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The Greatest Silver Surfer Stories Ever Told!

Every day in November we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!

Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).

Today’s list is the Greatest Silver Surfer Stories Ever Told!


10. Fantastic Four #55 “When Strikes the Silver Surfer!”

This is the first Silver Surfer appearance after his debut in “The Coming of Galactus.” In this issue, he goes to visit Alicia Masters, causing the Thing to attack him in a fit of jealousy. This is perhaps the first of many “I do not understand yoo-man emotions” Silver Surfer stories.

9. Silver Surfer #70-75 “The Herald Ordeal”

In this six-part story by Ron Marz, Ron Lim, MC Wyman and Tom Christopher, Galactus’ herald, Nova, turns on her master. Galactus responds by enlisting his most sadistic herald yet, Morg! Surfer is forced to put together all of Galactus’ former heralds in an attempt to stop Galactus from continuing to have Morg as his herald. Can they succeed? And even if they do – can they do it without losing the life of one of their own (the answer is no to one of those questions)?

8. Silver Surfer: Judgment Day

This thrilling graphic novel by Marvel legends Stan Lee and John Buscema shows us the Surfer caught in the middle of a conflict between Mephisto and Galactus. This story is notable for the fact that each page is a John Buscema splash page.

7. Silver Surfer #34-38 “The Return of Thanos”

Jim Starlin returned to Marvel Comics with the beginning of his Silver Surfer run, as Starlin readied the world for the Infinity Gauntlet with this, the return of Thanos! Ron Lim and Tom Christopher provided the artwork.

6. Silver Surfer #1-10 “Galactus vs. The Elders”

In the epic first storyline of Steve Englehart’s Silver Surfer series, the Surfer is finally freed from captivity on Earth only to be caught up in duel plots – a new Kree/Skrull War as well as a plot by the Elders to kill Galactus! These first ten issues were filled with action and intrigue and great art by Marshall Rogers and Joe Rubinstein.

5. Silver Surfer #4 “The Good, The Bad and the Uncanny!”

Loki manipulates the Silver Surfer into battle with Thor in one of the most monumental superhero fights of all-time. The issue was brought to us by Stan Lee, John Buscema and Sal Buscema.

4. Silver Surfer #3 “The Power and the Prize!”

This issue introduced the demonic Mephisto as we get a chance to see the soul of the Surfer tested. It is a poignant story of pain and resolve. Stan Lee, John Buscema and Joe Sinnott were the creative team.

3. Silver Surfer #1 “The Origin of the Silver Surfer”

Stan Lee, John Buscema and Joe Sinnott combined for the heartwrenching origin of the Silver Surfer, in this tale of tragedy and sheer, unbridled heroism.

2. Fantastic Four #48-50 “The Coming of Galactus”

Silver Surfer’s introduction and a classic tale of the Fantastic Four doing the impossible – essentially defeating God. They are aided in their endeavor by the herald of God (or Galactus, if you prefer), who is so touched by the capacity for good within humanity that, for the first time in his history, he turns on his master and helps defend Earth. Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and Joe Sinnott were the creative team for this legendary tale.

1. Silver Surfer: Parable

Two comic book icons, Stan Lee and Moebius, come together for this striking tale of the dangers of blind faith as Galactus uses religion in an attempt to destroy the world. As expected, the Surfer is confused and disappointed by the actions of humanity.

That’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!


Wow, like the Nick Fury list, five of my picks are here (nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, & 8 on this list – although again, not in that order – my no. 1 was the Surfer vs. Thor story). Anyway, not bad. Also nice to see that in terms of art, John Buscema dominates this list – I’ve always considered him the definitive Silver Surfer artist . And yes, I’m one of those guys that was all outraged by that misguided Kirby vs. Moebius argument in “Crimson Tide.”

All great picks. Surfer’s a hard character for me to pick any story as a great. Between the entire original Stan Lee run, the first 75 issues of the ongoing, the Perez issues of the ongoing and Parable, I don’t think I could have narrowed it down. But these are 10 really great runs/books here.

Another 6/10 list for me. I almost picked Infinity Gauntlet #4 just for the one scene of the Surfer going after the gauntlet on Thanos’s hand, but figured that didn’t really count as a Surfer tale.

I did pick the John Byrne one-shot and the story of the Flying Dutchman in ish 8-9 and I think his first encounter with Spider-Man, too.

