Spacefaring adventurer and explorer; former would-be world conqueror, minion of Gaea, Earthbound adventurer, herald of Galactus, scholar; sometimes mistakenly regarded as a messianic figure
Place of Birth
Planet Zenn-La, Deneb System, Milky Way Galaxy
Tutored in science by Jartran Radd and in the nature of the universe by Galactus; self-taught in various areas, especially history, and absorbed much Zenn-Lavian knowledge from "hypno-powered study cubes"
Silver (blue as Radd)
Bald (black eyebrows as Radd)
The Silver Surfer wields "the power cosmic", absorbing and manipulating the universe's ambient cosmic energies. He can augment his strength to incalculable levels, and is almost totally indestructible. He can navigate space, hyperspace and dimensional barriers, and can fly at near-limitless speeds on his board, entering hyperspace when he exceeds light speed. He has even proven capable of time travel on occasion. The Surfer does not require food, drink, air or sleep, sustained entirely by converting matter into energy. He is immune to temperature extremes and most radiation, and can survive in vacuum environments such as outer space and hyperspace. He can analyze and manipulate matter and energy, and restructure or animate matter at will, even transmuting elements. He can heal living beings (though he cannot raise the dead), and has proven capable of revitalizing or evolving organic life on a planet wide scale. He can alter the size of himself or of other matter, cast illusions, fire energy blasts, form and manipulate energy constructs, manipulate gravity, absorb and discharge most forms of energy, and phase through solid matter. His senses enable him to detect objects and energies light years away, and to perceive matter and energy in subatomic detail; he can even see through time, and with concentration can achieve limited perception of past and future events in his general vicinity. The Surfer has demonstrated limited telepathic ability on occasion, and has proven able to influence human emotion and sensation.
Norrin Radd was born on the planet Zenn-La. His alien race was an extremely long-lived and technologically advanced humanoid race which had created a worldwide utopia devoid of crime, disease, hunger, poverty, and want of any kind. Radd's mother killed herself when he was younger so he was raised by his father. But, later on in Norrin's life, his father also commited suicide. However, before his father took his own life, he had taken a new lover and fathered another son, Fennan, who was unknown to Norrin. Norrin also had a lifelong love named Shalla-Bal on Zenn-La. (Talk about a tragic early life story!)
When Galactus came to Zenn-La and wanted to consume the world, Radd offered to become his herald to seek out new worlds so Galactus would spare Zenn-La. Galactus agreed and transformed Norrin into a silver-skinned, cosmic-powered super-being patterned after an adolescent fantasy plucked from Norrin's memories. Now, know as the Silver Surfer because of the silvery flying board he rode, Radd left Zenn-La with Galactus. He served Galactus for many years, but after a while it became very difficult for Radd to find energy-rich worlds devoid of sentient life. Over time, Galactus was able to alter the Surfer's mind, submerging Radd's emotions and repressing past memories and as a result, the Surfer became more willing to lead Galactus to inhabited worlds, like Earth. When on Earth, the Surfer caused widespread panic and fought the Fantastic Four. During this conflict, the Surfer met blind sculptress Alicia Masters, who sensed his inner nobility and pleaded with him to spare humanity. Now, with his long-dormant emotions stirred up by what Alicia taught him of beauty and spirit, the Surfer turned on Galactus and helped fight him off long enough for Uatu and the Fantastic Four to force Galactus to withdraw from Earth. However, Galactus punished the Surfer for betraying him and he trapped the Surfer on Earth by creating an energy barrier around the planet that was uniquely attuned to the Surfer so he could not escape. (To learn about any of the characters or team above, just click on their names.)
Here's a side note about the Silver Surfer's board: It is composed of the same impervious, cosmic-powered silvery material as the Surfer's skin, and is mentally linked to him. The board moves in response to the Surfer's thoughts, even when he is not in physical contact with it. The board pretty much is indestructible. On rare occasions the board has been damaged or destroyed, but the Silver Surfer has been able to repair or even re-create it. He can attack opponents remotely by directing the board against them and the board is capable of temporarily absorbing and imprisoning other beings.
