Talking About an Evolution: The Silver Surfer returns to Earth: An Interview with Greg Pak
By Byron Brewer, Managing Editor
Matt McGloin, Editor/Publisher
Spinning out of the pages of Chaos War is a tale of triumph and tragedy that will define a cosmic champion for a new generation!
Writer Greg Pak (Chaos War, Incredible Hercules) teams with fan favorite artist Stephen Segovia (Dark Wolverine) to bring you the next chapter in the life of the star-spanning Silver Surfer – and the man known as Norrin Radd!
The Sentinel of the Spaceways returns to Earth, a planet where he has been feared by a world he once swore to protect. What ramifications does this pose for his vow of service to the World Devourer, Galactus? And what new plot has the High Evolutionary (most recently seen in DnA’s Iron Man/Thor mini) looking at the Herald’s return with a big, broad smile?
If you are new to Marvel Cosmic and the Surfer, this five-issue limited series should be a great jumping-on point. If you are old Surfer fans like many of us in the CBN offices, you are relishing any chance to see this former Fantastic Four foe in solo action!
Cosmic Book News caught up with Greg Pak and quizzed the writer about his take on the Sentinel of the Spaceways.
Cosmic Book News: You have previously used the Surfer in a cosmic setting with “Planet Hulk” as the Silver Savage and enslaved to Skaar during Skaar: Son of Hulk. Per the first issue solicit we are told it will be a “Surfer we have never seen before“ and one set on Earth. What can you tell us in regards to that?
Greg Pak: We're taking our hero into uncharted territory here -- but it's a move that's true to the themes that have driven the character from day one. Long time Surfer fans (like me!) won't want to miss this -- it's the next huge step for Norrin Radd. And brand new readers? Come on in -- this is a great place to find out just what the Silver Surfer is all about in an emotionally charged, cosmically driven story in the heart of the Marvel Universe.
Cosmic Book News: As the Surfer is from an alien world, do you feel readers will be able to relate to the character as opposed to say a Nova, Quasar or even a Hulk which share an Earth-based origin? What is it about the Surfer that draws you to continuously use him in your books?
Greg Pak: The Surfer's technically an alien from Zenn-La, but under that silver skin, he's pretty darn human. Even the way he'd be horrified by the horrors of humanity in so many of those classic early stories is quintessentially human.
On the other hand, the Surfer has been possessed of a cosmic awareness of truths we puny humans can never fully comprehend -- which has resulted at times in a chilling commitment to his day job as the Herald of Galactus, Eater of Worlds.
I've been drawn to the Surfer again and again because of that great contradiction -- he's an utterly relatable hero whose heart longs to do the right thing, but he's bound to serve an avatar of horrific destruction. That combination of great nobility and terrible conflict is compelling and disturbing in all the right ways.
Cosmic Book News: For someone new who may have just been introduced to the Surfer in the pages of Chaos War, would can you tell them about the Sentinel of the Spaceways?
Greg Pak: The Silver Surfer is Norrin Radd, a man who saved his world from destruction by volunteering to become the Herald for the cosmic entity known as Galactus, Eater of Worlds. As the silver-skinned Surfer, Norrin must find new worlds for Galactus to consume -- or risk upsetting the balance of the Universe and precipitating total destruction.
He's also possibly the most original superhero character ever, with an insane design (silver dude on a surfboard???) that became instantly iconic through its sheer awesomeness. And "Silver Surfer" #1 is where you can rediscover this fierce hero all over again!
Cosmic Book News: With Chaos War, the Incredible Hercules summoned the Surfer to Earth to join him as a member of the new God Squad opposing the forces of the Chaos King. Do the events from Chaos War factor in?
Greg Pak: Yes. The Silver Surfer book spins right out of the climax of "Chaos War," so folks who have been following that story should have fun seeing some of the repercussions. At the same time, the book is entirely accessible to folks who don't know Chaos War from chamomile.
Cosmic Book News: How different will it be writing a Surfer on Earth compared to a Surfer in space? Do you need to take into consideration other parts of the Marvel “street-level” U.? Speaking of which will we be seeing any of the Surfer’s fellow Defenders or other terran heroes figure into this mini?
Greg Pak: There's a ton of fun and drama in the contrast between the cosmic Surfer and the everyday life of mere mortals on Planet Earth. One of my favorite Surfer issues is the 1969 story that introduced physicist Al B. Harper, who was a regular guy and a fantastic foil for the Shining Sentinel of the Starways.
In terms of specific Marvel heroes that might show up, I'll just say that an unexpected character from another series I've worked on recently will play a key role. And whatever you do, don't miss issue #4. I'll say no more.
Cosmic Book News: In regards to Earth, how does this return to Earth figure into the Surfer's search for worlds for Galactus to devour? We know the High Evolutionary is no stranger to the Big G as well. Is Galactus a part of this mini?
Greg Pak: I can't say too much for fear of spoilers. But that's Galactus's mug next to the High Evolutionary on the cover of issue #1, so stay tuned.
Cosmic Book News: The High Evolutionary has been appearing in various corners of the Marvel U. including Annihilation: Conquest, Uncanny X-Men, the current Iron Man/Thor mini, as well as in the background of Jonathan Hickman's “War of Four Cities” in Fantastic Four. Do any of these threads figure into your adventure?
Greg Pak: Yes. But to say anything more right now would be telling.
Cosmic Book News: At times the High Evolutionary comes off as a benevolent figure while also being portrayed as the “mad scientist” antagonist. Which will we see here and does the HE’s agenda go further than just the Surfer?
Greg Pak: I was blown away by the High Evolutionary when I first met him in the pages of "Warlock" tinkering with Counter Earth. I see him as someone who's obsessed with improvement, even perfection -- which of course was part of his motivation for hunting the Surfer's DNA back in the day. Whether you call him a villain or a hero may depend on your own perspective.
Cosmic Book News: You are teamed with artist Stephen Segovia who previously worked on Dark Wolverine, can you tell us what we can expect from Stephen?
Greg Pak: Cosmic madness unleashed -- combined with beautiful naturalism and genuinely affecting attention to tiny emotional details. I'm ridiculously excited about what he's doing and can't wait 'til we can reveal more.
Cosmic Book News: Anything you wish to add?
Greg Pak: Just because I'm having so much fun on the book, I've started a little feature on my website called "The Silver Surfer is Awesome." (Pretty straightforward, huh?) Check out http://gregpak.com/silver_surfer for periodic uploads of panels from my favorite Silver Surfer stories of all time -- and hit me up on Twitter @gregpak with your own suggestions of installments.
Also, please don't forget to pre-order the book from your local comic shop! Pre-ordering helps everyone -- you'll definitely get the book when it comes out, comic shops know there's a demand, and we have a better chance of continuing to be able to tell these kinds of stories. Here's a handy link for finding your local store: http://comicshoplocator.com
Cosmic Book News: Greg, thanks for your time! We appreciate it!
Greg Pak: You guys have been incredibly supportive and I hugely appreciate it -- many thanks!
"Silver Surfer #1 (of 5)" hits this coming February!