaluate his history, who he is and what he did in the service of Galactus. Finding unexpected allies and advice in his hour of need allows the gravely injured Surfer to find the strength to keep fighting and become, once he finally accepts the hand that fate dealt him, who he was always destined to. This is the story of how Norrin Radd died and in doing so, learned how to live as the Silver Surfer.

A tale of acceptance, rebirth and the importance of balance and the opposing and inextricably linked primal forces of creation and destruction in nature and the universe, Black in every sense, feels like a Surfer tale of old. Exploring the nature of existence and the purpose of life in its many varieties while enforcing the idea that the individual can always make a difference, even in the grand scheme of creation, Black is a gorgeously illustrated and coloured, rabidly intelligent and engrossing story of the end, and the beginning, of one man’s life as he finally finds the answers to the questions that have plagued him for millennia.  And it is absolutely incredible… Tim Cundle

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