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Silver Surfer

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The Silver Surfer #1 (Aug. 1968). Cover art by John Buscema and Joe Sinnott.
Character Name = Silver Surfer
Real Name = Norrin Radd
Publisher = Marvel Comics
Debut = Fantastic Four #48 (March 1966)
Alliances = Heralds of Galactus
United Front
The Order
Powers = Endowed with the Power Cosmic

The Silver Surfer is a Marvel Comics superhero created by Jack Kirby. The character first appears in Fantastic Four #48 (March 1966), the first of a three-issue arc that fans call "The Galactus Trilogy".

Originally, Norrin Radd, a young astronomer of the planet Zenn-La, made a bargain with the cosmic entity Galactus, pledging to serve as his herald in order to save his homeworld from destruction. Imbued in return with a tiny portion of Galactus' Power Cosmic, Radd acquired great powers and a new version of his original appearance. Galactus also created for Radd a surfboard-like craft — modeled after a childhood fantasy of his — on which he would travel at speeds beyond that of light. Known from then on as the Silver Surfer, Radd began to roam the cosmos searching for new planets for Galactus to consume. When his travels finally took him to Earth, the Surfer came face-to-face with the Fantastic Four, a team of powerful superheroes that helped him to rediscover his nobility of spirit. Betraying Galactus, the Surfer saved Earth but was punished in return by being exiled there.


Publication history

Early appearances

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 using a collaborative technique known as the "Marvel Method": the two would discuss story ideas, Kirby would work from a brief synopsis to draw the individual scenes and plot details, and Lee would finally add the dialog and captions. When Kirby turned in his pencil art for the story, he included a new character he and Lee had not discussed. 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, and with Kirby collaborated on a seminal 1978 graphic novel starring the character.

Subsequent series

After a 1982 one-shot by writer-artist John Byrne, the Surfer appeared in his second solo, ongoing title in 1987. Here he escaped the confines of Earth and left for the spaceways. Originally written by Steve Englehart and illustrated by Marshall Rogers, the series would later be written by Jim Starlin and illustrated by Ron Lim. Starlin in turn would be succeeded by Ron Marz, with George Pérez and J. M. DeMatteis also having brief writing stints. Additional artists included Tom Grindberg, Ron Garney, and Jon J. Muth, as well as periodic guest spots by the aforementioned John Buscema. Although the title experienced great initial success, and continued to be buoyed by tie-ins to "The Infinity Gauntlet" and other company crossovers, this second ongoing series was canceled in 1998 after 146 issues. It was followed in 1999 by the two issue miniseries, Silver Surfer: Loftier Than Mortals.

The Silver Surfer: Parable, scripted by Lee and drawn by Moebius, was serialized in two parts 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. The miniseries by Lee and Moebius 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 twice been reunited 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.

This was followed by the miniseries Silver Surfer: In Thy Name, by writer Simon Spurrier.

Fictional character biography

Herald of Galactus

The Silver Surfer was born Norrin Radd on the idyllic planet Zenn-La (in the Deneb System in the Milky Way galaxy). His father is Jartan Radd, his mother Elmar Radd, and his half-brother Fennan Radd (Fennan the son of a woman Jartran was involved with after Elmar's suicide). All four are part of an ancient and significantly advanced civilization that has lost the will to strive or explore, leaving the young scholar Norrin Radd restless and yearning for something more than the idle pleasure pursued by his fellows. Faced suddenly with the total destruction of his world by planet-consuming Galactus, Radd strikes a deal with the seemingly omnipotent space-god. In return for the safety of Zenn-La and his lover, Shalla-Bal, Radd pledges himself to serve as Galactus' herald and to seek out other planets for the world devourer to feed on. In striking this bargain, Radd also satisfies his long-held desire to adventure beyond the limiting world of his home. Accepting the young mortal's sacrifice, Galactus imbues him with a portion of the Power Cosmic, transforming him into the Silver Surfer.

