Silver Surfer

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Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer movie poster To see more Fantastic Four movie posters
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Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer


Facts and Stats

  • Height: 6 ft. 4 in.
  • Home world: Zenn-La
  • Team affiliations: Heralds of Galactus, Defenders, Secret Defenders, Star Masters, The Order
  • Abilities: Endowed with the Power Cosmic:
  • Superhuman strength, stamina, reflexes, durability, senses
  • Immortality
  • Energy and molecular manipulation
  • Superluminal flight
  • Cosmic awareness

Known superhuman powers: The Silver Surfer can endow himself with Class 100 strength, enabling him to lift (press) over 100 tons. He possesses the Power Cosmic which he can use to generate powerful force blasts or to rearrange molecules. The Surfer travels on a "surfboard" which responds to his mental commands and is as indestructible as he is. He has a Cosmic Awareness which allows him to feel energy around him.

  • First appearance: Fantastic Four #48 (March 1966)


The Silver Surfer (Norrin Radd) is a comic book superhero from the Marvel Comics universe. Created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, the character first appears in Fantastic Four #48 ( March 1966), the first of a three-issue arc fans and historians call "The Galactus Trilogy".Thomas, Roy, Stan Lee's Amazing Marvel Universe (Sterling Publishing, New York, 2006), "Moment 29: The Galactus Trilogy", pp. 112-115. ; Marvel Spotlight: Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer (2007; no month): "Jack Kirby's The Galactus Trilogy", by Erik Larsen, pp. 10-21 (unnumbered).

Originally a young astronomer of the planet Zenn-La, in order to save his home-world from destruction by a fearsome cosmic entity known as Galactus, Norrin Radd made a bargain with the being, pledging himself to serve as his herald. Imbued in return with a tiny portion of Galactus' Power Cosmic, Radd acquired great powers and a silvery 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.Fantastic Four #48 (March 1966)

Publication history

Early appearances

The Silver Surfer entered the world of comics as an unplanned addition to a story about Galactus and the Fantastic Four In the mid-1960s, Lee and Kirby were using a three-part method for creating comics. They would first brainstorm rough ideas together, then Kirby would work individually to draw the scenes, and Lee would finally add the dialog.

Kirby explained that a god-like cosmic predator of planets like 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, Lee not only overcame his initial skepticism but also began adding to characterization, and the Silver Surfer soon became a key part of the unfolding story.

Following the Surfer's debut, Lee and Kirby were inundated with letters of appreciation from fans, and brought him back as a recurring guest in Fantastic Four #55-61, 72, 74-77 (ranging Oct. 1966 - Aug. 1968) and made his solo debut in the backup story of Fantastic Four Annual #5 (Nov. 1967).

The Silver Surfer (1978), one of the first graphic novels. Cover art by Earl Norem.
The Silver Surfer (1978), one of the first graphic novels. Cover art by Earl Norem.

Lee enjoyed the character so much that he featured him in a solo title, The Silver Surfer, in 1968. John Buscema was penciller for the first 17 issues of the series, with Kirby returning for the eighteenth 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 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.Marvel Comics writer Steve Englehart, for example, in his back-cover text for The Silver Surfer vol. 3, #2 (Aug. 1987), wrote that Buscema and Lee were "pouring their souls into the series".

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 space ways. 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 "Infinity Gauntlet" and other company crossovers, this second ongoing series was canceled in 1998 after 146 issues.

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 graphic novel by Lee/Moebius won the Eisner Award for best finite/limited series in 1989.

The 2000s

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" 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.

This was followed by the miniseries Silver Surfer: In Thy Name, by writer Simon Spurrier and artist Ten Eng Huat.

character biography

Herald of Galactus

The Silver Surfer #1 (Aug. 1968). Cover art by John Buscema and Joe Sinnott.
The Silver Surfer #1 (Aug. 1968). Cover art by John Buscema and Joe Sinnott.

The Silver Surfer was born Norrin Radd on the idyllic planet Zenn-La. His father is Jartan Radd, his mother Elmar Radd, and his half-brother Fennan Radd. All four are part of an ancient and significantly advanced civilization that has lost the will to strive or explore, leaving 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 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.Silver Surfer #1 (Aug. 1968) Radd proceeds to serve Galactus for an unspecified amount of time, unable to return to Zenn-La and Shalla-Bal. During this time, the Surfer 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. In later versions of the story, it was explained that the Zenn-Lavians were an offshoot of the Kree, a scientifically advanced, galaxy-spanning, alien race first created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the Fantastic Four.