I didn’t pick it, but am surprised by the absence of the Lee/Kirby “Doom steals Surfer’s power” story didn’t make the top 10.

Overall great list!

The Herald Ordeal? Seriously?

The Herald Ordeal? Seriously?

Heh, this was exactly my reaction when I saw it on the list. It’s an OK story, but there are so many better arcs and, especially, one-off single issues from that series:

1. Silver Surfer (Vol. 2) #22 “Monsters From the Ego”
2. Silver Surfer (Vol. 2) #103 “Survivors”
3. Silver Surfer (Vol. 1) #1 “The Origin of the Silver Surfer”
4. Silver Surfer (Vol. 2) #122 “It’s the End of the World As We Know It!”
5. Silver Surfer (Vol. 2) #2 “Shalla Bal”
6. Fantastic Four #48-50 “The Coming of Galactus”
7. Silver Surfer (Vol. 2) #48 “Confronting One’s Maker”
8. Silver Surfer (Vol. 2) #34-38 “Rebirth of Thanos”
9. Silver Surfer (Vol. 2) #25-31 “Silver Surfer Kree/Skrull War”
10. Silver Surfer (Vol. 2) #50 “Deeply Buried Secrets”

Am I the only one who thinks “Parable” is absolutely one of the most overrated works ever? It’s not even Stan Lee’s best Silver Surfer story, Moebius’ art feels incredibly wrong for the material, his lettering is distracting and goofy, and it has to be the worst characterization of Galactus ever. I just don’t understand the appeal. There are so many better one-shots out there. “The Ultimate Cosmic Experience” was barely left off my list, and that reads so much better, in no small part to Kirby’s return to the characters. And the aforementioned Byrne one-shot is superb, again, barely left off my list. I’m really hoping someone will come along in the comments and affirm that I am not alone in shaking my head at the #1 on this list.

Herald ordeal has me scratching my head. Though it seems to me that ff48 was more of a galactus story then surfer.

I heard the JMS mini series was really good. Wonder why it wasn’t on the list?

surprirsed the coming of Galactus did not make the list. other wise good picks for the silver surfer

The Crazed Spruce

November 27, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Ummm, Chad, you might wanna take a second look at #2…..

Is this the most Stan Lee-dominated list we’ve had so far?

Good for him, the Surfer is up there with Spidey and Dr. Strange as my favourite of Stan Lee’s works. And Buscema’s my favourite Surfer artist so glad to see his heavy presence here, too!

I love the small insert on the cover “Don’t miss Johnny Storm’s first day at college!”.

It just seems so mundane, especially by Marvel’s usual hyperbole.

Next week, “Don’t miss Sue Storm renew here driver’s licence”

This was absurdly hard to vote for. Marvel has very little Silver Surfer material available digitally.

No Silver Surfer: Requiem? Really? These ‘greatest’ lists seem more and more to simply be ‘greatest picks that cater to early bronze age sensibilities”.

If so, then it means those are the biggest group of people who took time to vote for this month’s polls. When Comic Book Resources takes time to publicise this blog’s pollls about greatest characters or greatest fights the results skew a lot more towards stuff from the past 20 years.

I would have voted for FF 260. The fight with Doom was epic.

Good to know I’m not the only one disappointed that JMS’s “Requiem” was not on the list. Bronze Age SS nos. 1-4 could’ve been lumped together to make room for Surfer’s final days. Boo, hiss…

Even had they been combined (and they really shouldn’t have been combined, as Silver Surfer #1 and #4 have basically no connective narrative thread to them), Requiem would have fallen just shy of the Top 10.

I’m happy with number 1, as it’s one of my favourite comics of all time. It introduced me to Moebius, who’s my favourite artist.

It’s also nice that three of the top five go to the Lee/Buscema series. That’s definitely an Essential I’m glad I picked up.

I’ll add my voice to the chorus of those moaning that Requiem didn’t make it. Still, since I didn’t vote, I guess I shouldn’t complain, and it’s a pretty good list overall.

Nothing from the DeMatteis/Garney run of the 90s? That’s a bit surprising.

Nothing from the DeMatteis/Garney run of the 90s? That’s a bit surprising.