Radd proceeds to serve Galactus for an unspecified amount of time—possibly as long as several millennia—unable to return to Zenn-La and Shalla-Bal. During this time, the Surfer initially tries to seek out uninhabited planets for the world-eater's attention, but as they became harder to find, Galactus tampers with the Surfer's conscience and removes this self-imposed restraint. Eventually, the Surfer arrives on Earth and, after deciding that the planet is ripe for Galactus' nourishment, summons his master. Here the Surfer meets the Fantastic Four, and Alicia Masters. He is knocked off the roof by the Thing, but found by Alicia. Touched by their nobility, he chooses to rebel against Galactus and battled him in an attempt to prevent his master from consuming the planet. Galactus is eventually driven off, but as punishment for this rebellion he confines the Surfer to the planet with an invisible barrier that affects only him, designed to prevent him from leaving the planet.

Exiled to Earth

Stories immediately following the Surfer's exile to Earth depict him as a semi-divine being, immeasurably powerful yet lacking the most basic understanding of good or evil. A completely amoral entity, he develops a sense of compassion through contact with the gentle Alicia Masters, a blind sculptress capable of perceiving the Surfer's innate nobility. This theme continues through a series of subplots wherein the Surfer encounters various negative human traits including jealousy (when The Thing is driven to rage by the Surfer's relationship with his girlfriend, Alicia), deception, evil, cruelty (de-powered and imprisoned by Doctor Doom, then tortured by Doom's brutal henchmen), despair, hopelessness (languishing in a Latverian dungeon while Doom uses the Power Cosmic to conquer the world), and finally a thirst for revenge (destroying Doom's castle along with his sadistic captors when he finally escapes). At the same time, however, the Surfer continues to evolve as an individual.

During his exile, the Surfer fights numerous villains, including but not limited to Doctor Doom and Mephisto. Doom is obsessed with stealing the Surfer's Power Cosmic and finally does so by distracting the Surfer with a vision of space, then depowering him, using it to defeat the Fantastic Four, only to lose it by colliding with Galactus' barrier. Angry at the general disregard shown by humans, the Surfer attempts to bring about world peace by giving mankind a common enemy in himself, going so far as to declare war on humanity. He battles the Fantastic Four, but the U.S. military strikes him down with an experimental power-draining "Sonic Shark" missile and forces him to resume his wanderings. The Surfer enters a "micro-world", pursued by the Fantastic Four, and locates a planet for Galactus to consume instead of Earth; he then resumes his exile. The demonic Mephisto is persistent in trying to acquire the Surfer's soul by breaking his spirit, but Surfer's innate nobility thwarts him each time. The Surfer also battles with Thor during his first encounter with Mephisto. 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 Hulk and Namor the Sub-Mariner 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' energy-draining barrier eventually drives him to leave the group. He has other encounters at this time, including being duped by Doctor Doom into turning against the Fantastic Four, and encounters Dracula.

During this time in exile, the Surfer is reunited with Shalla-Bal on several occasions, but almost every time she appears as an unwilling pawn of his enemies, and he is invariably forced to let her go to save the planet. The Surfer finally pierces Galactus' 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.

Alongside the Defenders once more, the Surfer journeys to the parallel Earth of the Squadron Supreme, where he battles Null, the Living Darkness and the Over-Mind. The Surfer then aids the Fantastic Four against Galactus' latest herald, Terrax. The Surfer also helps the Molecule Man restore the damage done to Earth by the Beyonder.

Freedom From Exile

After all this time in exile, the Surfer finally manages to pierce Galactus' barrier once and for all by acting on the Thing's simple suggestion of trying to pass through on a spaceship instead of via his own power on his surfboard. He also manages to make peace with Galactus by rescuing his current herald, Nova (Frankie Raye), from the Skrulls and encounters the Champion, after which Galactus finally declares the Surfer's long exile ended. He immediately revisits his homeworld, but Shalla-Bal, in his absence, had become empress of the rejuvenated Zenn-La and hence 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 romances. 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, during this period, first encounters Thanos, a death-worshipping mutant of the race the Eternals, and first meets Adam Warlock. The Surfer repeatedly battles other space-born menaces, the chief of whom is Thanos, who wipes out half the life in the universe using the omnipotent Infinity Gauntlet. The Surfer also finds interstellar allies in Adam Warlock's Infinity Watch, forms the short-lived "Star Masters" team, and begins attending occasional Defenders reunions. During his travels, the Surfer also meets his long-lost half-brother, Fennan Radd, to whom Shalla-Bal has become married.

