Review: Silver Surfer #5

Silver Surfer and the Seeker face off as Galactus and the High Evolutionary have a meeting of the minds.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Greg Pak's premise for this Silver Surfer miniseries has been intriguing, if a little rushed at times. Essentially, it features the Surfer regaining his humanity and exploring the consequences of losing it again.

To recap the series for anyone who didn't check out the first four issues, the Silver Surfer left his injured master Galactus in a star to recover from his ordeal during The Thanos Imperative. With nothing but time to kill, the Surfer returned to Earth where the High Evolutionary soon stole his powers… leaving him once again Norrin Radd. Along the way, Norrin reconnected to his humanity and fell for Suzi Enzo, a long forgotten superheroine calling herself Cybermancer.

To complicate things further, the High Evolutionary transformed Suzi into his own herald called The Seeker, who the newly reempowered Silver Surfer had to go up against.

Which brings us back to the present, where the Surfer and the Seeker decide that they'd much rather be lovers than opposed to each other; leaving the Surfer's allies in the Future Foundation on their own against the High Evolutionary. In terms of character voices, Pak has a good handle on the former Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and even Franklin and Val as they try to find a solution to save the Earth and the new paradise that the High Evolutionary has created on the moon.

The most refreshing thing about this story is that the High Evolutionary isn't wrong. For once, when a villain takes ultimate power in the name of a noble calling, it isn't bulls***. Even the Surfer noted in a previous issue that the High Evolutionary creates life where Galactus destroys it. And when Galactus himself shows up, he seems to agree and he even lets the High Evolutionary keep his stolen power.

The rest of the resolution isn't quite as rewarding and it goes out of its way to undo most of the character development in this series. By the end, Suzie is no longer the Seeker and the Surfer is once again the Herald of Galactus. That step backwards is annoying. The new status quo of the Surfer once again exploring the galaxy as his own man could have been promising, especially if he finally had someone to share the experience with. Pak also built Suzie up from the relative obscurity that she's been in to give her enough life that she could potentially play a larger role in the Marvel Universe.

From the ending, it's unclear if the Silver Surfer still retains his rediscovered humanity. Pak seems to understand the character fairly well, if he ever decides to revisit him. Unfortunately, the lack of permeance from this story may mean that it will soon be forgotten by other writers, instead of a turning point in the Surfer's long history.

Harvey Tolibao's art is also a disappointment in this concluding chapter. The original artist for this miniseries was Stephen Segovia, whose style was a little more suited for the content. Tolibao's action pages are pretty good, but his faces are terrible. And I mean to the point where it sometime seems like the faces were drawn by a separate artist entirely. A heartbreaking moment for Suzi near the end loses almost all of its power because she doesn't look upset… she just looks weird.

If Marvel wants to bring back the Silver Surfer again, they should really make sure that only one artist works on all of the issues. But if you can overlook some of the shortcomings, this was a solid miniseries.