Silver Surfer—The Complete Series

silver surfer the complete series dvd cover episode guide list
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

More thought provoking than some animated TV from the period

Abruptly ends due to cancellation

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Enter the heady world of the Silver Surfer and the cosmos!

To protect his planet Zenn-La, Norrin Radd makes the ultimate sacrifice and becomes the herald of Galactus.  Forced to seek out new food for the World Eater, the Silver Surfer manages to break Galactus’s control over him, but finds that the planet and the past he sacrificed may be out of his reach forever!  Travelling the cosmos, the Silver Surfer finds enemies and allies while seeking Zenn-La and his love Shalla-Bal

Silver Surfer aired from February 7, 1998 to May 16, 1998 on Fox Kids.  The series was cancelled after thirteen episodes due to conflict between the Marvel Entertainment Group and Saban Entertainment.

Disney+ has offered up a lot of content and one of the series I forgot about (or possibly never knew about) was Silver Surfer.  With X-Men, Spider-Man, Hulk, and Fantastic Four all having linked cartoon in the mid-to-late 1990s, the Silver Surfer would have been a nice edition if it had continued…instead, you see a lot of potential crushed.

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Galactus hungers!

There are quite a number of changes to Norrin Radd and the people he encountered in the series.  Thanos worships Lady Chaos instead of Death, Frankie Raye altered Norrin’s thinking of Earth instead of Alicia Masters, and many, many other tweaks to the origins of both the Norrin and those he encounters.  Despite this, the story (in the universe it creates) is a bit more “thinky” and potentially thought provoking than many cartoons for “children” at the time it was made.

The series dives into aspects of free will, slavery, societal roles, and more while presenting a rather typical superhero story.  The Silver Surfer often encounters some strife on the planet he finds, tries to fix the problem (often failing initially), battling a bad guy, and flying off.  The whole concept of Galactus and the Silver Surfer (aka Galactus’s continued quest for planets to live off of) is rather heavy in general…and if he is a villain simply for trying to survive like everyone else.

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Man, Uatu. You’re doing a lot of interrupting for a Watcher

I do like a lot of the “cast” of the series.  You get tons of Marvel characters making appearances though they are almost all cosmic themed.  I had hoped Silver Surfer would either spend more time on Earth as he did in the comics or he would return there in a later episode to meet some of Earth’s heroes or tie him into the other Marvel cartoon series.  You get plenty of cameos and appearances by characters like Uatu the Watcher, Thanos, Adam Warlock, the Magus, Pip the Troll, Eternity, Nebula, Supreme Intelligence, Geatar, Ego the Living Planet, Beta Ray Bill, Nova, and Gamora among others…it is a feast for a short lived series (though most characters barely resemble their comic book counterparts other than physically or by name.

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This Nebula’s “G.I. Joe Baroness” look

The visuals for the series are odd to say the least.  There is a large amount of traditional animation and it is often mixed with computer animation.  Though in general this doesn’t work, it does manage to create a unique look for the series.  It also has me kind of reminiscing about the Silver Surfer’s creator Jack Kirby who sometimes mixed mediums like photographs and animation for his own style…it feels like a continuation of this.

Silver Surfer abruptly ends.  Silver Surfer and Thanos are in a fight to the death…and then nothing.  It could be argued that their fight ended the universe and everything in it (if you must have an ending), but the series isn’t really that nihilistic so you just have to live with the fact that the cancellation led to an open ending.  Norrin Radd never finds his Shalla-Bal and Thanos may never meet Lady Chaos…but I’m sure Hollywood will give us a chance to see them both again.

Silver Surfer—The Complete Series Episode Guide:

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“The Origin of the Silver Surfer—Part 1”

Episode 1       The Origin of the Silver Surfer—Part 1 Airdate:  02/07/98

As a member of the Kree and a member of Skrulls arrive on the peaceful planet of Zenn-La, the people of Zenn-La receive a warning from the Watcher that Galactus is coming.  Zenn-La threatened with destruction, and Norrin Radd offers himself as a herald to Galactus.

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“The Origin of the Silver Surfer—Part 2”

Episode 2       The Origin of the Silver Surfer—Part 2 Airdate:  02/14/98

Norrin Radd has been transformed into the Silver Surfer and his memory has been stripped.  Now working as a herald of Galactus, the Silver Surfer finds himself finding planets for Galactus to consume.  Galactus and the Silver Surfer attract the attention of Thanos, and the Silver Surfer discovers a new source of an energy…in a living planet called Ego!

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“The Origin of the Silver Surfer—Part 3”

Episode 3       The Origin of the Silver Surfer—Part 3 Airdate:  02/21/98

Thanos has unlocked Norrin’s memory as Galactus discovers Earth.  An encounter with an Earthling named Frankie Raye has Silver Surfer standing up against his master and fighting for the protection of Earth!

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“Planet of Dr. Moreau”

Episode 4       The Planet of Dr. Moreau Airdate:  02/28/98

Zenn-La is missing and Silver Surfer finds himself hated by the people he fought to protect.  Frankie Raye works as Galactus’s herald Nova and questions her own past.  Norrin falls to a Kree slave planet and is imprisoned with a troll named Pip.

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“Learning Curve—Part 1”

Episode 5       Learning Curve—Part 1 Airdate:  03/07/98

In the search for the Universal Library, Mentor and Drax find themselves in battle with Nebula.  When Silver Surfer and Pip encounter Mentor and Drax, Norrin realizes the Universal Library could hold the clues to the location of Zenn-La.

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“Learning Curve—Part 2”

Episode 6       Learning Curve—Part 2 Airdate:  03/14/98

Silver Surfer, Mentor, Drax, and Pip discover accessing the Watchers’ library might be more difficult than believed and their only chance could be teaming up with Nebula…but it could be a deadly team-up.

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Episode 7       Innervisions Airdate:  04/04/98

Thanos is ravaging the galaxy, and Silver Surfer finds a planet called Harmony that lives in a dream.  With Harmony threatened, Norrin must awaken Beta Ray Bill and his people to save them.

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Episode 8       Antibody Airdate:  04/11/98

Nova seeks out Silver Surfer and tells Silver Surfer that he must help her save Galactus or everything Galactus has touched will die.  As Norrin battles to stop the infection in Galactus, Nova deals with an attack by Gamora.

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“Second Foundation”

Episode 9       Second Foundation Airdate:  04/18/98

Silver Surfer and Nova quest for Zenn-La but find themselves on a Skrull world.  When they encounter a Skrull housing a queen egg that could change the destiny of the Skrulls, Nova and Norrin fight to protect it.

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“Radical Justice”

Episode 10     Radical Justice Airdate:  04/25/98

The Silver Surfer is captured by Gamora and forced to face a trial for the crimes he committed as Galactus’s herald.

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“The Forever War”

Episode 11     The Forever War Airdate:  05/02/98

Silver Surfer goes to the Kree in hopes of accessing the Supreme Intelligence to find Zenn-La.  Forced into a quid pro quo to rescue a lost Kree general, Norrin encounters a man named Adam Warlock who seems to be trapped in a time loop.

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“Return to Zenn-La”

Episode 12     Return to Zenn-La Airdate:  05/09/98

Silver Surfer has found what he dreamed of:  Zenn-La!  As the Norrin tries to adjust to his return, Silver Surfer could discover learns Zenn-La might not be what he expected.

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“The End of Eternity”

1.13     The End of Eternity Airdate:  05/16/98

Silver Surfer is contacted by Infinity and Eternity and learns that the universe is facing a potential end by time being reversed and an ultimate confrontation with Thanos!

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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