Values of Silver Surfer Comic Books
It's not easy to value vintage Silver Surfer.
But if you have Fantastic Four #48-50, or other early Silver Surfer appearances, we have you covered with this price guide.
Click any image to find out current values, or an appraisal link to get yours valued free.
Fantastic Four #48
1st Appearance of Silver Surfer
Record sale: $108,000
Minimum value: $100
The first Silver Surfer comic was Fantastic Four #48 in March of 1966, an invention of the King, Jack Kirby.
While he was working on Fantastic Four #48, Kirby decided that Galactus needed a herald. Thus, the Surfer.
Stan asked Kirby why he'd given the herald a surfboard. Kirby replied that he was tired of drawing spaceships all the time!
The Silver Surfer first appearance proved quite popular with FF readers. He was given an increasingly prominent role, in the storyline as it progressed throughout the three issues of The Galactus Saga.
Fantastic Four #49
2nd Appearance of SS
Record sale: $47,600
Minimum value: $90
We first see the Surfer, acting as Galactus' herald, in the Andromeda Galaxy.
Alicia Masters convinces the Surfer to betray his master Galactus and try to protect earth.
Beaten, Galactus agrees to leave Earth alone, but punishes the Surfer's treachery by diminishing his power and exiling him to Earth.
The Surfer became a misfit hero with a futuristic silver body and cosmic powers, riding a flying surfboard while observing earthlings and pining for his home planet.
Tales to Astonish #93
Classic Hulk vs Silver Surfer cover and story
Record sale: $13,600
Minimum value: $80
As all new characters in the Marvel universe must, the Surfer got around.
A key Silver Surfer comic was when he encountered the Hulk in Tales to Astonish #93.
Hulk tries to steal the Surfer's board to escape Earth. The Surfer gets away when the Army subdues the Hulk, but the Surfer's pity commands him to free the Hulk once more.
After knocking Hulk unconscious, the Surfer probes his mind, and learns of Bruce Banner and the horrible gamma radiation that damns him to a life transforming into the Hulk.
Just as the Surfer is about to cure Hulk with his Power Cosmic, Hulk awakes. Thinking the Surfer intends to harm him, he attacks again, forcing the Surfer to flee.
Fantastic Four #72
Classic Surfer cover
Record sale: $9,700
Minimum value: $40
The Silver Surfer returns to the pages of the FF, having decided to attack humanity since all he has seen is prejudice, hatred, and small-minded-ness during his time on Earth.
The FF, aided by the Watcher and the US military's latest technology, eventually manage to stop the Surfer's rampage.
A humbled, weakened Surfer walks away at the end, on the path to be a super-hero rather than a villain.
Contributing most to the value is the mind-blowing and iconic cover by Kirby.
Silver Surfer Comic #1
Origin of Silver Surfer; 1st in Solo series
Record sale: $33,000
Minimum value: $40
The debut issue of The Silver Surfer comic is composed largely of flashbacks, in which we learn a detailed version of the Silver Surfer's origin.
Whether the late-60s Surfer is your bag or not (and it oughtta be), Silver Surfer #1 is quite valuable, selling well into the thousands in top condition.
Not that many copies of this comic sold, so there are simply less of them around than other Marvel Comics from the late Silver Age.
There are eight copies in the CGC census at 9.8.
Silver Surfer #2
1st Appearance of Brotherhood of Badoon
Record sale: $10,200
Minimum value: $30
Silver Surfer #3
1st Appearance of Mephisto
Record sale: $38,400
Minimum value: 720
In Silver Surfer comic #3, the Surfer battles Mephisto, a thinly-veiled Satan-type character.
Eventually, Mephisto would be revealed as another of the 'not quite Satan' sort of characters that all comic books excelled at.
Mephisto's attention is drawn when the Surfer, angry at Earthlings for their senseless violence and their treatment of him, uses his Power Cosmic to essentially stop everything on the planet, rendering all electronics neutralized.
Silver Surfer #4
Thor vs Silver Surfer battle; classic cover
Record sale: $90,000
Minimum value: $160
In #4 of his eponymously-named series, the Silver Surfer battles Thor, the God of Thunder.
Loki, realizing the Surfer's great power, fools him into thinking that Thor is evil and intends to conquer Asgard.
Always eager to fight for justice and balance, the Surfer agrees to stop him, and Loki transports him to the Thunder God, and a battle cosmic ensues.
The cover, a classic Buscema example of Mighty Marvel style, depicts the Surfer attacking Thor on the Rainbow Bridge.
It is a truly iconic example of Marvel's late-Silver Age aesthetic at its best.
Record sale: $3,360
Minimum value: $10
We see another of the many instances in which the Surfer is *almost* reunited with his lost love, Shalla-Bal.
It transpired that Shalla-Bal had been transported to earth by Yarro Gort, Norrin Radd's rival for Shalla-Bal's affections, and the wealthiest man on Zenn-La.
This unlikely Bluto to The Surfer's Popeye brought Shalla-Bal to Earth to prove that the Surfer was not faithful to her, so that he could convince her to stop waiting for Norrin, and marry him instead.
Of course, the ship arrives just as the Surfer receives an innocent kiss from a young South American girl he has rescued.
Meanwhile, conveniently, the dictator of the South American nation where this is all happening shoots Yarro Gort's ship out of the sky. Shalla-Bal is wounded, perhaps fatally.