In one of his adventures, the Surfer discovers the way in which Galactus tampered with his mind and soul during his time as herald. Further aspects of his past life are also revealed, including the fact that he saw his mother's dead body after she slit her own wrists and that his father, a prominent scientist, was accused of having plagiarized and shot himself in response to Norrin's disappointment. During the Infinity Gauntlet saga, the Surfer eventually confronts these memories and comes to forgive himself.

The Surfer eventually 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' 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.

After the Fantastic Four are resurrected in the aftermath of the Onslaught crisis and their return from the Heroes Reborn universe, the Surfer comes to Earth to welcome them home, but ends up joining Spider-Man in his latest battle against Carnage. During this fight, the Carnage symbiote briefly manages to take over the Surfer, but the Surfer is able to expel the symbiote, trapping Carnage in an unbreakable prison where he is forced to reflect upon his sins for all eternity (although he later escapes under as-yet-undisclosed circumstances). The return of the heroes causes the shattering of the Nexus of All Realities, and one of the fragments lands on a dead world and starts bringing it to life. The Surfer fights Man-Thing, possessed by the spirit of K'Ad-mon of the Fallen Stars, in order to save the newly formed world, but is defeated, and the Nexus piece is reclaimed by Man-Thing.

When a Gaea-powered curse from a dying Yandroth mystically forces Surfer, Namor, Hulk, and Strange to assemble in response to any and all threats to the Earth, the ongoing stress coupled with the curse's subtle emotional influence gradually drive the four senior Defenders mad, and they attempt to conquer the world as "the Order" in the belief that this is the most efficient way to protect the planet. Their fellow Defenders Hellcat, Nighthawk, Valkyrie, and Clea team up with other heroes – including Ardina, a cosmic-powered woman they mystically create from a portion of the Surfer's own energy – to oppose the Order and return them to their senses, just in time to prevent the curse from rendering a resurrected Yandroth all-powerful.

In the 2003 Silver Surfer series, 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 then resumes his interstellar wanderings, but promises to be ready to aid his adopted homeworld should Earth ever need him.

Planet Hulk/Silver Savage

During his travels, Surfer is captured by a portal of the Planet 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.


He later joins other heralds of Galactus against the forces of the Annihilation Wave, and becomes Galactus' herald once more, to help save the universe from the despot Annihilus, and two proemial beings called "Tenebrous, of The Darkness Between" and "Aegis, Lady of All Sorrows". They defeat and capture the duo, and give them to Annihilus and the alien mastermind Thanos for experimentation. Thanos learns of Annihilus' more nefarious goals and attempts to free Galactus, but before he can do so, Thanos is killed by Drax the Destroyer. When Drax discovers Thanos' plan, he frees the Surfer, who in turn frees Galactus. An enraged Galactus destroys more than half the Annihilation Wave, allowing a group called the United Front to defeat Annihilus. The Surfer tracks down Aegis and Tenebrous, and when completely outmatched, maneuvers them into entering The Crunch, the all-destroying border of the universe, whereupon he fully returns to his role as Galactus' herald, now partnered with Stardust. During this time he was empowered further by Galactus.

The Silver Surfer does not participate in the events of Civil War due to the fact it takes place roughly the same time as the Annihilation Wave, and the Surfer was occupied with battling the forces of Annihilus during the time the war takes place. However, the U.S. government cannot require him to register, due to the fact he is not even from the planet and thus is beyond their jurisdiction.


After the Annihilation event, the Silver Surfer returns to his function as a herald of Galactus, and leads the world devourer to the populated planet Orbucen, which brings him into conflict with Richard Rider, at this point the only active Nova Centurion after the Annihilation War. The Surfer is convinced to delay the planetary destruction to give the inhabitants more time to evacuate.

Shortly afterwards 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, and spare many other inhabited worlds in the meantime. 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.

