The issue itself establishes quite a bit of story, though it doesn't progress far into the narrative. We spend half of the issue meeting Dawn Greenwood, a young woman who runs a bed-and-breakfast in Anchor Bay, the place where she grew up and what she calls the greatest place in the world. She opens the issue, wishing upon a star that we find out is actually the Silver Surfer—a bit of serendipity that's certain to come around later. During the rest of her segments, we follow Dawn as she deals with the whiny and kooky demands of tourists while her sister sends pictures of her globe trotting adventures. Just as Dawn begins to hint that she's developing a secret longing to leave Anchor Bay, she's teleported from her room to some sort of cage where we leave her for the issue.
Up in space, Slott quickly introduces us to a benevolent Silver Surfer who doesn't seem to be gaining much fulfillment from his endeavors. After saving a mini universe and losing its citizens in translation while they erect massive structures to their accidental messiah, the Surfer is approached by three cameras which beckon him to serve as champion of The Impericon, a place they reveal that has been kept secret from him over the years in fear he'd lead Galactus to it should he ever resume his heralding duties.
Once there, we're treated to a psychedelic wonderland complete with ski slopes built on massive sun flowers. While the layout and details are fun, the smooth story gives out to a steady flow of exposition here. The Surfer is ultimately tested and found worthy to serve as champion against the evil "Never Queen". However, things become more complex as citizens of The Impericon concede to
kidnapping the person who means the most to all of their champions to assure their assistance against the Never Queen. The powers-that-be then bring forward Dawn—someone, strangely enough, who the Surfer has never met before. (Cue LOST in white bold letters on a black back drop.)
Silver Surfer #1 is a complicated issue. Fans of Doctor Who will see clear homages to the series in just about every aspect of the story. I think it was my familiarity with that program and its unique tone that led me to both understand what Silver Surfer was going for while simultaneously be bored by it. This certainly came from no lack of quality; the characters and their motivations are fun and well established, but the story didn't really progress anything. Issue one mainly served to establish the world we're going to be playing in, which isn't a whole lot of bang for your buck at $3.99 an issue. What it did manage to do, however, was give the Silver Surfer a new direction and plant the seeds for a supporting cast that extends beyond people in giant purple helmets and people who've worked for people in giant purple helmets.
What did you think of Silver Surfer #1? Did it toe the line between originality and homage, or do you think it read like a Doctor Who fan fiction? Let us know in the comments section below!