Who is The Silver Surfer?
We discover later he is Norrin Radd, a citizen of a world called Zenn-La. Though this world is presented as a utopian ideal, there are hints of a decline. Although Zenn-La society was long-lived, technologically advanced, and seemingly free of suffering, it was too much for his mother, and she took her life. It was also to the undoing of his father, Jartran, as well, as he committed suicide after accusations of intellectual theft.
Although his father had pushed him to pursue self-mastery in study and achievement to response to the hedonism of Zenn-Lavian society at the time, it was not enough for Norrin, who later delved deep into Zenn-La’s ancient and primal past to find challenge and struggle he could not find in his present society.
Enter Galactus, the World Devourer, who threatened to consume Zenn-La to satiate his hunger. This is where the Inner Call to Adventure begins. After convincing a Council of Scientists member to provide him with a spaceship, Norrin faced Galactus, and pled with him to spare his world.
Galactus imposed a condition, however, to grant Norrin’s request. Norrin must agree to serve him, and find worlds uninhabited of life; for Galactus had no time to distinguish such worlds while feeding his hunger. While Norrin quickly agreed, Galactus informs him that such an obligation is not temporary: