SILVER SURFER #1 (1968)

Norrin Radd makes Galactus an offer he won’t refuse…

Wow.  What a great comic!  Stan Lee gives Silver Surfer a full-length origin story that weaves together his time on Zenna La and his more recent adventures on Earth, where he was pitted against Hulk, Dr. Doom, and others.  It’s a great introduction to the character, a seamless narrative, and one that firmly re-establishes Norrin Radd as a pacifist with tremendous power.

In the early pages, for example, fighter planes come after him just because he is different.  He flees and does not fight back, while pontificating aloud about what fools these warlike mortals be.  Truly, Silver Surfer is the perfect character for Stan to write—he’s full of big words and self-indulgently melancholic.

He even gets attacked by a Yeti!

(Surfer distracts the creature with his board instead of punching him out.)

Truly, the only problem with this story is that Galactus is red.  Not sure why.

This is an extra-long book, with a backup feature that tells the origin of The Watcher (again) and tries a similar narrative structure as in the main story, but it doesn’t work as well.

Creators: Stan Lee and John Buscema (Surfer); Stan Lee and Gene Colan (Watcher)
Grade: A (Surfer); C (Watcher).

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.

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