Personal Best: SILVER SURFER #11

It’s somehow a little bit too self-aggrandizing for me to talk about any of the comics I’ve edited over the years as a PERFECT GAME, the category that I might have featured this issue under. Given that it won the Eisner Award for Best Single Issue in 2016, though, I feel as though there’s a little bit of justification for it. Nonetheless, this will inaugurate a new category here: PERSONAL BEST. Which will be exactly what it sounds link: behind-the-scenes analysis of individual issues that are ones that I consider to have been the absolute best single issues of my thirty-plus year editorial output. This particular issue came to mind again as a topic through conversation about the upcoming issue of Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo’s NIGHTWING series in which the entire issue will comprise one long twenty-page panel. This issue of SILVER SURFER does something similar.

I should probably start out by saying that this run of SILVER SURFER, produced by Dan Slott and Mike Allred, is one of my two favorite runs out of everything I’ve ever worked on. (The other, for the record, is the Mark Waid & Mike Wieringo FANTASTIC FOUR, which we will no doubt cover here in the days to come.) This book was a total labor of love, and I used all of the authority at my command to stack the deck for it a little bit: there were no fill-ins throughout its run. Every single issue was by Slott and Allred. As the series ran for fifteen issues, then was rebooted with a new #1 and ran another 14 issues, plus a preview story in MARVEL POINT ONE #1, that’s a span of just under thirty releases by the same creative team. That’s a rarity in this day and age, and one of the things that helped separate SILVER SURFER from the pack.

The other thing is that, while on the surface it seemed to be a super hero book, SILVER SURFER wasn’t really that at all. Many pundits, both for and against the series pointed out its similarity to DOCTOR WHO, casting the Surfer as an alien with a human companion with which he travels the cosmos. And there’s some truth to that, certainly. But what SILVER SURFER really was is a romance comic cleverly disguised as a super hero adventure story. Every issue was about the developing relationship between Norrin Radd, the Silver Surfer, and Dawn Greenwood, the human woman he found himself in contact with. And sure, we took inspiration from DOCTOR WHO, but more from showrunner Russell T. Davies writings about what made his iteration of the show work, as laid out in his book THE WRITER’S TALE. ( https://www.amazon.com/Doctor-Who-Writers-Final-Chapter/dp/184607861X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Doctor+Who+Writer%27s+Tale&qid=1631987225&sr=8-1 )

So SILVER SURFER was a series we did entirely for ourselves, and we pulled from all sorts of different influences throughout the run of it: Hayao Miyazaki films (Dawn is deliberately styled in the mold of a Miyazaki heroine), British Sci-Fi (Not just DOCTOR WHO, but RED DWARF and HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY and others), Jack Kirby comics, and everything else under the sun. And because we were building this series just for ourselves, without a whole lot of concern for how well it might perform (though it always maintained itself well throughout the run), that also gave us the latitude to try some experimental storytelling. Many years earlier, Dan had written the REN & STIMPY: MASTERS OF TIME AND SPACE Special, which was done in the style of a Choose Your Own Adventure book, and was both super-clever on a formal structure level and very fumy despite its complexity. Since then, he had often spoken about wanting to try to do more issues build around a structural conceit, both to see if he could pull them off and to make something more immediately memorable than a typical issue of a given comic. In SILVER SURFER #11, he got his opportunity to do this once again.

A bit of background is probably necessary here, even for those who are familiar with the Silver Surfer. In this series, Norrin Radd had been thrown together with a woman from Earth, Dawn Greenwood, who had been pulled from throughout time and space as the person who was most important to him–despite the fact that he had never seen her before. Ultimately, Norrin and Dawn embark on a series of journeys and adventures together, growing closer all the while. But Dawn knows little about the Surfer’s past, just a few small hints that have been dropped along the way. In her eyes, he[‘s this very human, very noble character–and Norrin likes feeling that way.

This all comes to a head in a three-part story in issues #8-10 when the duo comes across a planet inhabited by a myriad of survivors of dozens of worlds that had been consumed by the Surfer’s former master Galactus. It is here that Norrin’s history comes to light: that in order to save his own homeworld from destruction at Galactus’ hands, Norrin agreed to become the Silver Surfer and serve as Galactus’ herald, seeking out other worlds to consume in order to abate his all-consuming hunger. In that role, the Surfer was responsible for the deaths of an incalculable number of beings and the destruction of dozens of planets and civilizations. He’s seen as an Angel of Death in many corners of the cosmos, and Dawn is horrified to learn that she’s been having fun adventures with what amounts to Space Hitler. This leads to a crack in their relationship, as you might imagine.

But events reach a critical point when Galactus himself appears, led to the world thanks to the Surfer’s presence there. The Surfer attempts to drive his former master away, at one point surfing the planet’s moon into Galactus like a planet-sized projectile. But he simply isn’t powerful enough to drive Galactus away. At this point, Dawn ends up inspiring a Spartacus-like moment in which first she and then each individual inhabitant of the planet makes Galactus the same offer that Norrin Radd had: spare this world, and they will become his Herald. But when Galactus selects Dawn for the role, the Surfer loses it–and ultimately, the inhabitants of the planet evacuate their new home, leaving it to be consumed by the World-Eater rather than permitting Dawn to make this sacrifice on their behalf. For his part, the Surfer vows that he will lead them to a new homeworld where they can rebuild and be safe from Galactus. And that’s where this particular issue, #11, opens.

The overall plot of this issue will be familiar to anyone who has seen the movie GROUNDHOG DAY (or the more recent PALM SPRINGS): On their journey across the cosmos, the Surfer and his convoy of alien refugees become trapped within a time loop, a period of time that continually resets itself. They live the same days over and over again, unable to break out of the cycle that they are trapped in. The Surfer’s Power Cosmic isn’t sufficient to break them out of this cycle–until he reclaims the tiny portion of himself that he gave to Dawn as a ring, so that he could always locate her. With that extra erg of energy, the Surfer is able to break them all free from this repeating trap. But his relationship with Dawn is at its lowest ebb.

What makes this issue noteworthy is its structure. The entire issue is set up as a Moebius Strip Loop, and reading through it, the reader gets to experience the say day four times, in each instance from the point of view of a different character within the cast. So moments recur and are seen from different vantage points and different perspectives, and gain further meaning as they are witnessed from different perspectives with differing contexts. And thematically, the story itself is about being trapped in a cycle of behavior and not being able to deviate from it. So thematically, the story and the delivery mechanism reinforce one another.

What’s more, in order to complete the story, the reader must take a leap of faith; turning the page beyond the confines of the internal flow of the story itself (which is always-repeating) and then folding the next page over, bringing the two small arrows together in the manner of an Al Jaffee MAD Magazine Fold-In to allow events to continue along a different pathway and reach a different conclusion. So the readers themselves become a participant in events, the unseen hand that allows Norrin Radd to overcome his pattern of thinking and bring about a successful climax to the tale. It’s a really good magic trick, and one that doesn’t work at all when read in a Digital format–you need to be working with an actual printed copy of the story to get the most out of it, because it calls for the reader to interact with the printed book as a part of the experience.

There’s another little narrative reward that the reader unlocks when he folds that page over–but I’ll leave that to Dan to explain a little bit further along. What’s crucial to understand here is that this endeavor was a Swiss watch of a construction, where a million details needed to be precisely coordinated in order for the reading experience to come across in the manner that we wanted it to. And the fact that everybody went above and beyond in order to make this happen speaks to the strength of this creative team; not just Dan and Mike, but color artist Laura Allred and letterer Joe Sabino as well as Marvel’s production team. This was a very special group of creators working at the pinnacle of their powers, and it fills me with pride to know that their efforts were rewarded by the Eisner Committee that year.

As it so happens, Dan did a deep dive into the mechanics of putting this issue together on Twitter during the period when the book was in consideration for the Eisner Award, and so I’ve collected and am re-presenting that material below. Fair warning: it’s long, and there’s a lot. But if you want to understand just how a complex story such as this one was put together, I believe this insight is invaluable.

So what is this very weird issue of SILVER SURFER and WHY did we make it?

Silver Surfer #11, “Never After”, is a story in the style of GROUNDHOG DAY, EDGE OF TOMORROW, and the STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION episode “Cause & Effect”, but with a comic book twist. The main guts of the story would be told on a 20+ page Möbius comic strip.

Why would you EVER do that?

Like most people who do this for a living, Mike, Tom, and I LOVE the medium of comics, studying it, and messing with it. There are moments when you read a comic that suddenly goes out on a limb and it floors you. Whether it’s the transitions/layouts in WATCHMEN or KILLING JOKE, or that big 4th wall breaking page in ANIMAL MAN, or the issue of ZOT! that abuses its regular format and sneaks in an extra sequence after the letters page, or that one MIDNIGHTER that intentionally runs the pages back-to-front.

And if comics are your EVERYTHING, you don’t put those issues down. You analyze the fuck out of them. You pull their “engines” out, take ’em apart, and study them piece by piece– like an industrial spy trying to reverse engineer them. And standing on the shoulders of those giants, you start coming up with new takes. Then comes the hard part, not just having a bizarre concept or the will to do it… but talking your co-conspirators into coming along for the job. It really is like convincing a crew to come together for a bank heist.

Comics (especially issues for the Big 2) are supposed to come out regularly. You’re not serving up filet mignon, you’re cooking up In-N-Out Double Doubles. And that IS a noble endeavor! (Who doesn’t love a Double Double?) But there’s a pressure to get it done and make the next one… and the next one and the next one… Everyone breathes easier if you keep the line moving and don’t try the experimental maneuver.

There’s a very talented artist who I dearly love who I once pitched a weird outside-the-box issue to– and when I finished describing it, he shook his head and said, “Can’t we just tell a good, straight forward story?” And he’s right. You’ve got these issues to get out and there’s a pride to be had in doing your job regularly and doing it well.

And then there are mad men like Mike Allred who hear your weird pitch and start applauding, jumping up and down and saying stuff like, “Yeah, man! Let’s go for it!” And there are editors like Tom Brevoort who go, “This isn’t a high selling book. It’s not an anniversary issue or a big number, it’s going to take extra pages, which will eat into our budget, and be a nightmare to put together. But I believe in this. Let’s do it.” And with more criminals on the crew, you start drawing up the plans for your big heist.

And that meant going to the whiteboard!



Breaking down a story on a great, big whiteboard is my FAVORITE part of writing.
And these were the 3 versions of the Surfer #11 whiteboard that got us to the initial plot.

The first one was the messy draft that was (almost) completely erased– on purpose.

I thought the second version was the “one”.

But one night, while half-sleepwalking to the kitchen to get a glass of water, I stumbled, brushed up against it, and wiped a section off. I SCREAMED. It was as if someone had cut off part of my body. Maybe not a whole limb, but at least a finger or a toe. I turned on all the lights, tried to recreate the missing section, and then photographed every quadrant of the board to be sure it was all preserved…

…and then I noticed key things that weren’t working. I erased most of it and started over.

