Shalla Bal

The Keeper of the Great TruthShalla Bal

The long-lived Shalla Bal of Zenn-La is a staunch supporter of her people and shares an ill-fated romance with the Silver Surfer.


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Hailing from Zenn-La in the Deneb system of the Milky Way galaxy, Shalla Bal grows up with and close to the cosmically-powered Norrin Radd, AKA Silver Surfer. Affected by his enemies and his Power Cosmic, she rises to save their people, who make her their Empress.



Shalla Bal is a Zenn-Lavian, an extremely long-lived, race of humanoid aliens who generations ago achieved virtual utopia, having eradicated disease, poverty and other social ills. One of their  customs pairs a grieving child with a companion to assuage their pain, and as such Shalla gets paired up with Norrin Radd when the young boy’s mother commits suicide. Though they become friends, Shalla cannot compete with Norrin’s studies and love for his father, Jartran, who deeply affects Norrin with his negative attitude for the Zenn-Lavians’ hedonistic lifestyle and lack of curiosity for new discoveries. Shalla nonetheless falls in love with Norrin and stays with him despite constant rejections in favor of his scientific studies. 

When Jartran is accused of idea theft, he commits suicide, and Shalla was among the few to join Norrin at his father’s funeral. Though their love grows stronger, Norrin stays troubled and unable to accept what Zenn-La had to offer. Despite Norrin’s problems, Shalla stays faithful to him, rejecting scientist Yarro Gort’s advances. 

When the world devourer Galan, AKA Galactus, menaces Zenn-La, Shalla is among the many who quickly yield to the general consensus Zenn-La would be lost, but her lover Norrin would not give in to despair and confronts Galactus by himself, offering to become Galactus’ herald, seeking out new worlds for him to devour, if Galactus spares Zenn-La. Galactus agrees and transforms Norrin into the cosmic-powered Silver Surfer, who returns to his beloved Shalla one more time to say goodbye. Heartbroken and unable to follow him, Shalla stays behind on Zenn-La.



Shalla possesses her race’s natural longevity. While wielding the “Power Cosmic,” she can restore life to Zenn-La’s ecosystem by touch, resulting in new plant growth wherever she walks. She can utilize the Power Cosmic to send a universe-spanning telepathic distress call to other cosmic-powered beings, foremost the Silver Surfer, or by channeling the Power Cosmic through Zenn-La’s plant life to contact beings deeply connected to plants. Over time, the Power Cosmic empowering her apparently dissipates. 

Shalla is a good-hearted, courageous woman and natural leader. She is loyal to her people and willing to risk her life to protect them. 

When she takes on the role of The Keeper of the Great Truth, she receives full body armor, including a helmet, and wields an energy-blasting staff. She also possesses the power of flight. As The Keeper, her personality is much more aggressive with colonizing tendencies.


Fearsome Foes

The Hell-Lord Mephisto often plagues Shalla to get at or bribe the Silver Surfer for his own ends. He even works with Dr. Victor von Doom, AKA Doctor Doom, to brainwash her and change her memories. Shalla also faces the Elders of the Universe, who attempt to kill her for interfering in their grand plans. 

While attempting to colonize Earth and restructure it with Zenn-Lavian culture, Shalla faced the might of the Avengers, Alicia Masters, a traitorous Silver Surfer and his new love Dawn Greenwood.


Staunch Allies

Shalla is loyal to her people, the Zenn-Lavians, and when given the opportunity to become their Empress, she rises to the occasion. 

Silver Surfer is Shalla’s long-time love but they share an ill-fated love story. They experience many separations and reunions over the course of their relationship. They’re often torn apart by Radd’s duties as Galactus’ herald, other love interests, or death. Their relationship suffers a downturn when the Surfer destroys their collective culture, and Shalla strips him of his status as Zenn-Lavian.


