Musings of a Christian Geek about the Word, Geek Culture, Science, Music, Movies, and anything that is deemed noteworthy.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

My Top 10 Science Fiction And Fantasy Characters: #8

8. Norrin Radd (The Silver Surfer) 

From the King of the Jungle to the Sentinel of the Spaceways, we take our journey from the plains of Africa to the cold vacuum of space. Unbeknownst to many a casual superhero fan, Marvel and DC comics have extensive sci-fi sections of their universes. Both comic companies have thousands of characters whose adventures take them far from the confines of Earth. Organizations exist to police the galaxy (Marvel’s Nova Corps and DC’s Green Lantern Corps), megalomaniacal tyrants kill in search for ridiculous power (Darkseid from DC and Thanos from Marvel), and planets live (Marvel’s Ego and DC’s Mogo). However, through all of those characters and the writing thereof, there is only one Silver Surfer.


What has endeared me to the character of the Silver Surfer is the fact that his origin story is far different from most other super hero origins. Unlike, so many heroes whose origin began in the death of those around them, Norrin Radd became the Silver Surfer to protect life. He makes a deal with the planet eater, Galactus, that in exchange for not destroying his home planet, Zenn-La, he will find other planets to eat. While Radd’s intention was to find only uninhabited planets for Galactus to consume, his memories were destroyed while being imbued with the power cosmic. It takes the Fantastic Four on Earth to bring back the Surfer’s memories.

With the power cosmic given to him by Galactus, the Silver Surfer is one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe. Due to this fact, I have noticed a trend. The character is left out of quite a number of huge crossover events in Marvel because the Surfer’s power could have solved the problem in a matter of minutes. Onslaught could have been defeated by Silver Surfer and Norrin Radd could have single handedly stopped the Civil War. However, he is nowhere to be scene in either event.

In light of all this, why does the Silver Surfer only rank as number 8 on my list? Well, depending on who’s writing the character, he has a penchant to be severely depressed. If he’s not feeling guilty for all the planets he’s led Galactus to destroy, he is lamenting the fact that he cannot be with his former lover Shalla-Bal from Zenn-La. While, it is understandable given his predicament, it can be amped up to nth degree and unbearable to read at times.

Best portrayal: Silver Surfer: Rebirth of Thanos

Greatest Moment(s): I will still go back to his origin because of the selflessness Norrin Radd displays in order to save his planet and become the Silver Surfer.