Now on Earth, the Silver Surfer became a sad global wanderer trying to adjust to his new home and understand its people. He tried to make friends with other outcasts and anyone that was willing to be his friend. Among those that he tried to become friends with were the Thing, Doctor Doom (Doom imprisoned Radd and stole the Surfer's power for himself, but lost it when he collided with Galactus' barrier, and the Surfer's powers were restored), Hulk, and Quasimodo. After these failed attempts, the Surfer was convinced that humanity was a savage race that could only survive and evolve if the planet were united against a common enemy, so the Surfer decided to become that enemy. He terrorized the world with his cosmic powers until the U.S. military struck him down with an experimental power-draining "Sonic Shark" missile, based on technology developed by the Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards). Humbled by the incident and shown the error of his ways by the Fantastic Four, the Surfer resumed his peaceful wanderings. His powers were diminished, though they gradually returned to their original levels. One of the Surfer's few true friends during these early adventures was physicist Al B. Harper, who sacrificed his life to help the Surfer save the world from the enigmatic Stranger. The Surfer, on several occasions during this period, was briefly reunited with Shalla-Bal, but circumstances always forced the lovers apart, sending Shalla Bal home each time. Increasingly frustrated by his situation and disgusted by man's inhumanity to man, the Surfer, secretly influenced by Psycho-Man, became more hostile, battling Spider-Man, Human Torch, S.H.I.E.L.D., and the Inhumans in a series of misunderstandings and misadventures. (Just click on the highlighted names to learn about the different characters and teams that the Silver Surfer has interacted with: both good and bad interactions.)
One time, the Surfer formed a temporary alliance with Hulk and Namor the Sub-Mariner to oppose a new weather technology that threatened to destroy the world and they went by the name of the Titans Three. The Silver Surfer has also be invited to join the Avengers, but he, among a few others, have declined the membership offer. (Note: This time the ladies might want to stay away from a picture on Namor's Marvel.com bio page with him in a small and tight speedo outfit.)
Later in life, the Surfer was finally able to pierce Galactus' barrier with the aid of Reed Richards and escaped Earth, but he discovered Zenn-La had been devastated by a vengeful Galactus and the planet was barely capable of supporting life. Even worse, Shalla-Bal had been abducted back to Earth by Mephisto. Though it meant trapping himself on Earth again (since Richards' escape method would work only once), the Surfer returned to Earth and defeated Mephisto, who sent Shalla-Bal back to Zenn-La, though not before the Surfer endowed her with a portion of his cosmic power which she used to revitalize their ravaged homeworld, Zenn-La. Later, the Surfer was able to pierce Galactus' barrier again (this time by using the Thing's simple suggestion of trying to pass through it without his surfboard). This time, the Surfer made peace with Galactus by rescuing Galactus' current herald Nova from the alien race, the Skrulls, after which Galactus finally ended the Surfer's long exile. Norrin revisited his homeworld, but Shalla-Bal had become empress of the rejuvenated Zenn-La and was not free to renew their romance. The Surfer then later, found a new love interest, Mantis (Earth-born cosmic heroine also known as the Celestial Madonna). But, that relationship didn't work out. After that, Nova and the Surfer started liking each other which influenced Nova to question the morality of her role as a herald. Galactus finally replaced her with the far more ruthless Morg, who killed Nova during a conflict with the Surfer and most of the other ex-heralds. (Rough love life for the Silver Surfer! To learn more about the above characters, just click on their names. Note: Beware of both Nova and Mantis' bio pages on Marvel.com. They both show form-fitting outfits, and Mantis' is really revealing: block the pictures if possible.)
One time a Gaea-powered curse mystically forced Surfer, Namor, Hulk and Doctor Strange to assemble in response to any and all threats to the Earth. Because of the ongoing stress of this situation coupled with the subtle emotional influence of the curse itself, the four gradually became crazy and they attempted to rule the world in the belief that this was the most efficient way to protect the planet. Later, the curse was broken and they went back to normal life after that. (To learn about the above Gaea or Dr. Strange, just click on their names.)
During his travels, the Silver Surfer was captured by the Planet Sakaar Empire and was planted with an obedience disk to ensure he remained loyal to them. Here on this other planet, he fought as a gladiator and was forced to face the Hulk. The Hulk had viewed Surfer as a friend, and was enraged when the Surfer mercilessly attacked. Destroying the obedience disk, the Hulk nearly killed the Surfer before being forced to stop. The Hulk and several other slaves and gladiators were freed when the Surfer used the Power Cosmic to remove their own obedience slugs and give them a way out of the arena. (To learn about Sakaar or about what the obedience disks do, just click on them above. Also, the picture of the Silver Surfer as a gladiator on Sakaar is pictured as the second picture from the bottom showing him as one half normal/one half gladiator. If you would like to learn about the Silver Surfer in more detail, click on this link, http://www.marvel.com/universe/Silver_Surfer.)