|First appearance||The Fantastic Four #48 (March 1966)|
|Created by||Jack Kirby|
|Alter ego||Norrin Radd|
|Place of origin||Zenn-La|
|Team affiliations||Heralds of Galactus|
The Silver Surfer is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character also appears in a number of movies, television, and video game adaptations. The character was created by Jack Kirby and first appeared in the comic book Fantastic Four #48, published in 1966.
The Silver Surfer is a humanoid alien with metallic skin who can travel through space with the aid of his surfboard-like craft. Originally a young astronomer named Norrin Radd on the planet Zenn-La, he saved his homeworld from the planet devourer, Galactus, by serving as his herald. Imbued in return with some portion of Galactus' Power Cosmic, Radd acquired vast power, a new body and a surfboard-like craft on which he could travel faster than light. Now known as the Silver Surfer, Radd roamed the cosmos searching for planets for Galactus to consume. When his travels took him to Earth, he met the Fantastic Four, who helped him rediscover his nobility of spirit. Betraying Galactus, the Surfer saved Earth but was exiled there as punishment.
In 2011, IGN ranked Silver Surfer 41st in its "Top 100 Comic Heroes" list. He was portrayed by Doug Jones and voiced by Laurence Fishburne in the 2007 film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
The Silver Surfer debuted as an unplanned addition to the superhero-team comic Fantastic Four #48 (March 1966). The comic's writer-editor, Stan Lee, and its penciller and co-plotter, Jack Kirby, had, by the mid-1960s, developed a collaborative technique known as the "Marvel Method": the two would discuss story ideas, Kirby working from a brief synopsis to draw the individual scenes and plot details, with Lee finally adding the dialogue and captions. When Kirby turned in his pencil art for the story, he included a new character he and Lee had not discussed. As Lee recalled in 1995, "There, in the middle of the story we had so carefully worked out, was a nut on some sort of flying surfboard". He later expanded on this, recalling, "I thought, 'Jack, this time you've gone too far'". Kirby explained that the story's agreed-upon antagonist, a god-like cosmic predator of planets named Galactus, should have some sort of herald, and that he created the surfboard "because I'm tired of drawing spaceships!" Taken by the noble features of the new character, who turned on his master to help defend Earth, Lee overcame his initial skepticism and began adding characterization. The Silver Surfer soon became a key part of the unfolding story.
Following the Surfer's debut, Lee and Kirby brought him back as a recurring guest in Fantastic Four #55–61, 72, and 74–77 (ranging Oct. 1966 – Aug. 1968). The character made his solo debut in the backup story of Fantastic Four Annual #5 (Nov. 1967).
The following year, Lee launched the solo title The Silver Surfer. John Buscema was penciller for the first 17 issues of the series, with Kirby returning for the 18th and final issue. The first seven issues, which included anthological "Tales of the Watcher" backup stories, were 72-page (with advertising), 25-cent "giants", as opposed to the typical 36-page, 12-cent comics of the time. Thematically, the stories dealt with the Surfer's exile on Earth and the inhumanity of man as observed by this noble yet fallen hero. Though short-lived, the series became known as one of Lee's most thoughtful and introspective works.
Following his series' cancellation, the Surfer made sporadic appearances as a guest star or antagonist in such comic books as Thor, The Defenders, and Fantastic Four. Lee remained partial to the Surfer, even asking other writers not to use him as a general rule, and with Kirby collaborated on a seminal 1978 graphic novel starring the character, the only original story featured in the Marvel Fireside Books series.
Initially written by Steve Englehart, the series was to be set on Earth and one issue was completed under this premise before Marvel agreed to let Englehart remove the long-standing restriction regarding Silver Surfer being imprisoned on Earth. This first issue was shelved and a brand new first issue was written, to set up this plot twist; the original first issue would ultimately be reprinted in Marvel Fanfare #51. The series marked the first Silver Surfer stories not written by Stan Lee, a fact which Lee was openly unhappy about. He explained:
After I gave up Spider-Man then someone else did Spider-Man, and someone else did the Fantastic Four and Doctor Strange and the X-Men and all of them. I felt that it was kind of nice for me to have been the only writer of the Silver Surfer, so I felt a little bit disappointed when somebody else did it. I would have liked to have been the only person. Had I known they were absolutely going to have the book done, I would have found the time to do it myself. I didn't really have time but I would have made the time, rather than have anybody else do it. ... this is not at all a criticism of Steve [Englehart] or of Marshall [Rogers, artist on the series], it's just that it's one book that I would have liked to have always done myself. [emphases in original]
Englehart introduced many villains for Silver Surfer, as well as featured space politics involving Surfer's homeworld Zenn-La, which was caught in the middle of a renewed Kree–Skrull War. However, issues regarding Englehart wanting to use his Avengers character Mantis as Silver Surfer's companion, as well as editorial refusing to let him use Thanos or other concepts conceived by Jim Starlin, led Englehart to leave the book with issue #31. Starlin took over as writer with issue #34 after several fill-in issues, and incorporated Thanos, Adam Warlock, and Drax the Destroyer into the series.
