From the legendary Lee/Kirby team comes a three-part story that introduced the world to Galactus and the Silver Surfer; this introduction begins in Fantastic Four #48 where the Silver Surfer is travelling through the Andromeda Galaxy and draws attention from the Skrulls. The Skrulls hide in fear for they know that the Silver Surfer is the Herald of Galactus and that Galactus may soon arrive!
Back on Earth at the Baxter Building the Fantastic Four witness the entire skyline engulfed in flames. “Mr Fantastic” Reed Richards rushes to his laboratory to examine the situation. Then suddenly the flames in the sky fade away, giving way to an unending field of space debris.
Suddenly in Reed’s laboratory the Watcher appears and explains that he is responsible for the atmospheric disturbances, for he has been attempting to conceal Earth’s existence from the attention of the Silver Surfer. He further explains that the Surfer is the advance scout of Galactus, a powerful cosmic being that consumes the elemental energies of entire worlds, leaving them as little more than dried, lifeless husks.
Back in space we find the Silver Surfer searching through the debris field and discovering Earth. He then flies to Earth and decides out of everywhere to go on the planet he will go to the Baxter Building and send a signal out to Galactus. A battle ensues on the Baxter Building roof and The Thing rams the Silver Surfer off the roof just as Galactus arrives!
The Watcher confronts Galactus and attempts to convince him to leave Earth alone, The Human Torch and The Thing then attack Galactus but make little impact. On instructions from The Watcher the Fantastic Four return to their base and await instructions. In the meantime, Galactus continues to assemble his planet devouring device and the Watcher explains that there is a device upon Galactus’ home planet that could stop him. The Watcher sends the Human Torch to get it. Meanwhile, the Silver Surfer finally awakens from being knocked off the Baxter Building and discovers he is in the apartment of Alicia Masters. She learns of the Surfer’s mission and appeals to him to turn against his master and help save the Earth.
When the Fantastic Four begin attacking Galactus’ almost completed device, the planet-eater sends his cyborg Punisher to keep them out of his way while he repairs it. Making use of this distraction and delay, the Watcher boosts Johnny’s powers so that he may travel to Galactus’ planet and retrieve the weapon they need to defeat the world-devourer. Alicia convinces the Surfer to help save the Earth.
As Fantastic Four #50 opens we find the Silver Surfer sticking to his word and going to attack Galactus to buy the Human Torch enough time to get the Ultimate Nullifier from Galactus’ home planet. The Human Torch is successful and gets the device back to Reed who threatens to use it against Galactus. Upon being confronted Galctus agrees to spare the Earth and leave if Reed gives him back the weapon. True to his word, Galactus leaves but not before making it so the Surfer can never leave the Earth, by removing his “space-time powers”.
Once the battle is over Alicia thanks the Silver Surfer for his help which makes The Thing feel jealous and rejected but she later shows him that he should not be feeling that way.
Alan Moore’s The Courtyard
JLA: The Tower of Babel (The Deluxe Edition)