Silver Surfer (Marvel Comics)

Silver Surfer


The Silver Surfer is an iconic Marvel Comics character thanks to his striking visuals and themes. His books are seldom best-sellers, but he’s certainly recognizable and closely associated with much of the coolest cosmic materials in the Marvel Universe. His enormous power level also gives him a memorable niche.

This is a gisted profile, presenting an overview of the Silver Surfer through the decades and working on benchmarking his game stats.


  • Real Name: Norrin Radd.
  • Marital Status: Single, once betrothed.
  • Known Relatives: Shalla Bal (‘wife’), Jartran Radd (Father, deceased), Elmar Radd (Mother, deceased), Fennan Radd (Half-brother).
  • Group Affiliation: Defenders, The Star Masters.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile across the Universe.
  • Height: 6’4″ Weight: Unrevealed.
  • Eyes: Black, red or silver Hair: Bald


Powers and Abilities

The Silver Surfer possesses vast cosmic power, referenced to as the power cosmic, granted him by Galactus as a part of the process of physically restructuring the Surfer’s former organic body. He has the ability to channel ambient cosmic energy into his body at will, and expel it violently as concussive force or gently as a means to restructure molecules according to his mental design.

He can generate beams of energy through his hands with sufficient destructive force to level a large city or generate such subtle amounts of energy to restructure the molecules of the natural dyes within a plant to change its color. The Surfer can rearrange the molecules of matter to create other configurations, but he cannot transmute elements.

The forces binding together the molecules making up the silvery material that comprises the Silver Surfer’s “skin” are so great that there are few known forces in the universe great enough to overcome them. The inner portions of his body have also been made highly resistant to injury. Thus the Surfer is invulnerable to most forms of physical harm.

He can withstand great extremes of temperature caused by the build-up of friction within atmospheres or the vacuum of space or (within limits) the intense heat within the near vicinity of stars. He can survive without difficulties in the vacuum of outer space and hyperspace, and his body can withstand the stresses of travel at near-light speeds in this universe and of even greater speeds, in hyperspace.


The Silver Surfer has certain cosmic energy enhanced perceptions which enable him through concentration to become aware of the patterns of energy which surround him. Accordingly, he can sense great concentrations or deployment of energy anywhere in the world. He has a special affinity for the life energies of living beings, and can use his cosmic powers to augment them to a certain degree.

While he can use his power to revitalize life energies and heal the wounded, he cannot create life or restore life to the dead. The Silver Surfer does not need to eat or breathe since he absorbs life-maintaining cosmic energy direct through his skin.

Although his body does not require sleep, his mind still does in order to give it an opportunity to dream. The Surfer can shift himself into hyperspace, by exceeding 99 % of the speed of light (186,000 miles per second), a dimension in which velocity is not limited by the speed of light.

The Surfer can also compress his own bodily matter so as to shift himself into a so-called Microverse. He has twice used his powers to travel through time, but may be unable to engage in time travel under normal circumstances.

In flying the Silver Surfer usually makes use of an object known on Earth as his “surfboard”, due to it’s resemblance of Earth objects of that name. The Surfer’s “surfboard” is a construct of unknown materials created by the vast cosmic energies of his former master Galactus.

The Silver Surfer on a white background

The board is covered with the same silvery glaze that the Surfer’s body is covered with, making it impervious to virtually all forms of physical damage. Few forces short of the cosmic power of Galactus could affect it at all. The surfboard is psionically  linked in an unknown way with the Surfer’s mind.

Apparently only a being with the Surfer’s cosmic powers can cause the surfboard to fly, and it is controlled mentally. The surfboard apparently taps ambient cosmic energy in much the same way that the Surfer himself does. Although the Surfer could conceivably utilize his cosmic power to fly without it, the surfboard enables him to fly without the expenditure of any of his own energy.

The Silver Surfer can utilize the surfboard to attain 99 % of the speed of light, but seldom exceeds Mach 10 (ten times the speed of sound) within the outer layers of a planet’s atmosphere, and Mach 5 within the inner layers (the speed of sound is about 770 miles per hour).

