Written by Dan Slott
Art by Mike Allred and Laura Allred
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: January 20, 2016

It’s a joyous and splendiferous return to the wacky world of the Surfer who rides his board, Toomie, along with companion Dawn.

For those familiar with the book, this book is the love project of Dan Slott and Michael Allred. The book is often compared to Doctor Who with The Surfer playing the role of the sometimes asexual stalwart and serious hero bent on what is happening around him, looking to save the world. Dawn plays the role of the all too human companion there to give him an outlet for compassion and understanding that he never had before. His board, Toomie, playing the role of his mode of transportation with a mind of it’s own, at times. While the previous volume focused on their travels through space, and eventually looking to solve the puzzle of the universe left over from Secret Wars, this time they are Earth-bound.

Slott and Allred see their jobs to intertwined that they do not even list themselves in the credits as writer and artist. Instead, they have Joe Caramagna skillfully list them together as “Storytellers.” In a time of debate between artist and writer for credit and the universal flow between the two, this choice is distinct, and Marvel’s willingness to allow them to do this, is important. It requires anyone, talking about any facet of the book to acknowledge both creators, instead of just assuming responsibility just lay in the artist or writer side of the work.

For those who are readers of the previous volume, there are many familiar beats in set-up and problem that the book hits. What is knee slapping fun, occurs once the action gets going. Nerds and geeks of various fandoms will find themselves hooting and hollering in excitement at seeing their favorites paid homage to in the more fantastical aspect of this issue. Slott and Allred create unique and sympathetic villains that any fan will relate to, because of their internal desires to not let anything they see as important fade away. So much time could be spent on pouring over the last quarter of the book, identifying and squeeing over the various nods and hat tips to some of the greatest science fiction and dramatic characters created in books, television and movies. Allred, even takes a panel to pay homage to the work that made him famous in the comic community. They are panels, that if you are a true fan that enjoys indulgence, will leave the reader grinning from ear to ear. Only the most jaded of person could close this book with less than a smile or a smirk of derision on their face.

If anything is missing it’s a clear acknowledgement that Toomie, the Surfer’s board, can sometimes have it’s own consciousness. However, new readers will not lose out on this not being present. There has been a very clear effort to reintroduce the circumstances of Dawn’s family to new readers. There has been an overt decision to show that the Surfer is not used to having “normal” family arrangements in his life, but is willing to try them for Dawn. These circumstances work well together to reintroduce the story in this new volume.

As always, Laura Allred’s colors sell so much of the art in this story. In this issue in particular, there seems to be extra depth and life to the pages. While there were many colors that appeared flat in the previous volume, which was normal for the Allred’s previous work, there is an extra layer of texture now. It could be an effect of the digital rendering of a book, that I normally read in print. However, the colors feel much more layered, as if there is an effort to give them more depth than in the previous volume. Considering this story takes place on the real Earth (see previous volume get know what I mean by real Earth,) it’s a nice change up that feels very organic to the story.

You’d have to be a very jaded reader to not succumb to the joy and fun that flows constantly through this issue. From the very first pages action, adventure and joy fill the Surfer’s world.

The Verdict: 9.0/10


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