In October 2012, Marvel rebranded their entire line of comics under the “Marvel Now” banner, an era that would effectively last for three years until 2015’s Secret Wars. It’s a fan favorite era of comics, under the editorial reign of Axel Alonso, with titles like Hawkeye, Superior Spider-Man, Thor: God of Thunder, and Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers among many others.
2022 marks the 10 year anniversary of Marvel Now, so at Comic Book Herald, we’ll be looking back at the best, most interesting, or just downright most confounding Marvel Now titles. This is “Marvel Then.”
The Silver Surfer. Cool design, awesome concept, but the character? Norrin Radd himself? Maybe a little lacking in personality, right? Not due to bad writing, but rather the very point of the character when he was first introduced. He was the Herald of Galactus and the man who chose planets for the Devourer of Worlds to eat. Such a character had to be written as lacking in emotion; willing to let Earth be consumed, until finally persuaded otherwise by the sheer force of human good.
And so the characterization continued, even after the Surfer handed in his notice to the big planet-eating guy. When his emotions do come out, they normally take the form of melancholy, guilt, or all-encompassing cosmic rage. As a result, his stories also tended towards the reflective (no pun intended) and serious. A classic example would be Silver Surfer: Requiem by J. Michael Straczynski and Esad Ribic. Generally considered one of the finest works on the character, this miniseries dealt with the cheery concept of Radd confronting his imminent death.