The first volume of this series was great fun and the second one continues the trend. With the focus firmly established on the title character and his partner, Dawn Greenwood, experiencing the many wonders the cosmos has to offer, writer Dan Slott has a simple but effective formula to tell stories regarding this cosmically intrepid pair. Things start off with the Surfer and Dawn getting accustomed to traveling with each other, which involves the removal of the human’s tonsils and a trip to Planet Prime where only the most qualified in a given function are allowed to perform it. Naturally this leads to a new addition to the Surfer’s rogues gallery as he winds up throwing down with their Warrior One and only manages to defeat him due to a technicality. Then our explorers wind up investigating a part of the cosmos where no light exists, and where Dawn winds up being taken prisoner. It’s then up to the Surfer and his board, who lest we forget has been christened “Toomie,” to rescue the earthling while recalling their many adventures together. One of which involves a shotgun wedding and fruit pies.
These stories are entertaining, to be sure, and provide many opportunities for artist Mike Allred to show why he’s the real star of this series. How many artists would draw an actual maze to illustrate the Surfer’s quest to rescue a missing child? Not many at all, and that’s only the beginning of the artist’s contributions here -- witness his work with showing the Surfer and Toomie’s efforts to search for Dawn on the endless sea of night in the margins of the second issue. Yet it’s only when the story reaches the three-part arc kicked off in the title story, which directly addresses the title character’s history as the Herald of Galactus, that the narrative achieves some real dramatic heft. Not only does the Surfer have to confront his former master after being confronted with the survivors of the planets consumed by his master, but he also has to address it in the terms of his feelings for Dawn and these people who are about to lose everything twice over. Sales may have dictated that this next arc is going to be a “Last Days” tie-in to “Secret Wars” and the effective end of this title. Yet the work from Slott and Allred here makes me wish that this title had received a reprieve along with all of the other titles being relaunched by Marvel this coming October.