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Comic Book / Silver Surfer

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The cover to vol 4, #1 by Mbius.
The cover to vol 7, #1 by Mike Allred.
Where soars the Silver Surfer... There must he soar—alone!
Norrin Radd, Silver Surfer #1

The Marvel Comics character of the Silver Surfer has eight self-titled series so far.

Silver Surfer Vol 1 (19681970) was an ongoing series by Stan Lee and John Buscema. It's served as a spin-off of Lee and Kirby's Fantastic Four, with the Silver Surfer recalling his origin in the first issue, coming from Zenn-La and his first love, Shalla-Bal. The Surfer continued to be stuck on Earth, thwarting alien invasions, and stopping villains (like Mephisto, who makes his first appearance in the third issue). The Silver Surfer's creator, Jack Kirby, finally got to do an issue, #18, however, this turned out to be the book's final issue.

Silver Surfer Vol 2 (1982) was a one-shot by Stan Lee and John Byrne. It featured the Silver Surfer finally breaking free of Galactus's barrier with the help of the Fantastic Four and returning to Zenn-La...which is now a barren wasteland, thanks to Galactus. Also, it turns out that Mephisto still has Shalla-Bal and the Surfer must save her and help restore Zenn-La.

Silver Surfer Vol 3 (1987-1998) was an ongoing series by Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers. In return for saving his new herald Nova, Galactus finally gives the Silver Surfer his freedom, allowing him to surf the spaceways again. This series was slightly more successful than the previous one, lasting for 148 issues. Issues #32 and #33 were written by Jim Valentino before the book was handed off to Jim Starlin, who began his run with the "Rebirth of Thanos" storyline. This then lead to "Thanos Quest" and then The Infinity Gauntlet, making a huge impact on the rest of the Marvel Universe. As Starlin moved on to writing that crossover and Infinity Watch, Ron Marz took over the book with issue #51. This then led into The Infinity War and The Infinity Crusade crossovers. Marz also introduced Genis-Vell, the son of the deceased Captain Mar-Vell, who would go by Legacy before getting his own book. After Marz left the book, it was written by Glenn Greenberg, Mike Lackey, George Perez, and J.M. DeMatteis. The last issue, #146, was written by Glenn Greenberg and Tom DeFalco.

Silver Surfer Vol 4 (19881989) was a two-issue mini-series by Stan Lee and Mbius. Done primarily to show off Moebius's artwork, it was still considered a classic and one of Lee's favorite stories. It was published through Epic Comics due to its format.

Silver Surfer Vol 5 (20032004) was an ongoing series written by Dan Chariton and Stacy Weiss, with art by Milx. Introducing young mother Denise Waters and her autistic daughter Ellie as new supporting characters, it lasted for 14 issues.

Silver Surfer Vol 6 (2011) was a five-issue mini-series by Greg Pak and Stephen Segovia. The Silver Surfer faces off against the High Evolutionary and has his power stripped away. Norrin must stop the High Evolutionary as he seeks to replace Galactus himself.

Silver Surfer Vol 7 (20142016) was an ongoing series by Dan Slott and Mike Allred. The Silver Surfer ends up saving Dawn Greenwood, a woman whom he is told is the most important person in his life, but whom he doesn't know yet. Dawn becomes the Surfer's companion as they travel the universe. Basically, it's Doctor Who with the Silver Surfer. It lasted 15 issues until it came to an end with Secret Wars (2015) and then led into...

Silver Surfer Vol 8 (20162017) was a continuation of the previous series, still by Dan Slott and Mike Allred. It also featured the 50th anniversary of the Silver Surfer, which involved Shalla-Bal and Zenn-La invading Earth. The series came to a bittersweet end after 14 issues.

Silver Surfer: Black (2019) was a five-issue miniseries by Donny Cates tying into his Guardians of the Galaxy and Venom runs, with Norrin getting catapulted billions of years into the past and fighting the symbiote god Knull.

Silver Surfer: Ghost Light (2023) is a miniseries acting as a direct sequel to one of the stories in the original 1968 series. A decade ago, the Surfer's friend Al Harper sacrificed his life to save the Earth. Now he seems to be returned to life...

