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Quote1 Where soars the Silver Surfer... There must he soar--- alone! Quote2
Silver Surfer (Norrin Radd)

Appearing in "Origin of the Silver Surfer!"

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Synopsis for "Origin of the Silver Surfer!"

Brief Summary:
Growing tired of his banishment on Earth, the Silver Surfer thinks back to the days before he became Galacuts' herald. He was Norrin Radd of Zenn-La and, while he loved Shalla-Bal, he was growing restless on his planet. The Zenn-Lavians' lives were complacent, not looking to discover more about the universe around them. Norrin Radd was not happy with this fact and when Galactus appeared he saw this as his chance to save his planet and seek a new life. Galactus made him his herald and he became the Silver Surfer. The planet was saved, a new life was won, but his old life and love had to be left behind.

Silver Surfer Vol 1 1 page 1

Detailed Summary:
As the Silver Surfer is flying over the Earth, he spots a space capsule crashing into the ocean. He finds the craft at the bottom of the ocean, blasts open the door, and brings the unconscious Col. John Jameson out of the water and safely on to a nearby aircraft carrier. The servicemen think that the Surfer is a threat and jets are sent after him. He easily speeds away from them, as well as the Russian and Chinese missiles that are shot at him as he passes over their countries.

Tired of being banished on Earth, the Surfer longs to be able to return to his home planet Zenn-La. He remembers Zenn-La, an advanced planet that had achieved perfection through their technology. All war, crime, and illness had been eradicated. Before he was the Silver Surfer, he was Norrin Radd. While most of his fellow citizens were happy with their life on this nirvana, Norrin was bored and restless.

Back to present, the Surfer runs into a group of Yetis that instantly attack him. Instead of fighting back and hurting them, he distracts them with his surfboard and escapes unnoticed. This attack reminds of his first encounters with the Hulk and Doctor Doom. Both attacked him in the past even though he approached them as friends. He comes across the ruins of a once prosperous city and only finds desolation. This scene reminds of his last days on Zenn-La.

Norrin was with his beloved, Shalla-Bal, when the citizens' alarm sounded and an announcement was made. A gigantic alien spacecraft was headed for Zenn-La and the planet, being peaceful, had little left to defend itself from this potentially hostile stranger. Zenn-La's only option was to use the Weapon Supreme, a weapon so powerful that it destroyed much of the planet's buildings when it was fired at the approaching spacecraft. Unfortunately, the alien ship took refuge in the fourth dimension as the weapon was being fired and only the planet itself suffered from using it.

While most Zenn-Lavians felt all was lost, Norrin was determined to try and save his planet. He found a member of the council of scientists and had him build Norrin a spaceship that could reach the alien spacecraft. He arrived at the spacecraft to meet Galactus, devourer of worlds! Norrin made a deal with Galactus to save Zenn-La. He agreed and became the Silver Surfer, Herald of Galactus. While Zenn-La would survive, Norrin must leave and help find other planets for Galactus to eat for the rest of his life. He bid farewell to Shalla-Bal and soared off into space, all alone.

The Surfer started off by finding Galactus only planets that were free of living creatures for him to eat. But as the years went by, his vigilance to save innocent life faltered and he lead Galactus to Earth. He soon regretted this decision and fought back with the Fantastic Four to prevent the planet from being eaten. Galactus agreed to leave Earth but banished the Surfer to the planet, no longer able to roam the galaxies. Tired of this hostile planet and missing outer space, the Silver Surfer wonders where his destiny lies.

Appearing in "The Wonder of the Watcher!"

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Synopsis for "The Wonder of the Watcher!"

The Watcher details why he and his race cannot interfere in the affairs of other races. Many eons ago, the Watcher's race already possessed technology far more advanced than any other race in the galaxy. Some of them wanted to find other primitive races and help them advance, while others wanted to pursue a policy of noninterference. The Watcher and his father were two that supported helping other planets and at the end of the day their side won the argument. They found the planet Prosilicus and gave the Prosilicans the gift of unlimited atomic energy. Left to their own devices, some of the Prosilicans choose to create weapons to destroy their enemies and take control of their planet. Then they directed their attacks at a neighboring planet. In an act of mutually assured destruction, the other planet sent its own nuclear attached towards Prosilicus. Both are quickly destroyed and the Watchers see the result of their interference when they make a return visit. From that day on, the Watchers resolve to stay out of the affairs of others.

Solicit Synopsis

Featuring the origin epic of the century! With cameo guest appearances by the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, and the gargantuan Galactus! A brand-new smash hit, starring the most dramatic hero of all time – in an adventure as big as outer space itself!


"Origin of the Silver Surfer!"[]

  • The Silver Surfer was instantly attacked by the armies of three different countries. This was probably due to the fact that the last time the world saw the Surfer was when he was attacking it. [1]
  • This is the first time that the Silver Surfer mentions his home planet, Zenn-La, his real name, Norrin Radd, and his beloved, Shalla-Bal. Since it is mentioned in future issues that Galactus had suppressed the Surfer's memories so that he would stay loyal, it can be assumed that being banished on Earth (and separated from Galactus' influence) has let some of his stronger past memories get by this mental barrier. [2]
  • Norrin Radd was uncomfortable with Zenn-La's complacency and wished to experience more than his home planet. He must have gotten this from his mother, who we learn in a future issue was also tormented by this complacency. [3]
  • The Silver Surfer starts by finding only planets without life for Galactus to eat. However, over the years it appears that the Surfer's vigilance to preserve all forms of life falters and this is why he led Galactus to Earth. In future issues, it is confirmed that the Surfer's conscious was altered by Galactus in order to be a more amoral and loyal herald. [2]
  • This is the first time that the Silver Surfer utters his famous quote, "Where soars the Silver Surfer... There must he soar--- alone!"

"The Wonder of the Watcher!"[]

  • Adapted from the story The Way It Began. [4]


"Origin of the Silver Surfer!"[]

  • It's possible that Frank Giacoia provided additional cover inking on the Silver Surfer and the backgrounds.
  • Origin of the Silver Surfer! won the 1968 Alley Award for Best Full-Length Story. [5]
  • This issue makes multiple appearances in the 1983 film, 'Breathless'. Richard Gere’s character recites a number of lines from the story and the issue’s artwork is shown a few times on the screen. [6] [7]
  • The Silver Surfer's origin story is parodied in The Origin of the Simple Surfer! [8]
  • This issue was reprinted in July 2007 as a mini comic and came packaged with the Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer" DVD 2-disc Target store exclusive. [9]

See Also

Recommended Reading

The story references:

Links and References


  1. Fantastic Four #72
  2. 2.0 2.1 Silver Surfer (Vol. 3) #48
  3. Silver Surfer (Vol. 3) #84
  4. Tales of Suspense #53
  5. Alley Award Wikipedia. Retrieved on 15 November 2019.
  6. Breathless (1983 film) Wikipedia. Retrieved on 15 November 2019.
  7. Marvel Age #9
  8. Not Brand Echh #13
  9. [[Silver Surfer Vol 1 1 Grand Comic Database. Retrieved on 01 March 2021.|Silver Surfer #1 Grand Comic Database. Retrieved on 01 March 2021.]]