Somehow, dear readers, I missed this post when I organized this series for my About page. You’ll want to read this to understand how the Silver Surfer was introduced to the Fantastic Four and what I mean by an “Outer Hero’s Journey”. He also seemed like a villain (or at least part of the threat) at first, and his origin story wasn’t even penned by Stan Lee until after the FF4 storyline finished. In fact, Galactus alone was Stan’s idea, and the Surfer came about as an afterthought when Jack Kirby added a figure on a surfboard to the original conceptions for Galactus.
What I think is especially compelling about the story of the Silver Surfer is that it is presented in layers. He was introduced in Marvel Comic’s Fantastic Four title, issue 48: “The Coming of Galactus!”
The Call To Adventure is not for the Silver Surfer, but is externalized to the Fantastic Four. (The internal call will be explained in the Surfer’s origin story, where Norrin Radd becomes The Hero by way of Galactus.) They are squarely in the realm of the Known, while the Surfer is an Unknown.
The threat, as is discovered later, is Earth’s impending destruction, to feed the hunger of a cosmic being called Galactus.
Galactus arrives on Earth