|So, dude, this guy-I swear-he’s like, made of metal or something, and, dude, get this: he, like, surfs freaking outer space. Whoooooooah…
Comic book superstar, herald of the planet-eating Galactus, and idol of surfers everywhere, Marvel Comics’ Silver Surfer finally made it to television in 1998. Like many of Marvel’s “Silver Age” heroes, the Surfer was a co-creation of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, who introduced the character in the pages of The Fantastic Four.
The Silver Surfer began his life as ordinary mortal Norrin Radd (years before “rad” became a slang term), citizen of the planet Zenn-La and beloved of the beautiful Shalla Bal. When the titanically tall Galactus came to devour Zenn-La, Norrin offered an alternative: If Galactus spared his planet, Norrin would forever serve as his herald, scouting out lifeless planets for the devourer to consume. Galactus accepted, transforming Norrin Radd into the sleek-bodied Silver Surfer, who would never again see his homeworld or his lady love.
The Silver Surfer flew through space on his silver board, and his strength and powers were augmented. Unfortunately, the transformation process also wiped out Norrin’s memories. When his memories returned after a mental battle with the evil Thanos, the Surfer rebelled against his master, refusing to help him eat the planet earth. The Silver Surfer was banished from Galactus’ presence, and as a final cruelty, the devourer had moved Zenn-La to a new location.
The Silver Surfer spent the rest of his 13 episodes out among the stars, searching for his lost planet. His quest brought him into constant conflict with Thanos, Galactus, and such other Marvel Comics regulars as the Kree and Ego, the Living Planet. Unfortunately, the Surfer was unable to complete his quest, as Marvel’s declaration of bankruptcy kept him from returning for a second season.