Each day in February, Dibbs is showcasing iconic comic book issues that you should REALLY care about! Today’s comic is Fantastic Four #48, which was the first appearance of the Silver Surfer and Galactus! Welcome to the cosmos!
More comics are coming to the collectibles digital marketplace in the coming months, but be sure to grab some fracs of The Incredible Hulk #181, the first appearance of Wolverine now available on Dibbs!
The Coming of Galactus
Most of Marvel’s mainline comics take place in the same reality of continuity known as Earth-616. And while Earth takes center stage to a majority of these stories, the Marvel Universe stretches out far into the cosmos. The Fantastic Four became the series Marvel would use to introduce readers to the dark far reaches of the universe. This introduction began with Fantastic Four #2, where the heroes would come face to face with an alien race known as, The Skrulls. 46 issues later, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby would introduce Marvel’s first and most powerful cosmic entity, Galactus, Devourer of Worlds.
Readers are also introduced to Marvel’s first cosmic hero, the Silver Surfer. At the time of his introduction however, Surfer serves as the herald for Galactus. After teaming up with The Fantastic Four and betraying his master, the Silver Surfer is exiled to earth as punishment. This saw the Surfer guest starring in more Fantastic Four issues, and later maintaining his own titled series.
Fun fact: Jack Kirby gave the character a surfboard “because [he was] tired of drawing spaceships!”
Marvel comics of the 60s featured storylines that were as fast moving as they were frequently changing. The most of their readers being children, writers never let their foot off the gas and throw superheroes into conflict after conflict. So is the case with Fantastic Four #48.
Our four fabled friends are in the middle of a quarrel with the Inhumans in the Great Refuge. Former leader of the Inhumans, Maximus fires his Atmo-Gun with the intention of destroying all of humanity. His plan fails and before being subdued by his fellow Inhumans, he manages to create a null field of negative energy to cover the Great Refuge. Realizing all is lost, Reed Richards and the rest of the Fantastic Four escape back to the Baxter Building.
But before we can catch a breath, we are introduced to the Herald of Galactus, the Silver Surfer. The Surfer cruises through the cosmos on his metallic board in search of a sustainable planet. The Skrulls identify the herald from afar and successfully cloak their planet from the Surfer’s rader.
Back on earth, the New York City skies suddenly burst into flames, sending the entire city into a panic. Reed Richards quickly runs to his lab to try and discover the cause. The flames disappear and are replaced with large rocks floating concealing the earth's atmosphere. While trying to make sense of these strange phenomena, Reed is visited by The Watcher. He explains that he is the cause of these atmospheric changes and that his intention was to keep the Earth hidden from the Silver Surfer’s knowledge.
The Watcher’s plan fails, and the Silver Surfer reaches Earth and immediately signals to his master, Galactus. Our story ends with Galactus arriving on Earth and declaring he’s there to consume their world.