Under Jim Starlin and later Ron Marz, the series would receive acclaim and sales boost due to Silver Surfer's involvement with Starlin's Infinity Trilogy, with George Pérez and J. M. DeMatteis also having brief writing stints on the series as well. Additional artists included Tom Grindberg, Ron Garney, and Jon J. Muth, as well as periodic guest spots by John Buscema. The title experienced great initial success which allowed Marvel to push the character into other media, including a 1990 video game, 1992 trading card set, and 1998 animated series, as well as spinning off a variety of other comics series including Cosmic Powers, Cosmic Powers Unlimited, Captain Marvel vol. 2, and Star Masters. It ran 146 issues, through 1998. The next year it was followed by the two-issue miniseries, Silver Surfer: Loftier Than Mortals.
A two-issue Silver Surfer miniseries (later collected as Silver Surfer: Parable), scripted by Lee and drawn by Moebius, was published through Marvel's Epic Comics imprint in 1988 and 1989. Because of inconsistencies with other stories, it has been argued that these stories actually feature an alternate Silver Surfer from a parallel Earth. This miniseries won the Eisner Award for best finite/limited series in 1989.
A new ongoing Silver Surfer series began in 2003, focusing on the character's alien nature and messianic allegory. It lasted 14 issues. The Surfer later appeared in an issue of Cable & Deadpool and has been reunited three times with the superhero group the Defenders. In 2006–2007, he starred in the four-issue miniseries Annihilation: Silver Surfer and co-starred in the miniseries Heralds of Galactus, both part of the Annihilation fictional crossover.
In 2007, the Silver Surfer starred in a four-issue miniseries Silver Surfer: Requiem by writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Esad Ribic. The first issue was released May 30, 2007 to coincide with the character's first movie appearance. Published under the Marvel Knights imprint, Silver Surfer: Requiem portrays the character upon learning that he is dying as the silver shell he is encased in is deteriorating.
The Silver Surfer received a sixth volume, an eponymous 5-issue miniseries written by Pak, debuting in February 2011. He was also a core cast member in The Thanos Imperative (2010), Annihilators (2011), and Fear Itself: The Deep (2011). Beginning in 2011, the Silver Surfer began appearing regularly in The Mighty Thor and a new volume of Defenders, both written by Matt Fraction.
In March 2014, Silver Surfer volume 7 began as part of All-New Marvel NOW! by writer Dan Slott, artist Mike Allred, and colorist Laura Allred. In January 2016 Silver Surfer volume 8 began with a special 50th-anniversary edition expected release in March 2016.
In 2019, a 5 part mini-series titled Silver Surfer: Black was released featuring art from Tradd Moore in collaboration with writing from Donny Cates. The series is an extension of a Guardians of the Galaxy storyline which the Surfer was sucked into a black hole and ejected into unfamiliar space territory. This run follows the Surfer as he traverses the spaceways on a journey back home.
Fictional character biography
Norrin Radd is from the utopian planet Zenn-La, in the Deneb star system of the Milky Way galaxy. He is the son of Jartran and Elmar Radd, and he has a half-brother, Fennan Radd. Zenn-La's ancient and significantly advanced civilization has lost the will to strive or explore, leaving the young scholar Norrin Radd restless and yearning for adventure. Facing the destruction of his world by planet-consuming Galactus, Radd bargains with the cosmic being. In return for the safety of Zenn-La and his lover, Shalla-Bal, Radd pledges to seek out planets for the world devourer to consume as his herald. Galactus imbues him with a portion of the Power Cosmic, transforming him into the Silver Surfer. Radd had intended to lead Galactus to uninhabited planets, but Galactus tampers with his soul to prevent this.
Radd serves Galactus for an unspecified amount of time. Eventually, the Surfer summons his master to Earth. Here the Surfer meets the Fantastic Four and Alicia Masters. Touched by their nobility, he rebels against Galactus, who is eventually driven off. Before he leaves, he confines the Surfer to Earth with an invisible barrier that affects only him.
During his exile, the Surfer fights numerous villains, including Doctor Doom, who wants his Power Cosmic, and Mephisto, who wants his soul. The Surfer's only ally during these trials is a physicist by the name of Al B. Harper, who eventually sacrifices himself to save the world from the Stranger.
Banding together with the Hulk and Namor during these wanderings, the Surfer forms the "Titans Three", a group dedicated to battling evil on Earth. Soon, Doctor Strange joins the group and it becomes "The Defenders." Surfer stays with them for a while, but his overwhelming desire to be free of Earth and his frequent collisions with Galactus's energy-draining barrier eventually drives him to leave the group.[volume & issue needed]
The Surfer finally pierces Galactus's barrier with the aid of Reed Richards and temporarily escapes Earth. He discovers, though, that his homeworld has been ravaged by Galactus and Shalla-Bal has been abducted by Mephisto and taken to Earth. Even though it means trapping himself once more, the Surfer returns to Earth to battle and defeat Mephisto. Before being vanquished, Mephisto sends Shalla-Bal back to Zenn-La, but the Surfer manages to endow her with a portion of his Power Cosmic, which she uses to revitalize the plant life of their ravaged homeworld.