Also, being a member of a highly advanced society he’s knowledgeable in the ways of science and spacecrafts. His cosmic adventuring has learned him a great deal about unarmed combat and his ability to ride the surfboard has no rival. For the sake of peace of mind he often practices meditation.


Norrin Radd, the Silver Surfer, has the distinction of having been the very first herald of the mega-tyrant Galactus. Before coming to his planet, the Devourer of Worlds had not even thought about having a Herald, but Norrin offered to become just that if Galactus would spare his world.

Thus the onetime scholar from the planet Zenn-La was transformed into the silver suited sentinel named the Silver Surfer, and set the course for many luckless souls whom Galactus would later recruit as heralds of destruction (the other heralds have so far, in order of appearance, been: Air-Walker, Firelord, Destroyer, Terrax, Nova and Morg).

As a galaxy cruising herald endowed with superhuman strength, he was able to control and direct cosmic energies, with enough force to destroy a city.

When the Silver Surfer selected Earth as potential nourishment for Galactus, he became the enemy of the Fantastic Four, who fought him bitterly. However, when he saw the fundamental goodness in humans, his conscience would not let him continue to participate in the destruction of their planet, so he turned against his master and refused to supply his world-devouring appetite.

The Fantastic Four and the Surfer managed to defeat Galactus and thus saved the world. Galactus has since returned several times in order to finally claim the Earth, but has miraculously been defeated every time.

The Surfer’s treason angered Galactus greatly and his punishment was confinement to earth for many years. But he was finally freed by Galactus himself and currently soars the starways as a universal protector. During his mainstay on Earth he became good friends with the Fantastic Four, Dr. Strange, and the Sub-Mariner and was even a member of the Defenders himself.

At the same time he became a bitter enemy of the demon lord named Mephisto. He’s currently on good terms with Galactus’ old herald Nova and is on above-neutral status with Galactus himself.

The Silver Surfer flies overhead on a white background

Since winning back his ability to travel the stars, the Silver Surfer has come to think of himself as a both a guardian of Earth and a defender of the innocent in the cosmos. Assuming these responsibilities has led him into repeated conflicts with extraterrestrial beings, including many of Galactus’s more recent Heralds.

He’s involved himself in various cosmic affairs and met the likes of Adam Warlock, Mantis and the Star Masters.

The Silver Surfer remains a well-known cosmic force for good throughout the universe to this day. Through it all, he and the FF have remained friends and comrades-in-arms. Alicia Masters, Ben Grimm’s former lady love, has been traveling with the Silver Surfer recently.


Just look at some classic LP-covers from the 1960s :-) The Silver Surfer is a humanoid being with a slim, agile built. Carrying no visible clothing (except a pair of silvery trunks according to the early artists) he’s completely covered by a silvery layer making his features somewhat dulled.

While utilizing the power cosmic he radiates energy on a visible wavelength, making for such effects as red-glowing eyes (normally white) or green-glowing hands. These emissions are sometimes used for intimidating purposes. Some unusual characteristics are the lack of any visible ears, gender and the total lack of any bodily hair.

At a quick glance he’d be taken for a finely sculptured shining, silver statue. While riding the surfboard he appears to be very fast, dexterous, able and on the go.


The Silver Surfer just never quite seems to fit in. Besides his basic naïveté, there is always a touch of melancholy about him. He’s unable to grasp human ignorance, fear and evil. Serving as an accomplice to Galactus in the destruction of untold worlds has left him with a heavy heart, as has the loss of his own world and his love, Shalla-Bal.

Still, he’s a very noble being and spiritually exceptionally strong, but still never really at peace. He’s a fond friend and almost kindred spirit with Nova and generally trusts very few human beings completely (among the trusted are Dr. Strange, the Fantastic Four and Adam Warlock).

He bears lots of respect for his former master, Galactus, which, although they’re on an almost friendly status nowadays, is apparent while they speak.

The Silver Surfer really dislikes (since he’s really beyond hating) his old nemesis Mephisto, who seeks to destroy the Surfer’s pure and brave spirit.

DC Universe History

This is depending on what position Galactus has in the same campaign. Assumably, the universe is big enough to actually host Galactus and all the heralds as they are also. The Surfer is an original character and could remain as such with no real connections to the DC Universe.