That lead to whiteboard #3. At that point it was ALL worked out and I was ready to go to plot.

The first comic I ever wrote that needed IKEA instructions. 😀

I work close to “Marvel Style”. That means I write a panel-by-panel plot, and then I write a script (with dialogue, captions, and sound effects) after the pencils come back from the artist. SURFER #11 was going to be a bit more complicated. To try to make things easier on everybody, I turned in an overview document first that were like “Ikea instructions” on how I thought we could build it.

When in doubt, I always trust the artist more than myself on how to tell the story visually. They’re in the trenches every day grappling with the best ways to use art to communicate ideas to the audience. They always see things that writers don’t– and come up with solutions and concepts that we often miss. (It’s one of the reasons that when I’m really stuck on something, I often run my idea by an artist or an editor in my think tank before I hit up another writer.)

So these notes were mainly there for Mike and Tom as a safety net, to show that I’d “done the math” and that there was ONE way to do this. But trusting my team enough to know that none of this was in stone and if they had better ways to get us there, I was more than game.

That said, here’s the first SILVER SURFER #11 document.

***

SILVER SURFER #11 “Never After” OVERVIEW
Dan Slott
2/18/15

Mike,
Brace yourself, sir. Here we go…
Seriously though, I know you’re going to kill on this one.

•OVERVIEW
Before diving into the plot, I just wanted to hit a basic overview of how this Möbius strip issue stitches together.

•COVER PAGE
The first image is the only single page layout for the issue. It takes place in that
white, empty void outside of space-and-time where the NEVER QUEEN lives.

Even though this serves as a recap page, this would have all-new art. We see a
giant shot of the NEVER QUEEN as she introduces & explains herself.

And holds up a globe/circular inset panel that shows the SILVER SURFER
leading the CONVOY of Galactus Survivors (all the ships from the destroyed world of Newhaven).
The Never Queen tells us of the Surfer’s recent hardships—his new status quo— and how he’s about to enter the deadliest trap in all of time-and-space…

•THE START OF THE LOOP
PAGES 1 & 2 are the left-side “elbow” of the Möbius strip. And (please forgive
all my crude drawings) it should look something like this:

We see the NEVER QUEEN watching on from outside the loop.
And the story, already in progress, actually starting in the LOWER RIGHT corner of the page, with all of the art and text UPSIDE DOWN.

The SILVER SURFER has an awkward moment with DAWN by the airlock of a spaceship. Things are pretty dire and he wonders if he should say “goodbye” to her—in case he fails in his current attempt to save everyone’s lives. He and DAWN are still on the outs, and he doesn’t know what to say… So he goes right past her and soldiers on.

Outside, the SURFER summons up all of his cosmic power—and tries to extend it to cover/shield all the ships in his convoy—and then he surges forward trying to build up enough power to breakthrough a disruptive time-energy barrier…

The art bends around the outer “elbow” of the Möebius strip—as the SURFER smashes against the time-barrier and howls in pain as he and all the ships in his care are DESTROYED!
Out the other side of the barrier comes the SURFER and his CONVOY of ships— but from many hours earlier in the day. In GROUNDHOG DAY terms, we’ve just “reset”. The SURFER appears to be oblivious of what happened moments before. To him, this is just another day in his endless quest to find his CONVOY a new planet to live on.

We’re now on the TOP half of the page, and all the art and text is RIGHTSIDE UP.

•THE GUTS OF THE MÖBIUS STRIP & THE MOMENT IT CRISSCROSSES
The guts of the issue (in between the “elbows” at either side of the Möbius strip)
would look like this:

The TOP half of PAGES 3 through 10 tell the story of the repeating day that the SILVER SURFER is having. That story runs normally: right-side up and going from left- to-right.

The BOTTOM half of PAGES 3 through 10 tell the story of the repeating day that the MOBEANS (the bad guys) are having. That story runs backwards. The art and text are upside down and can be read when you flip the book over and read it from PAGES 10 through 3.

PAGES 11 and 12 are where the Möbius strip crisscrosses. At each point of the crisscross, the SURFER tries (like before) to use his cosmic power to break himself and the CONVOY out of the time trap, fails, and comes out the other side having “reset” again. He’s unaware of how long he and the others have been reliving the same day, but there is a sense that he’s been on this quest forever and has no idea when it will ever end.

When we come out of the crisscross section for the first time, the orientation of the book switches. Now it is the BOTTOM half of the book that is going forward and the TOP half of the book that appears to be upside down.

The TOP half of PAGES 13 and 20 tell the story of the repeating day that all of the Newhaven Survivors in the CONVOY are having. This story runs backwards. The art and text are upside down and can be read when you flip the book over and read it from PAGES 20 through 13.

The BOTTOM half of PAGES 13 through 20 tell the story of the repeating day that DAWN is having. Her story runs normally: right-side up and going from left-to- right.

•THE END OF THE LOOP & THE FOLD THAT CHANGES THE STORY
PAGES 21 and 22 are the right “elbow”, the sequence that completes the Möbius
strip. And PAGES 23 and 24 are the pages that the reader will fold partially over PAGE 21, breaking the loop and extending the art into a new sequence that will allow the SURFER and the CONVOY to get out of the time trap. These sequences would look like this:

Just like PAGES 1 and 2, PAGES 21 and 22 are an “elbow” with the NEVER QUEEN looking on—from her vantage point outside space-and-time. This time, she’s saying very Yoda-like things to the SURFER (even though he can’t hear her) about how he has to “reach beyond” what he thinks is possible! That he has to “turn a new page” in his life’s story—or else he’ll be stuck forever in this terrible time traps!

And if the reader does flip over the page—folding it—and partially covering up PAGE 21, they’ll create an all-new sequence—that is part of PAGE 21, 23, and 24.

In the new sequence along the BOTTOM of the pages, SURFER stops to talk to DAWN—and he reclaims his ring from her—freeing her of the bond they both share. By doing this he has enough power (now that he’s whole) to break everyone free on the next (and final) attempt smashing through the time trap.

In the new sequence along the TOP of the pages, we see that some of the Newhaven survivors have actually been acting immorally—and they may be the reason why the MOEBIANS have been attacking.

As an Easter Egg, when the reader unfolds PAGE 23, in the double page layout of PAGES 23 & 24, the unused area would show the NEVER QUEEN, telling the reader that she’s proud of them—that they were able to think outside of the confines of their known universe.

•ESCAPING THE LOOP
After the flipped over sequence (PAGES 21 through 24), there would be a new
sequence: PAGES 25 through 28. On these pages, with his Power Cosmic at full capacity, the SURFER is finally able to physically break out of the Möbius strip and continue on to the rest of the comic—and the true end of the story.

The cool part of this sequence is that after being confined to such a tightly regimented 26 pages, we’d go—BAM!—into a full-bleed double page splash of the SURFER flying through space with his CONVOY of ships in tow. If the issue’s had gutters on the tops and bottoms of the pages, this effect will be even more pronounced.

PAGES 29 and 30… are normal, every day comic book pages to wrap up the story… And I’d feel silly sketching diagrams for those. 🙂

And with that, hopefully, everything in this issue should make sense now. If at any point any of this seems too weird, stupid, insane, or incomprehensible, just drop me a line or give me a ring and we’ll work it out.

PHEW! Now up next… the plot!

Still with me? ‘Cause THIS is the mother lode. If you’re DEEP into comics and want to pull this thing apart and see how all the pieces come together, I’m about to give you the Plot that Mike Allred had to work with– the script Joe Sabino had to letter from– and both together were the the many pages of writing that Tom Brevoort and Alanna Smith had to squeeze out of my brain upon pain & threat of DEATH.

Because if I could have, I would’ve worked on this project forever. No. Really. FOREVER.

Quick things to think about if you’re looking at this WITH your copy of SILVER SURFER #11:

Mike Allred is a genius. This entire venture could have collapsed into a convoluted MESS. It’s Mike who– along with being a brilliant illustrator– is also one of the best storytellers I’ve ever worked with. Everything in the final product is crystal clear and easy to follow BECAUSE of Mike.

He gave every panel in the Möbius strip section a subtle panel shape– turning them all into ARROWS that guided the reader’s eye in the right direction. That’s not in the plot. That’s Mike just being AWESOME!

This issue was literally a pain in the neck. Not figuratively. Literally. Our letterer, Joe Sabino had to keep turning his head upside down and right side up over-and-over again over the course of 13 double page spreads. He suffered for his art. The man’s my hero!

And Tom and Alanna had to track every stage of this f*cker. On top of all their regular duties as editors– helping with the story, giving suggestions on the art side, and whatnot– they had to keep this bendy, twisty, half-of-it-running-backwards-and-upside-down comic on the rails. Lesser editors would’ve cracked. Or screwed up. They didn’t. They know what they’re doing. Trust them in all things.

And Laura Allred’s PERFECT coloring– I was the luckiest bastard in the world to be working with this entire team.

All right. Here goes the deep dive. This is the Plot and Script for the issue. If it’s hard to follow in this format, that just means you should be all the more impressed with every damn name I mentioned here earlier.

Good luck. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)

***

SILVER SURFER #11
“Never After”
Plot for 31 pgs
Dan Slott
2/26/15

Mike,
Hi. Even though this is one, big story, the Möbius strip kind of has four sub-stories in it:
Surfer’s Day, Dawn’s Day, The Convoy’s Day, & The Moebians’ Day.

So I thought the best way to read this and make sense of it, is to read one half (top or bottom) of the Möbius Strip at a time, and then reading the other halves (top or bottom) after.

So, as crazy as it sounds, this is how the issue is plotted out:

THE RECAP PAGE (which would feature all-new art that you’d draw)

SURFER’S DAY: The TOP half of PAGES 1 through 10

The CRISSCROSS Segment (where the Möbius Strip twists) PAGES 11 and 12

DAWN’S DAY: The BOTTOM half of PAGES 13 through 22

(Then you would turn the physical pages upside down and go to…

THE CONVOY’S DAY: The TOP half of PAGES 22 backwards to PAGE 13

The CRISSCROSS Segment (this time drawing the “underpass” section of the Möbius Strip twist) on PAGES 11 and 12 (again).

THE MOEBIANS’ DAY: Then the BOTTOM half of PAGES 10 backwards to PAGE 1—where it would link up with what you’ve already read on PAGE 1.

All of that would take you through THE RECAP and the first 22 pages…

PAGES 23 through 26 is the sequence beyond the Möbius Strip, where the physical pages fold over to break Surfer out of the Möbius Strip.

And PAGES 27 through 30 are, thank God, normal linear comic book pages.

I hope this all makes sense when you read it.
(Don’t hate me.)
Dan


RECAP PAGE (featuring ALL NEW art)
In a white, empty void outside all of space & time, THE NEVER QUEEN introduces herself to the reader—and explains how she is the embodiment of possibility—every moment that could possibly happen from now on.
But for two of her favorite entities in the universe, THE SILVER SURFER and DAWN GREENWOOD, they may have wandered into a new existence—one beyond the Never Queen’s reach—a terrible existence of NO possibilities and NO futures.
For them, this might be their “NEVER AFTER”.