After the Surfer aids the Fantastic Four against Galactus's latest herald Terrax, The Surfer eventually pierces Galactus's barrier by acting on a suggestion of trying to pass through on a spaceship instead of via his own power on his surfboard. He also makes peace with Galactus by rescuing current herald Nova from the Skrulls. Galactus declares the Surfer's exile ended. The Surfer immediately revisits his homeworld, but Shalla-Bal, in his absence, had become empress of the rejuvenated Zenn-La and is unable to renew their romance.
Embroiled in fresh hostilities between the interstellar Kree and Skrull empires, the Surfer also intervenes in a series of plots by the Elders of the Universe, who plan to become supremely powerful by destroying Galactus and the universe with him. The Surfer thwarts this plot with the aid of his new love interest, Mantis, the Earth-born cosmic heroine also known as the "Celestial Madonna". She seems to die in the process, and although she eventually returns, she never fully renews their romance. After this loss, a grief-stricken Surfer turns to Nova and romantic feelings begin to develop between them. The Surfer's influence gradually leads Nova to question the morality of her role as herald to Galactus. Eventually replaced by the far more ruthless Morg, Nova dies in a conflict between the new herald and the Surfer and the other ex-heralds.
The Surfer repeatedly battles space-born menaces, the chief of whom is Thanos, who attempts to kill half the life in the universe using the omnipotent Infinity Gauntlet. Through Thanos, the Surfer learns how Galactus had altered his soul. He convinces Galactus to restore it, but once Galactus has done so, the Surfer is overcome with grief until he is able to forgive himself. The Surfer finds interstellar allies in Adam Warlock's Infinity Watch and the "Star Masters" team, and he begins attending occasional Defenders reunions.
The Surfer returns home to Zenn-La to find that the planet has vanished, and learns it was actually destroyed in the 1940s (Earth time) by the entity known as the Other. Zenn-La and its people which the Surfer repeatedly encountered since leaving Galactus's service were actually reproductions, created by Galactus so that the Surfer would have a home to return to. Losing his capacity for emotion again, the Surfer returns to Earth. He later regains his personality during a time-travel adventure and sharing a romance with Alicia Masters. The two ultimately part as friends after many adventures together.
Later, the Surfer works with the alien Annunaki race to gather and protect some of Earth's most extraordinarily gifted children. In the end, one of these children, Ellie Waters, saves Earth from the godlike Marduk entity, preventing the Apocalypse and reordering reality as if the Marduk crisis had never happened (though Ellie alone apparently retains her memories of these events). The Surfer resumes his interstellar wanderings, but promises to be ready to aid his adopted homeworld should Earth ever need him.
During his travels, the Surfer is captured by a portal of the Sakaar Empire. Left weakened and vulnerable by his trip through the portal, the Surfer is subdued and implanted with an obedience disk to ensure he remains loyal to them. Fighting as a gladiator (and believed to be the fabled 'Sakaarson' due to his appearance), the Surfer is finally forced to face the Hulk along with his Warbound. Through teamwork and distraction, the Hulk is eventually able to destroy the Surfer's obedience disk. The Hulk and several other slaves and gladiators are freed when the Surfer uses the Power Cosmic to remove their own obedience disks and give them a way out of the arena, although the Hulk declines the Surfer's offer to take him back to Earth.
During the Annihilation war, the Silver Surfer again becomes Galactus's herald to help save the universe from the despot Annihilus. Annihilus captures them and gives them to Thanos for experimentation. Drax the Destroyer frees the Surfer, who in turn frees Galactus. An enraged Galactus destroys more than half the Annihilation Wave, and Annihilus is defeated. Later, the Surfer is joined as herald by Stardust, a former herald the Surfer had replaced.
The Silver Surfer leads the world devourer to the populated planet Orbucen, which brings him into conflict with Richard Rider. He delays the planetary destruction to give the inhabitants more time to evacuate.
The Silver Surfer returns to Sakaar in a plan to feed Galactus with the unique "Old Power" which he claims would sate his master's hunger for thousands of years, sparing many other inhabited worlds. He is opposed by the Hulk's son, Skaar, and is enslaved by an obedience disc. The conflict is ended when Skaar's mother Caiera sacrifices her soul and Old Power as sustenance for Galactus. Unfortunately, Galactus now seems addicted to the Old Power and has begun searching for other planets containing it to sate himself.
After an encounter with the High Evolutionary, the Silver Surfer and Galactus battled Thor and the Asgardians. The battle ended when the Silver Surfer chose to leave his post as herald and guard an Asgardian artifact. Galactus "tethers" him to Asgard's location in Oklahoma, resulting in his powers waning the further he travels from Asgard, and grants him the ability to return to human form.
Silver Surfer and Dawn meet Glorian the Maker of Miracles, who plans to rebuild our universe for the heroes to return to after they finish in Battleworld. Glorian has also enlisted the help of the Shaper of Worlds. Glorian then greeted Silver Surfer and Dawn with a tantalizing offer: ally with the Shaper of Worlds to rebuild the universe that was lost. Dawn agreed to use her memories to restore Earth while Silver Surfer left to restore the rest of the universe, but Silver Surfer unmade Galactus while Dawn unknowingly created another version of Norrin. The Shaper of Worlds is not happy with the changes. Dawn and the Surfer embark on more adventures which culminate in their entering a universe predating the main continuity.[volume & issue needed]
Powers and abilities
The Silver Surfer wields the Power Cosmic, granting him superhuman strength, endurance, and senses and the ability to absorb and manipulate the universe's ambient energy. The Surfer can navigate through interstellar space and hyperspace, which he can enter after exceeding the speed of light allowing traversing interstellar and intergalactic distances to other galaxies millions and even billions of light years away. He has proven capable of time travel on several occasions and can transport other people through time.