As a side note, he’d have been the herald of Trigon, and therefore be good friends with the Titans who defeated him. Alternatively, the JLA could have defeated Galactus when the Surfer led him to their planet.

Since Galactus and the Surfer both have time- and dimension-traveling abilities taking them straight from the Marvel Universe and putting them into the DC Universe isn’t really a problem. According to stories in continuity the Silver Surfer has even met Green Lantern Kyle Rainer.

John Colagioia’s take

There’s is, however, a completely different take on the Silver Surfer in the DC Universe. I think this should satisfy most everybody, and I actually like it, despite my dislike of most Fourth World stuff. Norrin Radd, once upon a time, was the “Bug” from New Genesis known as the Forager.

The honorable creature sacrificed his life to save all of Earth, and his body was returned by Orion to the Bug Colony for a funeral pyre.

But, as with many who sacrifice themselves so totally, this was not to be the end. Some think that what followed was an accident, but it seems unlikely that the pyre could be built upon a quantity of X-Element by accident, at an event attended by the New Gods Orion and Metron. In any case, somehow, in the resulting explosion, the Forager’s body was reborn, animated, it is said, by the Source, itself.

And, not unpredictably, even soulless, this new being, this Silver Surfer, felt that its duty was to defend the universe from manifestations of the Anti-Life Equation, bringing news of the danger while the destruction and chaos might yet be prevented. And so this Silver Surfer frequently finds himself trying to outpace the Black Racer, himself, to arrive at a world before its destruction by Anti-Life.

And so it was that the Surfer arrived back on the place of his death, Earth, to prevent those who had learned fragments of the Anti-Life equation from coming together. With the help of the Justice League and Justice Society, those most dangerous of humans were kept apart and saved from “collection” by Darkseid.

The Silver Surfer by Adi Granov, on a white background

After a short stint with both teams, the Silver Surfer felt that he had forgotten his purpose, and returned to the spaceways to once again pick up the “scent” of Anti-Life, in hopes of keeping the universe safe from Darkseid.

William Peterson’s take

Alternatively, Norrin either replaces or supplements Pariah. Like Mossa, he would have delved into things not meant to be known, and contributed to the waking of the Anti-Monitor, and is now cursed to appear where danger is imminent, always to watch, and only rarely able to help.

It is also suggested that, “he’s not a New God, at all… He’s an alternative to Waverider, come to warn about Monarch…but has been struck with Amnesia, so he can’t warn them not to trust Detective Chimp!” And, let’s face it, how do you pass up the chance to have Detective Chimp become Monarch?

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Silver Surfer

Dex: 12 Str: 16 Bod: 12 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 08 Wil: 18 Min: 10 Occupation: Cosmic Adventurer, Former herald of Galactus
Inf: 11 Aur: 15 Spi: 18 Resources {or Wealth}: 008
Init: 035 HP: 200

Awareness: 06, Bestow: 04, Dimension Travel: 05, Comprehend Languages: 14, Continuum Control: 20, Detect (Energy): 25, Energy Absorption: 20, Enchantment: 12, Invulnerability: 20, Life Sense: 30, Postcognition: 20, Power Reserve (STR): 06, Sealed Systems: 25, Skin Armor: 03, Systemic Antidote: 25, Telekinesis: 08, Telescopic Vision: 30

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Detect, Life Sense, and Telekinesis have their ranges doubled (+3).
  • Continuum Control may be used for uncreating or recreating the Surfboard if need be by spending a Dice Action (+0).
  • Detect (Energy) can be used to detect and identify (PQ) large concentrations or expenditures of energy (+1).
  • Energy Absorption can fuel Power Reserve power (+1).
  • Dimension Travel can also be used for summoning the Surfboard through dimensions (+0).
  • Power reserve is limited to 3 APs at all times except when boosting it by use of Energy Absorption (-0).
  • Energy Absorption can only be used at full APs by expenditure of Dice Action (-1) (only 10 APs can be used as the usual Automatic Action).

