Published August 24, 2023

Who Is Silver Surfer? The Official Marvel Guide

What do you know about the Herald of Galactus? Read on to find out everything you’ve ever wondered about Silver Surfer!

What is it about moody loners that we're so intrigued by? Is it their aloof attitude towards life or maybe the way they zoom in and out of our lives on an unknowable schedule? Whatever the case may be, characters like the Silver Surfer will always pique our inquisitive nature.

Since his debut in 1966, readers have seen the Sentinel of the Spaceways serve as Galactus' loyal Herald, revolt against his leader, live on Earth and cruise the cosmos on his trusty board. In that time, we have learned the answers to some of the burning questions about the Silver Surfer!


How did Silver Surfer become a Herald of Galactus?

Norrin Radd's life began on Zenn-La, a planet known for its utopian qualities. Though Norrin fell in love with Shalla-Bal, he craved adventures in a world with no place for them. That all changed when Galactus showed up, looking to feast on the planet. In an effort to save his people, Radd offered himself up as a bargaining chip. He would serve as Galactus' Herald if Zenn-La would be spared. The Devourer agreed to the deal, transforming Radd into the Silver Surfer by imbuing him with the Power Cosmic.

What happened when Silver Surfer first met the Fantastic Four?

The Silver Surfer was still serving his master when he made his debut in FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #48-50. During that classic story, the Sentinel of the Spaceways came upon Earth and considered it an excellent source of nutrients for the big guy. After signaling Galactus, Silver Surfer got sucker punched by the Thing and fell into the apartment of Alicia Masters. Through her, he experienced the goodness of humanity and later attempted to convince Galactus they should leave the planet unharmed. When master would not listen, servant lashed out, severing their tie for a long time.

Why did Silver Surfer spend so much time on Earth?

Galactus did not just leave Norrin Rad behind when his Herald revolted. While the Devourer did allow him to keep his connection to the Power Cosmic, he also erected an invisible barrier that would keep his betrayer on-planet. During this time, Norrin questioned humanity's morality while also protecting the planet on his own and as a member of the Defenders.

Radd remained stuck on the planet for a great deal of time, but managed to get out in SILVER SURFER (1987) #1 when Mister Fantastic suggested he could leave the planet if not on his board. The trick worked, allowing the Surfer to fly into space where he helped free Galactus' current Herald Nova. In exchange, the Devourer finally removed the barrier allowing the shiny one to traverse the cosmos once more.

What is the connection between Silver Surfer and Mephisto?

While the Surfer was still stranded on Earth, Norrin became disillusioned with humanity and used his powers to bring society to a standstill. The ensuing panic drew the attention of Mephisto who attempted to use Shalla-Bal as a bargaining chip to make Silver Surfer serve him. However, even with the love of his life in danger, the hero refused to give himself over to the demon.

What caused the color change in SILVER SURFER: BLACK?

In GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2019) #1, Silver Surfer was sucked into a black hole created by the Black Order. This deposited him billions of years in time in the pages of SILVER SURFER: BLACK (2019). There, he fought Knull and found himself physically changed after facing the god of darkness. The Surfer, now black as the cosmos, returned to the present and remained in this new form throughout ANNIHILATION: SCOURGE (2019) and the Starbrand affair in AVENGERS (2018) #27-30. However, during a modern day encounter with Knull in KING IN BLACK (2020), Norrin returned to his more familiar polished finish.

What are the best Silver Surfer comics to read?

You can't go wrong reading any Silver Surfer yarn spun by his creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. That includes the original Galactus Trilogy (FANTASTIC FOUR #48-50) as well as the story in #57-61 in which Doctor Doom stole the former Herald's powers. Those appearances lead into the very first SILVER SURFER series that ran from 1968-1969, which further establishes him as a confused outsider stranded on Earth.

Lee later joined up with another legend, Moebius, to tell SILVER SURFER: PARABLE in 1988. Several years later, Silver Surfer became a major player in the lead-up to INFINITY GAUNTLET as well as the main story itself. Over a decade later, he displayed his importance once more in the cosmic rejuvenation known as ANNIHILATION. And of course, the entire Dan Slott and Mike Allred run of SILVER SURFER—which includes a volume started in 2014 and another in 2016—is beloved by many.

What is Silver Surfer up to now?

After getting his sheen back, Silver Surfer found himself meeting a baby Galan (AKA Galactus) in the first two issues of DEFENDERS (2021). Fans of Ron Marz and Ron Lim's work on the character in the 90s—they fully took over with SILVER SURFER #51—will want to read their recent reunion in SILVER SURFER: REBIRTH (2022), which is set in that same era.

Radd also rejoined the Fantastic Four as they fought the Reckoning War, even using an altered version his former master Galactus to win the day. And, even more recently, he starred in SILVER SURFER: GHOST LIGHT (2023) which reunited the Sentinel of the Spaceways with another old friend who had been presumed dead.


To explore more of Silver Surfer's countless adventures, head on over to Marvel Unlimited and started reading all of his iconic storylines!


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