REVIEW: ‘Silver Surfer: Ghost Light,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Silver Surfer Ghost Light #3 — But Why Tho

Silver Surfer: Ghost Light #3 is published by Marvel Comics, written by John Jennings, art by Valentine De Landro, colors by Matt Milla, and letters by Joe Sabino. As The Stranger sends more alien beings to Earth to attack Silver Surfer and Al Harper, the consequences are felt by his family caught in the crossfire.

The story of this issue is brilliant, again tapping into the horror elements of the comic. These have been experimented with in several ways, but for much of the time it’s a subtle form of fear that settles in the pit of the stomach. It’s so different from what is usually available in Silver Surfer comics. There’s claustrophobia and a feeling of being trapped, this family house and Harper’s lab so far being the only place the story has gone. To leave puts the other family member in danger even more.

But then come waves and waves of enemies from various factions and walks of life, changing up the plot again. When the structure does break away from the house, it is to The Stranger and Labworld, so even that isn’t an area of safety. Those jumps from science horror to full-on high-concept Cosmic Marvel is fantastic, presenting them as one and the same for much of the issue. There is always escalation, bringing someone new and bigger into the mix. The fights are a lot of fun, full of superpowers and technology. Those separate parties that are opposing the Harpers are given a diversion by the end of the issue which will certainly be surprising.

The dialogue is stunning at points. At the centre of the whole issue is a man who wants to protect his family. Brought back to life without asking. And from that, those he loves are unsafe. Much of his dialogue is about his feelings of remorse for what he has done and how much he wants to atone for it. There is a beautiful friendship in this issue between Harper and Norrin Radd. It is fascinating to see how Silver Surfer is utilised in this comic. A man built around speed and the universe— his power is evident early on. But then that offers up opportunities for him to be humbled by the end of the issue. He is wonderfully alien in his conversations, yet his interactions with humans showcase his want to communicate and keep them safe. I would say the dialogue is a perfect mix of exposition and cosmic jargon, never once being overwhelming in what Jennings posits.

The art helps that alienating factor with some of the characters, recognising how inhuman the figures can be and amplifying that. Towards the end of the issue, where some regular figures in the Marvel Universe are met by the creatures new to this series, the execution is intriguing. You get to see these monsters, but there are in the background or towards the edges of panels. Some of the designs could give Lovecraft nightmares, but getting glimpses of them made me do a double-take at several moments. The Stranger’s frankly ridiculous look, although it is also glorious, is played with fantastically by De Landro. The rest of his body can often disappear, just leaving his facial features. The sequential art by De Landro also deserves credit. In scenes where it is just a conversation, sometimes even a monologue, the panels are still intriguing and engrossing.

The colors are awesome. Many of the story elements are enhanced or even begun by just the colors, including the action and horror pieces. The glowing eyes coming from Harper’s nephew and niece are so eerie, as is that sickly green that comes from pretty much everything he touches. When mixed with the white and blue of Silver Surfer, it’s a disturbing combination. Things do genuinely glow in Silver Surfer: Ghost Light #3, instantly captivating. The colors from the Stranger’s outfit are brilliant, occasionally faded for dramatic effect. There is also a new palette for a group that is infamous for one particular shade. The lettering is formal, effective, and easy to read.

Silver Surfer: Ghost Light #3 is a wonderful cosmic horror comic. Jennings has truly taken a character out of his comfort zone and made it work beautifully. But at the same time, it has such a classic feel to the book, using characters that all stem from a particular point in Marvel’s history. It’s adventurous in tone and plot, terrifically atmospheric and the inspiration for the story can be felt for multiple horror stories from a broad range of subgenres.

Silver Surfer: Ghost Light #3 is available where comics are sold.

Silver Surfer: Ghost Light #3


Silver Surfer: Ghost Light #3 is a wonderful cosmic horror comic. Jennings has truly taken a character out of his comfort zone and made it work beautifully.

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