THE UNIVERSE OF THE SILVER SURFER
by Larry Brody
In his journey to return from the planet Earth to his home world and SHALLA BAL, the woman he was forced to leave behind, the SILVER SURFER must make his way through a universe every bit as dangerous as the seas on which Ulysses sailed while trying to get home from the Trojan War. These dangers run the gamut from cosmic forces and natural disasters to vast intergalactic civilizations and exotic life forms.
The cosmic forces are personified by four beings known as ETERNITY, INFINITY, MASTER ORDER, and LADY CHAOS. Together they represent all the universal laws of physics and metaphysics, and are engaged in a never-ending struggle with each other to dominate all reality?a struggle no mere mortal may understand.
Neither the Silver Surfer nor anyone else in the sector of space in which he roams has ever encountered these beings. But the space-faring races of the sector?who refer to themselves as the “civilized universe”?accept Eternity, Infinity, Master Order, and Lady Chaos much as the ancients on Earth accepted the mythological gods.
Natural disasters such as hurricane-like space anomalies that can crush a solar system like an eggshell, torrential meteor bombardments that totally alter a planet’s landscape, and vast nebulae of radiation that mutate all life for light years around are considered a direct result of the struggle of the cosmic forces. These and other disasters can occur at any time, and in our continuing saga the Surfer most likely will find himself in the middle of them all.
The various intergalactic civilizations and their exotic inhabitants also pose a threat. The two primary civilizations in this part of the universe are those of the KREE and the SKRULL, two races who have been locked in their own struggle for dominance for centuries.
The Kree are an ancient civilization. In fact, it is rumored that their practice of “seeding” the universe with viable DNA actually is responsible for most current life, including that on Earth. The Kree are human-like in appearance, and their Empire comprises thousands of solar systems. Their ruler, the SUPREMOR, is an organic computer made up of a myriad of linked brains, and their lifestyle has been dependent on their highly advanced machines for longer than anyone can remember.
As masters of technology, the Kree have a belief system based on rationality and order, and. in this way they’re like the Vulcans on Star Trek. Unlike the Vulcans, the Kree are prideful and arrogant, believing it is their destiny to rule the universe because no other culture could possibly rule so well.
The Skrull are the upstart civilization. Reptilian and lizard-like in appearance, their civilization is cold-blooded and cruel. The Skrull Empire is much younger than that of the Kree, having existed for only a few thousand years, and it has grown into a threat because, the Kree’s arrogance kept the older race from believing the newcomers could achieve all they have.
The Skrull are ruled by a Queen in much the same way a queen bee rules the hive. While the Skrull also have a highly developed technology, their primary interest is warfare. Most of their knowledge has been “appropriated” from other races that they have conquered. The rest of it was stolen from the Kree.
As barbaric warriors, the Skrull have a strong code of honor and a reverence for bravery, and in this way they’re much like the Star Trek‘s Klingons. Intensely “patriotic”, they too aspire to ruling the universe?as a sign of the greatness of their beloved Queen.
Although he is a non-combatant in their conflict, the Silver Surfer is the object of great interest on the part of both the Kree and the Skrull. This is because of his connection to Galactus. Both races regard the Surfer’s former master, with all his great power, as a loose cannon in their struggle. A member of neither civilization, showing obedience and allegiance to no one and no thing, Galactus has such tremendous power that both races long to harness it, certain that if they did victory soon would be theirs.
To this end, the Kree and the Skrull are always on the lookout for the Surfer. Both sides hope to capture him and use his knowledge of Galactus to force the devourer of planets to ally himself with their side. Their machinations are a major stumbling block to the Surfer, who wants only to pass through this part of the universe and reach his home.
The Silver Surfer isn’t the only being who has to live with one eye out for the Kree and the Skrull. Other types of life-forms with whom he will interact include the COTATI, mobile vegetative life with a belief in their destiny to, literally, spread their seed; the CHRONULE, energy beings who live simultaneously throughout time; and the WHINNYM, horselike creatures who have been so overwhelmed by the forces around them that they have forsaken reality for life in a group dream.
Although the conflict between the Kree and the Skrull goes back many, many years, its “style” has changed from time to time. Sometimes it has involved open warfare. At other times it has been a kind of Cold War of propaganda and spies. Right now, the conflict is heating up again, with battles occurring from time to time, although war has not been officially declared.
It is within this universe, against this colorful background of danger and treachery, action and intrigue, that the Silver Surfer soars, trying to find his way back to his love.
The following pages present in more detail the people and creatures he will meet along the way.
More of the UNIVERSE
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