Marvel Fans Are About to Lose It, But the Numbers Show It’s All an Act

By Shanna Mathews-Mendez | Updated

Angry Marvel fans

“Fans” are up in arms over Julia Garner being cast as the Silver Surfer in the upcoming Fantastic Four film. But, upon closer inspection, these so-called fans really have no leg to stand on. The numbers show that few, if any, of them have been supporting the character at all.

Where Are All These Silver Surfer Fans?

silver surfer marvel

The primary point to make on this issue is that “fans” is a really loose term when it comes to the Silver Surfer, there seem to be few die hard fans. This character, among all MCU characters, does not seem to garner a ton of affection.

At least, that’s judging by the numbers–to be specific, the comic book sales. It has been 26 years since a solo comic book title for the Silver Surfer has enjoyed any long term success. Not since 1998 has the herald of Galactus been able to support a solo title beyond the 15th issue.

Silver Surfer’s Origin

This lack of followers could be for many reasons. First of all, Silver Surfer does not have the best personality. He is traditionally a loner.

When we first meet him in the comics, he is doomed to wander from planet to planet as the herald for Galactus, a planet consuming entity who was after Silver Surfer’s planet. Silver Surfer was originally an astronomer named Norrin Radd, who was able to stop Galactus from consuming his own planet by promising to prepare other planets for his consumption. 

He became Silver Surfer as a result, imbued with some of Galactus’ power, riding his board across the universe. So, he’s not a villain, exactly, but he’s definitely not the guy you want showing up on your planet. Still, you can’t help but feel bad for him. 

Not A Villain, Not A Hero

silver surfer marvel special

But here’s the thing, a lot like Baron Mordo in Doctor. Strange, Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen, or Namor from Black Panther, Silver Surfer is despondent. He doesn’t necessarily want to do what he’s doing, but he feels he must.

He is compelled, like this is his lot in life. And while you can understand the plight of these characters, it’s hard to love them. 

So, while Silver Surfer may win fans to his side in a Fantastic Four ensemble, it’s not easy to get invested in his solo story. As such, he doesn’t really have a lot of fans, which means that it’s disingenuous to feign distress or disagreement with cinematic choices and changes to the character. 

Norrin Radd Remains The Same

silver surfer

Another critical point to make in light of anyone still persistent in their upset is that, unlike with the Ancient One, who’s ethnicity and gender were indeed changed for the film, Norrin Radd is not undergoing a gender change. Instead, Silver Surfer’s origin story is being swapped. Rather than Norrin Radd, Silver Surfer will be Shalla-Bal, the lover of Norrin Radd from their planet, Zenn-La. 

In this storyline, then, Norrin Radd may be the one left behind to manage Zenn-La while Shalla-Bal is sent as the herald. Or, Norrin Rad and Shall-Bal may both be acting as heralds, joint Silver Surfers with shared power. This narrative is one that actually comes straight from comic book canon. 

It’s All Good

So, again, real fans have nothing to worry about. The MCU typically has good reasons for its cinematic decisions. And anyone still outraged is likely caught up in a flurry of politics rather than genuine chagrin over the character. 

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