THE SURFER’S FOES
Thanos is the ultimate evil in the universe of the SILVER SURFER. Born a prince of the dominant race on Titan, one of the moons of Saturn, right in our own solar system, Thanos at an early age had a dream in which he witnessed the never-ending battle between Master Order and Lady Chaos. Young Thanos found the experience overwhelming. Not only did he now understand the “true” nature of the universe, but he also fell totally in love with the wild, fearsome beauty of Lady Chaos.
From that time on Thanos’ life has been dedicated to earning the admiration and love of Chaos. To this end he has developed all his native talents to their utmost. He has one of the most brilliant minds in the universe, and there’s nothing about science and technology that he doesn’t know. A master of all natural laws, Thanos often appears to be performing miracles because he can use his knowledge to create weapons and means of transportation that no other being could ever imagine.
In addition, Thanos has totally perfected the psychic side of his mind, especially telepathy, teleportation, and mind control of others. Crafty and manipulative, he has created a powerful, organic space station that can go anywhere, and from it Thanos sets in motion grand designs. Although he is physically prepossessing, Thanos is not a skilled fighter, so rather than confronting any situation directly he uses other beings as pawns. These people have no idea that they’re acting out someone else’s ambition, thinking instead that the ideas—even though they may be strangely out of character for them—are their own.
In order to achieve his purposes, Thanos has remained an enigma to the Kree and the Skrull. At times he has acted as an agent for each civilization, and he seems to acknowledge the greatness of both. In reality, however, he is simply keeping them off balance and unsuspicious, and is using them as his tools. In fact, Thanos himself claims that much of the Kree-Skrull rivalry has been caused by him.
Like the Kree and the Skrull, Thanos would like to make use of Galactus as well. But a mere alliance isn’t enough. When Thanos learns of the existence of the Silver Surfer, he tries to get control of the Surfer so he can learn all there is to know about Galactus. Thanos believes that armed with that knowledge he can at last achieve his great purpose: The complete destruction of the universe.
In this way, Thanos is the ultimate Nihilist, because he believes that only by destroying all reality can he create the total chaos Lady Chaos craves. By annihilating everyone and everything, Thanos reasons, he will finally deserve and earn Lady Chaos’ unending love.
The tragedy of Thanos’ existence is the fact that matter how much he makes the citizens of the various galaxies suffer, Lady Chaos has never appeared to him again. Does she disdain him? Does she fear him? Or is the answer more ironic than that? Can it be that all of Thanos’ unspeakable horrors have been for nothing—because they are intended to honor a being that doesn’t even exist?
Tyrant and Nebula
Tyrant is the son of Thanos, and Nebula is Thanos’ granddaughter. But that’s where the resemblance between these two stops.
Tyrant is a chip off the old block. His abilities are essentially the same as those of his father, but with one crucial difference: Tyrant nourishes himself by feeding off the powers and abilities of others. Not only does this invigorate him, giving Tyrant an intense feeling of well-being, but he also is able to use the powers for a limited time. In the process, he leaves them as empty, helpless shells. Being his father’s son, he, of course, just plain doesn’t care.
Unlike his father, Tyrant sees no need to keep up any charade of being subservient to the Kree or the Skrull, and not only does he fight against them, he actually taunts them with their failure to stop him. Tyrant is also intrigued with the Silver Surfer. He simply can’t understand the Surfer’s idealism and nobility, and feels a need to squash it, to force the Surfer to acknowledge the existence of what Star Wars calls “the dark side. In addition to this, he would love to absorb the Surfer’s power…although the ultimate achievement would be to absorb the power of Galactus himself, and this is the task to which he applies most of his energy, talent, and time.
As for why Tyrant wants Galactus’ power, well, it’s a personal thing. Like many sons of “great” or powerful men, Tyrant despises his father, who always made him feel ineffectual and weak. For Tyrant, using the power of Galactus to destroy Thanos, the “arch-destroyer,” would prove, once and for all, that Tyrant is the “better” man.
Nebula has a different set of needs. Brilliant and beautiful, she wants only to live a normal life. “Normal,” that is, by her standards. Through a genetic fluke, she has no super powers of her own, and she has totally rejected the values—and certainly the company—of Thanos and Tyrant. Her lineage, in fact, is a secret guarded from all but those closest to her.
Nebula has honed her athletic skill and agility to the utmost, combining it with an expertise in all weapons. A brilliant tactician in the fine art of space warfare, she is the Captain of a group of space pirates, and finds joy is embarrassing the leaders of both the Kree and the Skrull by preying on their vessels. When she encounters the Silver Surfer, her reaction is the opposite of Tyrant’s. She is intrigued by the Surfer’s view of life. In fact, she falls in love with him, and it’s only the fact that the Surfer rejects her that makes Nebula his enemy.