The Surfer sustains himself by converting matter into energy; he does not require food, water, air, or sleep, but occasionally enters a sleep-like meditation to dream. He can survive in nearly any known natural environment, including deep space, hyperspace, black holes and stars. The Surfer can project energy in various forms for offensive and defensive use, including force fields, bolts of cosmic force powerful enough to destroy entire planets, and create black holes. He can utilize the Power Cosmic to augment his superhuman strength to indeterminate levels. The Surfer can heal living organisms, though he cannot raise the dead, and he has proven capable of revitalizing and evolving organic life on a planet-wide scale. He can cast illusions, create interdimensional portals to other locations including microverses, manipulate and phase through solid matter, and exercise some level of control over the astral plane. However, when using these abilities, this results in him becoming greatly weakened, making the use of these abilities limited.
His senses enable him to detect objects and concentrations of energy light years away and to perceive matter and energy in subatomic detail, including life energies of living beings. The Surfer can even see through time, and can achieve limited perception of past and future events in his general vicinity with concentration. He has demonstrated telepathic ability, including mind-reading, and can influence human emotion and sensation.
The Surfer's board is composed of a nearly impervious, cosmically powered silvery material similar to his own skin. The board is mentally linked to the Surfer and moves in response to his mental commands even when he is not in physical contact with it. The board is nearly indestructible, but on the rare occasions it has been damaged or destroyed, the Surfer can repair or recreate it with little effort. The Surfer can attack opponents by directing the board against them, and the board is capable of temporarily absorbing and imprisoning other beings.
When Galactus exiled the Surfer to Earth, his means of imprisonment was linked to the board. When the Surfer and the Fantastic Four realized this, the Surfer put it to the test by leaving the board planet-side and entering space in the Four's spacecraft. Once he was free of Earth, the Surfer remotely converted the board to energy, recalled it to him, and reformed it in space.
The Surfer has displayed the ability to shed his silver skin and revert to his original appearance as Norrin Radd, masking the Power Cosmic and allowing him to be more inconspicuous when needed. In this state, he can properly eat, drink and sleep.
Warren Ellis's Ultimate Galactus Trilogy originally suggested that the Ultimates' ally the Vision was the herald of Galactus, a robotic probe that travels through space warning civilizations of the impending arrival of Gah Lak Tus. In the final miniseries of the trilogy, Ultimate Extinction, silvery humanoids began to appear, sent to trigger mass suicides in order to reduce the population's resistance. Suicide cults founded by the creatures began to appear all across the globe as Gah Lak Tus drew near. These silvery beings had the ability to grow wings; morph into an ovoid; form spikes; or take an intermediary form, gliding on an oval surface. They also demonstrated the ability to manipulate large quantities of energy.
In Ultimate Fantastic Four #42, another Ultimate incarnation of the Silver Surfer appears, called the Silver Searcher. He is teleported to Earth after Reed mistakes him for a star that he is trying to harness. His appearance triggers planet-wide chaos and natural calamities. In #43, Reed comments that Gah Lak Tus seems to have modeled its drones on this surfer, and he gives his name as Norin Radd. The Searcher states that he will summon his "master", who will make the population of the Earth happier than they have ever been.
In #44, the Surfer's master is revealed to be Zenn-La's ruler, Revka Temerlune Edifex Scyros III, "the king without enemies", who uses mind-control to make the population of Earth worship him (before it takes effect on the Fantastic Four, the Human Torch calls him "Psycho-Man"). It is revealed that the Surfer has been exiled from Zenn-La for destroying the control that Psycho-Man had over Zenn-La, but because of finding Earth for his master to "save" he may return. After Psycho-Man gains domain over Earth, the Silver Surfer, temporarily imprisoned in his own 'memorial' statue, rescues Mr. Fantastic, tells him his story, and asks him to save Earth. The Surfer then helps the Fantastic Four defeat other Surfer-like assassins of Psycho-Man. With the Surfers beaten and the insane Psycho-Man reprogrammed to experience the unthinking happiness he had imposed on others, Silver Surfer wanders the space ways.
In Ultimate X-Men, Jean Grey as Phoenix travels through space and is stopped by what is named as "A Silver Surfer". He informs Phoenix that the Watchers disapprove of the problems her flight across the universe is causing and briefly battles her before asking what she is looking for.
On Earth 552, Norrin Radd had been a great military scientist who accidentally destroyed his own world with his greatest invention. Determined to bring it back to existence, he approached Galactus, Restorer of Worlds, and became his herald in the hope that Galactus would resurrect his world in exchange for his service. However, Galactus had taken an oath to only revive those worlds destroyed by the Blight. An enraged Silver Surfer then turned against his master, destroying those who worshiped him and attempting to kill Galactus himself in order to steal the knowledge of world restoration. This led to the destruction of Earth, the coming of the Exiles, the deaths of the Shi'ar Imperial Elite Guard, and inevitably the Surfer's own destruction at the claws of a cosmically empowered Sabretooth.
