A Slice of Fried Gold

#5 - Silver Surfer: Requiem

Monday, February 18, 2008

#5 - Silver Surfer: Requiem by J. Michael Straczynski and Esad Ribic
If sacred places are spared the ravages of war -- then make all places sacred. And if the holy people are to be kept harmless from war -- then make all people holy.
This definitely moves even further into cheating in my march to 52 books read this year, as I have already read this wonderful Marvel mini-series from last year about the last days of the Silver Surfer. But that is ok with me, as I just purchased the hardback collection of this book and I really want to go over it for one simple reason - it's just that good.

This isn't just the best Silver Surfer story ever told, but one of the best comic mini-series of recent memory (if not ever). It's a simple story that expresses how this alien being could be the greatest human of all, and all of the lessons that could be learned from him. It is, in its own way, anti-war. Anti-war is unfair, as it labels this as something it isn't really. This story is about life, and about how every being in creation should treat it with respect and honor like it deserves. It never falls into the trap of being too preachy, and it is all the better for it.

J. Michael Straczynski, he of Babylon 5 and more recently Spider Man's One More Day (that wretched creation!) fame, creates his magnum opus with this piece. He manages to capture the essence of the Marvel universe as well as any writer this side of Stan Lee in this book, and solidifies the character of Norrin Radd as one of the greatest characters in all of the Marvel Universe.

The book would not be nearly the same without the incredible painted works Croatian artist Esad Ribic either. Ribic creates some of the most classic Marvel imagery seen today, and really gives Marvel their own version of Alex Ross to work with. I'd never seen his work anywhere before, but his funeral scene for the Surfer was quite possibly one of the most beautiful graphical images I've ever seen in comic form.

This series was one of the best things I read last year - book, comic, trade, graphic novels, whatever. Upon a second reading it is even greater. This is one story from the comic book medium that I feel I could give to any person - any person - and they would get a lot from it. It is simply that good.


Erok said...

I'll have to check it out. I love Midnight Nation by that dude.

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