The Silver Surfer is one of the many characters that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby worked on together. Lee called the character his own philosophical outlet and a way to express many of his own thoughts about the human race. Indeed, Surfer’s eloquent, detached critique of human foolishness is still relevant today, and it brought out a side of Lee’s writing that hadn’t been seen before. All these years later, the Surfer looks almost exactly the same as when he first appeared.
This is one of the best things about the Silver Surfer: he’s great as a foil, a surprise reveal (Planet Hulk), and a team player (The Defenders). We should not forget that part of the Surfer’s appeal is that he can brood while alone in the vast, empty space of space, as well as his ability to have a somber inner monologue about the many sins he has done in the past. Norrin Radd has been an astronomer, a herald of Galactus, and a friend of the FF, but he is always a poet at heart.
1. The Coming of Galactus (Fantastic Four #48-50 & 55)
Fantastic Four Vol. 1 #55, written by Stan Lee, art by Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott, lettering by Sam Rosen
In the comics, “Silver Surfer” is still one of the best superhero comics that have ever been made. This book is still a great read even after all these years. The basic idea of four people against a god is interesting, but the way the Surfer’s presence changes the pace of the book is nothing short of brilliant, even now. First, the Surfer is sent to Earth to see if it’s a good food source for Galactus, a cosmic eater who likes to eat everything. People and the Earth are too unstable for long-term survival, so the Surfer ends the world before he even arrives. To understand how Zenn-La and this planet are similar, he first needs to meet the people on it.
For the first time in his life, he turns against Galactus and helps the Fantastic Four defeat him. A few months later, he wanders around the city of New York as an observer, meeting briefly with Alicia Masters, and then going back to work. Masters’ ex-boyfriend Ben Grimm shows up and misunderstands the situation, which leads to a fight that lasts the whole issue. There is a direct link between these stories and the Surfer’s first ongoing series. A lot of the original Fantastic Four comics aren’t great, but there are a lot of good ones. This story is one of the best, and it’s one of the best.
2. Silver Surfer Vol. 1 (#1-18)
Silver Surfer #15, cover art by Marie Severin, written by Stan Lee, art by John Buscema and Dan Adkins, lettering by Sam Rosen
Afterward, the Silver Surfer was supposed to be part of the bigger world of superheroes, but he started out in a very bad way. When Marvel Comics’ Silver Age came around, it was one of the most underappreciated times in the history of the comics. Though this series was only around for a short time, Lee still loved it. It’s easy to see why. The world of superheroes gets a new perspective from the Surfer’s distance, but we also learn a lot about him as we watch him grow up with the other superheroes.
A lot of people make cameos in this show, and fights with Thor and the Human Torch are always fun. It’s clear that Surfer has had a long-running feud with Mephisto, as well as a begrudging love for people. A lot of people like this series because there are so many good parts. It’s easier to recommend it as a whole. It’s a must-read for anyone who likes Stan Lee, and it’s still one of the best ways to learn about the Silver Surfer.
3. Return to Zenn-La (Silver Surfer Vol. 3 #2)
Silver Surfer Vol. 3 #2, written by Steve Englehart, art by Marshall Rogers & Joe Rubinstein, lettering by John Workman
Steve Englehart wrote Silver Surfer Vol. 3. This was the first time the character had a real role in a comic book written by someone other than Stan Lee. His time on the show was said to be full of disagreements with the editors. But he still added many things to the show that would be important for a long time to come. It’s here that the Surfer gets to go back to Zenn-La for a short time.
His beloved Shalla Bal has become the ruler of Zenn-La when he arrives. Even though they find happiness together at first, they soon realize that their lives don’t match up the way they used to, even though they still love each other. In this story, Norrin almost crosses a line to remove Shalla from power, but quickly sees the error of his ways and lets her stay in the role she’s in. They may be angry, but it’s healthy for them to accept that they can’t be together the way that they were before years of trauma and growth.
4. The Return of Thanos (Silver Surfer Vol. 3 #34-38)
Silver Surfer #34, written by Jim Starlin, art by Ron Lim, Tom Christopher, and Tom Vincent, lettering by Ken Bruzenak
Jim Starlin’s work on Cosmic Marvel is well-known, but his run on Silver Surfer isn’t as well-known. That’s a shame, because when Starlin took over writing, he brought back Thanos in a big way almost right away. This five-parter is the best place to start if you’re trying to get through a lot of Starlin’s work on the Silver Surfer in a short amount of time. It leads right into the Thanos series, which led to… well, we’ll let you find out for yourself.
This story is great because it lets us see how the Surfer and the Mad Titan work together. As long as you enjoy watching these two have fun, the price of the ticket is worth it every time. Starlin makes the dialogue between them shine in a very unique way.
5. The Coming Of Galactus
Story Found In: Fantastic Four #48-50
If you want to know more about the Fantastic Four, here are some things you need to know: Before “The Coming of Galactus,” The FF had always been on the front lines of protecting humanity from certain death, but never at the level seen in “The Coming of Galactus.”
There are three issues in the story. The Silver Surfer comes to Earth in the first one. In the beginning, he doesn’t care about humanity and brings his master to the planet to eat. But his feelings change. He sees that there is a lot of good in people and is reminded of his home country. He tells the FF where to find the Ultimate Nullifier on his master’s ship, and he defies Galactus, who doesn’t like him very much.
Reed Richards tells Galactus that he will no longer be alive, so he backs down. As punishment for the Silver Surfer, he keeps him stuck in Earth’s atmosphere, never able to reach the stars. It’s one of the best Fantastic Four stories that has ever been written.
6. The Origin Of The Silver Surfer
Story Found In: Silver Surfer #1
Details: When the Silver Surfer was first shown in the pages of The Fantastic Four, very little was said about who he was or how he became Galactus’s herald, so this is what you need to know. It all comes out in the first issue of the Silver Surfer’s solo comic book.
The first time he worked for Galactus, he was Norrin Radd, the mayor of Zenn-La. When Galactus came to eat his world, he was the only one who went out to face the World Eater. In order to save his planet and the woman he loved, he agreed to be Galactus’ herald. In this role, he flew through the universe, looking for planets that his master could eat.
7. The Power And The Prize!
Story Found In: Silver Surfer #3
Mephisto is a well-known bad guy today, but he didn’t show up until Silver Surfer #3’s “The Power and the Prize.” This great story by Stan Lee, John Buscema, and Joe Sinnott pits the Silver Surfer against Mephisto in a battle of the souls.
The early Surfer books talk about how he feels like he doesn’t belong. When he went to Earth, he found that people didn’t like him, and this book shows how his contempt for humanity grows. If he keeps being rejected, he may have to do something against his nature to get out of the Earth’s atmosphere. People may have to pay for what’s hurting the Surfer’s soul, and he may have to do it.