The Silver Surfer remains uninfected in the Marvel Zombies on Earth-2149. Instead of coming to Earth and meeting the Fantastic Four, he is attacked by a horde of zombies. After fighting valiantly, he is killed by the Hulk, and his body is devoured by a few of the zombies (Hulk, Colonel America, Giant-Man, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Wolverine, and Spider-Man). His corpse grants the zombies a portion each of his cosmic powers, which they use to kill all of the other zombie heroes and villains whom they consider "competition" for what's left of the living. Afterwards, Pym creates a machine that concentrates the Cosmic powers they all share to create a massive blast that kills Galactus, at which point they eat him. Now imbued with the power of Galactus himself (and realizing they can now fly and survive in space), they adopt his role, traveling the universe and picking worlds clean of life.
During the finale of Last Planet Standing, the Silver Surfer foils Galactus's plan to create a new Big Bang, merging with Galactus himself in the process to become a new being. Gaining control of Galactus's powers, the new entity undoes the damage done by the old Galactus.
In the alternate timeline of Earth-691, notably the Guardians of the Galaxy issues #24 and #25 story arc, Norrin Radd was featured as The Keeper. This new version of the Silver Surfer, sans his surfboard, had Quantum Bands, which augmented his "Power Cosmic" and designated him as the Protector of the Universe, as with other bearers of the Bands before him. He works with the Guardians in an attempt to kill Galactus once and for all, his first attempt with Firelord and Dargo-Thor having failed. Eventually, the Keeper realizes that, with his augmented power, he can supply Galactus with the energy he needs and end the Planet-Eater's consumption of worlds. Eon, cosmic being and creator of the Quantum Bands, reveals that this was the ultimate purpose of the Keeper becoming the Protector of the Universe, and he enters into a symbiotic partnership with Galactus, who accepts the Keeper as an equal; he is last seen leaving with Galactus, riding a silver surfboard once more.
In issue 11 and 12 of the Earth X series, Black Bolt calls upon Galactus to come destroy the Celestial seed growing within Earth. The Silver Surfer accompanies him along with his love Shalla-Bal, who had now been turned into a silver herald of Galactus as well.
Green Lantern/Silver Surfer: Unholy Alliances
In Green Lantern/Silver Surfer: Unholy Alliances, the Silver Surfer confronts Cyborg Superman over the destruction of a planet and is met by Parallax. Parallax beats the Cyborg, but the Silver Surfer lets him go and tries to sympathize with Parallax. The two return to Earth to find Kyle Rayner with Thanos, leading them to believe they formed an alliance when in reality Thanos tricked Kyle. Kyle convinces the Surfer to help him stop Parallax and Thanos from destroying the universe and that he was duped into giving Thanos Oa's power. The Surfer similarly gave most of his power to Parallax to reform the destroyed planet, forcing Kyle to use his ring to drain both villains of their enhanced powers before they can destroy everything. Unable to contain the power himself, Kyle channels the power from the two villains into the Silver Surfer, who opens a portal and sucks the two inside.
Silver Surfer was featured in different issues of What If?
- One issue of What If? revolving around Atlantis Attacks had Silver Surfer and Quasar as the survivors of an attack by Set. With the help of Thor (who is horribly burned and placed in stasis to keep him alive), Silver Surfer and Quasar destroy two of Set's heads before Quasar (empowered by the Uni-Power) sacrifices his freedom to exile himself and Set inside Doctor Strange's Eye of Agamotto. Silver Surfer gives the Eye of Agamotto to Uatu the Watcher for safekeeping as Set's children are born.
- Another issue of What If? revolved around the Cosmic Carnage where the Carnage symbiote remained bonded to the Surfer, forcing Spider-Man and the Avengers to battle him until Firestar was able to use her powers to disrupt the symbiote's control over the Surfer. After his powers were used to destroy dozens of New York City blocks and realizing that there was only one way to stop the symbiote, the Silver Surfer flew himself into the sun, seemingly destroying both himself and the creature.
- In What If? vol. 2 #49, the title is "What If the Silver Surfer Possessed the Infinity Gauntlet?" In the original Infinity Gauntlet story arc, the Silver Surfer plays the role of messenger, having witnessed firsthand the resurrection of Thanos and the beginning of his quest to obtain the six Infinity Gems (as told in The Thanos Quest miniseries). In this issue, the story of the Gauntlet is partially retold and shows Thanos in space with the Gauntlet, ruling over all existence. In the original Infinity Gauntlet story, Nebula intercepts the gauntlet from Thanos; however, in What If? vol. 2 #49, the Surfer takes the gauntlet and wears it himself. Initially, the Surfer tries to use the gauntlet for good, but ultimately the supreme power of the gauntlet forces the Surfer to destroy it in order to avoid becoming corrupted by it. Prior to destroying the gauntlet, the Surfer creates a distant planet for himself and Shalla Bal (his wife) to reside on for all time and the Surfer returns to his human form of Norrin Radd. This story is told from the perspective of the Watcher who continually observes the universe and refuses to interfere in the natural unfolding of things.
In Warren Ellis's Ruins, the Silver Surfer is briefly seen when described by Mar-Vell to reporter Phil Sheldon. When the Kree Liberation Force set forth to invade Earth, they found the floating mutilated corpse of the Surfer near Earth's moon. Mar-Vell says that he and his comrades concluded that the Surfer had been driven mad because of his lack of need for oxygen and clawed open his chest in order to expose his lungs to the atmosphere, but died of shock.
In other media
- Silver Surfer's first animated appearance was in Hanna-Barbera's Fantastic Four animated series (which closely followed the Marvel comic story), voiced by Vic Perrin.
- Silver Surfer also made several appearances in the 1994 version of the animated series (that was part of The Marvel Action Hour), voiced by Robin Sachs in the first season, then Edward Albert in the last episode of the second. This series stayed true to the original comic book story, recounting Surfer and Galactus's coming to Earth in a two-part episode as well as Doctor Doom's theft of the Surfer's powers.
- In 1998, Silver Surfer starred in a solo animated series on Fox, voiced by Paul Essiembre. Blending cel and computer animation, this series was rendered in the style of Surfer creator Jack Kirby. Further adventures included appearances by many characters from Marvel's "cosmic" stable, including Thanos, Uatu the Watcher, Ego the Living Planet, Mentor, Drax the Destroyer, Pip the Troll, Nebula, and the Kree and Skrull empires. Despite solid ratings, it was canceled after one 13-episode season due to Marvel Comics' bankruptcy at the time.
- Silver Surfer appears in The Super Hero Squad Show, voiced by Mikey Kelley. This version of the character has a literal "surfer dude" accent, although later episodes place him under the influence of the Infinity Gems and Sword and he develops a Dark Surfer persona. This persona takes control of the Surfer in the second half of season 2. As the Dark Surfer, he steals the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos, seals him up in the Soul Gem, and combines its power with that of the first season's powerful item of focus, the Infinity Sword. Then he uses the power of both items to destroy two-thirds of the universe, separate the members of the Squad across the multiverse, and send Earth farther away from the Sun, so the planet could freeze to death. Once the Squad reunites, they make it their goal to stop the Dark Surfer. In the final episode, his Dark Surfer persona is destroyed and he is purified when his powerful items are shattered into numerous Infinity Fractals and spread across the universe, all while repairing the damage the Dark Surfer caused. Back to normal, the Silver Surfer apologizes for his behavior as the Dark Surfer and he promises to rejoin the Squad, after he pays his debt.
- Silver Surfer appears in the Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode "Fear Itself", voiced by Brent Spiner. There is a reference by Hulk that Silver Surfer is an old friend of his. The Agents of S.M.A.S.H. encounter Silver Surfer where he is fighting Null and is accidentally knocked out by the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. When Silver Surfer regains consciousness, he helps the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. fight Null. After Null is defeated, Silver Surfer closes the wormhole to Earth from the other side where he vows to the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. that he will tell all of Earth about their heroics against Null.
- In the 1983 film Breathless, Jesse Lujack (Richard Gere) is a drifter in Las Vegas, obsessed with the Silver Surfer, the rock and roll music of Jerry Lee Lewis and Monica Poiccard (Valérie Kaprisky), a UCLA architecture undergraduate whom he knows only from a weekend fling in Vegas. The Silver Surfer was the primary inspiration for Lujack's strong sense of love, loyalty, identity, free-spirit, and self-determinism at all costs, even to the point of self-destruction.
- In 1989, Erik Fleming, then a film student from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and Robert Letterman approached Marvel Studios and Constantin Film's producer Bernd Eichinger to ask permission to make a short film featuring the Silver Surfer, as a proof of concept for the use of CGI in creating a realistic silver-colored human figure. Supervised by Steven Robiner, this 5-minute short film, completed in 1991, not long after the release of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, that featured a similarly rendered character, and premiered at First Look USC Film Festival on September 21, 1993, led to significant interest from major studios in a feature-length Silver Surfer project. Andrew Kevin Walker wrote a script for 20th Century Fox in 2000, but nothing ever came of it.
- The Silver Surfer made his film debut in 20th Century Fox's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, the 2007 sequel to the 2005 film Fantastic Four. Doug Jones played the Surfer on set, and a computer simulation enhanced the reflective look of his prosthetics. Laurence Fishburne provided the character's voice. The same year, 20th Century Fox hired J. Michael Straczynski to write the screenplay for a spin-off film. Straczynski said his script was a sequel, but would also delve into the Surfer's origins. In mid-2009, Straczynski expressed doubts that spin-off would be produced. In this continuity, the Surfer's origins and powers are similar to those of his comic-book incarnation, in that he agrees to become Galactus's herald in return for the safety of his home world and the woman he loved. Also, if the Surfer is separated from his board, he becomes weaker; in addition, the board also serves as a beacon for Galactus.
- In February 2018, it was reported that 20th Century Fox was developing a Silver Surfer solo film with writer Brian K. Vaughan working on a script. Disney acquired 20th Century Fox in March 2019, meaning that the film rights to the Silver Surfer are now with Marvel Studios. In September 2019, The GWW reported that Marvel Studios is now developing the solo movie.
