Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Surfer has been a fan favorite since his first appearance in the pages of the Fantastic Four in 1966. At some point we know that Marvel’s sky-rider of the space-ways will join the MCU; when that happens his key comics will explode like a comet in the heavens. In this post, I take a look at what I think are the best Silver Surfer covers from his first appearance until today. Here I’m listing my personal five all-time favorite Surfer covers.
Originally known as Norin Radd from the planet Zenn-la, this alien powerhouse makes a fearsome enemy but at heart is a gentle, thoughtful and caring being with a tragic history. Since he never lets hate and resentment guide his actions, in effect, the Surfer reflects what is best in us and in this way acts as a symbol for what it means to be a hero. This heroic aspect of the Surfer is perfectly portrayed by Jack ‘the King’ Kirby in his excellent cover for FF #50. This is the Surfer’s second overall cover appearance, but the first where he is featured front and center. The saga of the Surfer actually begins here, and for that reason alone, this is an excellent book to snatch up before the Surfer makes an MCU appearance. Currently it is not as pricey as FF #48 or #49 in mid-grade, but it’s catching up with a current FMV of $700.00 in 7.5. Like FF #48 and #49, in higher grades, the value jumps considerably. If you can find this in 9.8 you’re looking at a book that today would be valued at close to $100, 000.00. Back in 2016, the last known Heritage sale of a 9.8 sold for only $35,850.00. All that is only to say only that these early Surfer appearances are smoking hot!
The Silver Surfer is a character of duality. He is at once incredibly powerful but nonetheless possesses a balanced, gentle and caring, nature. The Surfer’s appearance with a character who might be characterized as his polar opposite (the Hulk) works for many reasons. In this comic, the Hulk follows the Surfer with the hope of being taken out into space, when the Surfer refuses (he’s actually unable), a conflict ensues. With a cover by Marie Severin, inked by Frank Giacoia this is my fourth favorite Surfer cover of all time. This one is also still affordable in lower grades. With mixed returns over the last three months, best returns have been on 8.0 copies (positive +23.5% after 3 sales: last sale, eBay on 06/17/2019 for $299.99). Worst returns: 6.5 which are down negative – 20% (last sale: eBay on 05/27/2019 for $120.00).
One of the most philosophical, not to mention powerful, beings in the Marvel Universe, the Surfer was also not afraid to trust people. In the course of his time on Earth that meant that he opened himself up to hurt and betrayal. Early on, he trusted Doctor Doom, for example, a mistake that led him into direct conflict with the Fantastic Four. Kirby’s iconic portrayal of the Surfer taking on the Thing is a classic but still affordable Surfer Cover and my number 3 favorite all time Surfer cover. Fittingly, this is also the third Surfer cover produced by Jack Kirby. You can still, for now, get an 8.0 for under $300.00, but you better hurry. The values on this comic are appreciating mighty quick. The last sale of an 8.0 on eBay went for $289.47 on 07/06/2019, back in 2017 it was regularly selling for around $125.00. Best returns, over the last three months, have been on 8.5 grades with a positive +22.1% roi after 6 sales. The last 8.5 sold for a strong $381.76.
The ex-herald of Galactus can use the ‘Power Cosmic’. Even when exiled on earth and robbed of the full extent of his powers by his former master, the Surfer was still a formidable adversary, going toe to toe with the Badoon, the dreaded Mephisto and, as excellently portrayed by ‘Big’ John Buscema on the cover to SS #4, the Mighty Thor himself. This is a hot book and shows no signs of slowing down. If Thor and the Surfer meet in an MCU movie, the value of this book will positively explode. As things stand, there are absolutely no negative long term returns on this comic. Over the last three months, best positive returns have been on the 9.0 grade, with a positive rise of +20.3% after 3 eBay sales. The last three sales went for: $1, 499.00 (05/29/2019); $1, 633.00 (06/03/2019) and $1, 975.00 (on 06/08/2019). These are strong prices and definitively confirm that this book is trending up.
Here it is, no less than two years after his introduction in the pages of the FF, the Surfer got his own mag…and what a magazine it was. In his original series, the Surfer was the ultimate misunderstood character. In effect the Surfer is one of the more thoughtful and noble souls in the Marvel Universe and nowhere is the noble strength of the Silver Surfer better portrayed than on the cover of his first self-titled solo-magazine. Drawn by the legendary John Buscema, SS #1 is my favorite Surfer cover. With 3,887 copies of this book on the CGC census, it’s quite likely poised to soar in value once the Surfer’s MCU appearance is announced. Long term returns on this book are phenomenal; showing strong growth across the board. Over the last three months returns are more mixed, showing drops in the 7.0 – 8.5 range. With a current FMV of $45,000.00 your best bet to own it, if you don’t already, is a lower grade copy.
There are a lot more great Silver Surfer covers out there. The above are my favs, which are yours?