Here the Surfer meets the Fantastic Four. Touched by their nobility, he chooses to rebel against Galactus and attempts 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.Fantastic Four #50 (May 1966)

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, slowly groping his way to a knowledge of his own humanity.

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, only to lose it by colliding with Galactus' barrier.Fantastic Four #57 (Dec. 1966) The demonic Mephisto is equally persistent in trying to acquire the Surfer's soul by breaking his spirit, but Surfer's innate nobility thwarts him each time.The Silver Surfer #3 (Dec. 1968).

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.The Silver Surfer #5 (April 1969) Angry at the general disregard shown by humans, the Surfer once goes so far as to declare war on humanity, but the U.S. military strikes him down with an experimental power-draining "Sonic Shark" missile and forces him to resume his wanderings.

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.Sub-Mariner #34-35 (Feb.-March 1971) 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.

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. During an Avengers-Defenders clash orchestrated by alien menaces Nebulon and Supernalia, the Surfer finally pierces Galactus' barrier with the aid of Reed Richards and temporarily escapes Earth. He discovers, though, that his home-world 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 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 their ravaged home-world.The Silver Surfer vol. 2, #1 (June 1978)

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 without his surfboard. He also manages to make peace with Galactus by rescuing his current herald, Nova (Frankie Raye), from the Skrulls, after which Galactus finally declares the Surfer's long exile ended.Silver Surfer vol. 3, #1 (July 1987) He immediately revisits his home-world, but Shalla-Bal, in his absence, had become empress of the rejuvenated Zenn-La and hence unable to renew their romance.Silver Surfer vol. 3, #2 (Aug. 1987)

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.Silver Surfer vol. 3, #9 (March 1988) After this loss, a grief-stricken Surfer turns to Nova and romantic feelings begin to develop between them.<Silver Surfer vol. 3, #14 (Aug 1988) The Surfer's influence gradually leads Nova to question the morality of her role as herald to Galactus.Silver Surfer vol. 3, #51 (July 1991) 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.Silver Surfer vol. 3, #75 (Dec. 1992)

Silver Surfer vol. 3, #1 (July 1987). Cover art by Marshall Rogers and Josef Rubinstein.
Silver Surfer vol. 3, #1 (July 1987). Cover art by Marshall Rogers and Josef Rubinstein.

The Surfer, during this period, repeatedly battles other space-born menaces, the chief of whom is Thanos,Silver Surfer #34 (Feb. 1990) a death-worshipping mutant of the race the Eternals who wipes out half the life in the universe using the omnipotent Infinity Gauntlet.Infinity Gauntlet #1 (July 1991) 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, to whom Shalla-Bal has become married.Silver Surfer vol. 3, #101 (Feb. 1995)

In one of his adventures, the Surfer discovers the way in which Galactus tampered with his mind and soul during his time as herald.Silver Surfer vol. 3, #48 (April 1991) 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 wristsSilver Surfer vol. 3, #57 (Oct. 1991) and that his father, a prominent scientist, was accused of having plagiarized and shot himself in response to Norrin's disappointment.Silver Surfer vol. 3, #50 (June 1991) During the Infinity Gauntlet saga, the Surfer eventually confronts these memories and comes to forgive himself.Silver Surfer vol. 3, #58 (Nov. 1991)

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) an the entity known as the Other. The 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.Silver Surfer vol. 3, #130 (Aug. 1997) 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.Silver Surfer vol. 3, #129 (June 1997) The two ultimately part as friends after many adventures together.

After the Fantastic Four were resurrected in the aftermath of the Onslaught crisis and their return from the Heroes Reborn universe, the Surfer came to Earth to welcome them home, but ended up joining Spider-Man in his latest battle against Carnage. During this fight, the Carnage symbiote briefly managed to take over the Surfer, but the Surfer was able to expel the symbiote, trapping Carnage in an unbreakable prison where he would be forced to reflect upon his sins for all eternity Amazing Spider-Man #430 to #431 (although he later escaped under as-yet-undisclosed circumstances). 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.Silver Surfer vol. 4, #1 (March 2004) 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).Silver Surfer vol. 4, #12 (Oct. 2004) The Surfer then resumes his interstellar wanderings, but promises to be ready to aid his adopted home-world should Earth ever need him.