Floating around the NEVER QUEEN are globes—showing headshots of DAWN and the SURFER (sad & facing away from each other, symbolizing their current state of being on the outs)…
…and one more globe showing the SURFER in his new status quo, where he is a cosmic shepherd, leading a flock of 3 billion escape crafts.

TITLE and CREDITS go on this page. 

SURFER’S DAY (The Top Tier of the 1st Half of the Möbius Strip)

PAGES 1 and 2
Panel One
On the far left side of the page…
THE NEVER QUEEN stands outside all of space & time in an empty white void. She looks at the other panels of the page. She knows that the Surfer, Dawn, and all the characters in this little drama are trapped in an endless loop. She hopes and prays that the Surfer can figure this out and divine a way to save himself and the others….

SURFER’S DAY Panel Two
We open on the SURFER leading his CONVOY of 3 billion Newhaven Escape Pods. It’s a giant swarm of ships that stretches out like a endless comet’s tail till it’s nothing but specs of dust vanishing off into the void of space.
The SURFER is shepherding this flock until he can find them a new home. He promised them a paradise—and has yet to deliver. He can’t remember how long he’s been on this quest. It feels like forever. But he won’t rest until he comes through for the CONVOY. He owes them that much.

SURFER’S DAY Panel Three
CLOSE UP on the SURFER.
This current sector of space is called the GIRAUD EXPANSE. The SURFER knows it’s an uncharted sector, but he can’t help but feel that he’s been here before. Maybe he’s just traveled in space for so long, that it’s all started to look the same?
Wait! His cosmic senses are detecting something…

SURFER’S DAY Panel Four
There’s a planet ahead! And SURFER’S cosmic senses tell him that it’s near perfect! He motions for the CONVOY to follow him! They’re going in!

Panels Five & Six
(The last 2 panels from THE MOEBIANS’ DAY go on this page as well. They will be upside down and on the Lower Tier of this page, linking up with Panel One to form the “Left Elbow” of the Möbius Strip.)


PAGES 3 and 4
SURFER’S DAY Panel One
Later, on the lush tropical surface of the planet, the SURFER is pleased with himself as a number of the Newhaven Survivors take in the beauty and agree that this would be a fine new home.
MAMA HUB is watching as QUIBBY and the other children play.
DOCTOR FUZMYER is with SURFER telling him that he’s done a fine job.

(DAWN and KRATTAKA are there too—but we’ll see what they’re doing in the DAWN’S DAY segment. KEEN is also there, and we’ll see what he’s doing in THE CONVOY’S DAY segment. If there’s enough room this is one of the panels that can give crisscross visual cues for how the different stories all stitch together.)

SURFER’S DAY Panel Two
Suddenly QUIBBY and two other aliens start coughing horribly. MAMA HUB is worried.

SURFER’S DAY Panel Three
Later, on in DOCTOR FUZMYER’S INFIRMARY SHIP, we can see that QUIBBY and the two aliens are in sickbeds. FUZMYER tells KEEN, KRATTAKA, and the SURFER that there’s a rare pollen in the atmosphere that 1,200 Newhaven Survivors are allergic to. They’ll get better as soon as they leave this planet.
KRATTAKA can’t believe their bad luck. There are 6 Billion Newhavenites—and they’re going to be held back by a mere thousand or so?

SURFER’S DAY Panel Four
FOUNDER KEEN says there’s nothing for it. For their extended family, it’s all or nothing. He asks the SURFER if he’s up for continuing the search for a new world.
THE SURFER says he is there to serve.


PAGES 5 and 6
SURFER’S DAY Panel One
Later, inside the LEAD GALLEY SHIP, NewHavenites who were waiting in line for food, part to let the SURFER through.
The different NewHavenites show the SURFER love and gratitude. Back on NewHaven, they were all ready to make the same sacrifice that Surfer made to save his world. They understand now what he went through. And they’re grateful that he’s now their herald, searching endlessly so that they can have a new home.
They reach out to him, patting him on the shoulders, cheering him on.
For SURFER, this is practically a dream come true. He’s being forgiven from all those he has terribly wronged. It’s like a great burden of guilt has been lifted. He looks… serene and pleased with himself.

SURFER’S DAY Panel Two
SURFER says he’s sorry, but he can’t stay and chat—or even eat. He’s just here to refuel before he returns to his never-ending search.
He holds out his hand and breaks down some food into energy. (The same way he broke down the fruit on Dawn’s table in SURFER #4).

SURFER’S DAY Panel Three
Suddenly, SURFER sees that DAWN is one of the people seated in this GALLEY—she’s sitting with MAMA HUB. SURFER and DAWN make eye contact—and it’s clear that she’s uncomfortable about it. She was hoping that SURFER wouldn’t see her there.
(We’ll see what was going on before in this scene over in the DAWN’S DAY storyline.)

SURFER’S DAY Panel Four
SURFER turns away. He knows DAWN can’t stand to look at him anymore. It feels like she’s felt that way forever.

SURFER’S DAY Panel Five
Later, SURFER and BOARD are back amongst the stars, searching the skies for a new home. But he’s distracted, thinking about Dawn.
When…

PAGES 7 and 8
SURFER’S DAY Panel One
THE CONVOY comes under a vicious attack by… THE MOEBIANS! Territorial aliens who hate that the CONVOY has entered into their sector of space!
These are aliens that are a tribute to MOEBIUS’ work. They fly on pterodactyl-like creatures like Arzach, and wear big pith helmets like the protagonist in The Airtight Garage.
(We’ll find out how and why the MOEBIANS are attacking in the MOEBIANS’ DAY storyline.)

SURFER’S DAY Panel Two
The SURFER engages the MOEBIANS in fierce combat! But there’s no way he can protect the entire CONVOY from their assault. It’s just too much real estate for the SURFER to cover.

SURFER’S DAY Panel Three
The MOEBIANS retreat in the face of the SURFER’S overwhelming force, but their commander swears they shall return—with a new wave of fighters AND their ultimate weapon! They will wipe these cursed intruders out of existence!
The SURFER wants to pursue them, but he hears FOUNDER KEEN urgently calling him back.

SURFER’S DAY Panel Four
Moments later, in FOUNDER KEEN’S ship, the lead ship of THE CONVOY, the SURFER, KEEN, KRATTAKA, FUZMYER, and DAWN convene for an important meeting.
KEEN is saying that they lost some ships—no lives though. But ships are too great a resource to lose. The convoy is falling apart as it is. And they cannot withstand another savage attack like that! And there’s no way the Surfer can defend a convoy that’s 3 billion ships long!

PAGES 9 and 10
SURFER’S DAY Panel One
SURFER says he has a plan to get them out of the Girard Expanse—and away from the Moebians. He is going to use the maximum amount of his Power Cosmic and fold the very fabric of space itself! We will force a hyper space short cut into the canvas of reality!

SURFER’S DAY Panel Two
But, the SURFER somberly tells them, it will take EVERY ounce of his energy—and his complete focus. Now, if they will excuse him…

SURFER’S DAY Panel Three
Later… alone, near the airlock of the ship, the SURFER sits in a meditative pose, hovering over the deck plates. Cosmic energy is crackling off of his body like never before. He is a Power Cosmic Powder Keg of a man.

SURFER’S DAY Panel Four
DAWN peers around the corner—hesitant to approach the SURFER.
The SURFER (still crackling with energy) says that he knows why she’s there.
DAWN is confused. He does?
The SURFER says she’s come to warn him that the ships’ sensors have detected that the Moebians are on their way—with their doomsday device. They have to go NOW.

SURFER’S DAY Panel Five
DAWN has something she really needs to tell the SURFER…
…but he tells her there’s no time. He sadly walks right past her, telling her they’ll talk about it after the jump.


THE CRISSCROSS SECTION (from left-to-right)

This is where SURFER’S DAY goes from the Top Half of the Left Side of the Möbius strip… into DAWN’S DAY, the Bottom Half of the Right Side of the Möbius strip.

PAGES 11 and 12
SURFER’S DAY Panel One
THE SURFER leaves the airlock and flies right towards us, ahead of the whole fleet, energy crackling off of him. He says he can’t be distracted by the Earth Girl. He must focus! This will take every bit of energy and Power Cosmic he can muster!

SURFER’S DAY Panel Two
SURFER tries to make the HYPER SPACE FOLD INTO THE FABRIC OF SPACE ITSELF—
–but something has gone horribly wrong! There’s an extra energy field at work (we’ll find out later, in THE MOBIANS’ DAY storyline, that they released a chronal-wave—they’re ultimate doomsday device—and that it’s caused a strange effect when the SURFER collides with it, crackling with the Power Cosmic!
–the SURFER HOWLS IN PAIN—as space and time are torn apart—

SURFER’S DAY Panel Three
And the SURFER, the CONVOY, and THE MOEBIANS are sucked up into a cosmic vortex—like reality itself going down a drain.

DAWN’S DAY Panel Four
The day has reset itself…
We open on the SURFER leading his CONVOY of 3 billion Newhaven Escape Pods. It’s a giant swarm of ships that stretches out like a endless comet’s tail till it’s nothing but specs of dust vanishing off into the void of space.
The SURFER is shepherding this flock until he can find them a new home. He promised them a paradise—and has yet to deliver. He can’t remember how long he’s been on this quest. It feels like forever. But he won’t rest until he comes through for the CONVOY. He owes them that much.

DAWN’S DAY Panel Five
Inside her cramped quarters on the infirmary escape pod, DAWN is sitting on her bed, her chin resting on her knees.
DR. FUZMEYER pokes his head in and tells DAWN that the Surfer’s found them a new planet. This might just be the one.
DAWN thinks., “Maybe this time…”



DAWN’S DAY (The Lower Tier of the 2nd Half of the Möbius Strip)

PAGES 13 and 14
DAWN’S DAY Panel One
On the surface of the tropical planet, all the people of NewHaven are hoping that they’ve finally found the world they’ll be living on.
DAWN is hopeful too.

DAWN’S DAY Panel Two
KRATTAKA comes over and slaps DAWN on the back. KRATTAKA said she thinks this might finally be the one. DAWN painfully agrees.

DAWN’S DAY Panel Three
Close up on DAWN as she thinks she might finally get to go home…

DAWN’S DAY Panel Four
Suddenly one of the aliens near them starts coughing from the space pollen.

DAWN’S DAY Panel Five
DAWN goes over to see to the alien—and if there’s anything she can do to help. And KRATTAKA angrily kicks up a clump of grass. KRATTAKA is seething that it’s happening again! They can never find a good planet! They’re cursed!


PAGES 15 and 16
DAWN’S DAY Panel One
Cut to DAWN and MAMA HUB sitting in the GALLEY SHIP for lunch. MAMA HUB sits next to DAWN and tells her that Quibby, the alien Dawn helped, and the other aliens in the infirmary are doing fine.
DAWN’S relieved.

