Friday, July 3, 2015
The Messenger and the God who Devours
"All over the Universe! I can feel them! They're all dying! Billions upon billions of souls are blinking out of existence! ... Not one knew what struck them! Horrible! I could taste their dread and confusion!" Silver Surfer (as written by Jim Starlin)
Deep in space their exists a being with powers that are so great as a God. His hunger is great, he is called Galactus, Devourer of Worlds. Time after time he would crush and sup upon a world, destroying the energy, the life forces, and more, in an effort to quench his hunger. Galactus's need outstripped his ability to sup, so he sent out heralds to seek living planets for him to devour. Some of the heralds acted as good soldiers, doing their duty, enjoying their power to span the stars and be a God's herald. But some, especially one, did not. Norrin Radd of Zenn-La offered his services as a herald, a living servant for the Galactus. The offer was accepted, and the Silver Surfer was born.
Among the planets the Silver Surfer finds is earth, but not only is it filled with life, it is willing to fight for its survival. Along with the fact that the Surfer continually realized he could not find planets with any living being that he could, in his conscience, allow to be devoured. He saw life, all life as sacred. His home was devastated by Galactus after siding with earth versus the Devourer. Zenn-la was ravaged by Galactus. The Surfer punished for his rebellion, and the world would often face the unsatisfied hunger of the being Galactus.
The character Silver Surfer was created by Jack Kirby, and he appeared in a Fantastic Four story as a bit of a surprise to the writer of the stories, Stan Lee. The two then fleshed out the world of the Silver Surfer and Galactus.
There have, over the years in the comic book review world, been some thoughts that Stan Lee saw Silver Surfer as a Christ figure. But, if one is familiar with the Christ story, while there is a story of sacrifice and great suffering for his people, the true parallel figure is that of John the Baptist, the Messenger who heralded the arrival of the God who would change the world.
Please go over to Amazon and check out the many freaking awesome works about Silver Surfer, and Galactus. Especially Parable, by Stan Lee and my favorite artist Moebius.