Planet Hulk/Silver Savage

During his travels, Surfer was captured by a portal of the Planet Sakaar Empire. Left weakened and vulnerable by his trip through the portal, the Surfer was subdued and implanted with an obedience slug to ensure he remained loyal to them. Fighting as a gladiator (and believed to be the fabled 'Sakaarson' due to his appearance), the Surfer was finally forced to face the Hulk along with his Warbound. Through teamwork and distraction, the Hulk was eventually able to destroy the Surfer's obedience slug. The Hulk and several other slaves and gladiators were freed when the Surfer used the Power Cosmic to remove their own obedience slugs and give them a way out of the arena, although the Hulk declines the Surfer's offer to take him back to Earth.Greg Pak, The Incredible Hulk #95


Template:Main 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 gods called "Tenebrous, of The Darkness Between" and "Aegis, Lady of All Sorrows".Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1-4 (June- Sept. 2006) The gods 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 half the Annihilation Wave, allowing a group called the United Front to defeat Annihilus.Annihilation #1-6 (Oct. 2006 - March 2007) The Surfer tracks down Aegis and Tenebrous, and when completely outmatched, manoeuvres 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.Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1-2 (April-May 2007). During this time he was empowered further by Galactus Annnihilation: Silver Surfer #1-4 (June-Sept 2006), making him among the most powerful Heralds of Galactus.

Powers and abilities

Fantastic Four #72 (March 1968). Cover art by Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott.
Fantastic Four #72 (March 1968). Cover art by Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott.

The Silver Surfer wields the Power Cosmic, absorbing and manipulating the universe's cosmic energy, and is virtually indestructible for practical purposes, but can be injured or even killed by beings who equal or exceed his own power-level, such as Morg or Thanos. He can navigate through space, dimensional barriers, and hyperspace, which he can enter to exceed the speed of light when flying on his board.<ref name="silversurfernovacorpsfiles">Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files #1 (Oct. 2006) He has even proven capable of time travel on several occasions.The Silver Surfer #6 (June 1969) The Surfer, who sustains himself by converting matter into energy, does not require food, drink, air, or sleep. He is immune to extreme temperatures and radiation, and he can survive in vacuum environments such as outer space and hyperspace; he has even proven capable of withstanding the extreme forces encountered within black holes and stars.Silver Surfer vol. 3 #16Silver Surfer vol. 3 #37 He can analyze and manipulate matter and energy, and restructure or animate matter at will, even transmuting elements. He can also project energy in various forms for offensive and defensive use. The Surfer's power is such that he can create energy projections strong enough to destroy entire planetoids and planets.Annihilation: Silver Surfer #4 (July 2006) Silver Surfer Annual #7 (1994) He can utilize the Power Cosmic to augment his already superhuman strength to unknown levels.Fantastic Four #55 (Oct. 1966) 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.Silver Surfer vol. 3 #104 He can alter the size of himself or of other matter, cast illusions,Silver Surfer vol. 3, #33 (Jan. 1990) and phase through solid matter.

His senses enable him to detect objects and energies light years away and to perceive matter and energy in subatomic detail.The Marvel Encyclopedia (Marvel Comics, 2002) The Surfer can even see through time, and with concentration he can achieve limited perception of past and future events in his general vicinity. Fantastic Four #260 He has demonstrated telepathic ability, including mind-reading on occasion,Tales to Astonish #93 (Jul. 1967) 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 thoughts even when he is not in physical contact with it.The Marvel Encyclopedia (Original One-shot), October 2002, Marvel Comics The board has a high degree of indestructibility, but on those rare occasions when it is damaged or destroyed, the Surfer is able to repair or even re-create it.Silver Surfer vol. 3, #1 (July 1987) 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.Silver Surfer vol. 3, #122 (Nov. 1996)

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.

