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The Silver Surfer

The Silver Surfer is a comic book character, part of the Marvel Comics universe. Created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, he first appeared in Fantastic Four #48.

Formerly known as Norrin Radd, resident of the idyllic planet Zenn-La, he volunteered to serve the planet-eating entity Galactus, scouring the cosmos for other edible planets if he would spare his homeworld. Galactus accepted the young mortal's sacrifice and imbued him with a portion of the Power Cosmic transforming him into the Silver Surfer. He served Galactus for an unspecified amount of time until he came to the planet Earth.

On Earth the Surfer encountered a number of individuals whose nobility and honour touched him. The Surfer chose to rebel against Galactus and attempted to prevent his master from consuming the humans' homeworld. Galactus was eventually driven off but as punishment for his rebellion the Surfer was exiled on Earth with a barrier around the planet preventing the former space-farer from leaving the world he had allied himself with.

The Silver Surfer is a unique product of the Marvel system of comic creation. Unlike the full scripts employed elsewhere creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby would discuss general storylines or plots initially but leave the specific story elements to the penciller (this was especially so in the case of the supremely imaginative Kirby). Reputedly, Kirby created the character of the Silver Surfer reasoning that a cosmic predator of planets should have some sort of herald[?]. Lee was surprised by this creation but, taken by the noble features of the new character that Kirby had pencilled, scripted him, adding to his characterization.

Though Kirby is clearly the sole creator of the Silver Surfer, Lee enjoyed the character and decided to feature him in his own comic magazine. Unfortunately Kirby was unavailable and penciller John Buscema[?] was chosen as the artist for the brief (18 bi-monthly issues) run. The Silver Surfer comic and character allowed Lee to script some of his most thoughtful and introspective stories. Thematically the stories dealt with the inhumanity of man as observed by the noble yet fallen Surfer. After his own comic was cancelled the Surfer continued to make sporadic appearances as a guest star or antagonist in other comic books. A personal favorite of Lee's, a number of specials and graphic novels featuring the character have been published over the years. He was given a chance at a solo title for the second time in the 1980s where he finally managed to escape the confines of Earth and left for the spaceways.

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