Simultaneously the Grandmaster enlists a much earlier version of the Surfer to reunite with the other three original Defenders, Doctor Strange, Namor, and the Hulk, in a contest against the combined forces of Terrax, Baron Mordo, Tiger Shark, and the Red Hulk, named the "Offenders". As a prize the Grandmaster offers his champions to restore their dead or otherwise lost love interests. The Surfer and Terrax are teleported by the Grandmaster to the Microverse to battle, and are temporarily killed by the Red Hulk, before being restored to their proper time periods.

"Here's where the plucking from time really gives Terrax the advantage," warns [Marvel Comics writer] Loeb. "Norrin Radd has been the Silver Surfer for about an hour when this story takes place. Terrax had been a Herald for years in Marvel time, and more importantly has knowledge of the Surfer's future."

[Marvel Comics editor] Bill Rosemann has stated that he considers the Silver Surfer as "the last jewel in the cosmic crown that needs to explode," and that the trick with the Surfer, who he referred to as a "great character", was to figure out "What would make him work as an ongoing hero. We don't want to rush it."

Powers and abilities

The Silver Surfer wields the Power Cosmic, granting him superhuman strength, stamina, durability, senses and the ability to absorb and manipulate the universe's ambient energy for a variety of effects. The Surfer can navigate through interstellar space, dimensional barriers, and hyperspace, which he can enter to exceed the speed of light when flying on his board, and has even proven capable of time travel on several occasions.

The Surfer sustains himself by converting matter into energy; does not require food, water, air, or sleep (although he occasionally enters a sleep like meditation in order to dream); and can survive within nearly any known natural environment, including deep space, hyperspace, and even within black holes and stars. The Surfer can analyze and manipulate matter and energy, and molecularly restructure or animate matter at will, even transmuting elements or creating objects. He can also project energy in various forms for offensive and defensive use, including the erection of force shields, and bolts of cosmic force powerful enough to destroy entire planets or 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 alter the size of himself or of other matter, cast illusions, and phase through solid matter.

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 with concentration he can achieve limited perception of past and future events in his general vicinity. He has demonstrated telepathic ability, including mind-reading on occasion, and has proven to be able to influence human emotion and sensation.

The Surfer's board is composed of a nearly impervious, cosmically powered silvery material that is 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 those rare occasions when it is damaged or destroyed, the Surfer is able to repair or even recreate it with little effort. The Surfer can attack opponents remotely by directing the board against them, and the board is capable of absorbing and imprisoning other beings, at least temporarily.

When Galactus exiled the Surfer to Earth, his means of imprisonment was linked to the board. When Surfer and the Fantastic Four realized this, 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.

Norrin Radd also possesses some knowledge of the advanced alien technology of the planet Zenn-La.

Other versions

Ultimate Silver Surfer

Warren Ellis' 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. All these traits are reminiscent of the Surfer, but their official name is the Silver Men or Silver Wings.

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.

Carnage Cosmic

The Silver Surfer bonds with the Carnage symbiote in two issues of The Amazing Spider-Man, gaining the name "Carnage Cosmic". He looks like the original Carnage from the Spider-Man comics, but still has the trademark surfboard of the Silver Surfer. In the first issue, the Carnage Symbiote leaves Cletus Kasady, to seek revenge for the destruction of its homeworld the only way it knows how, by using the Surfer as its new host. After the symbiote completes merging to the Surfer, he immediately rampages as a side effect to the two entities conflicting with each other. The Carnage Cosmic then flies off into outer space. Cletus Kasady, "symbiote-less," is taken to the hospital for the immense pain he suffers as a result of the separation (this is revealed to be the result of an advanced case of stomach cancer the symbiote had been guarding him from). As Carnage Cosmic drifts along in space, the symbiote recants memories from Kasady and itself to Norrin Radd (the Surfer's former self). Radd sees how the symbiote remembers the Surfer summoning his master, Galactus, to the planet to consume it. Then the Surfer is shown memories of Kasady's abusive youth. The Surfer breaks free realizing what he must do. He returns to Earth as the Carnage Cosmic. After a brief roof-top battle with Spider-Man, the mismatched pair searches the city finding Kasady in the hospital, still screaming in pain. Upon immediately seeing Kasady, the symbiote re-bonds with Kasady, but to ensure Carnage will never hurt any one else again, The Surfer encases Carnage in an unbreakable shell of ethereal energy.