- The Silver Surfer video game, developed by Software Creations, Ltd., debuted on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1990. The game is notorious for its unforgiving and extremely steep difficulty.
- Silver Surfer has also appeared in other video games, often cast as a villain. For example, Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems for the SNES features evil clones of the Silver Surfer as enemies.
- Silver Surfer is a bonus character in the game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, voiced by Chris Cox. He can be unlocked by completing all of the simulation disks. He also appears briefly as a non-player ally during the player's visit to the unnamed Skrull homeworld and helps them fight Galactus.
- Silver Surfer appeared in the video game adaptation of the movie Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, voiced by Brian Bloom, developed by Visual Concepts of 2K Sports. It was released in June 2007 to coincide with the film's.
- Silver Surfer appears in three games based on the Marvel Super Hero Squad animated series:
- He is also a playable character in Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Video Game voiced by Mikey Kelley.
- Mikey Kelley reprises his role of the Silver Surfer, who is a non-playable character and final boss in Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet. He is shown in the possession of the Infinity Sword while guiding Galactus to uninhabited planets when he hears about the Infinity Gems.
- The Silver Surfer is a playable character in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, voiced again by Mikey Kelley, appearing both as his standard self and his Dark Surfer alter-ego.
- Silver Surfer appears as board artwork in the Fantastic Four virtual pinball game for Pinball FX 2 released by Zen Studios.
- Silver Surfer appears in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by James Arnold Taylor. When looking for a planet to feed Galactus, Silver Surfer arrives on Earth where he is pursued by Iron Man and S.H.I.E.L.D. until he is knocked out of the sky by Doctor Doom with his surfboard shattering into several "Cosmic Bricks" that fall onto the Earth. Silver Surfer ends up rescued by the Fantastic Four and Nick Fury, and recuperating on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, while S.H.I.E.L.D. and the heroes look for the Cosmic Bricks to put his surfboard back together. He later reveals that he overheard Loki's plan to use the Cosmic Bricks for his own nefarious scheme. With all the Cosmic Bricks collected and reassembled back into his surfboard after Galactus and Loki are teleported to an unknown area, Silver Surfer thanks the heroes for defeating Galactus and departs on his surfboard into deep space promising to lead Galactus away from Earth.
- Silver Surfer was a playable character in Gazillion's free-to-play Marvel Heroes. However, due to legal reasons regarding his connection to the Fantastic Four comics, he was removed from the game on July 1, 2017.
- Silver Surfer appears as a playable skin in Fortnite Battle Royale. His surfboard also appears as a usable item in-game, and as a cosmetic-only glider.
In addition to his history of publication in comic books, the Silver Surfer has appeared or starred in several prose fiction books:
- The Surfer was the subject of an anthology of short prose fiction stories titled The Ultimate Silver Surfer, edited by Stan Lee and published by Berkley (October 1997, softcover, 306 pages, ISBN 978-1-57297-299-5). This book (and others starring Spider-Man and the X-Men, with similar titles) pre-dated Marvel's use of the "Ultimate" brand name in comics.
- The Surfer appeared again in prose fiction in Fantastic Four: Redemption of the Silver Surfer by Michael Jan Friedman in 1998, also published by Berkley (April 1998, softcover, 260 pages, ISBN 978-0-425-16489-1).
- The Silver Surfer's first film appearance was adapted into a novel in Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer by writer Daniel Joseph, published by Pocket Star (April 2007, softcover, 272 pages, ISBN 978-1-4165-4809-6).
The United States Postal Service, in November 2007, released a series of 41¢ stamps honoring Marvel comics. One stamp shows the Silver Surfer on his board, and another features the cover of the first issue of the 1968 series.
The Silver Surfer appears on the cover of the Joe Satriani album Surfing with the Alien. Satriani was actually unfamiliar with the character at the time; the album's production manager suggested the character's usage. However, later compositions by Satriani were inspired by the Surfer mythos: "Back to Shalla-Bal", on Flying in a Blue Dream; and "The Power Cosmic 2000", a two-part song on Engines of Creation.
The Silver Surfer has appeared in several Marvel-based action figure and toy lines, including one celebrating the 30th anniversary of the character's first appearance, and three based on the 1998 animated series.
- The Silver Surfer is the seventh figurine in the Classic Marvel Figurine Collection.
- Hasbro released the Silver Surfer in its Marvel Universe toyline both individually and included with Marvel Masterworks Galactus. A "clear" variant was released with the "dark" variant of Galactus.
- Silver Surfer is a playable character in the "Avengers", "Critical Mass", "Supernova", and "Galactic Guardians" sets of Marvel HeroClix.
He has also appeared in many of Marvel's other trading card sets, notably each of the Marvel Universe Cards, Marvel Masterpieces, and Marvel Flair Cards trading card series as well as the Marvel OverPower trading card game.
The Silver Surfer was ranked as the 47th-greatest comic book character of all time by Wizard magazine. IGN also ranked the Silver Surfer as the 41st-greatest comic book hero quoting that "Silver Surfer has the coolest mode of transportation this side of Ghost Rider, but his powers come with a heavy burden."
