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Flashback: Review of The Silver Surfer Graphic Novel by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (1978) July 21, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews, Flashback.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

In Flashback, LOTRKing normally reviews a random back issue (in most instances, one he hasn’t read before) and attempts to make sense of both the story and its place in Marvel history. In this special edition, he has not chosen rondomly and will be reviewing a rare non-canon graphic novel by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

For those who know nothing about this graphic novel (I didn’t until reading it), it is a retelling of the Silver Surfer character by his two creators. Instead of throwing him into the Marvel Universe populated with superheroes, they tried to introduce him to the “real” world. Did they succeed? I’d say so. While this book may be a bit dated, it is definitely a Stan Lee/Jack Kirby tale. Stan Lee maintains his slightly quirky writing and occasionally flawed logic, yet he hits the soul of the Silver Surfer perfectly. Like his two part Silver Surfer: Parable tale of the eighties (I’ll get around to doing that on Flashback one of these days) this is an introspective and interesting look at humanity from the eyes of a noble non-human character.

Like his original appearance in the Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer is here the herald of Galactus, devourer of worlds. After finding Earth, he realizes that it is much like his old home Zenn-La, which causes him to regain much of his conscience. Refusing to allow Galactus to destroy a world populated by such a young and thriving race, he confronts Galactus and after an almost-futile battle, Galactus spares Earth, but exiles Norrin there. As Norrin learns about his new home and its natives, we get the earlier mentioned look and the good and bad aspects of humanity.

Aside from our own morals and foibles, it is through Galactus that Lee tries to define what exactly establishes good from evil, if the two even exist at all. Eventually, Galactus realizes that he needs the Silver Surfer, and the usually neutral entity must examine both his good and evil qualities as he decides what will make the Silver Surfer return to him. What follows in an entertaining and poignant story which ultimately ends in the Silver Surfer making a large sacrifice on behalf of humanity.

It must also be mentioned that while the comic book art of the seventies is nothing like today, Jack Kirby is nonetheless an impressive visual storyteller. Whether it is emotion, action, or even just scenery, it is easy to see why he was considered one of the greats of his time. Together, the story and art make this an enjoyable philosophical read. If you are a fan of the Silver Surfer, Stan Lee, or Jack Kirby and you can ever find it for a decent price, I’d highly recommend getting it.

Next week: Fantastic Four 63




1. Kirby & Lee’s Dystopia | THE SILVER SURFER - December 11, 2013

[…] the eyes of the cosmic beings and how they see our society, not from the human point of view. One review of the novel described it as “an introspective and interesting look at humanity from the eyes of […]

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