The Surfer must endure the soap-opera-like heartbreak of sending her back to Zenn-La once more, since only their advanced medicine has any hope of saving her life.
Silver Surfer #14
Spider-Man Crossover and Cover
Record sale: $3,100
Minimum value: $20
Record sale: $3,100
Minimum value: $10
Silver Surfer #18
Final issue in series; Inhumans appearance
Record sale: $3,200
Minimum value: $20
For the last issue in the series, Jack Kirby returned on pencils.
Much has been written about the way that the Silver Surfer series was the "beginning of the end" for Kirby and Stan Lee's relationship, ultimately leading to Kirby's defection to DC at the end of 1970.
In Silver Surfer #18, the Surfer battles The Inhumans, one of Kirby's favorites among his many creations.
The battle itself is, typically for the Surfer, fueled by a misunderstanding, and eventually causes the Surfer to decide that he is finished with the human race.
Oddly enough, at the end of this issue is a tag that promises a "New, SAVAGE Silver Surfer" in issue #19, but poor sales conspired against it.
We can only imagine what it might have been like.
Record sale: $400
Minimum value: $1
The Silver Surfer is, quite simply, the coolest super hero there ever was. Well, I suppose it depends on to whom, exactly, you might pose the question, but to anyone who appreciates the glories of Marvel's late Silver Age, there is no comparison.
The Silver Surfer practically oozes cool, memorably illustrated in the 1983 remake of Truffaut's film Breathless, in which Jesse Lujack (portrayed by Richard Gere with more than a nod to Jack Kerouac) constantly and anachronistically reads Silver Surfer comics aloud, the camera lovingly lingering over John Buscema's pencil work as Stan Lee’s cosmic dialogue metaphorically sums up Jesse's experiences.
Make no mistakes: the Surfer doesn't come by his hipster cred simply because he showed up in an "art film", or because he surfs. The Silver Surfer was a fan favorite long before he turned up in the second film of the modern Fantastic Four franchise.
He is more than your average super-hero. He may not even truly fit the definition of "super-hero" in the first place, but there is no doubt about the quality of the work in the first series to bear his name. Nor is there any doubt about the values of those comics.
The Surfer appeared in FF several more times over the next two years, and by 1968, was popular enough to merit his own series. Marvel pulled out all the stops, making it a bimonthly 72 pages long, costing $0.25 instead of the then-standard $0.12, with a 40-page original Silver Surfer story each month.
In the context of this larger space, Stan Lee's scripts could really stretch out. By this time, he was quite enamored of the Surfer, and worked what many would call his finest (if also occasionally most purple) scripting over the course of the 18 issues of the comic's run.
Art was handled for the first 17 issues by John Buscema, then just beginning to hit his prime, and coming off of fantastic and definitive work in The Avengers over the previous year. The final issue was penciled by Kirby, in one of his last jobs for Marvel before making the jump to DC.
The axe fell, in 1970, for a number of reasons. Sales were low, partially because of the high price and partially because the series was more introspective than the usual super-hero fare. Either way, Lee and Buscema's work on the original Silver Surfer series stands as some of the most powerful and distinctive in modern comics.
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The Surfer rescues an astronaut (actually John Jameson), and then typically made battle with American military forces who just didn't understand the Surfer's benevolent intentions, he reminisces about his earlier adventures, most significantly, how he became the herald of Galactus.
Back on his home planet of Zenn-La, Norrin Radd was an earnest and humble astronomer who over time had become restless, searching for meaning in the universe. The marvels of technology do little to stop him from feeling jaded. Even the love of his life, Shalla-Bal, rendered with cosmic voluptuousness by John Buscema, is not enough for Norrin Radd.
When Galactus, eater of worlds, threatens the safety of Zenn-La, Norrin suddenly realizes what is at stake. He volunteers to be Galactus' herald and scout, procuring worlds for his master to eat, if only Galactus will spare Zenn-La (and of course, Shalla Bal).
Galactus agrees, and transforms Norrin Radd into a being composed of cosmic energy, silver and nearly featureless. He gives him "the power cosmic" and the surfboard with which he will travel the spaceways, searching out sustenance for Galactus and announcing his master's gustatory intentions to the innocent masses who dwelt on the now-doomed worlds.
Whew. It's hard not to start writing in the sort of purple prose that ol' Stan deploys here. It's great stuff, but as heavy and philosophical as Lee's work ever got. Heavier than the FF at its preachiest. Heavier than Dr. Strange at his most arcane and eldritch. Heavier than Hank Pym and the Vision having a seriousness contest. It's deep stuff, this is, and maybe that was why it wasn't everyone's cup of tea.
After all, Stan basically portrays the Surfer here as a Christ figure, having sacrificed himself not once but twice (once to save Zenn-La, once to save Earth), with diminished powers, constantly misunderstood and harassed by the earthlings he seeks to protect.
18 issues seems like a short run for something considered a classic, but we must remember that the earlier issues were double-length, and that The Silver Surfer comic was essentially an 'art' comic.
Sales had started out promisingly, but had never been high. Perhaps, after the real-life events of 1968 and 1969, the hippie idealism of the Surfer's Christ-like initial incarnation was just too goody-goody for the comic readers of the world, who were longing for something grittier.
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