The 2014 series was given a negative review by Newsarama's Pierce Lydon, who cites Laura Allred's coloring as the issue's biggest flaw. Iann Robinson, writing for CraveOnline, said the issue misses the point of the Silver Surfer character altogether. ComicBooked writer Cal Cleary gave the issue a perfect score, citing deep characterization and intricate design, praise largely echoed by Comics Alliance's Matt D. Wilson.
The character's various series have been collected into the following trade paperbacks:
- Silver Surfer Omnibus (collects Silver Surfer vol. 1 #1–18, Fantastic Four Annual #5 and Not Brand Echh #13, 576 pages, hardcover, Marvel Comics, June 2007, ISBN 0-7851-2753-4)
- Marvel Masterworks: The Silver Surfer (Marvel Comics):
- Essential Silver Surfer (Marvel Comics):
- Epic Collection: Silver Surfer
- Volume 1: When Calls Galactus (collects Fantastic Four #48–50, #55, #57–60, #72, #74–77, and material from Tales to Astonish #92–93 and Fantastic Four #56, #61 and Annual #5, November 14, Marvel Comics, ISBN 978-0785190028)
- Volume 3: Freedom (collects Silver Surfer (1982) #1, Silver Surfer (1987) #1–14, Super-Villain Classics #1; material from Epic Illustrated #1, Marvel Fanfare (1982) #51, November 2015, Marvel Comics, ISBN 978-0-7851-9903-8)
- Volume 6: Thanos Quest (collects Silver Surfer (1987) #39–50, Annual #3; Thanos Quest #1–2; material from Marvel Comics Presents (1988) #50, ISBN 978-1302911867)
- Volume 7: The Infinity Gauntlet (collects Silver Surfer (1987) #51–66, Annual #4; and material from Marvel Comics Presents #69, #93–97, May 2017, Marvel Comics, ISBN 978-1-3029-0711-2)
- Volume 13: Inner Demons (collects Silver Surfer (1987) #123–138, -1, Annual '97, ISBN 978-1302918132)
- The Definitive Silver Surfer (collects Silver Surfer vol. 1 #1, Silver Surfer vol. 2 #1, Silver Surfer vol. 4 #1–2, Fantastic Four vol. 1 #48–50, Tales to Astonish #92–93 and Tomb of Dracula #50, 260 pages, August 2007, Panini Comics, ISBN 1-905239-67-X)
- Silver Surfer: Rebirth of Thanos (collects Silver Surfer vol. 3 #34–38, The Thanos Quest miniseries, and "The Final Flower!" from Logan's Run #6, 224 pages, Marvel Comics, softcover, April 2006, ISBN 0-7851-2046-7, hardcover, August 2010, ISBN 0-7851-4478-1)
- Silver Surfer: Parable (collects Silver Surfer vol. 4 #1–2, 72 pages, hardcover, December 1988, Marvel Comics, ISBN 0-87135-491-8, softcover, 1998, ISBN��0-7851-0656-1)
- Silver Surfer: Communion (collects Silver Surfer vol. 5 #1–6, 136 pages, June 2004, Marvel Comics, ISBN 0-7851-1319-3)
- Silver Surfer: Requiem (collects Silver Surfer: Requiem #1–4, 104 pages, hardcover, December 2007, Marvel Comics, ISBN 978-0-7851-2848-9, softcover, July 2008, ISBN 978-0-7851-1796-4)
- Silver Surfer: In Thy Name (collects Silver Surfer: In Thy Name #1–4, 96 pages, softcover, June 2008, Marvel Comics, ISBN 978-0-7851-2749-9)
- Silver Surfer: Devolution (collects Silver Surfer vol. 6 #1–5, 200 pages, September 2011, Marvel Comics, ISBN 978-0-7851-5665-9)
- Silver Surfer Vol 1: New Dawn (collects Silver Surfer vol. 7 #1–5, 128 pages, November 2014, Marvel Comics, ISBN 978-0-7851-8878-0)
- Silver Surfer Vol 2: Worlds Apart (collects Silver Surfer vol. 7 #6–10, 120 pages, Jun 2015, Marvel Comics, ISBN 978-0-7851-8879-7)
- Silver Surfer Vol 3: Last Days (collects Silver Surfer vol. 7 #11–15, 120 pages, December 2015, Marvel Comics, ISBN 978-0-7851-9737-9)
- Silver Surfer Vol 4: Citizen of Earth (collects Silver Surfer vol. 8 #1–6, 144 pages, October 2016, Marvel Comics)
- Silver Surfer Vol 5: A Power Greater Than Cosmic (collects Silver Surfer vol. 8 #7–14, 176 pages, November 2017, Marvel Comics)
- Silver Surfer: Slott & Allred Omnibus (collects Silver Surfer vol 7. #1–15, vol. 8 #1–14 and All-New Marvel Now! Point One #1, 688 pages, December 2018, Marvel Comics, ISBN 978-1302913595)
- Silver Surfer Vol 3 #33
- Fantastic Four #260
- Marvel Encyclopedia Vol 1 #
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At the time, Stan Lee had some exclusivity with the Silver Surfer and asked other writers not to use him.
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[In 1978], Simon & Shuster's Fireside Books published a paperback book titled The Silver Surfer by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby...This book was later recognized as Marvel's first true graphic novel.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
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