Space exploration is a fascinating frontier that has intrigued people across the globe. In our search to understand the universe, technology has become increasingly advanced. When we look up at the stars, it’s easy to wonder what’s out there, and there are various characters that represent humanity’s interest in travel, such as The Silver Surfer. As a scholar and astronomist, Norrin Radd wanted to unravel the mysteries of the universe, though he got more than he bargained for when he became the herald of Galactus.
Radd came from Zenn-La, a civilisation so advanced the people had lost the will to explore. Eager for adventure, Radd grew increasingly restless. When Galactus chose to consume Zenn-La, Radd made a deal with the planet-eater to spare his home and the life of his lover Shalla-Bal. Galactus agreed and turned Radd into The Silver Surfer, fusing him with the Power Cosmic.
As Galactus’ herald, The Surfer was doomed to seek out planets for his master to consume. Although Radd planned on leading him to uninhabited worlds, Galactus tampered with his soul to stop him from doing this. Eventually, The Silver Surfer led Galactus to Earth, where he joined with the Fantastic Four to drive his master off. As punishment, Galactus imprisoned his former herald on Earth.
During his exile, Surfer battled against various villains like Doctor Doom and Mephisto. He also formed the Defenders with Hulk, Namor and Doctor Strange. However, Surfer was desperate for the freedom of space, which led to him working with Reed Richards to break through Galactus’ barrier, only to find Zenn-La destroyed. Surfer’s home planet is eventually restored, though he was unable to renew his romance with Shalla-Bal because she’d become Empress.
A collision with Thanos led to Surfer having his soul restored by the Mad Titan, though he was overcome with grief over his past actions. This highlighted the tragic nature of the character because he’d always longed for adventure, but was fated to never be able to settle in one place. The Silver Surfer’s wanderlust has allowed him to see the universe, though imagine what it must feel like to not belong anywhere. The irony is that Radd got what he wanted, but he had to sacrifice everything.
The Surfer has gone through bouts of being emotionless, which helped him carry out his role as Galactus’ herald. Though when he regained his soul he was forced to live with the burden of the lives that had been lost. It raises the question of whether it was better to feel nothing or carry the guilt.
The Silver Surfer’s power set is interesting thanks to the Power Cosmic. The force has allowed him to travel through space, project energy, heal living organisms, cast illusions, create interdimensional portals, detect objects from light years away and granted him several other abilities.
Surfer’s board is made out of the same material as his skin, with the two of them being linked telepathically. Nigh indestructible, the board can be used for offense and defence, even acting as a prison by absorbing other beings. On the few occasions that the board has been destroyed, the Surfer has been able to reconstruct it easily.
The Silver Surfer is a relatable character because his thirst for adventure has been felt by many people. It’s easy to feel trapped or stifled, especially in an age where people are posting all of their travel exploits online. The pressure to pack up may feel overwhelming. But coming back to a home is the most important thing. Being able to belong is the most rewarding sensation.