Nebula’s great weakness is her often unreasoning anger, a feeling that probably comes from feelings of inadequacy, but which she directs outward, at whoever happens to be nearby. Nebula’s anger is often followed by a fit of depression. At these times, she sees only the dark side of life, and is liable to do anything, just to make others share her despair.
Ego is a living planet…the only one of his kind. Like our legends of Mother Earth, Ego is a creator, making himself into whatever he wants. His every thought, dream, or whim becomes real, a growing part of him. If Ego is unhappy, he will create deserts. If he’s angry, volcanoes will erupt. If he’s pleased, grass will grow tall over his surface, and animals will romp and play.
No matter what Ego does, everything he creates is still only a reflection of himself. For this reason, He is incredibly lonely, and filled with a desire for companionship and love. Self-propelling, Ego never stays in one place very long, always hoping that if he keeps searching the various galaxies she’ll find another being like herself.
Ego’s desperate loneliness can cause him to be “attracted” to other species as well, like a lonely Earth bachelor forever attracted to the wrong women. Both the Kree and the Skrull try to lure Ego into their conflict, hoping to make use of his powers, but it’s the Silver Surfer who seems noble and generous enough to become Ego’s first real friend. Because of this, Ego reaches into the Surfer’s mind and tries to trick him into staying with him by making himself into a copy of the Surfer’s home planet, Zenn-La.
Terrax and Morg
Like the Silver Surfer, both Terrax and Morg are possessors of the “power cosmic,” and for the same reason: Member of different races from far corners of the universe, Terrax was once a herald of Galactus, and Morg is Galactus’ current scout.
Now a ruthless mercenary working for the Kree, Terrax’ greed kept him from being the kind of selfless, dedicated scout that Galactus needed. In other words, Galactus fired his butt, and the only reason Terrax still has his powers is that it was part of his original agreement with his former employer…and Galactus always keeps his word. Still, Terrax is bitter about his failure, blaming it on everyone but himself—including the Surfer.
Morg too hates the Surfer. A member of the time-traveling race known as the Chronule, he has always been a lover of destruction, and as a punishment was forced by his people to live in a physical body. The ultimate sociopath and a lover of destruction, Morg has found his true calling as Galactus’ herald and is damn good at finding new planets and preparing them for Galactus’ arrival. The way he sees it, the only reward he has gotten for this has been to have to endure Galactus constantly comparing him to the Silver Surfer…and finding Morg wanting as a man.
Morg’s hidden agenda is to find a way to leave Galactus and go to work for Thanos, where he feels his talent for destruction would be appreciated. In the meantime, should his path ever cross that of the Surfer, Morg will be happy indeed to demonstrate that while Galactus may not consider Morg the better man, he certain is the stronger, tougher, and just plain meaner of the two.
Raze is a Skrull bounty hunter, a shape shifter with great strength, skilled in all the ways of war. Once an officer in the Skrull army, Raze was forced to resign when he demonstrated what his superiors thought of as too much compassion for the members of a defeated civilization.
Determined not to make that “mistake” again, Raze hangs out on a wild and woolly outlaw planet, drowning his sorrows in exotic drink at a bar that has become a gathering place for beings who earn their livelihood by skirting the edge of the law. Among those Raze encounters there are Nebula and her band of pirates, and the two of them swiftly become both occasional lovers and frequent rivals, especially when they both head out after the greatest prize of all, certain that Galactus will pay royally for proof of his fall. That’s right: Raze is after the Silver Surfer, and will let nothing stand in his way!
The Wanderers are a sorry lot, the flotsam and jetsam of space. Members of the Kree, the Skrull, and more races and cultures than you can count, from the Cotati (think mobile, talking trees) to space-suited armadillos, they have banded together in a convoy endlessly traveling through space. Their ships are ancient, patched-together hodgepodges. No two of the vehicles are alike. Very few are even intact. But onward they go, ever onward…
What do all these strange beings have in common? Calamity. The greatest of misfortune. All are from worlds destroyed by Galactus. Almost all are the sole survivors of their kind. Totally paranoid, so fearful of Galactus that they don’t even dare celebrate the fact that they survived, the Wanderers travel with no special destination in mind. All they want to do is keep moving, so that Galactus will never find them again.
As they move, the Wanders find their paths crossing that of the Silver Surfer. Remembering him as an ally of their arch enemy, they set a trap for the Surfer and capture him, putting him on trial for crimes against humanity. In a modern morality tale, it takes all of the Surfer’s heroic power to survive this encounter, because he feels so badly about what the Wanders have been through that he half believes he, as well as Galactus, should be made to pay the ultimate price.
More of the UNIVERSE
Back to THE SILVER SURFER