In a What If? storyline, the 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.


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.

Marvel Zombies

The Silver Surfer is a victim of 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 his cosmic powers, which they use to kill all of the other zombie heroes and villains. Afterwards, they use the powers to kill and eat Galactus before learning they can fly and survive in space, allowing them to prey on the rest of the universe.


During the finale of Last Planet Standing, the Silver Surfer foils Galactus' plan to create a new Big Bang, merging with Galactus himself in the process to become a new being. Gaining control of Galactus' powers, the new entity undoes the damage done by the old Galactus.

The Keeper

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.

Earth X/Universe X/Paradise X

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.


In Green Lantern/Silver Surfer, 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. 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 was similarly gave most of his power to Parallax to reform the destroyed planet. Kyle channels the power from the two villains into the Silver Surfer, who opens a portal and sucks the two inside.

Amalgam Comics

In this universe, where a part of the Marvel multiverse was fused with part of the DC multiverse, the Silver Surfer is fused with Black Racer of the New Gods to become the Silver Racer (with the former's silver coating and the latter's cosmic skis). In one story, Doctor Doomsday (Dr. Doom + Doomsday) stole the Racer's cosmic skis and went on a rampage, only to be beat by the Challengers of the Fantastic (Fantastic Four + Challengers of the Unknown).

In other media


  • He 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' coming to Earth in a two-part episode as well as Doctor Doom's theft of Surfer's powers.
The Silver Surfer from the animated series Silver Surfer.
  • In 1998, the Surfer starred in a solo animated series on the Fox Network voiced by Paul Essiembre. Blending cel and computer animation, this series was rendered in the style of Surfer creator Jack Kirby, and faithfully incorporated much of the comic book history. Further adventures included appearances by many characters from Marvel's "cosmic" stable, including Thanos, the Watcher, Ego the Living Planet, Mentor, Drax the Destroyer, Pip the Troll, Nebula, and the Kree and Skrull empires, their roles sometimes differing from their comic book incarnations but often adhering closely. It received good ratings, but was canceled after only one season of thirteen episodes due to politics between Toy Biz and Saban Entertainment. The series ended on a cliffhanger. Eight further episodes for the next season were written but never animated.
  • The Silver Surfer comic book also appeared in an episode of Heroes Season 1.
  • Silver Surfer appears in The Super Hero Squad Show voiced by Mikey Kelley. This version of him has a literal "surfer dude" accent, and is much more kid friendly, but the third episode develops more on his personality. The episode "Invader from the Dark Dimension" reveals that he is a horrible cook (due in large to a lack of taste buds), so much so that even Dr. Doom fears his meals. His teammates have trouble living with him due to his strange personality; such as reversing gravity so that everyone can have breakfast upside down on the ceiling. In the episode "The Last Exit Before Doomsday" he makes the first reference to his past working for Galactus, after the appearance of Stardust another one of his heralds. In the show he describes Galactus not as eating planets whole but rather "Taking several bites and chewing thoroughly". In "This Al Dente Earth," Silver Surfer persuades Galactus to spare Earth promising to find planets with non-intelligent life for Galactus to feast upon. Upon leaving the Super Hero Squad, Silver Surfer takes the possession of the Infinity Sword (which he revealed that it can only be wielded by someone who wields the Infinity Gauntlet) and leaves with Galactus to find planets with non-intelligent life.


The Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
  • A Silver Surfer film had been long in development since the 1980s.
  • The Silver Surfer made his film debut in 20th Century Fox's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, the 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 is a sequel, but will 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 are similar to that of his comic-book incarnation, in that he agrees to become Galactus' herald in return for the safety of his homeworld and the woman he loved. The movie incarnation differs from his comics counterpart in that instead of having innate power (the Power Cosmic), his power comes from the surfboard itself, which also serves as a beacon for Galactus.