I almost…. ALMOST put #130-131 on my list because it is such a heartbreaking culmination to the series, the character, everything about the Silver Surfer. But, both issues have sizable chunks of time spent on the Alicia-trapped-in-the-past storyline. Essentially, we are given this story that could have acted as a sort of series finale, that at least should have been given its own couple of issues wholely dedicated to the story (I’m trying to avoid spoilers here), and instead it becomes relegated to a subplot. As a result, I came to feel contempt towards the Surfer/Alicia love story, because it felt wrong to have it encroach on the much bigger and more important story of Shalla Bal and Zenn-La. It completely undercuts the impact of the story knowing that SS seems more concerned with making smoochie faces with Alicia the whole time. I dunno, just my $0.02…

That second Silver Surfer ongoing from the late ’80’s (represented by “Galactus Vs. the Elders” up there) was such a huge part of my childhood. My comic diet until my early teens was, as I’m sure it was for many of us, whatever my older brother bought. Luckily, he had pretty good taste for the most part. That “Galactus Vs. The In-Betweener” issue was so epic! At the time, the concept of a comic where two characters fought without dialogue for many of the panels was very new to me. It didn’t hurt that they were literally throwing each other into planets, which were the size of basketballs to them.

John Buscema’s covers on SS #3 and SS #4 are awesome.

Alicia had a fling with the Surfer? Good lord. No wonder I skipped most of the ’90s.

Aaron Scott Johnson

November 29, 2011 at 6:32 am

After reading this list, of which I had read only the Fantastic Four issues, I took a trip to half-price books and found the hardcover of Judgement Day; I thought it was fantastic! It was all of the great Stan Lee hyperbolic writing without the exposition dumps found in his earlier work. I really enjoyed it.

I thought that the writing on Silver Surfer: Parable was awesome, but the art really turned me off. I mean, the pencilling, the inking, the coloring, the lettering, all of it. That’s my only problem with Silver Surfer: Parable being #1. The 1987 Surfer series was wonderful. I’d have liked to have seen #1-10 rank a bit higher. The Lee/Byrne one shot should have made the top 10, also.

Requium was not great

To the person who whined about “Bronze Age” sensiblities, not one of these choices is in the Bronze Age, as least not acording to most definitions of when the Bronze Age occured.
As an aside, while I’m mostly happy with this list, I’d have liked to have seen Silver Surfer: In Thy Name make it.

Whether you like Moebius or not, the Parable story is a very compelling argument for number 1, as it embodies everything the Silver Surfer is; The ultimate loser, as well as the hero and man we all wish we could be. I do think that a couple of the other stand alone stories should have been on the list as well, e.g., the Enslavers. That being said, what makes the Silver Surfer different and great is that his character can be just about anything you want it to be, and therefor what is great to one will not be great with another. When it comes to someone like Hulk, most of us just kinda like the fact that when he gets pissed, he smashes things.

I can see I’m going to have to get Parable. Moebius was one of the artists that got me into comics in the first place. Can’t comment on it being number 1 but at 2 at least I’d have put the Fireside hardback book published in 1978 by Simon and Schuster. Not only does it tell the first coming of the Silver Surfer and Galactus to Earth (which is then wiped from everyone’s mind) but is also the last collaboration of Lee and Kirby on a Silver Surfer story. And it’s a great story. Was this just overlooked, or don’t people rate it?

Turd Burglar

May 5, 2013 at 9:21 am

Basically everything Stan Lee did on Silver Surfer is golden.

Er… You know what I mean.

Jonathon Riddle

May 21, 2013 at 3:40 am

I love the Surfer, so this list caught my attention. I’ve read most of these (my FF knowledge is alittle rusty) and think it’s a great list — with one exception:

The Herald Ordeal.

Ordeal is right. It was taxing just to sit though this tedious piece of commercialized 90’s trash. I think maybe people were just excited to see all the former heralds in one place, like some cosmic class reunion. Not a bad idea, really, but the tedious, formulaic way it was executed tried my patience. A new herald is introduced each issue to build a team to stop Morg. By the time the Air Walker android is dusted off, I could predict every beat this story was going to take. Marz and Lim both did much better work elsewhere.

[…] The two issue Silver Surfer miniseries by Moebius and Stan Lee (collected as Silver Surfer: Parable) […]

Yeah I’ll be that guy: The Herald Ordeal was awesome. As someone that came to the surfer party late due to my age, it wad a lot of fun to get to know all the old heralds a little bit better…also made me really begin liking both firelord and Terrax

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