“The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny!”
By Stan Lee and John Buscema/ Sal Buscema, Inker/ Artie Simek, Letterer/ Perhaps the greatest fantasy saga of all time.
Within the shared universe that Thor resides, there is a powerful entity known as the Silver Surfer. Some time ago, on the planet Zen-La lived a man by the name of Norrin Radd. When the cosmic devourer Galactus came to consume his world, he made a bargain. Galactus would spare his world in exchange for his servitude.
As part of that service, Radd would attempt to point Galactus away from eating inhabited worlds when possible. In order to attend to his duties, Radd was encased in a powerful silvery substance, given a floating surfboard, and granted the “Power Cosmic” which imbued him with vaguely defined super powers.
Some time later, the Surfer led Galactus to Earth. On Earth, he was convinced by a chance encounter with a human woman to turn against his master. This played little part in causing Galactus to spare the Earth but when Galactus left the planet he exiled the Surfer to Earth, leaving him trapped by an invisible barrier. Ever since, he has spent the bulk of his time trying to escape the planet, reflecting on the barbarism of the human populace, and being manipulated by powerful supervillains, including someone who appears to be Satan himself.
This is whom Loki has chosen as his most recent catspaw against Thor. Loki, still being served by Toag, convinces the Surfer that Thor is an evil brute who intends on usurping Odin’s crown. He takes the skyrider of the spaceways to Asgard, before fading into the background. The Surfer issues a challenge to Thor, who is eating with his friends at an elaborate banquet. Thor good-naturedly accepts the Surfer’s challenge, inviting the alien to join him and his comrades in their meal, beforehand.
Loki astrally goads the two into fighting, subtly lending the Surfer his own power, for not even the Power Cosmic is a match for the power of Thor. Although Odin shrugs off the fight as being inconsequential, all of Thor’s Asgardian friends support him and come to his defense. Eventually, the Surfer intuits that Thor seems to be on the level, which means Loki was probably lying. Outraged, Loki returns the Surfer to Earth.
This bimonthly comic has a February cover date, but due to a quirk in comic book publishing, was released the same month as monthly titles with a January cover date. This lets it slot in between Thor issues #159 and #160, but would mean Thor visits Asgard and returns to Earth between those two stories.
First Appearance: The Silver Surfer