Review – Silver Surfer: Black #1 (Marvel Comics)

Silver Surfer Black #1 (Marvel Comics) main cover (detail) by Tradd Moore
Silver Surfer: Black #1
  • Writing - 8.6/10
  • Art - 9/10
  • Overall - 8.8/10
User Review
5 (2 votes)


Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Tradd Moore
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: June 12, 2019

The Silver Surfer once again finds himself in a battle he does not want to be in, but what will he learn about himself in Silver Surfer: Black #1?

“Point Break” Silver Surfer: Black #1

Silver Surfer: Black #1 catches us up with Norrin Radd right after the events of Guardians of the Galaxy #1, gathered at Thanos’ last will and testament reading. The Surfer and other cosmic heroes were sucked into a black hole when the Black Order attacked. Now, traversing through the nothingness, the once-Herald of Galactus has much to contemplate about his life: his failings and shortcomings; what was and what might be? What he finds on the other end of the blackness will change his life forever!


Silver Surfer Black #1 (Marvel Comics) main cover by Tradd Moore
Silver Surfer: Black #1 (Marvel Comics) main cover by Tradd Moore

Donny Cates is the “hotness” at Marvel Comics and he continues to show off his impressive writing skills in Silver Surfer: Black #1. Donny Cates does his signature narration style throughout this issue. It is something he does extremely well, especially through an almost omnipotent, all-powerful being like the Silver Surfer. I don’t know what it is, but Cates has a way with words from these characters that just builds up like a mythological story. The way he weaves his words and structures the story feels like we are building a new myth for the fabled Silver Surfer.

I like how Cates weaves the tale of Norrin Radd; we are given a nice introduction to the character and where he has been at, and where he is at now. Being a five-issue mini-series, Cates doesn’t have a ton of time to dwell on things. So, he gets right to the point in Silver Surfer: Black #1. Not that he does not take time to develop an interesting take on the Silver Surfer, but everything feels like it has a purpose and a direction in the story.

If there is one complaint about Silver Surfer: Black #1 is that it is firmly entrenched in “Donny Cates’ Marvel Universe”. Most of Cates’ Marvel work right now has connectivity from Venom, Guardians of the Galaxy, his Thanos run and Cosmic Ghost Rider mini all kind of build into or onto each other. If you read all of Cates’ stuff, like me, that is great; I love somebody that has good story continuity. But, the ending to Silver Surfer: Black #1 could be a bit of a head-scratcher to those that are not familiar with his work. 


So, Tradd Moore is the artist on Silver Surfer: Black #1 and if you have never seen his art, well, man, just look at the preview pages because I don’t know if words can describe it. I am very familiar with Tradd Moore’s work, from Luther Strode to All-New Ghost Rider; he is an artist you don’t forget. I guess the best way to describe his art is “funky”, like funky in a good way. Like, man, that shouldn’t work, but it does. The odd, exaggerated body proportions, the way he stretches parts of the body. Odd shapes and just all-out mystifying visuals. His thick, dark ink lines, his unusual panel structure and layouts. It is oddly cartoony, yet somewhat realistic all at the same time. It is dynamic, it is bold, it is full of otherworldly energy. Man, it is just all that good funkiness!

It is also exciting to see Dave Stewart on colors. I know he does a ton of other coloring work but I always have Stewart pegged in that Hellboy style. Dark and ominous, with Mignola’s minimalist style. So, even though I shouldn’t be, I am surprised when he paints some beautiful bright colorations in this issue! There are some tremendously beautiful, bright cosmic colors throughout the issue. But, he also brings in some stunning dark undertones as well. He sets the scene so well with his color changes.

I mean, look, I can see why some people would look at the art and not like it. It is not something you see regularly, and far from normal. But, for me, it works, and it certainly works for the otherworldly adventure in Silver Surfer: Black #1


If you like Donny Cates’ writing you are going to like this series. You dig Tradd Moore’s art, then you will dig this series. If you are a fan of Donny Cates and Tradd Moore you are in for a treat with Silver Surfer: Black #1. Cates weaves a tragic, melancholic tale of the Silver Surfer, which brings him into a whole new direction. With the wild, energetic visuals of Tradd Moore, Silver Surfer: Black #1 is something that is truly like nothing else on the stands.

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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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