Thursday, August 30, 2007

Silver Surfer: Requiem #4

Silver Surfer: Requiem #4
After many years of service to the peoples of the cosmos, Norrin Radd is laid to rest. This book is extremely emotional: heartfelt, hopeful, and sad. Some of the "science" involved doesn't truly make sense. For instance, how can Norrin Radd transfer a piece of his essence to each of the people that visit him before his death? How can Galctus turn him into a star? And yet? And yet... doesn't really matter. It's all about the emotions. All about the hope that the Silver Surfer embodied. He was, in many ways, the personification of hope. And even in death, he now continues in this role. If fact, his death brings a freedom to Zenn La that has never been known. For in dying, Galactus pledges to his herald that none shall ever threaten Zenn La or its people. Galactus shall be their protector. Thus, the people of Zenn La are freed from fear for the first time in many years, and, for the first time in millennia, Galactus has found a home. A place filled with being with whom he shares a common bond of love. A place where he is not feared, but welcomed.
And thus, in death, Norrin Radd did for Galactus what he could never do for him in life. He gave Galactus a home.

A VERY GOOD ending to this wonderful miniseries. I honestly didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I have. I usually despise JMS' writing. Very often it seems that he is either ignorant or uncaring of the previous characterizations of the characters in the comics he writes. And yet? And yet it seems that nobody has ever come so close since Stan Lee created him to getting the Silver Surfer right. His motivations, his fears, his hopes, his dreams. All are captured beautifully by the pen of JMS, not to mention illustrated to perfection by Esad Ribic.

I skipped reviewing the third issue of this series, because it kind of missed the point. Taking the Silver Surfer into confrontations with alien races we haven't seen before was the purview of his life. His death should be something completely different. Thus, the first issue, where he met with the Fantastic Four, and the second issue, where he met with Spider-Man and gave a gift of vision to the human race, were perfect vignettes from the last days of the Silver Surfer's life. Had there only been three issues, nothing would have been lost. These three issues have been some of the finest writing I've ever read from JMS, and also one of the only Marvel: End stories that have really been worthwhile.

It has been a fun exercise.

Rest In Peace, Norrin Radd. May your ultimate end be as dignified as this one.

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