A Story Across the Ages

In 1947, the malevolent collective Other seemingly destroyed Zenn-La and killed all the planet’s citizens. To honor his pact with the Surfer, Galactus allegedly recreated the planet and its people, including Shalla Bal. Half a century later, Galactus trapped the Surfer on Earth behind an invisible energy barrier after the Surfer helped thwart Galactus’ consuming the planet. The Hell-lord Mephisto, knowing the anguish the Surfer and Shalla felt over their separation, approached Shalla to capitalize on the situation. Mephisto brought Shalla to Earth on a Zenn-Lavian spaceship, where United States military forces shot down the vessel, wounding Shalla. The Surfer healed Shalla with the Power Cosmic, but Mephisto cut their reunion short, taking Shalla to Hell to lure the Surfer there to tempt or kill him. When that failed, Mephisto offered Shalla to the Surfer, but she did not want the Surfer to lose his soul to Mephisto, and Mephisto sent her back to Zenn-La to punish them both. 

Back home, remnants of the cosmic power the Surfer used to heal her manifested as a psychic connection, which haunted her dreams. Seeking help to return to Earth, Shalla became Yarro Gort’s space lab assistant. Gort, still in love with Shalla, hoped he could win her over by proving the Surfer was dead or unfaithful. Arriving on Earth, Gort detected the Surfer in South America and caught him kissing freedom fighter Donna Maria Perez after saving her from the local military. When Gort collaborated with a general to use Zenn-Lavian weapons against the freedom fighters and the Surfer, Shalla interfered, and the general shot her. The Surfer destroyed the weapon, killing Gort and the general, then sent Shalla with her spacecraft back to Zenn-La where she was healed. 

Mephisto kidnapped Shalla again and blackmailed the Surfer into destroying Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division (S.H.I.E.L.D.) for Mephisto, but before the attack Mephisto secretly placed Shalla on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Helicarrier. When the Surfer failed, Mephisto teleported Shalla to Latveria and gave her the memories of a peasant girl named Helena. Discovering “Helena” and seeing the resemblance to Shalla but not realizing the truth, Latveria’s ruler, Doctor Doom, brainwashed her into believing she was Shalla Bal; after announcing their wedding, Doom offered the Surfer a chance to regain her by killing the Fantastic Four, but the Surfer failed. Threatening Shalla’s life, Doom used the Surfer to empower the android Doomsman II to finish the Fantastic Four, but after a kiss by the Surfer removed Doom’s brainwashing, Shalla once again believed she was Helena and asked the Fantastic Four and Surfer to stop fighting Doom to prevent the Latverian archive’s destruction. The Surfer departed without learning the truth about Helena.

Meanwhile, Galactus decided to consume Zenn-La’s life-sustaining properties because of the Surfer’s rebellion but allowed the Zenn-Lavian’s to leave their world before he did so. They returned to a lifeless planet, which the Surfer visited after Reed Richards, AKA Mister Fantastic, helped him break through Galactus’ energy barrier. The Surfer was greeted with hostility and left after learning Shalla had not returned home after Mephisto abducted her. Helena’s existence finally made sense to the Surfer, and he returned to Latveria to confront her, but upon his arrival, Mephisto took Helena to Hell where he allowed her to remember her existence as Shalla Bal. Following Mephisto, the Surfer had him on the verge of defeat when Mephisto turned Shalla into an energy ball to separate her once again from the Surfer by sending her back to Zenn-La. The Surfer, again trapped behind Galactus’ barrier, instilled the energy ball with Power Cosmic before it passed through the barrier. 

Back on Zenn-La, Shalla Bal, now empowered by Power Cosmic, restored life to the ravaged planet wherever she walked. Due to her new powers, the Zenn-Lavians declared her their Empress. At some point, the Enslavers abducted all Zenn-Lavians, and Shalla Bal caught the eye of the Enslavers’ overlord Mrrungo-Mu, who forced her into subservience. The Surfer, free again to roam the universe, saved everyone by defeating Mrrungo-Mu. The Surfer soon reunited with Shalla on Zenn-La and proposed marriage after vowing to protect the planet in the future. Though Shalla declined because her new position as Empress left her no time for a private life, he stayed true to his vow for the people of Zenn-La. 

Using her psychic connection to the Surfer, created when he last imbued her with Power Cosmic, Shalla soon called him back to Zenn-La to help against the Kree. Shalla was saddened when the Surfer told her about his new love for the Celestial Madonna Mantis. Coincidentally, Shalla was abducted by the Elder of the Universe Ord Zyonz, AKA Gardener, after receiving a distress call from Mantis, who seemingly sacrificed herself to allow the Surfer to save Shalla when the Elders of the Universe tried to kill her and Mantis for interfering with their schemes.