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    Volume 1 
  • Damsel in Distress: Shalla-Bal after she's kidnapped by Mephisto. She's the only thing that the Surfer wants, so Mephisto uses her to get the Surfer to obey him.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Every time the Surfer tries to escape from Earth, it will fail.
  • Flying Dutchman: One of Mephisto's schemes to get the Surfer's soul is to bring Joost van Straaten, the Flying Dutchman, from Limbo and into New York City. This isn't to be confused with the ship the Flying Dutchman, as van Straaten appears to be just a single ghost, but he was also cursed to wander Limbo forever due to his actions.
  • Frankenstein's Monster: After the Surfer saves Ludwig von Frankenstein from an angry mob, Frankenstein tricks him into an experimental machine which creates a Frankenstein Surfer.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: No matter how Mephisto tries to tempt the Surfer, he cannot. Mephisto's only victory is knowing the Surfer is in pain after seeing his love, Shalla-Bal, sent back to Zenn-La.
  • Let's You and Him Fight:
    • In the fourth issue, Loki tricks the Surfer into fighting Thor.
    • In issue #14, Spider-Man also tries to fight the Surfer, having heard he was hostile. He is disabused of this when he sees the Surfer sacrifice himself for a little boy.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In order to walk around among the people, the Surfer dons a trenchcoat, hat, and gloves; however, his skin is still silver. Perhaps the people of New York City are just used to it now?
  • Single Tear: The Surfer sheds one out of pity for the Flying Dutchman's tormented soul - which just so happens to be the one thing that can free a tormented soul from Limbo, thus enabling the Dutchman to rest at last.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: The Surfer saves someone from an angry mob in the seventh issue. This turns out to be Ludwig von Frankenstein.

    Volume 2 
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The Silver Surfer breaks free of Galactus's barrier...once. And only once.
  • Happy Ending Override: The Silver Surfer returns to Zenn-La...only to find it a wasteland. Since Norrin rebelled, this apparently meant that Galactus was free to do whatever he wanted with Zenn-La.

    Volume 3 
  • A God Am I: Thanos. From issue #44:
    Thanos: For I am transformed! I have left the mortal plane behind me! In truth I have risen above the mantle of godhood! Even celestial status is now below me! The Infinity Gems have given me the power of Supreme Being!
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Thanos, the first of his many resurrections, in the "Rebirth of Thanos." And it was written by Jim Starlin, who was the character's creator, too.
    • Issue #46 brings back to life Adam Warlock, Gamora, and Pip, too. Adam manages to project their souls from Soulworld into several recently deceased humans.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: During the "Blood and Thunder" event, Thor is brainwashed into becoming murderous.
  • City Planet: Dynamo City, a giant futuristic city traveling through space.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Nenora, who becomes the leader of the Kree Empire, was secretly a Skrull. After she became the leader, she then killed everyone who knew about this and set up making the Kree Empire as powerful as it could be.
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: Justified when Frankie Raye, a fire elemental, is fatally injured. Her flame then starts to dwindle before dying out.
  • Kangaroo Court: The Surfer finds himself in one on Dynamo City, with citizens paid to lie about him:
    Child: The Silver Surfer kicked my dog Buddy into an incinerator.
  • Legacy Character: Genis-Vell, Mar-Vell's son, first appears in Silver Surfer Annual #6.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The Supreme Intelligence traps the Surfer in one, where he is married to a woman who changes from Shalla-Bal to Mantis.
  • Magical Homeless Person: The story starts with the aforemented character living as a homeless covered with disposable clothes to hide his identity and keep guarding the people on the city in case that some supernatural menace (or most specifically Galactus) appears.
  • Mole in Charge: In this run, there was a running subplot of a Skrull permanently disguised as a Kree woman who worked her way up the social ladder so eventually she was the right-hand woman to the Supreme Intelligence, and when it got disabled, she was effectively empress. At that point she decided she kinda liked power and did not call off the Kree battlefleets about to engage the Skrull armada.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Cap'n Reptyl, a space pirate, is a recurring antagonist for the Silver Surfer in this run.
  • Retcon: Despite the fact that the Silver Surfer has visited Zenn-La many times and met Shalla-Bal many times, J.M. DeMatteis's run reveals that they were all constructs created by Galactus to spare the Silver Surfer from finding out that Zenn-La was destroyed by the Other. Don't think about it too hard.

    Volume 5 
  • The Big Easy: A large chunk of the book takes place there, since it's where Denise and Ellie Waters live.
  • Goo-Goo-Godlike: Ellie Waters. She ends up with the power to restore Earth.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: The first story arc involves a lot of mentions of the Loa and Voodoo.
  • Reset Button: The world is wiped out by a being called Marduk, except for a few special children saved by the Silver Surfer. One of them, Ellie, ends up with the power to, basically, hit the reset button and restore Earth.
  • Tulpa: Marduk. It was born from the belief that Marduk existed and was coming to wipe out the world.

    Volume 6 
  • Brought Down to Normal: The Surfer's powers are stripped away by the High Evolutionary and he spends most of the mini-series powerless.
  • Herald: Suzi Endo becomes the Seeker, the Herald to the High Evolutionary.