Other versions

Ultimate Silver Surfer

Ultimate Fantastic Four #43 (Aug. 2007). Cover art by Pasqual Ferry
Ultimate Fantastic Four #43 (Aug. 2007). Cover art by Pasqual Ferry

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 mini-series 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, 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. He also states that he will summon his "master", who will make the population of the Earth happier than they have ever been.<ref name="ultimateff43">Ultimate Fantastic Four #43 (May 2007)

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, Silver Surfer 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.

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 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. Realizing that there was only one way to stop the Carnage symbiote, the Silver Surfer flew himself into the sun, destroying both himself and the symbiote What If? vol. 2 #108.


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 worshipped 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.

Marvel Zombies

The Silver Surfer is a victim of the Marvel Zombies in that continuity. 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 Zombie 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 Galatctus before learning they can fly and survive in space, allowing them to prey on the rest of the universe.<ref name="marvelzombies5">Marvel Zombies #5 (April 2006)


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.Last Planet Standing #5 (July 2006)

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 other media



The Silver Surfer from the Silver Surfer animated series.
The Silver Surfer from the Silver Surfer animated series.

The Surfer's first animated appearance was in "Galactus," an episode of the Hanna-Barbera 1967 Fantastic Four animated series, which closely followed the Marvel comic story.

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 also adhered closely 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.

In 1998, the Surfer starred in a solo animated series on the FOX Network, voiced by Paul Essiembre. Blending cel-shaded animation and computer animation, this series was rendered in the style of Surfer creator Jack Kirby but diverged from the comic in various ways. Although it accurately depicted the Surfer's origin on Zenn-La, the method by which he regained his emotions and memories was altered to not involve the Fantastic Four. 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 portrayals and roles often differing from their comic book incarnations. Possessed of an unusually serious tone compared to Marvel's other animated projects, with frequent maudlin musings by the Surfer and episode resolutions which were often downbeat, the series was canceled after only one season of thirteen episodes, ending on a cliffhanger. Eight further episodes for the next season were written but never animated.


Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

The Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007).
The Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007).

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. Assured of the film's commercial success, 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 this continuity, the Surfer's origins are highly similar to that of his comic-book incarnation, in that he agreed to become Galactus' herald in return for the safety of his home-world, Zenn-La, and the woman he loved, Shalla-Bal. 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. In the end, the Surfer turns on Galactus after he witnesses Sue Storm die in Reed's arms. The Surfer brings Sue back to life and then goes off to destroy Galactus, appearing to implode when he does. At the end of the film, Surfer is floating aimlessly through space, with his board in the background. As he drifts off screen, his eyes open and his board drifts towards him.

In promotion for the film, the Franklin Mint, a collectibles marketer, altered 40,000 California quarters by putting the Silver Surfer on the reverse. The U.S. Mint, upon discovering this, informed the studio and the Franklin Mint that it is illegal to turn a coin into advertising media, and violators can face a fine.

Video games

  • 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 costumes (all identical) include Power Surge, Silver Age, Vitality, and 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 them defeat Galactus (in the comics, it's the other way around - Silver Surfer does all the fighting).

  • 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.


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 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. 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, there was an argument over the alternate Surfer versions as drawn by Kirby and Moebius. He has also been mentioned in television programs such as Heroes; Malibu, CA; Scrubs; The Wire; Dexter's Laboratory; Doug, Andromeda; and The Fairly OddParents.

Musician Joe Satriani included the character on the cover of his 1987 album, Surfing with the Alien, and in one of his subsequent albums, Flying in a Blue Dream, there is a track titled "Back to Shalla-Bal." Satriani's 2000 album, Engines of Creation, also includes a song called "The Power Cosmic." In the song, "Last of the New Wave Riders," from Utopia's Adventures in Utopia, the final line (bracketed as an aside) is "here comes that Silver Surfer now." Symphonic black metal band Bal-Sagoth featured "The Scourge of the Fourth Celestial Host," a track about the Silver Surfer, on their aptly titled album, The Power Cosmic. On the solo album, Accident of Birth, from Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson, in the song "Darkside of Aquarius", the song ends with the line, 'From the starlite sky, on a silver sea. A lonely Silver Surfer comes to push the wheel for me.'


  • Silver Surfer Omnibus, (Silver Surfer #1-18 and Fantastic Four Annual #5)
  • 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)


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