The Silver Surfer, the lonely sentinel of the cosmos, has been one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe since his first appearance in the 1960s. Formerly the astronomer Norrid Radd, he sacrificed his freedom to the world-destroying Galactus in order to save his homeworld of Zenn-La and his one true love Shalla-Bal.
Bestowed with the Power Cosmic, he became Galactus’ herald, helping find worlds for his master to destroy. He would eventually betray Galactus and become a great hero, having hundreds of adventures over the years. With nearly fifty years worth of exploits, there are some facts that readers may not know about the space-faring champion. So, anywhere and everywhere – hang on! Here are ten things readers may not know about the Silver Surfer!
10 Alicia Masters Convinced Him To Turn Against Galactus
In the famous “Galactus Trilogy” (Issues #48 through #50 of The Fantastic Four,) Silver Surfer arrives on Earth as the Herald of Galactus only to be knocked unconscious by the Thing. He wakes up in the apartment of Alicia Masters, the Thing’s girlfriend, who nurses him back to health.
After he listens to her appeals for humanity, he is so moved that he decides to turn on his former master. He attacks Galactus, causing enough of a distraction for Mr. Fantastic to obtain the Ultimate Nullifier and use it to threaten the world-eater to never return to Earth.
9 Galactus Confined Him to Earth For A Period
Angered by his former herald’s betrayal, Galactus strips the Silver Surfer of his power to move through the cosmos. While the Surfer retained his board, he is trapped on Earth and unable to return to Zenn-La and his true love Shalla-Bal.
Every time he tries to leave the planet’s atmosphere, he is held back by an invisible force. Eventually, with the help of Mr. Fantastic, he is able to break free from Galactus’ hold and travel through space once more.
8 His Former Love Became the Emperor of His Home Planet
Following the Silver Surfer’s betrayal, Galactus returned to Zenn-La. He drained the planet of its ability to sustain life but allowed its people to survive. However, the people of Zenn-La struggled to live on the husk that had been their former home.
When the Surfer discovered this, he granted his former love Shalla-Bal a small portion of the Power Cosmic that grants him his abilities. She used this newfound power to bring life back to her planet and was crowned Empress as a result. Unfortunately, the duty to her people made it impossible for her to continue a relationship with the Surfer.
7 He Was One of the Original Defenders
Originally, in the pages of the Sub-Mariner series, Silver Surfer joined forces with Prince Namor and the Incredible Hulk to form a group called the Titans Three. After Doctor Strange was added to their group, they became known as the Defenders, a group of characters who were usually loners, dedicated to battling cosmic and mystic threats outside of the expertise of teams like the Avengers.
They were later joined by other heroes like Valkyrie, Hawkeye, and Nighthawk, but Silver Surfer eventually left the group after his desire to travel the far reaches of space became too much, though he would return periodically when he was needed.
6 His Home Planet Was Destroyed
In a twist revealed in issue #130 of the third volume of Silver Surfer, it was shown that Zenn La had in fact been destroyed decades earlier by the cosmic being known as the Other. The planet that Surfer had occasionally returned to were in fact reproductions created by Galactus who had taken pity on his former herald.
The shock of this revelation makes the Surfer turn cold and emotionally numb for a period. He returns to earth where, after a time, he learns to process feelings again.
5 He Was in a Relationship with Mantis
Mantis, the martial-artist believed to be the “Celestial Madonna,” began a relationship with the Silver Surfer after giving birth to a child proclaimed by the Kree to be their future Messiah. Leaving the newborn Sequoia with the Cotati, the alien race of the child’s father, Mantis left the planet with the Surfer.
Their relationship was tumultuous, with Mantis becoming increasingly bitter over having to leave her child. When she returns after seemingly perishing in battle, the strain on her psyche is too great for her to continue her relationship with him.
4 He Battled the Elders of the Universe
Along with Mantis, Silver Surfer battled the Elders of the Universe, a collection of the last surviving members of the first races to populate the universe. Members of the group include the Collector and the Grandmaster.
The Elders had planned to become all-powerful by destroying Galactus and the entire universe with him. They are stopped by the combined efforts of the Surfer and his aforementioned romantic interest Mantis.
3 His Board Has a Name
In Dan Slott and Mike Allred’s run on the Silver Surfer, an earth woman named Dawn Greenwood becomes the Surfer’s new traveling companion after he rescues her from the intergalactic tourist-trap the Impericon.
During their travels, she comes to believe his board is named “Toomie” after misunderstanding his constant command “To me, my board!” While the Surfer finds this humorous, his board (which displays a degree of sentience) appreciates its new name.
2 Quentin Tarantino is a Huge Fan
Among the Silver Surfer’s many admirers, one of the most famous is director Quentin Tarantino. The famous filmmaker even pondered directing a feature film based on the character after the release of his cinematic debut Reservoir Dogs, only for the film studio who controlled the movie rights for the character to pass on his script.
While his Silver Surfer film was never to be, Tarantino managed to work in some references to the character in a rewrite he did for the film Crimson Tide. In the film, Denzel Washington’s character, a submarine officer, breaks up a fight between two of his crew who were arguing whether Jack Kirby’s version of the Silver Surfer was better than Moebius’. Washington’s character then tells his crew that “the Kirby Silver Surfer is the one true Silver Surfer.”
1 He May Have Created The Marvel Universe
The end of Donny Cates’ recent Silver Surfer: Black, contained some startling revelations about the character and his role in the Marvel Universe. After being lost in a black hole, the Surfer is sent on an epic journey to the distant past where he battles the dark god Knull.
*Spoiler Warning* The series ends with him defeating Knull with a massive bomb that ends up creating a sun. With the last of his strength, the Surfer uses the Power Cosmic within him to build his homeworld of Zenn La, which sends life force throughout the Universe. While the Surfer is then sent back to the present, the implication is that he may have birthed the Marvel Universe on his journey into the past.
Best known for wielding the Power Cosmic and a sweet surf board, there's a lot more to the Silver Surfer than what Marvel fans already know