“If you don’t go now , you never shall.
cause there won’t be a next time.”
Now you’ve heard of other juggernauts of storytelling by Marvel such as, The Dark Phoenix Saga and Avengers: Disassembled. But, these stories dealt with the heroes often at their best; now what about a story of heroes at their most desperate times.
Silver Surfer: Requiem was written by J. Michael Straczynski and drawn by Esad Ribic, this tale continues to amaze me with its complex writing and beautiful art that lends itself to the storytelling seamlessly. We begin with the Surfer witnessing the birth and death of a star, which sets the theme of the story; firsts and lasts. Norrin decides to go to the place where he was reborn for a second time, The Baxter Building.
We get to see the relationship between Norrin and the Fantastic Four in a more detailed lens, with them being uneasy when he visits even though they have known him for years now. Norrin’s ghastly connection with anyone on earth is explored upon greatly. You begin to notice how they try to help him but, they seem wary of the Ex-Herald of Galactus. After enduring days of excruciating pain, the Surfer reveals that he is dying and he repeats it three times almost like he has to convince himself of it. We get to see Silver Surfer interact with many of Earth’s greatest heroes and even villains try to aid him, though to no avail.
Issue #2 is when the story really picks up, it is told from the perspective of Spider-Man which really helps to ground the story. Most of this story takes place on the rooftops of New York but it still doesn’t fail to entertain. Peter Parker tries to console the dying Surfer only to find out he doesn’t know him that well. We get a shocking panel that reveals Spidey never knew Norrin’s name and never bothered to ask. Which shows just how disconnected Norrin is from earth. The Surfer reveals the horrors of the human race, to which Spidey tells him that there is also good. Spidey asks Norrin to let everyone feel the power cosmic for a moment. Norrin agrees and reveals that he feels at peace and leaves earth for the last time.
Now I won’t try to spoil anything else from the story but it should definitely be on everyone’s must-read list. The art is never a bore and is greatly detailed, the colors match the story without being too bright and saturated. Straczynski gets the melancholy attitude and heroic core that readers of Norrin will easily gravitate to. The underlying theme of mortality grips the audience and doesn’t let go until the very last moment, turning this story into a rollercoaster of emotions. It is such a spectacular look through the eyes of a being who was never in touch with the universe. I believe that even if you aren’t a die-hard Silver Surfer fan you could appreciate this story, making Requiem one of the lesser known gems of the Marvel Universe.