The Silver Surfer is a goofy looking character.
I know a lot of fanboys really love the Surfer and his poetic soul and all that stuff but for the longest time, I could only see him for what he looks like: A bald, silver alien on a flying surfboard. I didn’t get what all the hubub was about and I certainly didn’t see why this character ever deserved his own series or film.
And then the other day, I was in Value Village, scouring the aisles for toys when in the book section I came across two really good finds. One was a hard cover of a fairly recent printing of Batman: Year One in amazing condition (yes, I know it’s weird I didn’t previously have a copy but I had read it numerous times and always seemed to have access to a copy) and a very good condition copy of The Silver Surfer: Parable hard cover from a long time ago.
For you young’ens out there, Parable is the collected title for a two issue Silver Surfer mini series published by Marvel’s mature audiences line, Epic. It was written by Stan Lee and drawn by French artist Moebius. Galactus has come back to Earth, hungry for our little planetoid. He had sworn not to destroy Earth but unfortunately we’re at a point where we’re on the brink of our destruction and so Galactus has come posing as a god to push us over the edge. Because if we’re all dead, no one is going to care if Galactus eats the planet. Surfer has been here for a while and apparently living like a hobo. He’s kind of given up on us as we’re a bunch of dicks to him and don’t take care of ourselves. But due to one woman, he sees a bit of hope.
For a grand total of ten bucks, both of these hard covers would be mine but I wondered if I had made a mistake in Parable. Sure the art would be good but would it be worth reading? Stan was a great writer back in his day but in his more modern appearances, it can be a little over powering. I hadn’t read the book in years, would it be any good?
But both books for ten bucks… hard to go wrong.
I was surprised at how good this was. In Parable, Lee wrote the Surfer in the way he’s always been described for me: a beautiful soul. While some of his dialogue comes off as a little bit cliche, for the most part this is well written by anyone’s standards. In fact, Stan’s occasional overuse of dialogue fits the story and characters. With such a huge character like Galactus, it should feel like a bit of an epic.
The art is… well it’s Moebius. I got into his work a little late. While I had read Parable in my youth, I had never given much thought to the artist. But as I got older and after becoming such a fan of Geof Darrow’s work, I started seeking Moebius’s work out. Moebius was a master of form and I think part of the reason for this was that he liked to test himself and do different things. Blueberry doesn’t look like The Incal but it all looks like Moebius. With Parable, Moebius Kirby-ed up his style a little and for his colour palette, chose to go with standard American comic colours. For an artist that was used to such a broad range of colours from paints and higher quality printing, this could have been a handicap. But Moebius wanted to do Parable as an American comic. What came out wasn’t quite American but definitely a Kirby-enhanced Moebius. It is both great and wondrous to behold.
Parable is a book that I hope younger readers will discover. It’s probably the best of Stan Lee’s more modern work and for Moebius, it’s another unique book in a career filled with unique books.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!