DAWN’S DAY Panel Two
MAMA HUB asks DAWN how she’s doing. And if there’s something the matter with her hand?
DAWN notices that she’s playing with her silver ring.

DAWN’S DAY Panel Three
DAWN explains that it was a gift from the Surfer. She doesn’t want it anymore. But she can’t take it off. It won’t come off.

DAWN’S DAY Panel Four
MAMA HUB tells DAWN that she can have Dr. Fuzmyer cut it off.
“AH! No!” says DAWN.

DAWN’S DAY Panel Five
Suddenly DAWN notices that SURFER is there. And they make eye contact… (This is where her scene syncs up with the Galley Sequence from the SURFER’S DAY.)


PAGES 17 and 18
DAWN’S DAY Panel One
…and the SURFER awkwardly turns away. As he does this, DAWN tells MAMA HUB that he wants nothing to do with him.

DAWN’S DAY Panel Two
MAMA tells DAWN that she, more than anyone from New Haven, knows what Norrin Radd went through when he became a Herald. She was willing to go through the same sacrifice as well. Why can’t she forgive him?

DAWN’S DAY Panel Three
DAWN gets up and walks away—saying that Norrin lied to her. About something so big and so horrible… If he could keep something like that a secret, who knows what else he might have done? She just doesn’t trust him anymore.

DAWN’S DAY Panel Four
Later, back in the Infirmary Ship, DAWN and FUZMYER are tending to the sick aliens (like QUIBBY), when…

DAWN’S DAY Panel Five
… the whole room is shaking! They must be under attack!


PAGES 19 and 20
DAWN’S DAY Panel One
DAWN tells QUIBBY (in her sick bed) that she’s being very brave. And QUIBBY says she knows the SURFER will keep them safe. Like he does everyday.

DAWN’S DAY Panel Two
Dawn looks out through a window, where she sees SURFER fighting off the MOEBIANS.

DAWN’S DAY Panel Three
LATER, inside KEEN’S ship. SURFER is telling KEEN, KRATTAKA, FUZMYER, and DAWN his plan to fold space-and-time, before the Moebians can return with their doomsday weapon.

DAWN’S DAY Panel Four
SURFER says he must go to prepare himself.

DAWN’S DAY Panel Five
Later… near the airlock of the ship, the SURFER sits in a meditative pose, hovering over the deck plates. Cosmic energy is crackling off of his body like never before. He is a Power Cosmic Powder Keg of a man.
DAWN peers around the corner to talk with him.


PAGES 21 and 22
DAWN’S DAY ends (The Lower Tier of the 2nd Half of the Möbius Strip)
(After the DAWN story is over, flip the page upside down and begin THE CONVOY’S DAY on The Top Tier, thus completing the “Right Elbow” of the Möbius Strip)

DAWN’S DAY Panel One
DAWN has something she really needs to tell the SURFER…
…but he tells her there’s no time. He sadly walks right past her, telling her they’ll talk about it after the jump.

DAWN’S DAY Panel Two
THE SURFER leaves the airlock and flies right towards us, ahead of the whole fleet, energy crackling off of him. He says he can’t be distracted by the Earth Girl. He must focus! This will take every bit of energy and Power Cosmic he can muster!

DAWN’S DAY Panel Three
SURFER tries to make the HYPER SPACE FOLD INTO THE FABRIC OF SPACE ITSELF—
–but something has gone horribly wrong! There’s an extra energy field at work (we’ll find out later, in THE MOBIANS’ DAY storyline, that they released a chronal-wave—they’re ultimate doomsday device—and that it’s caused a strange effect when the SURFER collides with it, crackling with the Power Cosmic!)
–the SURFER HOWLS IN PAIN—as space and time are torn apart—

DAWN’S DAY Panel Four
And the SURFER, the CONVOY, and THE MOEBIANS are sucked up into a cosmic vortex—like reality itself going down a drain.

THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel Five
The day resets itself…
We open on the SURFER leading his CONVOY of 3 billion Newhaven Escape Pods. It’s a giant swarm of ships that stretches out like a endless comet’s tail till it’s nothing but specs of dust vanishing off into the void of space.
The SURFER is shepherding this flock until he can find them a new home. He promised them a paradise—and has yet to deliver. He can’t remember how long he’s been on this quest. It feels like forever. But he won’t rest until he comes through for the CONVOY. He owes them that much.

THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel Six
From his cockpit, KEEN hears the SURFER telling everyone that he’s found a planet. This could be perfect!
And KEEN, almost as if he knows they’re on a repeating cycle says, “Will this never end?”

Panel Seven
On the far right side of the page…
THE NEVER QUEEN stands outside all of space & time in an empty white void. She looks at the other panels of the page. She knows that the Surfer, Dawn, and all the characters in this little drama are trapped in an endless loop.
Though the SURFER can’t hear her, she begs him to find a way to go beyond what he thinks is possible! To grab hold of his destiny! To take a stand—to be the one who turns a new page in the story of his life!



THE CONVOY’S DAY (The Upper Tier of the 2nd Half of the Möbius Strip)

PAGES 19 and 20
THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel One
Later, on the surface of the tropical planet, we’re with KEEN as he watches a small handful of NewHavenites fall over coughing from the alien pollen. He thinks how it’s the same wherever they go. Not a single planet has worked for all of them yet.
In the background we can see a saddened SURFER.
That MAMA HUB is holding a coughing QUIBBY.
And KRATTAKA is kicking the ground and yelling out that they’re cursed! (Just as she did in the DAWN’S DAY segment).

THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel Two
KEEN asks FUZMYER, DAWN, and MAMA HUB to start getting the sick NewHavenites onto the infirmary ship.

THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel Three
DAWN’S confused. Wasn’t she just on the infirmary ship? It feels like forever. Did she volunteer to be a nurse? She can’t remember.

THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel Four
Later, on in DOCTOR FUZMYER’S INFIRMARY, we can see that QUIBBY and the two aliens are in sickbeds. FUZMYER tells KEEN, KRATTAKA, and the SURFER that there’s a rare pollen in the atmosphere, and that 1,200 NewHavenites are allergic to it. They’ll get better as soon as they leave this planet.
KRATTAKA can’t believe their bad luck. There are 6 Billion Newhavenites—and they’re going to be held back by a thousand?

THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel Five
FOUNDER KEEN says there’s nothing for it. For their extended family, it’s all or nothing. He asks the SURFER if he’s up for continuing the search for a new world.
THE SURFER says he is there to serve.
(Like the panel before, this panel is directly lifted from SURFER’S DAY, but this time, please put the “camera” if a different location—favoring KEEN—and from this angle, we can see a little of how world-weary KEEN has become on this journey.)


PAGES 17 and 18
THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel One
FOUNDER KEEN is at the Galley Ship before the SURFER has arrived. He is getting an earful from KRATTAKA who is telling KEEN that their ships are old and falling apart—they can’t keep this up!
The COOKS running the Galley say that they’re running low on supplies. They have to stock up on food. But every time they land on a planet, someone gets sick and KEEN won’t let them restock.
KEEN explains that it’s because they can’t risk bringing contaminants on board…

THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel Two
One of the COOKS points over to DAWN sitting in the Galley. DAWN is sad, mopy, and not hungry… she just pushes her food around on her plate.
The COOK says that they’re running low on food. And they keep giving portions to the Earth Girl… and she’s not even eating any of it!

THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel Three
KEEN says they’re not cutting the Earth Girl’s rations. She almost sacrificed all to save them.
Another COOK complains that SURFER just zaps his food away. Can’t he just do that to a table or something else instead?
KEEN says they need the SURFER and they will show him love and respect. In fact… here he comes now.

THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel Four
The NewHavians pat the SURFER on the back as he enters—and offer nothing but “heartfelt” thanks. We see that the praise the aliens gave SURFER over in the SURFER’S DAY segment, might be more of an act than genuine praise. (But the SURFER doesn’t know that.)

THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel Five
Close up on KRATTAKA who will have no part in phony displays of affection. She storms off.


PAGES 15 and 16
THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel One
Later, KRATTAKA is going from ship to ship, getting status reports… When one of the advance LOOKOUT GUARDS calls her over to check something out! “THEY” are coming to attack the convoy again! They’re ALWAYS attacking!

THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel Two
Using the LOOKOUT GUARD’S magnification screen, KRATTAKA can see a wave of MOEBIANS flying towards the convoy—with their weapons drawn!
The LOOKOUT GUARD notes that they’re heading right for the infirmary ships! They have to alert KEEN! And the SURFER!

THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel Three
CLOSE UP on KRATTAKA as she says to wait. For a moment. Those are her orders.

THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel Four
The GUARD points out that the SURFER’S arrived and is fighting them off! Way to go Surfer! Always there in the nick of time.

THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel Five
CLOSE UP on KRATTAKA’S bitter-clenched teeth. “Yes,” she says, “like always. We’re so LUCKY to have him.”


PAGES 13 and 14
THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel One
Later, in KEEN’S ship… we see the same scene as before, where SURFER explains his plan to create a fold in space to get them all out of the GIRAUD EXPANSE.
But this time we focus on KRATTAKA and KEEN—as KRATTAKA confides with KEEN that she thinks SURFER will fail in this attempt—she can sense it.

THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel Two
KRATTAKA explains to KEEN that they should go back. Sacrifice the thousand that are holding them back and colonize the previous planet.
“What more would you have me do?” asks KEEN. But it feels more like rhetorical question.

THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel Three
Later, KEEN joins MAMA HUB and some of her orphans (no QUIBBY tho) as they watch the SURFER fly ahead, crackling energy. MAMA is telling the kids that they’re watching history. This is how they’re getting to Paradise. They’ll see!

THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel Four
OUTSIDE… Suddenly a wave of MOBIANS race by the observation window and head towards the SILVER SURFER.
One of THE MOBIANS’ weapons is some kind of crazy time-bomb or time-ray—what ever it is—the MOBIANS are aiming it right at the SURFER—just as he’s ready to make the big energy-crackling-jump!

THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel Five
The MOBIANS fire the device at SURFER! And it sends out that weird energy that’s been ruining SURFER’S jump in every section of our story so far.


THE CRISSCROSS SECTION (from right-to-left)

This is where THE CONVOY’S DAY goes from the Top Half of the Right Side of the Möbius strip… into THE MOEBIANS’ DAY, the Bottom Half of the Left Side of the Möbius strip. But here’s the tricky part, in the CRISSCROSS SECTION, these panels go in the “underpass” part, sliding under the crossover section from earlier.

PAGES 11 and 12
THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel One
SURFER tries to make the HYPER SPACE FOLD INTO THE FABRIC OF SPACE ITSELF—
–but something has gone horribly wrong! There’s the MOEBIANS’ extra energy field at work!
–the SURFER HOWLS IN PAIN—as space and time are torn apart—

THE CONVOY’S DAY Panel Two
And the SURFER, the CONVOY, and THE MOEBIANS are sucked up into a cosmic vortex—like reality itself going down a drain.

