For most of his roughly 60 years of existence, the Silver Surfer has been a decent barometer for how seriously a person took comic books. Somehow never played for laughs, he rode a chrome surfboard through space, occasionally seeking out planets for a giant with a bucket for a head to nosh on. For the uninitiated, this was all very serious, and not a gag written by a stoned college dropout.
Then, in 2014, writer Dan Slott did something that nobody saw coming. Surgically extracting about 90% of the character’s brooding unapproachability, he teamed the Surfer up with Dawn Greenwood, an Earth woman from Massachusetts, and sent the two on a series of unlikely friendship adventures. There were, flying in the face of traditional Silver Surfer stories, laughs.
If “immortal space deity hangs out with a nice human girl in space” sounds familiar, it’s probably because that was the backbone that kept Doctor Who running for almost six decades — they even toss in a couple of references via Michael and Laura Allred’s Kirby-esque artwork. And if “Doctor Who but with Marvel characters” doesn’t come with a built-in audience, nothing does.