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Quote1 Hear me, people of Zenn-La! The Silver Surfer has betrayed Galactus! Thus, your planet is forfeit! Thus, Zenn-La shall be destroyed! Quote2
Galactus (Galan)

Appearing in "Escape -- To Terror!"

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Synopsis for "Escape -- To Terror!"

Brief Summary:
The Fantastic Four build a device that allows the Silver Surfer to break free of Galactus' barrier. The Surfer quickly returns to Zenn-La, but is horrified to find the planet destroyed and devoid of life. The remaining survivors blame the Surfer for this destruction, because it was Galactus that returned to consume Zenn-La after the Surfer had betrayed him. The Silver Surfer also discovers that Shalla Bal was captured by Mephisto and is still trapped on Earth. He quickly returns to Earth and finds Shalla Bal under the control of Mephisto. The Surfer battles Mephisto and is close to overpowering him, when Shalla Bal is suddenly sent back to Zenn-La. The Silver Surfer rushes to catch her, but realizes that Galactus' barrier will stop him. Instead, he gives her some of his Power Cosmic so that she can bring life back to Zenn-La.

Silver Surfer Vol 2 1 page 1

Detailed Summary:
Still trapped on Earth, the Silver Surfer laments over his plight and recalls the events that led to him becoming the Silver Surfer. He also reflects on his first encounter with the Fantastic Four and how, through meeting Alicia Masters, he renounced his role as Galactus' herald. It was this event that trapped the Surfer on Earth. While trying once again to pierce the barrier and failing, the Surfer notices a beam of energy also striking the barrier. He searches for the source of the beam, which leads him to the Fantastic Four. Reed has come up with an alpha beam device which temporarily weakens the barrier allowing the Surfer to fly out. He cautions the Surfer though that they can only do this once. If he comes back to Earth again he'll be trapped again. The Silver Surfer and Fantastic Four try it out and it works.

Happy to finally be free of the Earth, the Surfer speeds off to Zenn-La to be reunited with Shalla Bal. Arriving on the planet, the Surfer finds the place decimated. He's attacked by his own people and, after stopping them, learns what has come of his home planet. After betraying Galactus, the world-devourer considered their agreement nullified. He returned to Zenn-La to consume it, as he had originally intended. When he inquires about Shalla Bal he learns that she had been kidnapped by Mephisto. The Surfer then recalls his last encounter with Dr. Doom in which he used what was apparently an exact duplicate of Shalla Bal, but now realizes that she was the real Shalla Bal all along. The Surfer then speeds back to Earth to find his true love, unaware that Mephisto has been watching the whole time and that this will suit his ends of trying to obtain the Surfer's soul.

When the Surfer returns to Earth, he tracks down Shalla Bal who has spent the past months working in the kitchen of Dr. Doom's castle. When he confronts the girl she is kidnapped by Mephisto again. Following the lord of lies into his own domain, the Surfer confronts Mephisto who unsuccessfully tries to use his powers to force the Surfer into submission. The Surfer and Mephisto then lock in physical combat, until Mephisto strikes out at Shalla Bal.

The Surfer breaks off his attack and Mephisto uses the moment to commit one final act. He transforms Shalla Bal into energy and sends the energy orb out into space, back to Zenn-La. The Surfer chases after it and gives Shalla Bal a portion of his Power Cosmic before she passes through Galactus' barrier. Although he's trapped on Earth again and Mephisto's revenge is complete, the Surfer still has a minor victory. When Shalla Bal returns to Zenn-La, she finds that the Power Cosmic endowed to her has given her the ability to revitalize the decimated planet.

Solicit Synopsis

The galactic herald returns in this jam-packed one-shot! Silver Surfer recalls happier times with the Fantastic Four. With Norrin Radd becoming a distant memory with each passing day, will Surfer ever recover the man he once was? Surfer returns to his homeland Zenn-La to find absolute devastation. A new quest begins for Silver Surfer -- one that involves finding his soulmate, Shalla Bal!


  • Norrin Radd agreed to become the Silver Surfer and Galactus' herald in order to save Zenn-La and to get the opportunity to explore the universe. [1]
  • The Silver Surfer finds Earth for Galactus and the first person he meets, the Thing, knocks him out. [2]
  • After being attacked by the Thing, a weakened Silver Surfer ends up in Alicia Masters' apartment where his humanity is awakened by Alicia's kindness. [3]
  • The Silver Surfer decides to betray Galactus to save the Earth and for his transgressions Galactus banishes him to this planet. [4]
  • Reed Richards wasn't the first person to invent a device that could break through Galactus' barrier. Al Harper built his own device that helped the Silver Surfer escape Earth. [5]
  • While it isn't certain when exactly Galactus returned to Zenn-La to consume it, a time frame can be established. It must have happened after Silver Surfer #16, since this was when Mephisto captured Shalla-Bal and took her to Earth. It probably occurred some time after Fantastic Four #123, since this was the last time Galactus returned to Earth to try and get the Silver Surfer to become his herald once again. The Fantastic Four helped the Surfer repel Galactus and get him to leave the Earth empty-handed. It's conceivable that this was the "last straw" for Galactus and when he finally accepted the fact that the terms of their deal had been broken.
  • Anddar Bal is referring to the time that he witnessed Mephisto kidnap Shalla Bal in order to force the Silver Surfer to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. [6] His plan failed, but he tricked the Silver Surfer into thinking that he sent Shalla Bal back to Zenn-La when in fact he sent her to Latveria and made her forget who she really was. [7]
  • Anndar Bal looks very similar to the Zenn-Lavian that originally informed the Silver Surfer of Mephisto's kidnapping of Shalla-Bal, when he had earlier returned to Zenn-La. [6]
  • The Silver Surfer discovered her in Latveria, but, with her memories clouded by Mephisto, she didn't know who he was. [8]


  • Plot by John Byrne and script by Stan Lee.
  • While other writers have had the Silver Surfer guest star in the comics that they were working on, this comic marks the first time Stan Lee has ever let another writer work on a "Silver Surfer" titled comic. Lee has been cited saying "I didn't want anybody to write the Surfer but me." [9]
  • The first panel on page 6 was used by the guitarist, Joe Satriani, for the cover art to his 1987 album, 'Surfing with the Alien.' [10]

See Also

Recommended Reading

The story references:

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