Review – Silver Surfer: Black #5 (Marvel Comics)

  • Writing - 10/10
  • Art - 10/10
  • Overall - 10/10
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Silver Surfer: Black #5

Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Tradd Moore
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: October 30, 2019

The Silver Surfer has found the light and new power, but will the light be enough to snuff out the darkness and will this power be enough to stop Knull?


“Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” Silver Surfer: Black #5

The final issue of Silver Surfer: Black is here with Silver Surfer: Black #5. Norrin Radd has had a rough way to go since being transported to the beginning of time (see Guardians of the Galaxy #1/Silver Surfer: Black #1). There he confronted the symbiote god, Knull. Using most of his Power Cosmic to hold Knull at bay and escape, the Surfer was in dire straits. Luckily a young Ego, the Living Planet, was there to help. There, he battled not only the darkness on the outside but the darkness inside himself, as well. Radd even confronted a young Galactus, deciding not to kill the world-eater that would turn him into the eventual Herald.

Now Knull is coming. Ego has helped the Silver Surfer gather power, but will this new power be enough to stop the darkness that is Knull? How do you stop a god of darkness and despair, and how does Norrin Radd save himself from the darkness consuming him from the inside?


Silver Surfer: Black #5 (Marvel Comics) Cover art by Tradd Moore
Silver Surfer: Black #5 (Marvel Comics) Cover art by Tradd Moore

Silver Surfer: Black #5 is top Donny Cates for me; this just oozes somber, introspective tone that I love from him. He uses the narration boxes for excellent storytelling. That is another thing I love from Cates. In his best works, he seems to use the narration box to get some fantastic self-reflection on the characters he is writing, while also using it to weave a poignant story. He uses it to great effect in Silver Surfer: Black #5 to bring that self-reflection of Norrin Radd and all the death he has brought, and how he battles that darkness.

It is all very morose and a little self-depressing at times, but Cates works with it well and builds it into a great character study of the character of Norrin Radd and how to fight the darkness within. Cates plays with the seriousness of the story so well, there is this sincerity to the words in the story in Silver Surfer: Black that comes through in the writing. You can feel Cates is trying to put his heart out there and it shows in the unfeigned story of the Silver Surfer.


Tradd Moore and Dave Stewart have been delivering some mind-blowing art since the start of this five-issue mini-series. Silver Surfer: Black #5 takes it to another level that I didn’t know was possible. Like, I mean, they turn it up past eleven and go straight to twelve! I don’t even know how to describe the first few pages of Silver Surfer: Black #5 besides some abstract art boldness like I haven’t seen in a comic book before, and it completely works. It is not weird and funky for the sake of being weird and funky; the art works perfectly with the story.

Again, I stated this in my previous reviews, but Tradd Moore brings the funk. It is a phrase that is thrown around a lot, but literally nothing on the shelves looks like Silver Surfer: Black. Even if you don’t personally “like” the art there is absolutely no way you cannot appreciate it, or deny the talent behind this. Obviously I don’t want every comic book to look like this, but man, it works incredibly well for this series. Moore also catches emotion superbly well, even with his exaggerated body proportions and unique styling. His art bleeds that emotion that the story needs and it visually reflects the story perfectly.

The colors, my gosh the colors in Silver Surfer: Black #5 are magnificent. Again, I don’t know if I can describe them to you with words. If you have been following along with this series then you kind of know what I mean. But even if you have read the previous four issues, the colors in #5 will absolutely blow you away.


I absolutely loved everything about Silver Surfer: Black #5. The way the story was wrapped up, Cates’ beautiful, melancholic writing, the stunning artwork! It all worked delightfully well together. I almost didn’t give the writing 10/10 just because it did feel a bit like a Smiths song (this actually wouldn’t be a bad one to listen to while reading). But man, I just keep thinking about the story and how touching it was to me. Maybe it is just the mood I am, but the story hit me in all the feels. I can’t get it out of my head. I don’t like to give out a lot of perfect scores because it kind of defeats the purpose if everything is a 10 out of 10, but for me this is a perfect comic book for different reasons.

The story is truly touching and you can feel the heart put in it. The art is, visually, just something to be amazed at. It all works sequentially as a visual story as well. The art isn’t just crazy to be crazy, but it serves a purpose and helps tell the story. The story also helps build the character of Norrin Radd and brings the Silver Surfer in a new direction.

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