Silver Surfer (1968) #2 In-Depth Retro Review and Analysis

Silver Surfer 2 cover

Written by: Stan Lee

Art by: John Buscema and Joe Sinnott

Letters by: Sam Rosen

(Colours uncredited)

Available on Marvel Unlimited

The Silver Surfer is one of Marvel’s most iconic characters. Introduced in 1966 in Fantastic Four 48, it wasn’t long before he got his own Marvel series, and it’s not difficult to see why. Having agreed to a lifetime of service as Galactus’ herald in exchange for the continued existence and safety of his homeworld, two years after his first appearance Norrin Radd finds himself confined to Earth – his punishment for helping the Fantastic Four save the Earth from Galactus’ all-consuming hunger. The character of the Surfer is, then, one of Marvel’s ‘bigger’ characters. An alien who nevertheless embodies very human notions of nobility and self-sacrifice, he is an isolated and misunderstood figure, and his background is drenched in tragedy and pathos. While it’s true that other Marvel characters had similar issues at the time (Spider-Man, the Sub-Mariner and, especially, the Hulk all spring to mind), I’d argue that it’s the Silver Surfer who represents the pinnacle of what you might call Marvel’s melodramatic tragic style. While I’m very conscious that I might be talking complete rubbish (and a lot of it!), I hope you’ll allow me to explain what I mean, as we take a deep dive into the over-sized second issue of the character’s first solo series.

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