The ‘Silver Surfer’ Cartoon Is the Secret Star of Marvel’s ’90s TV Line-Up

NOTE FROM LB: A TVWriter™ visitor just called my attention to this exceedingly generous review/reminiscence of one of the most meaningful shows of my career, the Silver Surfer Saturday morning cartoon show, and rather than just sit and grin about it, I thought it would be a good thing to share with the rest of you.

The only thing that could’ve made this 2018 article from io9 even better would have been if it had for God’s fucking sake included my name and those of the super talented collaborators I worked with to make this such an exciting series!!!

by Charles Pulliam-Moore

Though most of the ‘90s weren’t a great time for Marvel’s comics, they were a golden age for serialized cartoons starring the company’s characters like Spider-Man and the X-Men. But it’s not often that people bring up the short-lived, delightfully-Canadian Silver Surfer series that ran for one season on Fox in the spring of 1998.

Though it was canceled due to a rights disagreement between Marvel and Saban, Silver Surfer is one of the best animated series to come out of the studios’ partnership and, looking back on it almost 20 years later, the show holds up surprisingly well. What’s most impressive about Silver Surfer is how the series manages to stay true to much of the comics source material while including messages condemning the evils of imperialism and slavery in a kids show.

As in the comics, Norrin Rad’s homeworld Zenn-La is thrust into the ongoing conflict between two of the most powerful races in the galaxy: the Kree and the Skrull. The three races find a common enemy in Galactus, the eater of worlds, who arrives to announce that he intends to devour Zenn-La to sate his never-ending hunger. Desperate to save his people, Norrin sacrifices himself to become Galactus’ first herald, a cosmically-empowered scout who flies through the universe in search of energy-rich planets for his new master to consume, in exchange for Zenn-La being spared.

Norrin’s transformation into the Silver Surfer locks away the memories of his life before he became a messenger of death and destruction, establishing a novel concept that changes his relationship with Galactus in an interesting way that makes sense for a TV series.

Unlike most of his stories, where the Surfer’s keenly aware of where he’s from and why he works for Galactus, Norrin’s amnesia allows him to enjoy something of a mentor/mentee relationship with the planet-eating entity. Norrin still makes a point trying to select energy-rich planets that aren’t inhabited by sentient life for Galactus, but his ignorance about the nature of his enslavement makes it so that he travels through the cosmos largely unaware of the reason he first stepped onto the silver surfboard. All of this takes place as the Watcher surveys from an uncharacteristically close distance that’s representative of the show’s cosmic (and decidedly grandiose) cast of characters….

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Check out all the info on LB’s versions of The Silver Surfer, Spider-Man Unlimited, and Eurocomics star Diabolik in TVWriter™’s Animation mini-site