Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Silver Surfer by Jim Steranko

Here's a fun fantasy:  in the mid-seventies, Marvel realizes sump'n must be done to save the Surfer, so they negotiate a return by Steranko (they had already lured him back to do some covers).  In the midst of a long negotiation, however, both sides get "board" (ouch) and everything stays on the ol drawing board.  He was perfect for the project, with the "dynamics of figure drawing," the cosmic pop-art innovations, and the great depictions of outer space shown on the cover of Shield #6.  Seriously, though, if you know of other works where Steranko had a go at the Surfer, please clue me in


  1. In the letters page of an old issue of the Jack Kirby Collector, veteran fan critic Richard Kyle suggested that the reason the Silver Surfer comic failed was that the character that Kirby created did not show up. He suggested that the Surfer's appeal, mostly to an older, hipper audience would have been better served by the character having a color Heavy Metal-type magazine illustrated by Steranko. It probably would've made quite an impact, considering the culture of the late sixties.

    I've written elsewhere that if Kirby had been given control of a double-size Surfer book, it would've been a pop culture phenomenon. Underground comics and psychedelic art were ascendant, Kirby's Surfer was featured on Black Light posters, and Kirby's vision was not as limited as that of Stan Lee, who labored mightily to fit the Skyrider into a form he could understand dramatically. Kirby had no need for templates or pretentious soliloquies to create an impression of deep meaning. All he had to do was what he always did, show us something we'd never seen before.

    It probably would've kept Kirby from jumping ship.

  2. Thank you for some incredible insights! Kirby doing the original double-size Surfers (ala FF Annual #5) would've rocked the comic world