Video games

  • 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. However, the 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 makes a brief cameo in the original Spider-Man videogame. If the player has Debug mode on during the helicopter chase scene, then there will be a blimp with Spider-Man on it to jump to instead of going through the whole level. This leads to a brief bonus level where Spider-Man is standing on the blimp, and must avoid the helicopter's machine guns till the level ends. In the beginning of said level, the Silver Surfer is seen flying by.
  • He is a bonus character in the game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance voiced by Chris Cox. He can be unlocked by completing all Comic Book Missions or by entering a cheat code. His optional costumes are Power Surge (renamed as Silver Surfer after having 3 different outfits on PC), Silver Age, Vitality, and Heavy Damage, though they are all identical (it is rumored that the game's PC release may replace them with different outfits, especially Norrin Radd (replace Silver Age), The Keeper (replace Vitality), and Silver Savage (replace Heavy Damage)). During the player's visit to the Skrull homeworld, he appears briefly as a non-player ally who resurrects and heals the player's team. He then helps the team defeat Galactus, by causing Galactus' own energy blasts to backfire on himself knocking him unconscious.
  • The Surfer most recently appeared in the video game adaptation of the movie, developed by Visual Concepts of 2K Sports. It was released in June 2007 to coincide with the film's release to dismal reviews.


The United States Postal Service in November 2007, released a series of $0.41 stamps honoring Marvel comics. One stamp shows the Silver Surfer on his board and another shows the first eponymous issue. Associated paraphernalia (e.g., first day covers) were also available.

Cultural references

Numerous films, songs, books, and television shows have referenced the Silver Surfer since his 1960s debut. In the 1983 film Breathless, Richard Gere's character was an avid fan of his comics. In Quentin Tarantino's 1992 Reservoir Dogs a Silver Surfer poster is clearly seen in Mr. Orange's apartment. The musical group Swollen Members are fans of the comics and on the album cover of Blackout he is seen. In Futurama Comics, Bender accidentally deactivates the autopilot of the Planet Express ship, causing the ship to fly out of control, knock the Silver Surfer off his board, then enter a Space Invaders video game style battle. In the 1995 film Crimson Tide, two submarine crew members argue over the merits of the alternate Silver Surfer versions as drawn by Kirby and Moebius. He has also been mentioned or spoofed in television programs such as Heroes, Malibu, CA, Scrubs, The Fairly OddParents, and Bring me the Head of Boba Fett the pilot of Welcome to Eltingville.


  • The Silver Surfer is the seventh figurine in the Classic Marvel Figurine Collection.

Collected editions

According to Marvel Volume Numbers:

  • Silver Surfer Volume 1 Omnibus, (Silver Surfer #1-18 and Fantastic Four Annual #5)
  • Silver Surfer Volume 2 One Shot (Silver Surfer #1)
  • Silver Surfer Volume 3 Omnibus, (Silver Surfer #1-146)
  • Silver Surfer Volume 4 Omnibus, (Silver Surfer #1-14)

Other Silver Surfer Series:

  • Essential Silver Surfer, Volume 1, (Silver Surfer #1-18, Fantastic Four Annual #5)
  • Essential Silver Surfer, Volume 2, (1982 graphic novel, vol. 2 #1-18, Annual #1, Marvel Fanfare #51)
  • Silver Surfer: Rebirth of Thanos, (Silver Surfer, 1987, #34-38 and Thanos Quest #1-2)
  • Silver Surfer: Requiem, (Silver Surfer: Requiem #1-4)
  • Silver Surfer: In Thy Name, (Silver Surfer: In Thy Name #1-4)
  • Marvel Masterworks: Silver Surfer, Volume 1 (Silver Surfer #1-6 and Fantastic Four Annual #5)
  • Marvel Masterworks: Silver Surfer, Volume 2 (Silver Surfer #7-18)
  • Silver Surfer: Communion, Volume 1 (Silver Surfer, 2003, #1-6)
  • Silver Surfer: Communion, Volume 2 (Silver Surfer, 2003, #7-14)



External links