Best Comics of 2014: Silver Surfer

Best Comics of 2014: Silver Surfer
In the seven years Seb and I have been picking the best comic of the year*, finding a consensus has always involved strict criteria. It has to be something we've both read, and loved, and we both have to think it's sufficiently prominent in that year to justify taking the banner over anything else. Perhaps the most difficult criteria is that it has to be an ongoing series which has released enough issues that if the sheen was going to wear off, it would've done so. How approriate, then, that this year we're picking out a character who literally has a sheen that has yet to wear off.

Yes, Silver Surfer by Dan Slott, Mike Allred and Laura Allred is our pick for the best comic of 2014. Its mixture of upbeat-yet-emotional storytelling, radical visual design and short, punchy, single-issue stories has made it an instant favourite. We like other books, we esteem other books, but when Silver Surfer comes out, we'll drop everything to read it.

Like all the best comics, it's being made by a team of creators who are working in complete synchronicity with one another. It knows what it's trying to do, and it does it. That doesn't make it unique in the comics sphere, but what does are its sensibilities. It's enormous, escapist, feel-good fun. Whatever journey Silver Surfer might take you on, you know it's not going to leave you depressed, and you'll come out of it feeling better about yourself, the world, and humanity in general.

If that sounds like shallow praise, it's not. It's comparatively easy to tell a story about how grim things are and how they're probably not getting better for anyone in a general sense. Just look at the runaway success of The Walking Dead, which has become one of the most famous "everyone will definitely die probably soon" narratives across all media, let alone comics. Telling a story that makes you think everything might be alright? THAT takes effort.

The reason it works so well is that it's perfect for the character. The Silver Surfer is a pacifist in love with the universe and fascinated by humanity, and every issue tries its best to make you feel that way too. If you tried this book with almost any other character, it wouldn't work. If you tried it with any other writer or artist, it wouldn't work. But they found the right alchemy. It's funny, it's clever, it's cute and it's ridiculous, and if you changed a single thing, it'd all fall apart. We love it and we want you to love it, and that's why it's our pick of the year.

* Previous winners, for reference/interest:
2007 - All Star Superman
2008 - Amazing Spider-Man
2009 - Nothing (!)
2010 - Batman & Robin
2011 - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
2012 - Hawkeye
2013 - Superior Spider-Man