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Western Animation: Silver Surfer

Silver Surfer was a shortlived Animated Adaptation based on the Silver Surfer comic book character.

Norrin Radd is a pacifistic man living on the progressive, harmonious planet Zenn-La, until the cosmic entity Galactus arrives. The Devourer of Worlds proceeds to consume the planet's energy, but Norrin Radd convinces him to serve as his Herald to find planets for him to feed on, thinking he can both save his home and other worlds by leading Galactus away from populated worlds. Galactus instead scrubs his memories and imbues him with a portion of the power cosmic, and the Silver Surfer is born. After encountering Earth and saving the planet from his own master, he starts to roam about the cosmos as he tries to find his way home to Zenn-La and his love Shalla-Bal.

The series was cancelled after only one season, ending on a cliffhanger.


This series provides examples of:

  • Brainwashed: Galactus wiped the Surfer's memory after turning Norrin Radd into his herald. The Surfer's first act was to offer Zenn-La, Norrin Radd's home planet, as Galactus's first meal. Only Galactus's earlier promise to Radd spared Zenn-La.
  • Conspicuous CGI: Many elements in the series, but especially Galactus.
  • Downer Ending: Thanks to it being unexpectedly cancelled, the series ends with the Silver Surfer apparently dead and the universe destroyed.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Goal: Find and return to Zenn-La. Would have been achieved in the first season finale if the producers hadn't decided to bank on a cliffhanger.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Galactus' eyes glow brightly. So does his mouth when it opens.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: One episode has Adam Warlock as a supersoldier created to fight the Kree. Fearing his power, his creators trapped him in a Groundhog Day Loop time anomaly in space in which he fights the same battle over and over again the same way (his own memory getting reset each time). New objects can be drawn in so how he fights exactly the same way against a growing number of ships from different eras is a mystery. The Silver Surfer is not affected by the anomaly and manages to pull Warlock out. By the end Warlock not being able to cope with events that transpired in the real world, flies back in the anomaly and goes back to fighting obliviously in the loop, presumably forever.
  • I Gave My Word: In a particular bit of dramatic irony, Norrin Radd offers his own planet up to Galactus immediately after making a deal with him to become the Silver Surfer to save it and having his memory wiped. Galactus states that the planet is not for beings such as him and the Surfer because he once made a deal with an honorable man.
  • Kirby Dots: The animated series combined this with Conspicuous CGI.
  • Left Hanging: The cartoon ended with thirteen episodes, because Marvel went bankrupt. Episode 13 featured Thanos destroying all of the cosmos. The second season was meant to fix this.
  • Never Say "Die": Thanos is the primary antagonist. In the comics, Thanos has a crush on (the embodiment of) Death, a plot which carries over into the show. Death, however, is called "Lady Chaos" for television purposes.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: The title theme music to the animated series had Latin-sounding singing interspersed at ominous points against the instrumental background.
  • Recap Episode: The short-lived cartoon spoiled its second episode by devoting a huge chunk of it to recapping the events of the first episode in clips.
  • Was Once a Man: In an episode the Surfer and a group of researches come across an enormous green blob monster on a universal library planet built by Precursors. It's actually the precursors (and the crew of a pirate ship) themselves after they devolved into this form and linked up with each other in a hive mind of knowledge.


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