REVIEW: Silver Surfer #14 – “The Ballad of Norville Rapaport”

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Writer: Dan Slott
Penciller: Michael Allred
Colorist: Laura Allred
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Price: $3.99
Release Date: 10/25/17
Rating: T+

Silver Surfer

Plot: Last issue revealed that the Silver Surfer and Dawn Greenwood were stranded in the universe before the Big Bang. Now after Dawn’s passing, the Surfer has returned. The issue is the Surfer’s recap of his activities from the Big Bang to the moment he and Dawn left. Fortunately the Surfer had a plan to reunite a surviving form of Dawn Greenwood with her family.

Story: Dan Slott crafts a brilliant ending to his Silver Surfer run. First off, he gives the Surfer dialogue filled with emotion. A good example of this is when the Surfer uses the converted energy of Dawn’s remains to create the first light in the universe. This light is what nearly every alien species calls Dawn. Thus Norrin Radd pays tribute to his fallen companion by making her name eternal in the universe. This action also adds a new layer of emotion to the Surfer. Anyone who’s lost someone close can find the Surfer relatable in this moment.

Also Dan Slott’s use of the Surfer’s Nor-Ville identity is a great way to avoid a time paradox. While staying in the previous universe with Dawn, the Surfer took on a new appearance and identity as Nor-Ville. Upon returning to the universe, Norrin Radd becomes Nor-Ville again so he won’t alter any of the universe’s history. The Surfer’s decision to remain on the sidelines is a smart one. This way we avoid the overused trope of a character sent back in time trying to alter history and unintentionally making things worse.

The amazing thing about this story is how Slott ties everything into previous issues. One example goes back to the Nor-Ville identity. As Nor-Ville (or rather Norville Rappaport), the Surfer becomes an annual guest at the Greenwood Inn (owned & operated by Dawn and her father, Reg). This allows him to spend some more time with Dawn even though she’s already gone from his perspective. Plus we return to the planet of living holograms from issue #9. I completely forgot about this planet until this issue reveals the Surfer has been talking to holo-Dawn this entire issue. The Surfer then reveals he created holo-pods of Dawn’s family and himself as Norrin Radd so she would not be alone. This is a clever way of giving the fans a happy ending while also concluding the Surfer’s relationship with Dawn Greenwood.

Art: Mike and Laura Allred create fantastic artwork as always. One thing that stood out in this issue is the new form of the Surfer’s power cosmic. Since the Surfer is the first being to wild the Power Cosmic, he decided it’s energy signature. On the first page we see the Surfer releasing Dawn’s remains as energy and it transforms into this red ray with black dots. This design is a nice tribute to Dawn’s trademark ladybug color scheme. While some readers may pick up on this early, it’s actually pointed out by Norrin Radd’s hologram toward the end of the issue.

The rest of the issue’s artwork is spectacular. While most of the issue involves recaps, Allred delivers the moments from new angles that make them feel less repetitive. Also there’s a sweet moment where holo-Dawn’s reflection in board winks at her which is a nice homage to how the board communicated with Dawn over the course of the series. Plus the issue ends on a beautiful splash page as the Silver Surfer heads off into his next adventure.

Verdict: Silver Surfer #14 is a fantastic ending to an awesome series. Dan Slott’s story made one of Marvel’s least relatable characters relatable with his relationship with Dawn Greenwood. Also Michael Allred brought the stories to life visually with his beautiful artwork. This issue gave us an ending that’s happy and conclusive. The best way to enjoy this issue is if you read this team’s Silver Surfer issues from the very beginning. Overall, this issue concludes another chapter for the Silver Surfer on a high note.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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