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Silver Surfer

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

When word spread that the figures based on Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer would be in the 5" scale, a lot of fans were disappointed. Sure, we already had ML-quality versions of most of the characters thanks to the first film, but still - it was a letdown. Then a rumor started to circulate that there would be a special series of Marvel Legends, giving us 6" versions of the movie characters. That didn't turn out to be quite accurate, but Hasbro did throw the fans a bone with an all-new assortment of FF figures, including some characters that newer collectors may have missed.

The first time the Silver Surfer appeared in Earth's skies, it was as a thrall of Galactus, a world-devouring Silver Surfer entity as old as the universe itself. He brought with him chaos, and the promise of destruction. It was only when he was reminded of his own world, long lost in the depths of space that he rebelled against his master. Cut off from the purpose he knew for so long, he took to wandering the spacelanes, intervening where he could to see that right was done, trying to atone for the countless worlds he had helped to destroy. As the first and most favored among the Heralds of Galactus, he is a living battery of the Power Cosmic, one of the foundational energies of the cosmos, and as such, his power is nearly limitless.

One of the coolest things about Rise of the Silver Surfer (and yes, there were plenty) was that Norrin Radd actually looked alien, rather than like a human wrapped in tinfoil. He wasn't a bald white guy under the silver, the power cosmic only enhanced what was already there.

The ML5 Surfer was a decent figure, but a lot of fans missed out on him. Wal*Mart offered an exclusive re-release of him in conjunction with the new FF movie, but that was fairly expensive. So honestly, getting a new release of the guy is welcome. It's not like he's worn any different costumes over the years, you know?

The figure's sculpt is quite good. And this time it's all-new, too! The previous Surfer used Daredevil's body, which worked well, but was still a hand-me-down. The new sculpt is thinner, but still rocking the musculature. Apparently there's a divide in the fanboy armies over whether the Silver Surfer is a humanoid covered in a thin silver skin, or a big ball of energy in the shape of a man. Whichever version you prefer, this figure will be a good representation of it. He has Hasbro-style ankles and wrists, but everything else could have come straight from a ToyBiz figure - a wonderful combo.

One of the oddities of the previous figure was the head, which seemed to strive for a Jack Kirby kind of look, but ended up with weird proportions. Totally inhuman, sure - a fine choice for an alien - but it was perhaps a little too oddball. The new head is reminiscent of Ron Lim's artwork, and you have to like that choice: through the '90s, Lim was Marvel's go-to guy for cosmic stories, and the definitive artist for the Silver Surfer. This is one sweet-lookin' sentinel of the spaceways.

The most important thing about a Silver Surfer figure is, well, the silver. If you don't paint him right, you've got a gray lump of boredom hanging from the pegs. Hasbro molded him from grey plastic (you can see it where the paint is rubbing away on the shoulders and hips), then coated the whole thing is a silvery sheen. It's not as reflective as ToyBiz's, and doesn't have blue patches painted on, either. It's all very nice, and the only other color on the figure is his solid white eyes.

The Surfer has his board, of course. It's 7¾" long and has parallel sides, but unfortunately it's vac metallized. Blugh. That never works right. Yeah, it's shiny and it's silvery, but it's also covered in your fingerprints before you even have it out of the packaging. Why isn't the board painted the same way the figure is? Plus, while ToyBiz's Silver Surfer utilized magnets to attach him to his board, Hasbro's uses one giant footpeg, which is less impressive.

As part of a Build-A-Figure line, the Silver Surfer includes an amputated right leg. If you don't want to build Ronan the Accuser, you can pretend the Surfer is flying through the debris field left by Galactus eating a planet. You know: rubble, metal, bodyparts. Stuff like that. Or maybe he ripped this leg off an enemy and is now beating him with it. Of course, that would be from before the Surfer came to Earth and learned to love humanity. Yeah, that's right, we made him soft.

So other than the board, with its chromed surface and its blatant footpeg, this Silver Surfer is one to get. The sculpt is new, the articulation is great, and the paint is good. If you don't already have a Marvel Legends Surfer, then jump on this one as soon as you see it. Heck, even if you do have the previous figure, sell it to someone who wants one and have this one fill the spot in your collection. It really is that good. If you could find some way to swap the feet (and by extension the boards) between the Hasbro and ToyBiz versions of the character, you'd be golden.

-- 11/22/07

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