THE MOEBIANS’ DAY Panel Three
Coming out from UNDER the underpass sequence, the day has reset itself…
We open on the SURFER leading his CONVOY of 3 billion Newhaven Escape Pods. It’s a giant swarm of ships that stretches out like a endless comet’s tail till it’s nothing but specs of dust vanishing off into the void of space.
The SURFER is shepherding this flock until he can find them a new home. He promised them a paradise—and has yet to deliver. He can’t remember how long he’s been on this quest. It feels like forever. But he won’t rest until he comes through for the CONVOY. He owes them that much.


THE MOEBIANS’ DAY (The Lower Tier of the 1st Half of the Möbius Strip)

PAGES 9 and 10
THE MOEBIANS’ DAY Panel One
On floating asteroid cities of the GIRAUD EXPANSE, alarms sound off and the air-defense squadrons of the MOEBIAN defense force race to their attack pterodactyls!
The brave GENERAL OUROBOROS leads the way!

THE MOEBIANS’ DAY Panel Two
Close up on GENERAL OUROBOROS as he informs his men that the aliens have invaded their space AGAIN! These endless incursions will not be tolerated!

THE MOEBIANS’ DAY Panel Three
As his men take off, OUROBOROS hovers on his pterodactyl as he addresses two soldiers who are loading a strange cosmic cannon on the back of an extremely large pterodactyl.
OUROBOROS tells the soldiers to charge up their doomsday device so it will be ready for the second wave of attacks!
If they can’t beat back the aliens on this attack, they will have no other option but to strike them down with their CHRONAL CANNON—and fold TIME in around them, wiping them out of existence once and for all!


PAGES 7 and 8
THE MOEBIANS’ DAY Panel One
OEROBOROUS leads his squadron of pterodactyl riders through the night sky…

THE MOEBIANS’ DAY Panel Two
One of the men serving under him, LIEUTENANT ESCHER, points ahead of them. He’s spotted the alien invaders!

THE MOEBIANS’ DAY Panel Three
Off in the distance is the vast convoy of the NewHavian ships. A stream of ships that goes off into the distance till it can be seen no more—like an endless ribbon of motes and dust.
And the tiny form of the silver menace that darts and zips around it.
“Mon Dieu!” says one of the MOEBIANS, “I am always in awe of the size of them…”
“How many ships are they again?” asks another.
“By last count, over 3 billion.”

THE MOEBIANS’ DAY Panel Four
OUROBOROS rears up his pterodactyl, like a general of old, rearing up his horse before leading his troops into battle.
OUROBOROS declares that this is a war for survival! Their enemy is like a plague of locusts—a scourge unloosed on this sector! They will devour ALL in their paths! For the sake of their family, friends, and countrymen—the threat MUST be wiped out! Defeat is NOT an option!


PAGES 5 and 6
THE MOEBIANS’ DAY Panel One
The MOEBIANS attack the fleet! OEROBOROUS points towards FUZMEYER’S INFIRMARY SHIPS and tells his men to remember what they’ve been told! Those ships are the invader’s weakest point! ATTACK! ATTACK! ATTACK!

THE MOEBIANS’ DAY Panel Two
The MOEBIANS engage in an epic space battle against the SILVER SURFER!

THE MOEBIANS’ DAY Panel Three
This powerful Silver Man is too much for them! They’re getting blasted on all sides!

THE MOEBIANS’ DAY Panel Four
Close up. OUROBOROS has no choice, he orders his soldiers to pull back—and he summons the second wave to take off from the base. The doomsday device is their only option now!


PAGES 3 and 4
THE MOEBIANS’ DAY Panel One
A battle damaged OUROBORS meets up with the second wave of the MOEBIANS’ FLYING ATTACK FORCE!
Front and center is the pterodactyl with the giant CHRONAL CANNON strapped to its back.

THE MOEBIANS’ DAY Panel Two
The soldier at the controls of the CHRONAL CANNON says that it is fully charged and ready to go… But is the general absolutely certain he wants to do this?! This weapon could wipe out this entire section of the quadrant—and them along with it.
OUROBOROS says they have no choice… if the rest of the GERAUD EXPANSE is to live, they must make this sacrifice.

THE MOEBIANS’ DAY Panel Three
OUROBOROS points towards the approaching CONVOY—with the SILVER SURFER leading the way—his body crackling, like never before with PURE COSMIC POWER!
OUROBOROS says that against such an enemy as that, what else can they do?!

THE MOEBIANS’ DAY Panel Four
OUROBOROS gives the order to FIRE! He tells his men he loves them—and will see them on the other side! Behind him the CHRONAL CANNON lets loose with a MASSIVE BURST OF ENERGY!


PAGES 1 and 2
THE MOEBIANS’ DAY Panel One (If you flip PAGES 1 and 2 upside down.)
SURFER tries to make the HYPER SPACE FOLD INTO THE FABRIC OF SPACE ITSELF—
–but something has gone horribly wrong! He runs into the MASSIVE ENERGY BURST from the MOEBIANS’ CHRONAL CANNON!
The SURFER HOWLS IN PAIN—as space and time are torn apart—

THE MOEBIANS’ DAY Panel One (Flowing right into SURFER’S DAY Panel Two.)
And the SURFER, the CONVOY, and THE MOEBIANS are sucked up into a cosmic vortex—like reality itself going down a drain.



Quick note before going into THE FLIPPING SEQUENCE on PAGES 23 and 24:
Mike, these are the trickiest pages of the whole book. The reader will fold back PART of PAGE 23.
The left edge of PAGE 23 will line up with an arrow on the bottom of PAGE 21, Panel One.
This will create an all-new double page spread that is part PAGE 21, part PAGE 23, and part PAGE 24.

After the reader has read this, if they straighten PAGE 23 out and look at PAGES 23 and 24 as a double page spread, there will be “dead space” made up of the right-side of PAGE 23 that wasn’t used and the left-side of PAGE 24 that wasn’t used.
In that space—I’d like to show the NEVER QUEEN congratulating the SURFER (and the reader) for pulling off this trick.

Remember:
For PAGES 23 through 26, the Top Tier is THE CONVOY’S DAY which is upside down and running backwards.
By changing the shape of the comic/Möbius strip, we are extending the stories for both THE CONVOY’S DAY and DAWN’S DAY.
For THE CONVOY’S DAY, that means adding a sequence that goes further into the past, and actually shows us a scene that would have taken place before the comic book began.
For DAWN’S DAY, that means adding a sequence that goes further forward in time.
Does that make sense?


PAGES 23 and 24
UPPER TIER (The Phantom CONVOY’S DAY Sequence up top. These pages are plotted out as if you’ve turned the page upside down.)

CONVOY’S DAY Panel One
In his cockpit. KEEN shuts of his view screen. We don’t know who he was talking to—but we’ll find out as soon as we turn the page. KRATTAKA is standing next to him.

CONVOY’S DAY Panel Two
KRATTAKA comments to KEEN that DAWN has been living and working on the infirmary ships. She gave her all to save them, and—due to her nature, she continues to serve.
KEEN says that the girl has done so much for them… he tells KRATAKA to see to it that she gets a break. Send her to the Galley for a hot meal.

CONVOY’S DAY Panel Three
KRATTAKA protests. They can’t waste any more rations. They’re running low. KEEN says that if anything should happen to the girl, the SURFER probably wouldn’t be too happy about that.

CONVOY’S DAY Panel Four
KRATTAKA agrees and storms off.


CONVOY’S DAY Panel Five
This links up with the last CONVY’S DAY panel from PAGE 21.

From his cockpit, the KEEN hears the SURFER telling everyone that he’s found a planet. This could be perfect!
And KEEN, almost as if he knows they’re on a repeating cycle says, “Will this never end?”


LOWER TIER (The Extended DAWN’S DAY Sequence down below)

DAWN’S DAY Panel One
This panel is actually half of a panel—that when combined with PART of the PAGE 21’s Panel One of DAWN’S DAY creates an ALL-NEW panel.
In the original panel, DAWN had something she wanted to tell the SURFER, but he walked on past. THIS time, however, the SURFER—still crackling with all the stored up power he’s been amassing– stops and turns to hear what DAWN has to say.

So we don’t need a full panel. Instead, all we need is the PART of the panel where the SURFER stops and turns. That art will cover the original art of the SURFER walking on—one page ago. So this is the PAGE 23 SURFER, stopping to hear what the exact same PAGE 21 DAWN has to say. (If we pull this off, it’ll be an awesome trick!)

DAWN’S DAY Panel Two
The SURFER stops. And looks at DAWN. And her ring.

DAWN’S DAY Panel Three
The SURFER apologizes. It should feel like he’s about to apologize for so much to her… And he may mean to…

DAWN’S DAY Panel Four
…but he says that he’s apologizing because he needs to take the ring he gave her back.
Close up of their hands as he summons the ring to unweave itself from DAWN’S finger and to rejoin his own silver sheath/skin.
It is imbued with his Power Cosmic, and he needs it back. If he is to pull off this impossible feat—he will need every last iota of his power.

DEAD SPACE IN THE CENTER OF THE PAGE
We see the NEVER QUEEN—her usual bittersweet sad self—looking right at us. She tells us that we have chosen well. But with every victory, there must also come a price. And for that, she is sorry for us.



PAGES 25 and 26
UPPER TIER (The Phantom CONVOY’S DAY Sequence up top)

CONVOY’S DAY Panel One
(This panel is totally compromised by the last panel of the DAWN’S DAY sequence below.)
We open on the floating asteroid cities of the GIRAUD EXPANSE, the same establishing shot we saw on PAGE 9, THE MOEBIANS’ DAY Panel One.

CONVOY’S DAY Panel Two
GENERAL OUROBOROS is in his war office, sending out a transmission on his view screen. He’s calling the leader of the CONVOY that is invading his sector of space—AGAIN! Why do they keep bringing their eternal war here?! WHY?!!

CONVOY’S DAY Panel Three
FOUNDER KEEN’S face comes up on the view screen. He says that his people have been on an eternal quest—and they are tired and wish to end it! But they can’t.

CONVOY’S DAY Panel Four
Inside FOUNDER KEEN’S ship, he and KRATTAKA look at OUROBOROS through their view screen.
FOUNDER KEEN says that whatever planet they find, a small fraction of their people get sick and they must move on. Because they’ve made a vow that they ALL must go together. Because of that, KEEN can only come up with one solution…

CONVOY’S DAY Panel Five
A morally compromised FOUNDER KEEN says that they must get RID of those few citizens. He transmits the location of the INFIRMARY SHIPS in the convoy. If the MOEBIANS can destroy those—the CONVOY will double-back to the last planet and colonize it—OUT of their sector.


LOWER TIER (The Extended DAWN’S DAY Sequence down below)

DAWN’S DAY Panel One
Match shot from the previous page. DAWN’S hand is bare, free of the ring.

DAWN’S DAY Panel Two
DAWN holds her bare hand up to examine it. Her eyes are welling up.
“I’m free,” she whispers.