    Volume 7 & 8 
  • A Wizard Did It: Discussed in issue 5:
    Silver Surfer: So? Aren't you going to ask Stephen how he fixed the hole in the roof? The walls? The stairs?
    Dawn: He did it with magic.
    Silver Surfer: And you're okay with that?
    Dawn: Why not? That's magic. Makes perfect sense.
  • Being God Is Hard: Both the Surfer and Dawn realize this when they attempt to recreate the universe using the Shaper of Worlds after Doctor Doom ends up hijacking the old one as a result of the Secret Wars. Both end up realizing their own wants and the needs of the universe to function are too disparate, with Surfer struggling with the idea of playing God while not wishing for worship, while Dawn's attempts to recreate Earth being hollow portions based on incomplete knowledge. Both end up abandoning the false copy of their universe for the original once Doom is defeated.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Norrin and Dawn accidentally end up in the previous universe and Norrin doesn't have the power to get them back. So they live out their lives together until Dawn dies of old age. Norrin's power eventually returns to him and he converts Dawn's body into light and creates the first dawn for the next universe. He then has to tell her family, but also takes a holo-copy of her family to Inkadessa 4, where there's a Holo-Dawn, so that they can all be together.
  • Blood Knight: Warrior One. He's the best warrior in all of Prime, until he's defeated by the Silver Surfer. After that, he changes his title to Warrior Zero.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: First the Thing and then the Avengers are brainwashed by the Keeper of the Great Truth. Since the Keeper wants to replace all culture with Zenn-Lavian culture, the Silver Surfer tries to stop them and gets attacked by, well, everyone.
  • The Casino: Casino Cosmico, an entire casino dimension ruled by the Grandmaster.
  • Character Name Alias: Whenever he needs to go undercover, Norrin goes by the name "Norville Rappaport."
  • City Planet: The Impericon isn't just a city planet, it's an impossible one, a place that only exists because it uses the heart of the Queen of Nevers as a power source.
  • Cruel Mercy: When the Surfer stops Shalla-Bal from replacing all culture with Zenn-La, Zenn-La itself ceases to exist. The remaining Zenn-Lavians and Shall-Bal attack the Surfer in his hospital, but instead of killing him, Shalla-Bal tells him his punishment is that he is no longer recognized as Zenn-Lavian.
  • Cultural Posturing: Zenn-Lavians end up doing this, eventually attempting to overtake Earth and replace all culture with that of Zenn-La's.
  • Doctor Whomage: With the ability to go anywhere in time and space and a human traveling companion, this is what the Surfer became. It worked pretty well.
  • The Everyman: Dawn Greenwood. She's an ordinary starry-eyed woman who worked at her family's inn when she's swept away on an adventure and rescued by the Silver Surfer.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The tie-in to Secret Wars (2015), when the multiverse is nearly destroyed, is called "The Death of Everything That Ever Was or Ever Will Be."
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: He and Dawn and everyone from Newhaven got stuck in one of those due to an enemy superweapon.
  • Hard Light: Inkandessa 4 was an entire planet of beings made of hard light called Light-Forms. Since Inkadessa 1 through 3 were destroyed due to pollution and devastation to the ecosystem, the one surviving member of the race decided to recreate them using hard light because it had zero impact on the ecosystem. He also converted every organic being into hard light, too, including Dawn. Thankfully, her physical body wasn't destroyed, but that does mean there's a hard light copy of Dawn on the planet. After her death, Norrin returns to Inkadessa 4 and brings hard light copies of Dawn's family, so they can be reunited with her hard light copy.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Euphoria, a planet that can give whoever lives on it whatever they truly desire. You just have to stay on Euphoria to have it. Norrin and Dawn are trapped there, but they both end up saying how they want to leave, so Euphoria lets them. Notably, all Euphoria wants is to make its inhabitants happy, so if you want to leave, you can. After Dawn's father dies, she ends up going back to Euphoria to talk to a construct of her father and spends 67 days there before leaving again.
  • The Migration: Surfer helps the inhabitants of Newhaven, comprised entirely of refugees from worlds destroyed by Galactus, to do this after History repeats itself. It takes a while.
  • Space "X": In response to Dawn asking him why did the Giraud Expanse aliens speak French, he retorted that the two languages only sound alike. It's actually Space-French.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Dawn and her twin sister Eve. In the end of the volume 8, this becomes important because Dawn lives out her entire life in the previous universe and when she dies, Norrin takes her energy and converts it to light and, in the new universe, turns her into the first dawn.
  • Void Between the Worlds: During Secret Wars (2015), the Silver Surfer and Dawn get trapped in the void outside of time and space, called the Couldn't-Be Shouldn't-Be. There, they are convinced that they can recreated the universe by the Shaper of Worlds, but it ends up being that they only created a false copy.

Alternative Title(s): The Silver Surfer, Silver Surfer 1968, Silver Surfer Rebirth