Acrobatics (Dodging): 06, Martial Arts: 06, Scientist: 09, Vehicles (Space): 08, Vehicles (Surfboard): 15

Area Knowledge (Andromeda Galaxy, Milky Way Galaxy, The Earth), Immortal, Iron Nerves, Languages (Interlac, Zenn-Lavian), Life Support (No need to Eat or Drink), Lightning Reflexes, Scholar (Astronavigation), Scholar (Meditation), Shtick (Increased Reserves).

Adam Warlock (High), Defenders (High), Dr. Strange (High), Fantastic Four (incl. Alicia Masters) (High), Galactus (Low), Mantis (High), Nova (High), The Cosmic Beings Community (Low), The Sub-Mariner (High), The Star Masters (High).

Archenemy (Mephisto), Distinct Appearance, Exile (involuntary on Earth, earlier only), Guilt, Innocent, Mistrust, Misc. Drawback; Catastrophic Übermensch Syndrome (see new rules).

Surfboard [BODY 20, Flight: 47, Skin Armor: 03, Bonus: Hardened Defenses, Limitation: The Flight power is actually derived from the Surfer himself and therefore the board will only work for him, Note: The surfboard is controlled by using the Vehicles (Surfboard) Subskill; while in fast flight his OV is equal to APs of Vehicles].

The Cosmic Surfer

The Silver Surfer is usually portrayed as represented by his stats above. However, there are occasions when he is a truly grand cosmic player. As such he seems to transcend his normal already impressive Physical boundaries, and regularly performs truly astounding Power feats on-par with the most powerful cosmic entities around.

The Silver Surfer is considered to have an unique Shtick, named Increased Reserves, that allows him to spend HPs to increase any AV/EV/OV/RV, related to his Physical Stats or his Powers, up to a total of three times the original value.

As such, the Surfer can spend HPs with his Physical stats to reach maximum values of 36/48/36, respectively (just as any normal character with 18/24/18, respectively, would). All Physical Powers can also be pushed or boosted to a maximum of three times their original value.

This Shtick is a very limited version of the old Bottomless Reserve Advantage, and is considered to cost at least 50 HPs.

Connection: The Cosmic Beings Community

Cost: 150/100 (High/Low)

This advantage works exactly like ordinary Connections and essentially makes the character himself into a so-called Cosmic Being. It is very common that a character with this Advantage possesses incredibly high mystical stats. Cosmic beings are beings of incredible, celestial power or beings that personify various aspects of the Universe, such as life, death, time etc.

The members of Marvel’s Cosmic Beings Community can be summarized as follows:

Higher-level Cosmic Beings (these have a High-level connection themselves):

  • Mistress Death (Embodiment of death).
  • Eternity (Embodiment of all there is).
  • Infinity (Sister of Eternity).
  • Galactus (The Devourer of Worlds).
  • Kronos (Titan God of Time).
  • Watcher (Watcher dedicated to studying our space sector).
  • Lord Chaos and Master Order (Galactic Balance).
  • Living Tribunal (Cosmic Judge of all realities).
  • Stranger (Mysterious stranger).
  • Mistress Love and Sire Hate (Embodiments of Love and Hate).
  • Celestials (Ancient god-like race).

Middle-level Cosmic Beings (these have a Low-level connection themselves):

  • Adam Warlock (current wearer of the Infinity Gems).
  • Eon (ancient entity).
  • Mephisto (The Devil).
  • Silver Surfer (former herald of Galactus).
  • Thanos (Demi-God of Death).
  • Elders of the Universe (lone survivors of the Universe’s first races).
  • Certain Entities used for invocations.

Lower-level Cosmic Beings (these have no level of connection themselves, but will be contacts):

  • Various Pantheon Leaders (incl. Odin, Zeus, Manitou, Svarog, Tezcatlipoca, Itzamna, Osiris and Nuada).
  • Most Sorcerer Supremes (such as Dr. Strange).
  • Most Entities used for invocations.

By Peter S Piispanen, Daryl Kuxhouse and Jackson.

Source of Character: Marvel Comics.

Helper(s): Sean MacDonald, Brian Patrick Young, Phil Dixon, Gareth Lewis, John Colagioia, William A Peterson, Mike Davis, Chris Cottingham, Ethan Roe.