@sog7dc: Requiem is great and the Surfer should always be portrayed as a serious character. Between a writer who has mostly written a wise-cracking Spider-Man and the cartoonish art, I obviouslt have reservations. Plus, that cover. Just the girl, the aliens and the title lettering and catch line just...
Certainly not crazy about the creative team. The writer everything about that cover says this isn't going to be the Silver Surfer I know and love. But I will give it a shot. I definitely hope I'm wrong.
@ericthomasanderson: Required reading as far as I am concerned would be Thanos Quest, Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity War & Warlock and the Infinity Watch (which has a lot of information about the powers and abilities of the gems). Any crossover books to those events could prove informative as well, including Warlock Chronicles.
Every time I see the gems used in the Avengers books, they often forget the source materials and those particular events, so they are often inconsistent. Thanos Imperative had nothing to do with the gems but is worth the read. Infinity isn't focused on the gems either, but I will say "yet." All but one of the gems were destroyed in the New Avengers, but Thanos is seeking them.