DAWN’S DAY Panel Three
The Surfer can hear a hydrogen atoms being born in the hearts of far away suns. He can hear an Earth Girl’s whisper.
“Good bye, Dawn Greenwood,” he says as he goes out the airlock.

DAWN’S DAY Panel Four
Full of crackling COSMIC POWER, THE SILVER SURFER blasts ahead of the CONVOY—as he strains to try to bend space—and jump the entire fleet past the GIRAUD EXPANSE!
The shape of the panel starts to change, as it wipes up and out—cutting into the upper tier’s panels—overlapping and overwhelming them!

DAWN’S DAY Panel Five
This time when the SURFER clashes up against the CHRONAL ENERGY FIELD…
…at his full COSMIC POWER—and FULL OF THE RESOLVE THAT HE HAS LET DAWN GREENWOOD GO—
–HE PUNCHES THROUGH THAT FIELD! HE CREATES HIS SUPERIOR WARP IN TIME AND SPACE! And he and the CONVOY go barreling towards the NEXT PAGE!!!
THIS PANEL IS EATING UP ALL THE SPACE ON THIS PAGE—SCREW, WHATEVER’S GOING ON IN THE TOP TIER!


PAGES 27 and 28
DOUBLE PAGE SPLASH! No gutters! Full Bleed!
Using his massive COSMIC POWER burst to fold back space worked!

And the SURFER comes triumphantly flying out of the stellar warp he created—with all of his “flock” behind him!
All the ships from the convoy have made it! They’re through the Giraud Expanse!

THEY’RE FREE!

PAGE 29
Panel One
Close up on the SURFER. His cosmic senses have detected the perfect planet. He is brimming with confidence now! THIS is the one! He’s SURE of it!

Panel Two
He flies everyone towards a lush, gorgeous, paradise planet!

Panel Three (Another TRIUMPHANT panel)
Having landed on the PLANET EUPHORIA, all the citizens of New Haven are in awe. It truly is a paradise!

Panel Four
Cut to a reaction shot of our regulars: FUZMYER, MAMA HUB, QUIBBY, SURFER, DAWN, KRATTAKA, and KEEN.
FUZMYER is examining things with a “tricorder-like” device. FUZMYER tells them that according to his data base, that the atmosphere here is compatible ALL 6 BILLION species. And according to their time read out… They can’t account for a missing 83 days…
QUIBBY asks if they’re home now. MAMA HUB assures here that they are.
And FOUNDER KEEN is profoundly sad—he almost ruined everything due to his lack of faith.


PAGE 30
Panel One
Cut to the MOEBIANS flying through their sector. One of them tells their captain that they’ve just received information from one of their satellites. A number of aliens jumped AROUND their sector of space—and it looks as if they’re settling on Euphoria—out past the Expanse—on the edge of the frontier beyond.

Panel Two
The CAPTAIN shrugs. The important thing is—no one’s crossed over into their territory. If they can stay to that world… let them have their space.

Panel Three
Cut back to EUPHORIA as the New Havenites are in full celebration mode. In the foreground SURFER and DAWN are the only ones not dancing. They’re standing there—SURFER holding his board. And DAWN is all awkward and uncomfortable—almost as if she’s forgotten how to stand.
“So?” says the SURFER, “What do we do now?”

Panel Four
Close up on the two of them, face-to-face. They both look confused and apprehensive.
DAWN says, “I don’t know.”

TO BE CONTINUED…

And here’s the script!

***

SILVER SURFER #11
“Never After”
Script for 31 pgs
Dan Slott
3/26/15

RECAP PAGE

NEVER QUEEN TEXT: Welcome to the space outside of time, and the time outside of space. I am the NEVER QUEEN, the embodiment of all POSSIBILITY, and this is my home.

NEVER QUEEN TEXT: From here, I give birth to every moment that COULD-BE. Then into your worlds they flow, where you, the creatures of FREE WILL decide which of them SHOULD-BE.

NEVER QUEEN TEXT: But that is NO LONGER the case for two of my favorite beings in all of reality, the SILVER SURFER, and the Earth Girl, DAWN GREENWOOD.

NEVER QUEEN TEXT: For they have turned onto a twisted path that is far beyond my reach, a place of NO possibilities and NO futures of any kind. For them, this might just be their…

STORY TITLE: NEVER AFTER
CREDITS


PAGES 1 and 2
Panel One
NEVER QUEEN (green text): Most stories begin “Once upon a time…” NOT this one.
NEVER QUEEN (green text): It starts at the end, ends where it starts, and has its one and only twist in its middle.
NEVER QUEEN (green text): This is the story of the Silver Surfer, now the shepherd to over six billion souls…
NEVER QUEEN (green text): …ALL of whom he has wronged.

Panel Two
KEEN (electric, from the first/biggest ship): Anything, Surfer? Please say you’ve found something.
KEEN (electric): The fleet can’t go much further.
SURFER: Have faith, Founder Keen. It can and it must.
LOCATOR CAP: The Giraud Expanse. Now.

Panel Three
SURFER CAP: Or rather I must. I can NEVER rest.

Panel Four
SURFER CAP: I was the one who led Galactus to their worlds. Twice.
SURFER CAP: For my penance, I must find them a NEW home. One that is nothing less than a PARADISE.
SURFER: Here! Good people of Newhaven!
SURFER: My Cosmic Senses tell me, this may be THE ONE.

(JOE, flip the page over)

Panel Five
SURFER #1: What transpires here? I can’t—
SURFER #2: Everyone, hold fast! Whatever power I have left, I WILL protect you!
SURFER #2: We’ll make it through the other side! I promise! I–
OUROBOROS (on pterodactyl) (small): Not again! How is this happening agai—


PAGES 3 and 4
Panel One
MAMA HUB (small): What do you think of this planet, dears?
QUIBBY (small): It’s SO pretty, Mama Hub!
SURFER: What’s your prognosis, Doctor? Will it suffice?
DOCTOR: Initial scans look promising, Herald. Most promising.
SURFER CAP: Wish I could believe him…

Panel Two
QUIBBY: Ooh, mama!
MAMA HUB: Quibby!
QUIBBY: I don’t feel good…
SFX: Hwak
SFX: Koff
SFX: KAFF
SURFER CAP: …but Doctor Fuzmeyer always says that.

Panel Three
SURFER CAP: And this always happens.
DOCTOR: Same as before. Something in the atmosphere. A rare pollen this time.
DOCTOR: Affecting twelve hundred of our population. They’ll die if we stay here.
KRATTAKA: What? We’re going to put the needs of a mere thousand or so over six billion—
SURFER: Krattaka!
KEEN: Easy, Surfer.

Panel Four
KEEN: For the sake of our extended family, we’re agreed. It’s all or nothing.
KEEN: If you’re up for it, we’ll continue the search.
SURFER: I am here to serve.

(Joe please turn the page upside down)

Panel Five
OUROBOROS (in the middle): Second wave! You are well met!
OUROBOROS: Tell me, soldier, is the CHRONO CANNON fully charged?
SOLDIER w/ CANNON: Yes, admiral!

Panel Six
SOLDIER: But this is a weapon of LAST resort. It could destroy this outpost…
SOLDIER: …and us along with it!
ADMIRAL: To protect our borders? That is a sacrifice I am more than ready to—
ADMIRAL: LOOK, he comes! FIRE!

Panel Seven
SURFER: It’s working! Bending the fabric of space—
ADMIRAL: RIP WIDE the barriers of TIME! Erase him from—

Panel Eight
SFX: AHHHHH


PAGES 5 and 6
Panel One
ALIEN (w/ food): Welcome back to Galley Ship 1, Surfer. Here, eat. Relax. All we have is yours.
SURFER: Sorry, but I must return to my duties.
ALIEN #2: Thank you, Norrin! We grokk you now.
ALIEN #2: Y’know back on New Haven, I offered MYSELF up as herald to save us!
ALIEN #3: We ALL did, Korbo! How many times must you say that?

Panel Two
ALIEN (w/ food): Please. I insist.
SURFER: Very well. But there is not time to eat.
SURFER: I shall absorb the nutrients like so.
SURFER CAP: It feels good to be so accepted by the survivors of NewHaven. Like a giant burden of guilt has been lifted from my—

Panel Three
SILENT

Panel Four
SURFER CAP: Dawn.
SURFER CAP: She still has nothing to say to me. And I—

Panel Five
SURFER CAP: –I have important tasks to attend to.
SURFER CAP: Worlds to seek out, sectors to patrol, and, of course…

(Joe, please turn the pages upside down)

Panel Six
OUROBOROS: PTEROTEERS, ATTACK!
OUROBOROS: Focus all fire there! As we were told! On their weakest ship!
SFX: PZAW
SFX: ZRAK
SFX: ZZEEE

Panel Seven
SURFER: Away with you!
SOLDIER #1: It’s their metal man! He’s back! He’s too powerful! RETREAT!
SOLDIER #2: Arh! Why does he target ME?! EVERY TIME?!

Panel Eight
OUROBOROS: Summon the next wave! Have them prepare the doomsday option!
OUROBOROS: These monsters have left us no other choice!


PAGES 7 and 8
Panel One
SURFER CAP: …the convoy to protect.
SURFER: Away with you!
SOLDIER #1: It’s their metal man! He’s back! He’s too powerful! RETREAT!
SFX: ZRAK
SFX: ZZEEE

Panel Two
SOLDIER #2: Arh! Why does he target ME?! EVERY TIME?!
SURFER CAP: These attacks come daily now.
SURFER CAP: The refugees’ ships are mere life rafts. With no weapons and meager defenses, they’re easy prey for scavengers.

Panel Three
OUROBOROS: Summon the next wave!
SURFER: We can’t take much more of this.

Panel Four
SURFER: What is our status, Keen?
KEEN: Not good. We lost some supply ships. No lives though.
KEEN: But our resources are stretched far too thin. What should we do, Surfer?
SURFER: You have a convoy of three billion ships. I can’t defend all of them. And our attackers have promised to return.

(Joe, please turn the pages upside down)

Panel Five
OUROBOROS: Remember, men, this is a war for SURVIVAL!
OUROBOROS: These invaders are a ravenous swarm, ready to descend upon every planet in the great Giraud Expanse!

Panel Six
SOLDIER: There they are!
SOLDIER #2: Mon Dieu! I am always in awe of the size of them!

Panel Seven
SOLDIER #1: How many ships are they again?
SOLDIER #2: By last count, over 3 billion!
OUROBOROS: THEIR size matters not!
OUROBOROS: What matters is the size of YOUR families! Of YOUR loved ones! Of all WE have to defend!

Panel Eight
OUROBOROS: We fight for THEM! Whatever the cost!

PAGES 9 and 10
Panel One
SURFER: But I have a plan.
SURFER: I believe I can use my Power Cosmic to fold the fabric of space…
SURFER: …allowing ALL of us to jump out of this region.

