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Silver Surfer struggles to understand human interaction and emotion in Silver Surfer #6. However, he unintentionally sets Dawn Greenwood towards some education on her family. There is also a guest appearance from Spider-Man, who adds an element of humor and pizazz to the issue. This issue has some subtle turns, and it’s an improvement from the last issue. However, it may not please all readers since the antagonist has no character.
At the end of the last issue, Silver Surfer whisked away an unaware Dawn to the house of her estranged mother (Dawn never knew her). Silver Surfer #6 begins with Dawn criticizing Silver Surfer for doing these things without asking if it’s what she wants. Despite her reservations, Dawn visits her mother. It doesn’t go exactly how she would like, though. Meanwhile, Silver Surfer and Spider-Man team up to battle a creature that can take the shape of one’s biggest fears. In a neat twist, the creature gained this power when Silver Surfer saved the Earth earlier in the series. The monster, though powerful, proves to be a little underwhelming.
In my review of Silver Surfer #5, I wrote about how I was concerned that Dawn was becoming too much of a two-dimensional character, some sort of manic-pixie dream girl who was colorful and caused Silver Surfer to learn things about himself and the world. Here, we get Dawn being a real person. She visits a mother who ran out on her as a child. Dawn doesn’t know anything about this woman. Meanwhile, her mother is distrustful, though she agrees to talk. Things go well for a while, but writer Dan Slott nicely makes their interaction messy and awkward. Dawn’s mother likes her but never wanted to be a mother. So she doesn’t want to now get tied into a family she left. It’s a reunion that is disappointing for Dawn, but that makes it feel more real.
The battle between Silver Surfer and the “fear monster” has its pluses and minuses. On the good side, we get an extended sequence with Mike Allred (with his wife Laura coloring) drawing Spider-Man, and that is quite a treat. There are also some nice visual callbacks to previous foes of Silver Surfer like Firelord and Terrax (the fear monster is taking their shape). Overall, their battle has some great visuals. The creature, which does not seem imposing at first, surprisingly puts up a big fight for Silver Surfer, Spider-Man, and later Dawn.
However, ultimately the fear monster is not especially compelling as a foe for Silver Surfer because it has no personality. It is an obstacle, but not a character. So the story does not feel as complex as one between a hero and a villain with complicated motivations. This creature seems to have no thoughts or motivations, which makes it less exciting in the story. The current run of Silver Surfer has had some interesting antagonists, such as the Surfer’s former flame Shalla Ba. It has been lacking in that area for a few issues, though.
Perhaps not coincidentally, following Silver Surfer #6, the Surfer and Dawn will return to space. I think this is a good move by Slott, as space is where their best stories have taken place. There have been good Silver Surfer issues on Earth, but the last few have felt like running in place. So I think the return to space will hopefully add some more opportunity for crazy, unexpected environments and creatures that has made Slott and Allred’s Silver Surfer fun so far.
The Allreds do another great job on art in this issue. It’s really nice to see when get to tackle Spider-Man, one of comics’ most visually bright and colorful characters since the Surfer – though he has a great look – is monochromatic. Mike Allred also gets to supply an anniversary cover that incorporates covers from previous issues of Silver Surfer. He makes these covers look different from his regular art style, so they feel somewhat like the real thing.
Speaking of the cover, Silver Surfer #6 actually features a confusing numbering that proclaims it Silver Surfer #200 because it is the 200th issue of Silver Surfer that Marvel Comics has published in their history. However, since those issues have been split over numerous volumes, the 200th issue of Silver Surfer all time is technically Silver Surfer #6. It’s nice that they have acknowledged this milestone. Additionally, there is a cover gallery in the back of the issue of all 200 covers. They are small so it’s hard to really see them. At the same time, it may be enough to get some readers of Silver Surfer #6 to go back and check out some of the Surfer’s previous adventures.