Silver Sufer #2-3 (Marvel Comics)

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A de-powered hero and a veritable army of fill-in artists prove enough to defeat the normally invincible Sentinel of the Spaceways.

 

32 pgs. ea. full color; $2.99 ea.
(W: Greg Pak; P: Harvey Tolibao, Stephen Segovia, Iban Coello; I: Sandu Florea, Victor Olazaba, Jaime Mendoza, Jason Paz; C: Wil Quintana)
 
Well, that sure was fast. A comic from the Big Two riddled with fill-in artists is, of course, nothing new, but it seems a very odd disease to inflict on a five-issue miniseries with no tight ties to overall continuity to necessitate a speedy release. And yet here we are on Silver Surfer #2, with first issue artists Stephen Segovia and Victor Olazaba handing off the vast majority of pages to penciller Harvey Tolibao and a battalion of inkers vast enough that Marvel editorial felt it necessary to skip first names in the credits. (The credits for all the editors and assorted bigwigs naturally receive no such truncation.) The third issue finds Segovia and Olazaba absent altogether, with Tolibao and Iban Coello trading scenes and inker Sandu Florea trying to tie the whole thing together. Yeesh, no wonder they hid the credits box on the last page.
 
The result is, as you can probably guess, disjointed. Tolibao was clearly rushed, and while he does his damnedest not to let it show (no missing backgrounds or bland, overly static layouts here), the occasional panel crops up where characters are twisted from forced perspective not quite properly applied, or faces look downright ugly from features that aren’t placed quite right. (Check out Norrin Radd’s ears on page 7 of issue #3; they’re downright elvish.) The art switcheroo could have worked had they given Tolibao more time, as the blend between his work and Segovia’s is seamless in most places. Coello (who will be back alongside Tolibao in #4) doesn’t quite gel as well, the newcomer’s clean line providing a stark contrast to the sketchy cross-hatching flung all over Tolibao’s work. That both halves of the issue shared an inker makes the marked contrast in styles all the more puzzling.
 
As for the story, it’s clear now where Greg Pak is going with this: in short, the High Evolutionary has stolen Galactus’ tech, and though his aim is to create rather than destroy, the pair are two sides of the same human extinction coin. It’s a clever concept, really, but it’s a shame that the only way he could come up to execute it was to de-power the Silver Surfer. Sure, it’s interesting to see this omnipotent, emotionally distant hero get in touch with his human (Zenn-Lavian—whatever) side, but when the guy hasn’t helmed his own series in three years, it’s disappointing to see him do so as something so far from his Stan Lee-, Jim Starlin-, or Ron Marz-penned glory days.
 
Honestly, this miniseries as a whole is turning into one big disappointment. While it’s nowhere near the level of disaster of the Surfer’s egregiously awful 2003 series, this series just doesn’t click on any level. And if a diehard like me (who has read, and enjoyed, some admittedly mediocre Silver Surfer stories) can’t find much to enjoy, I can’t imagine it has anything to offer the casual fan either. | Jason Green
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