Panel Two
KRATTAKA: A transwarp tunnel? For three billion vessels? Impossible!
SURFER: Not for me. Not at the absolute height of my power.
SURFER: Now if you’ll excuse me…

Panel Three
SURFER CAP: …I must prepare myself if I am to operate at peak efficiency.

Panel Four
DAWN: Um. Norrin?
SURFER CAP: Of all the times to finally speak to me…
DAWN: Krattaka says they’ve detected those aliens again. They’re on the way.

Panel Five
SURFER: I understand. I’ll go.
DAWN: Norrin, please, before you do, I–
SURFER: Not now, Dawn Greenwood. I have to focus.
DAWN: But—
SURFER: Another time. I promise.

(Joe, please turn the pages upside down)

Panel Six
OUROBOROS: PTEROTEERS! TO ARMS!
SOLDIER: The aliens again, Admiral?
OUROBOROS: Oui! With their endless incursions into OUR space!

Panel Seven
OUROBOROS: But I swear to you, TODAY IT ENDS! ONCE AND FOR ALL!

Panel Eight
OUROBOROS: You there, how long to ready the CHRONO-CANNON?
SOLDIER: 20 rems. But sir…
OUROBOROS: I know the risk.
SOLDIER: Oui, mon Admiral!


THE CRISSCROSS SECTION

PAGES 11 and 12
Panel One
SURFER CAP: My problems with the Earth Girl are not going anywhere. There’ll be time for that later.
SURFER CAP: For now I must put it out of mind and give this task my full attention.
SURFER: Yes! It’s working!

Panel Two
SURFER #1: Bending the fabric of space—

SURFER #2: What transpires here? I can’t—

SURFER #3: Everyone, hold fast!

SURFER #4: Whatever power I have left, I WILL protect you!
SURFER #4: We’ll make it through the other side! I promise! I—

OUROBOROS (on pterodactyl) (small): Not again! How is this happening agai—

Panel Four
LOCATOR CAP: The Giraud Expanse. Now.
DOCTOR: Ms. Greenwood, have you heard? The Herald’s found us a very promising planet.
DAWN: So is it over yet? Are we done?
DOCTOR: Um. Maybe. Let’s go out and have a look, shall we?

(Joe, please turn the page upside down)

Panel Five
SURFER #1: What transpires here? I can’t—

SURFER #2: Everyone, hold fast! Whatever power I have left, I WILL protect you!
SURFER #2: We’ll make it through the other—

Panel Six
LOCATOR CAP: The Giraud Expanse. Now.
ALIEN COMMUNICATIONS CAPTION: Sensors detect the approach of the alien invaders!
ALIEN COMMUNICATIONS CAPTION: Alert Admiral Ouroboros! Sound the alarm! Wake the guards!


PAGES 13 and 14
(Joe, for this half of the loop, we start on the lower tier)

Panel One
DAWN: Wow…
DAWN CAP: No matter how many worlds he takes us to, it never gets old.
DAWN CAP: Each one is more beautiful than the last…
DAWN CAP: The last. This is probably the last alien world I’ll ever see.

Panel Two
KRATTAKA: Ha! Looks like your shiny friend’s finally done it!
DAWN: Ow. He’s not my friend, Krattaka.
DAWN (small): Well he WAS, but now he’s…
KRATTAKA: Well, whatever he is, Earthling, he got us a new home.

Panel Three
DAWN: Home.
DAWN CAP: I’ll be on my way home.

Panel Four
DAWN CAP: And everything will go back to… normal?
SFX: Hwork
SFX: Keff
SFX: Koff
DAWN: Oh my! Are you okay?

Panel Five
KRATTAKA (brst): By all the elder gods!
KRATTAKA: On every world it’s the same damn story!
KRATTAKA: I’m SICK of this! Do you hear me?! SICK OF IT!
SFX: Ha-wakk
DAWN: Come here. We’ll get you to the doctor.
MAMA HUB CAP: “Dawn? There you are. I was looking for you…

(Joe, please turn the pages upside down)

Panel Six
KRATTAKA: We find a world. We leave a world. We’re attacked by natives. The Surfer repels them. Over and over!
KRATTAKA: This is unbearable. We keep taking the same actions. It is madness to expect a different result!
KEEN: But the Herald’s plan, it FEELS new doesn’t it?

Panel Seven
KRATTAKA: To “fold” space? Is that even possible, Founder?
KEEN: I don’t know. But, we must put on a brave face. At least for the children.

Panel Eight
KEEN: Are you ready, boys and girls? We’re about to watch history.
KID: What’s the Surfer doing, Mama?
MAMA HUB: He’s going to make a magic tunnel, dear.
MAMA HUB: You’ll see! This is how we’re going to find our new home!

Panel Nine
OUROBOROS: LOOK, he comes! FIRE!
SURFER: It’s working! Bending the fabric of space—

Panel Ten
OUROBOROS: RIP WIDE the barriers of TIME! Erase him from–



PAGES 15 and 16
Panel One
MAMA HUB: L’kosha.
DAWN: What?
MAMA HUB: The woman you helped on the planet. She’s going to be fine.
DAWN: Oh. Sorry, Mama Hub. I was…

Panel Two
MAMA HUB: Light years away. I can see. Are YOU all right, dear? You haven’t touched your dinner.
DAWN: I’m not hungry.
MAMA HUB: Talk to me, Dawn. What’s the matter?
DAWN: It’s—it’s this ring.

Panel Three
DAWN: The Surfer gave it to me. It’s part of him.
DAWN: But ever since I found out who he is—who he REALLY is…
DAWN: …and what he used to do for Galactus…
DAWN: I just—It won’t come off.

Panel Four
MAMA HUB: Hm. Dr. Fuzmyer could CUT it off. And clone you a new finger.
DAWN: AH!
DAWN: No. Look, I just don’t want this thing on me any-

Panel Five
SILENT

(Joe, please turn the pages upside down here.)

Panel Six
ALIEN AT KEYBOARD: Krattaka! This is Sentry 8-9-5, please respond.
KRATTAKA: I was en route from the main galley. What is it?
ALIEN: It’s the race from this sector, ma’am. They’re bearing down on the fleet! We should notify the Surfer!
KRATTAKA: Belay that. I’m coming over.

Panel Seven
KRATTAKA: On the attack again. Of course.
ALIEN: They’re heading straight for Infirmary One!

Panel Eight
KRATTAKA: With twelve hundred patients. Hold off on that call.
ALIEN o/p: But ma’am—
KRATTAKA: What?!

Panel Nine
ALIEN: Never mind. The herald’s already there! They’re safe!
ALIEN: Thank the maker! We are SO lucky to have him with us!

Panel Ten
KRATTAKA: Yes, Sentry. We are truly BLESSED.


PAGES 17 and 18
Panel One
SILENT

Panel Two
MAMA: Dawn, more than any of us here, you know what Norrin Radd went through when he became a Herald.
MAMA: You were willing to make the SAME sacrifice as well.
MAMA: He helped to destroy our worlds, and WE can forgive him. Why can’t you?

Panel Three
DAWN: He lied to me. About something so big and so horrible…
DAWN: If he could keep something like THAT a secret, what ELSE hasn’t he told me?
DAWN: Ugh. Enough about me. I’m going to see…

Panel Four
DAWN CAP: …how the others are doing.
DAWN: Hey, Quibby! Hang in there.
DAWN: They gonna pull through, Doc?
DOCTOR: Under MY care? Absolutely.
DOCTOR: And, of course, the further we get away from that infernal planet…

Panel Five
DOCTOR: …the safer we’ll all—GYAHH!
DAWN: What was THAT?!
SFX: PBMMM

(Joe, please turn the pages upside down)

Panel Six
KRATTAKA: These ships are old! Falling apart! They can’t keep this up!
KRATTAKA: And supplies are low. We didn’t even stock up on food last planet fall.
KEEN: You know why. We couldn’t risk bringing any contaminants on board.

Panel Seven
COOK (small): Look at her. Not even eating that food. And there’s barely enough to go around.
OTHER ALIEN (small): Stop it! You serve the Earthling. She almost sacrificed all for NewHaven.
COOK (small): But what about Radd? He just ZAPS his food away.
OTHER ALIEN (small): We NEED him.

Panel Eight
KEEN: Quiet. He’s coming.
KEEN: Now all of you, show him nothing but love, respect, and FORGIVENESS.
KEEN: Remember, he is OUR herald now.

Panel Nine
ALIEN #1: Thank you, Norrin! We grokk you now.
ALIEN (on the far left): Y’know back on NewHaven, I offered MYSELF up as Herald to save us!
ALIEN (to the right of him): We ALL did, Korbo! How many times must you say that?

Panel Ten
KRATTAKA: Feh! I will have no part in these staged shows of affection.


PAGES 19 and 20
Panel One
QUIBBY: Ooh! Everything’s spinnin’!
DAWN: No worries, Quib. It’s not you. It’s the ship.
QUIBBY: We under attack? Again?

Panel Two
DAWN: Yeah. But the Surfer’s here.
DAWN: Like always.
DAWN CAP: Don’t ask me how I know, but I can feel it…

Panel Three
DAWN CAP: …the path he’s on now, the good man he’s trying to be…
SURFER: …believe I can use my Power Cosmic to fold the fabric of space…

Panel Four
DAWN CAP: …is who he is, and will be, forever.
SURFER: Now if you’ll excuse me, I must prepare myself…

Panel Five
DAWN: Um. Norrin? Krattaka says they’ve detected those aliens again.
DAWN: They’re on their way.
SURFER: I understand. I’ll go.

(Joe, please turn the page upside down)

Panel Six
KEEN CAP: First will come the sickness and the cursing…
MAMA HUB (small): Quibby!
QUIBBY (small): I don’t feel good…
SURFER: I am sorry. I tried to find a world that would be compatible with you all.
DOCTOR: There are billions of us, Surfer. It’s an almost impossible task.
SURFER: But on your last world, NewHaven…
DOCTOR: We had centuries to terraform.
KRATTAKA small/(brst): By all the elder gods!
KRATTAKA small: On every world it’s the same damn story!

Panel Seven
DAWN: Doctor Fuzmyer! L’kosha and some of the others are feeling ill.
DOCTOR: Bring them to Infirmary One, Ms. Greenwood. I’ll tend to them there.

Panel Three
DAWN: The infirmary? Wasn’t I just there?
DAWN: Why does this all feel… so familiar?

Panel Four
DOCTOR: Something in the atmosphere. A rare pollen this time.
DOCTOR: Affecting twelve hundred of our population. They’ll die if we stay here.
KRATTAKA: What? We’re going to put the needs of a mere thousand or so over six billion—
SURFER: Krattaka!
KEEN: Easy, Surfer.
KEEN CAP: What else can I say? What more can I do?

Panel Five
KEEN: For the sake of our extended family, we’re agreed. It’s all or nothing.
KEEN: If you’re up for it, we’ll continue the search.
KEEN CAP: This futile, endless search.


