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May 4, 2010

Touring the Cosmos: Silver Surfer

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Written by: mike
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Fantastic Four #48

The Silver Surfer

First Appearance: Fantastic Four #48
Created By: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

After a short hiatus, we are back with Touring the Cosmos! Last time we looked at the intriguing introduction to the new title by Hickman and Weaver, S.H.I.E.L.D. If you take a look at the teaser there, you will see a silver skull on the table next to some sketches of Galactus. This now leads us to our look at our silver-skinned stud, The Silver Surfer.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to constantly be in a struggle for freedom? I mean, not being able to choose a career, what you eat, what you think, or even what to believe in. Well, unfortunately for Norrin Radd a.k.a. The Silver Surfer, this is the story of his life.

Norrin Radd was born on the planet Zenn-La. It was a wondrous planet with many technologies far ahead of Earth’s. Norrin had a keen mind, ready to explore the unknown and delve into mysteries that no one on Zenn-La had ever explored. The problem with this is that the citizens of Zenn-La were content with what they had, and had no interest in moving any further. They had mastered their own land, and wanted nothing to do with the reaches of space.

Norrin’s father was the only one who supported his studies. Norrin and his father had a special relationship. They both knew that Zenn-La was doomed if it did not evolve, and had a close relationship because of these common beliefs. This is why when Norrin found out his father had stolen an idea from a fellow researcher, he was crushed. Soon after, Norrin’s father then committed suicide, due to the shame.

On Zenn-La, Norrin only felt restriction. He was unable to further his life in any way because of the stagnant laws and life of Zenn-La. This turned Norrin into a cold person, very distant except from his lover, Shalla Bal.

This is why the day that the great shadow loomed over Zenn-La, Norrin would be willing to accept any fate except for the one he was destined to have on Zenn-La.

The great shadow has a name. Some know it as The Devourer, but most know it as Galactus. He who consumes worlds. Zenn-La had no way of defending itself against Galactus, and this led Norrin to make a deal with Galactus. In exchange for the safety of his planet, Norrin would be Galactus’s herald, searching out other worlds for him to consume to feed his appetite. Galactus agreed, and thus The Silver Surfer was born.

Norrin was transformed into a metallic-skinned being, given a surfboard for travel, and imbued with the Power Cosmic. His new job was to act in the name of Galactus, and heed his new master’s every word. At first Norrin believed this would be his ultimate release from his stale life on Zenn-La, but soon he found himself in another “prison.” Yes, he could travel the space ways, but was limited to acting within Galactus’s orders. The Silver Surfer soon became disconnected with his humanity, and became even colder than his former self.

This would all change when Surfer came across Earth. Here he saw love, hate, hope, rage, but ultimately, life and freedom. Initially, Earth was to be consumed by Galactus, but Norrin again rebelled against the system, and saved Earth from Galactus. He gave up his right to be herald, and sought the freedoms of Earth.

Again, the Surfer had made a mistake. Galactus, infuriated with the rebellion of his herald, created an invisible force around Earth, where Surfer was to forever be contained. At first, the Surfer was happy to be on Earth, experiencing and relishing in the freedom of its people. He joined The Defenders and developed relationships with many of Earth’s heroes. But he soon longed for the freedom of space. Teamed with The Fantastic Four, Surfer escaped from his captivity on Earth, and once again roamed free in space.

Wielding his Power Cosmic and riding atop his board, the Surfer was now held in check by no one but himself. During this time, he realized his true nemesis in Thanos. A veritable opposite, Surfer battled Thanos through the Infinity Gauntlet for the power of of the Infinity Gems. As well, a deviant from Galactus’s past named Tyrant also plagued Surfer and the other ex-heralds for a time.

After the death of his one-time lover Nova, Surfer traveled the space ways as a nomadic soul, helping whoever was in need as well as battling cosmic threats. Alas, through fate’s determination, Norrin was held captive once more. A portal which sucks those nearby through, landed Surfer onto the planet Sakaar. Weakened and drained, Surfer was implanted with an obedience disk by the Red King of Sakaar and forced to fight in the gladiatorial arena of Sakaar. Dubbed “The Silver Savage,” the Surfer found himself in battle with the Hulk and his Warbound. After defeat at the hands of the Hulk, the Surfer was able to actually help the Hulk, and deactivate and destroy all obedience disks in the hands of the Red King. The Surfer then left Sakaar, leaving in peace with the Hulk.

In another recent appearance, it appears as though Surfer is once again the herald of Galactus. Galactus and the Surfer are engaged in battle with Tenebrous and Aegis, two beings of immense power. Alongside Thanos, the two Proemial Gods manage to capture Galactus and Surfer, and use them to power Annihilus’s machines of war. Drax, whose sole mission is to kill Thanos, succeeds in doing so, and in turn frees Surfer.

Once again a herald of Galactus, The Silver Surfer is trapped to do the bidding of another. For a being who only longs for freedom, he seems to be only able to find captivity. Is the Surfer doomed to forever be a thrall, or will he finally find peace, and at what price?

Mike Parente



  1. Finally picked up Silver Surfer: Requiem…wow a great story for a great character

  2. Eli

    Nice job with Surfer Mike, he’s one of my favorites. His relationship with Galactus over the years has been very interesting. They’ve been father/son, master/slave, and even partners in a way. I still find the interactions between the two of them in the Annihilation story arc to be great. Especially him telling Ravenous that Galactus forgave him, and then proceeding to completely own his negative zone behind, real good stuff.

  3. Aron

    Nice job! The Surfer is one of my all-time favorites. I wish he was around a lot more, though. JMS’s Requiem was freakin’ awesome! In Thy Name, was just garbage, from story to art. I don’t know why I kept buying it from beginning to end.

  4. Billy

    Love the Surfer! His feud with Thanos is legendary!

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