Writer: Donny Cates
Art: Tradd Moore, Dave Stewart, and VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: October 30th, 2019
Knull, after not appearing at all in the last two issues, finally faces off against the Surfer. I wonder who will win??
The finale of this mini-series is unlike any I’ve ever read. Not that that’s a bad thing at all. Cates uses this issue as an opportunity to have the Surfer take a look at his own inner self. What he was and then what he became as a herald Galactus. Then later with the help of Alicia Masters as he became one of the greatest heroes in the Marvel universe. And now, and most importantly, what he will become after his encounter with Knull??
Oddly there is very very little dialogue. Instead, it’s all the Surfer’s thoughts. Instead of Clayton Cowles using square boxes around the text, I kind of wish he’d gone old school and used “thought bubbles”. As a huge fan of silver and bronze age comics, I’d love to see some
Cates also uses symbolism quite a bit. When I used to watch western movies as a kid I remember my dad telling me that the good guys always wore white hats and the bad guys always wore black hats. This symbolism is obviously used in this series and in a big way at the end. You’ll have to read it to see why!
The things that the Surfer remembers while looking at his past clearly show that Cates knows the character very well. There are also some clear nods to what’s going on in King Thor right now, which Cates will soon be writing. I really like that Cates takes such care in not only world building, but universe building. This is also clearly seen in what he’s done in Venom and in the Absolute Carnage event. One of the things I like most about current Marvel comics is that the creators really try to make it a shared universe. This, however, doesn’t always work out all that well, but I do appreciate the effort.
Cates also shows confidence and willingness to take a chance by ending a series with an issue with hardly any dialogue. I’ve never read a comic quite like this. In this case, I think it works particularly well because the Surfer is such a complex character.
The art by Tradd Moore was also a highlight for me. People seem to either love it or hate it. I love it, but there were a few panels that surprisingly had no backgrounds at all. Not a huge deal but I noticed right away.
I’ll also mention that this series had some of the best variant covers I’ve ever seen. My personal favorite by Ron Lim
As the issue came to its conclusion, I was left a bit surprised. There is a definite ending, something we don’t get in some comics, but not the ending I was expecting at all. I’ll be very very curious to see what role the Surfer plays in the upcoming months!