PAGES 21 and 22
Panel One
DAWN: Norrin, please, before you do, I—
SURFER: Not now, Dawn Greenwood. I have to focus.
DAWN: But—
SURFER: Another time. I promise.
DAWN CAP (bottom right corner): –I forgive you.

Panel Two
SURFER #1: Yes! It’s working! Bending the fabric of space—

SURFER #2: What transpires here? I can’t—

Panel Three
SURFER: Everyone, hold fast!
SURFER: Whatever power I have left, I WILL protect you!
SURFER: We’ll make it through the other side! I promise! I—
OUROBOROS (on pterodactyl) (small): Not again! How is this happening agai—

(Joe, please give these lines to the Never Queen, then turn the page upside down).

Panel Four
NEVER QUEEN: Surfer, if only you could hear me. There is a way off this endless path.
NEVER QUEEN: Exert your FREE WILL. Grab hold of all you accept as real, then reach beyond…
NEVER QUEEN: …be the one who turns this page in the story of your life.

Panel Five
KEEN (electric, from the first/biggest ship): Anything, Surfer? Please say you’ve found something.
KEEN (electric, The fleet can’t go on much further.
SURFER: Have faith, Founder Keen. It can and it must.
LOCATOR CAP: The Giraud Expanse. Now.

Panel Six
SURFER: Here! Good people of NewHaven!
SURFER: My Cosmic Senses tell me, this may be THE ONE.
KEEN (small): Ships that can handle re-entry, follow the Herald.
KEEN/CAP: The Surfer says to have faith, but in my heart I already know the outcome.
KEEN/CAP: It will be the same as before, if we stay the course, this will never end.



PAGES 23 and 24
Joe, please start on the lower tier first.

Panel One
SURFER: Wait. This will never work.
SURFER: And I am a fool for not seeing it sooner.
DAWN: Norrin?

Panel Two
SURFER: You must forgive me, Dawn.

Panel Three
NEVER QUEEN: Yes. You have worked it out, Norrin Radd.
NEVER QUEEN: Do what must be done, but know this…

Panel Four
SURFER: But I must take back the gift I once gave you.

Panel Five
SURFER: To accomplish the awesome task at hand…
SURFER: …I can spare not one atom of myself.
DAWN (o/p): My ring.

(Joe, please turn the pages upside down)

Panel Six
KEEN: And that should put an end to it.

Panel Seven
KRATTAKA: The Earthling has been staying with Fuzmyer on Infirmary One. Helping him with his patients.
KRATTAKA: She gave her all on NewHaven to save us. And still she continues to serve.
KEEN: Yes. It’s in her nature.

Panel Eight
KEEN: See to it that she gets a break.
KEEN: Send her to Galley One for a hot meal.
KRATTAKA: Understood. But Galley One? We ARE low on supplies.

Panel Nine
NEVER QUEEN: With every choice you make, comes a price.
NEVER QUEEN: Such is the nature of free will.

Panel Ten
KEEN: Does it matter? Perhaps… There’s still hope.
KRATTAKA: What? That the Surfer WILL find us a new world?
KRATTAKA: That things WILL turn out differently this time?

Panel Eleven
KEEN: *sigh* Anything, Surfer? Please say you’ve found something.
KEEN: The fleet can’t go much further.
SURFER: Have faith, Founder Keen. It can and it must.


PAGES 25 and 26
Joe, please start on the lower tier first again.

Panel One
SURFER: I must be WHOLE once more. Do you understand?

Panel Two
DAWN: Yeah. I think so.
DAWN (small): So long, Surfer. And good luck.

Panel Three
SURFER: This is no time for goodbyes, Earth girl. I shall see you again…
SURFER: …on the other side. You DO believe I can do this, yes?
DAWN: I- um—
SURFER: Never mind.

Panel Four
SURFER: The doubts of others.

Panel Five
SURFER #1: Every enemy bearing down on.
SURFER #1: NONE of that matters. THEY ARE NOTHING!

SURFER #2: I know what I am capable of.
SURFER #2: 3 Billion ships! 6 billion souls! All bound to ME!
SURFER #2: They have suffered long enough! AND I SAY…

(Joe, please turn the pages upside down)

Panel Six
ELECTRIC: Admiral Ouroboros! Incoming call from deep space.

Panel Seven
OUROBOROS: ‘Allo? Who is this?
ELECTRIC: Greetings. I am Founder Keen. Spiritual leader of the convoy entering your space.

Panel Eight
OUROBOROS: The alien invaders! The endless swarm of ships!
OUROBOROS: Why do you keep bringing your eternal war HERE?! WHY?
KEEN (electric): Believe what you will. But know this…
KEEN (electric): …I too am weary of this conflict… and my people’s endless quest.

Panel Nine
KEEN: And I offer you an end to it.
KEEN: Our people wish to settle on ONE uninhabited world. That is all. If we do, we shall stay there and never bother you again.
OUROBOROS: A trick!
KEEN: No trick. Twelve hundred of our people are holding us back.

Panel Eleven
KEEN: Destroy their ONE ship, and I promise you this is all over.
KEEN: I’m sending you its coordinates. It’s called INFIRMARY ONE.

PAGES 27 and 28
SURFER (BIG): WE SHALL BE FREE!


PAGE 29
Panel One
SURFER: GREAT GALAXIES!

Panel Two
SURFER: Forget EVERYTHING I’ve told you before!
SURFER: This is the PRIZE! This is the world we’ve all been waiting for! This is—

Panel Three
SURFER (BIG): PARADISE!
FOUNDER KEEN: Surfer, I doubted you… but it worked.
FOUNDER KEEN (small): Oh, by elder gods, what I almost…
SURFER: My Cosmic Senses detect no flaws here. Doctor, what do your scans tell you?

Panel Four
FOUNDER KEEN: The same!
FOUNDER KEEN: The atmosphere here, the ecosystem— it’s ADAPTIVE!
FOUNDER KEEN: It’s reconfiguring itself to compatible with ALL 6 billion of us!
QUIBBY: It smells like sweetberries.
MAMA: It does! Now.
SURFER: I wonder… is my work here done? Are you all safe?


PAGE 30
Panel One
SOLDIER: Admiral, we have a report from our furthest outpost.
SOLDIER: The invaders, they jumped to a point BEYOND the Giraud Expanse.
OUROBOROS: C’es bien.

Panel Two
OUROBOROS: If they can stay out of OUR space…
OUROBOROS: …let them have theirs. Oui!

Panel Three
DAWN: So?
DAWN: You said you’d find them paradise, and you did.
SURFER: Yes. That was the FIRST part of my promise, Earth girl.
SURFER: I also said I would take you home.

Panel Four
SURFER: So what now? I leave it to you.
DAWN: I don’t know. I guess—
NEVER QUEEN: And what will you say, Dawn Greenwood?
NEVER QUEEN: Will your adventures with Norrin Radd continue?
NEVER QUEEN: Once again, you live in world of possibilities. And THIS is most definitely NOT The End.

Quick note: Why were the aliens speaking Space-French?

The great thing about breaking your ideas out on a whiteboard is that when you see ALL of it in front of you, you’ll often see patterns you missed, or make mental connections you never would’ve made otherwise.

One key element in this issue was going to involve an “eternal war”– aliens who (from the Surfer’s P.O.V.) appeared to be attacking both himself & his friends every single day. These were going to be all-new aliens that Mike would design and I already had a placeholder name for them…

But when I saw the words “Möbius strip” over and over again on the board, it hit me. They HAD to be a tribute to Jean Giraud, the all-time great comic book artist Moebius. He’d been responsible for one of the most iconic versions of the Silver Surfer ever put to paper. How could we do a Möbius strip comic ABOUT the Silver Surfer and NOT include a loving tribute to him?

So that Möbius strip sector of space was named The Giraud Expanse, the native life forms there would speak Space-French, wear AIRTIGHT GARAGE-style pith helmets, and fly giant ARZACH-style pterodactyls! And all was right in the cosmos.

I slipped up though. Because with all the Doctor Who nods we’d put in the book, here I had a bunch of aliens speaking Space-French, and not one of them said the Doctor Who catchphrase “Allons-y!” What was I thinking? (Luckily we hit that in SURFER #13 when Norrin & Dawn had to back track through space and fly through the Giraud Expanse one last time.) 🙂

My favorite bit in the whole project is the top (upside down) strip on PAGES 26 & 27, because the only way to read them is if you cheat. 😀

In my perfect scenario for how you read this book:
You read it normally, left to right, following the right-side-up strip while every now and then sneaking a peek at what’s going on below on the up-side-down & backwards strip.

You reach the middle of the book and slide down, staying with the right-side-up strip as it moves to the bottom of the page. Except now you’re sneaking peeks at the upside-down & backwards strip above you.

You hit the “elbow” at the end of the Möbius strip, spin the book upside-down, and repeat the process till you get to the beginning.

At this point, you either go, “I’m not reading this again” and jump to the fold section
(or you DO read the first half again, seeing if any of the context has changed now that you have more information from the other 3 story perspectives).

Then you do the fold. And this is the FUN bit:
By changing the shape of the comic, you’ve just extended Surfer & Dawn’s story forward– farther into the future. You get MORE story. And with that additional story, everyone is able to ESCAPE from the Möbius strip! You’re FREE and don’t have to keep flipping the comic over.

But, since you’re no longer flipping the comic over, there is NO WAY to reach the above-and-up-side-down strips that are OVER the new sequence. What? Huh?! Wait… WHAT?!

So what IS that sequence?

Well, the format of the comic dictates what it HAS to be. Just as the new sequence pushes Surfer & Dawn’s story forward, this section goes further BACK in time and reveals a previously unseen set of story beats with Founder Keen & the convoy.

If you cheat and read that unreachable sequence, you learn some terrible things about one of our nicest and noblest characters. HE was willing to make a horrible sacrifice. HE was the one that alerted the aliens to their presence. And HE was the one that set ALL the characters down the path towards the endless paradox!

*boom*
*mind blown*

–Dan Slott

5 thoughts on “Personal Best: SILVER SURFER #11

  1. That was one crazy issue! I loved the whole series! I never wanted it to end.
    Now, I’ll have to go back and read it again, especially #11. And yes, I’m a big fan of Doctor Who as well and loved the references.

    Like

  2. Not just this issue, but the series as a whole comprise the best comics I’ve read in a very long time. I love Dan, but this is a rung above anything else he’s ever done.
    Thank you to all concerned with its creation

    Like

  3. I almost skipped this series because I am not much of an Allred fan. I have nothing bad to say about him or his art (the personality you see interviews says Allred is a great guy anyways) but it is very much not my taste at all. I only bought the series from issue one because I came across Dan Slott being an incredibly wonderful guy when another writer was being unfairly savaged by ‘fans’. I wanted to support that wonderful guy so I figured I’d buy his new series, despite also being bored to tears by most Silver Surfer stories. I’m glad I did because I loved every issue. Allred’s style grew on me some as he was perfect for this wonderful story and I won’t be avoiding his work on characters I like going forward. I didn’t like how it ended but I accept that it had to end that way and what I wished for would not have been a tenable finale.

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