High o'er the roof of the world he soars... free and unfettered as the roaring wind itself! Behold the sky-born spanner of a trillion galaxies... the restless, streaking stranger from the farthest reaches of space... this glistening, gleaming seeker of truth, whom man shall call forevermore.. The Silver Surfer!
This summer there are two more blockbuster Marvel Comics adaptations hitting the multiplexes, with Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer and Spiderman 3 both looking likely to pull in the popcorn munchers in their millions.
This sent us foraging in our bookshelves to find the really good stuff, the comics the characters are based on. Both of these are English versions of the US originals, dating from 1975 for the Surfer, and 1973 for Spiderman.
A few things really struck us.
First, those typefaces. They're fantastic. Check 'em out here.
Secondly, in the Spiderman comic, they have a running header at the top of each page, summing up the action. No idea what that's all about - was there ever a reader so time pushed that he thought "I know, I'll just read the headers to get a rough idea of what goes on this issue"? But they're still corking: FROM SPACE IT CAME! SPIDEY ON THE PROWL! and GWEN IS UPSET!
Thirdly, the Silver Surfer is the coolest. An immensely powerful totally silver cosmic being who grooves round the galaxy on a surf board, and yet remains totally angst-ridden about his place in the world. (Check out Jim McBride's under-rated remake of A Bout de Souffle, Breathless, for more Silver Surfer appreciation.)
We'll hold judgement on the movies; they're both franchise sequels, and the previous films of each were fairly patchy; but, Spiderman's new costume looks kinda cool, and the special FX for the surfer do look great.