Comic books aren’t just about super heroes, there is a lot out there that transcends this genre, and some books published by the big two might contain super heroes, but are so far from the norm. These books are often so detached from the usual super hero beat’em up that the often fall under the radar of most comic book buyers. great books such as these really deserve wider recognition and thankfully in this case I’m not fighting against the flow as Silver Surfer: Requiem by J Michael Straczynski and Esad Ribic has already garnered a lot of critical praise and commercial success.
This book shows the depth of material available, even from a publisher like Marvel Comics that is so often seen just as purveyor of mindless, or even intelligent, super heroics. They sell the big guns, the high octane crash bang comics, good guys against the bad, even their imprints, though not traditional super hero books, are still based on the concept of the good guy versus the bad guy.
But this book is a departure from all of that; this is a personal book, an introspective of an alien, of an outsider that could so easily be one of us. A man who thought he would live forever has just found out that he is about to die, that his time has finally come to an end. He reacts just as we might. Though he is a man covered in silver, a man who can fly through the cold of space and do battle with beings with power beyond our comprehension, he is still a man.
The art of the book captures the mood of the story very well. At time it is immense, the sense of grandeur really comes through each page. The immensity of space, the power of the Surfer and the fragility of life, Ribic has captured the smaller moments with the same majesty and magic as he has the larger, and this is where the book really comes into its own, where it sets itself apart from the rest.
The combination of JMS’s writing and Ribic’s art bring to life the emotions felt by the people that the Silver Surfer interacts with, and each person has their own unique voice, unique view of life and each is impacted differently. JMS really is a brilliant character writer, he is able to tell this vast tale through so many small moments. Each moment slowly unfolds to show the bigger picture and though, at times, the message wasn’t subtle, the book didn’t bludgeon you with rhetoric and clichés. There was a poetry to the words written by Straczynski, a magic to the art by Ribic that did justice to the underlying tale being told.
We should take each day as it comes, we as a race need to look over the minor differences between us, we live an amazing life in an amazing world and we need to count ourselves lucky. When we know that the end is near, we all rush to do the things that we have always wanted, that we have been too scared to do or too stupid not to do. We don’t realise how much of our lives we have wasted until it is too late,