Surfin’ Is the Only Life, the Only Life for me, Now Surf…Surf…

Here’s Day 9 of Howard Simp­son’s month-long online Kir­by Cel­e­bra­tion, dur­ing Kir­by’s birth month of August. Open to all cre­atives, you should be able to find oth­er peo­ple’s work on your favorite social media plat­forms by the hash­tag #Kir­b­yArt­Trib­ut­es.

Today’s prompt is the Sil­ver Surfer, who first appeared in Fan­tas­tic Four dur­ing what may be that book’s best-loved and remem­bered sto­ry­line, the Galac­tus tril­o­gy. He was­n’t any­thing that was in any plot that Stan Lee and Jack Kir­by had dis­cussed, and Stan else­where has acknowl­edged that he was sur­prised when he ini­tial­ly saw the pen­ciled pages to dis­cov­er him. Jack explained that he felt a char­ac­ter as con­cep­tu­al­ly big and god­like as Galac­tus ought to have some kind of her­ald to accom­pa­ny and pre­cede him, hence the Surfer.

Stan was so tak­en with the Surfer, he made him his own, and even­tu­al­ly spun him off into his own title. Not work­ing with Kir­by, but John Busce­ma. It’s a high­ly regard­ed book (and char­ac­ter), but Stan’s con­cep­tion was dif­fer­ent from what Jack orig­i­nal­ly intend­ed. Where Stan had the Surfer pre­vi­ous­ly exist­ing as Nor­rin Rad, who sac­ri­ficed him­self and his iden­ti­ty to save his plan­et, Jack thought of the Surfer as a being who was basi­cal­ly cre­at­ed out of noth­ing, and was learn­ing as he trav­eled. That’s def­i­nite­ly how things read in his ini­tial appear­ance as part of the Galac­tus trilogy.

Any­way, I hope you enjoy my shot at the Surfer. Tune in again tomorrow…

2 thoughts on “Surfin’ Is the Only Life, the Only Life for me, Now Surf…Surf…

  1. Joe musich

    The world need­ed your head shot of the Surfer. No Galac­tus to be seen. Your com­ment of Jack’s cre­ation of some­thing from noth­ing. I bought the series right off the spin­ners. The surfer as a Golem type being made much more sense then Stan’s take. And that seed idea of Jack’s is still the way I remem­ber the Surfer as his best. Ter­rif­ic image and sto­ry reminder. Thank you.

    1. Mark Post author

      Glad you like it, Joe.
      I think we got maybe a lit­tle taste of Jack­’s orig­i­nal take on the Surfer in how the Recorder was han­dled over in Thor: com­ing across a lot of new expe­ri­ences and hav­ing to process and under­stand them, learn­ing what it means to be a person.


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