Back on Zenn-La, the Cotati sent a message through Zenn-La’s plants to Shalla to inform her the new Kree Supreme Commander Nenora was a Skrull, but it took Shalla some time to understand the message. Shalla once again called the Surfer for help when the Elders’ Maht Pacle, AKA Obliterator, attacked Zenn-La. When Skrull Empress S’Byll tricked the Surfer to side with them against the Kree-allied Badoon, Nenora sent a Kree fleet to besiege Zenn-La in retaliation, forcing Shalla to openly join an alliance with the Skrull Empire against the Kree. Shalla finally deduced the Cotati message’s meaning, but before she could tell anybody, Nenora, overhearing Shalla through transponders hidden in her vicinity, sent a Sentry robot to kidnap Shalla and imprison her on Hala. The Cotati helped Shalla escape, and she soon led the Surfer and S’Byll to Nenora. S’Byll revealed Nenora’s Skrull form to the Kree and negotiated a truce between the empires while the Surfer returned Shalla to Zenn-La.

Some time later, the immense psychic entity Great One offered to protect Zenn-La by storing the planet and its people as thought patterns inside his mind. Shalla agreed, and Zenn-La became the paradise it once was inside the Great One. Searching for Zenn-La, the Surfer found the Great One and had the Mind Gem-wielding Heather Douglas, AKA Moondragon, transfer him into it. Reunited with her lover, Shalla stayed with the Surfer, who became Norrin Radd in the mindscape, and decided to stay with Shalla, but when a mental construct of the Great One visited Zenn-La, he saw Norrin as an intruder and assaulted him. Their battle fatally injured the Great One, and the Surfer and Moondragon worked together to transfer all worlds stored in the Great One back to reality. Shalla stayed behind as their anchor, but the Great One died before the Surfer could retrieve her as well, and Shalla apparently perished. 

Blaming him for the Empress’ death, the people of Zenn-La chased the Surfer away. Adam Warlock soon found a way to bring Shalla back to life and offered the Surfer his help in return for the Surfer’s alliance. After returning her body, Warlock, the Infinity Watch and the Surfer traveled to Hell to retrieve Shalla’s soul from Mephisto and for a short time afterward the Surfer embraced his love with Shalla and stayed with her on Zenn-La. The Surfer eventually left again, and despite her strong feelings for him, Shalla realized it would never work out and moved on, taking Norrin’s half-brother Fennan as her betrothed. When the Surfer returned to Zenn-La, he was shocked at first but accepted her choice before leaving again. Shalla stayed with Fennan until an unexplainable energy distortion seemingly dissolved the planet and its inhabitants. The Surfer returned in time to see Zenn-La disappear. Shalla Bal dissolved in his arms.

Shalla was later restored and became The Keeper of the Great Truth, the spiritual leader of her people. In this role, she captured Ben Grimm, AKA The Thing, in a thrall and made him her herald. She had him keep Earth’s protector, the Silver Surfer, busy while unleashing the devastating Illuminatrix upon the planet, which had the power to overwrite the world’s culture with their own more perfect ideals. In her attempt to transform Earth’s culture and people, she was interrupted by Alicia Masters, long-time love of Grimm, and who denied Shalla’s offer of restored sight. Masters also revealed that her beloved was hers no longer as he loved another present, that of Earthling Dawn Greenwood. Offended, Shalla soon found herself faced with the Avengers who fought Shalla’s forces. The Surfer then used his Power Cosmic to send a destruct code through the Illuminatrix that would destroy all traces of Zenn-Lavian culture across the cosmos. Shalla and her forces suddenly lost all color and distinction from their dress and ships. For the loss of their aesthetic, their culture and even their knowledge of it, Shalla saw the Surfer as a traitor and she with her forces banded together to make him pay. While her forces fought the Avengers, Shalla found the Surfer in a hospital bed as his power use had a devastating effect. There, Alicia defended him and when Shalla nearly impaled her with her Keeper’s staff, the Surfer’s board stopped her. The Surfer realized that Shalla only sought justice against the one who destroyed her culture, and offered himself to her. Shalla then disowned him from their people and departed Earth with her forces in tow. 




125 lbs.







Universe, Other Aliases, Education, Place of Origin, Identity, Known Relatives, Powers
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