Today I want to wish the Silver Surfer a Happy Father's Day. Here's why...
The Defenders were a Marvel superhero team consisting of Doctor Strange, Hulk, Namor (Submariner), the Silver Surfer, and Valkyrie.
In the second issue of the series (October 1972, The Defenders, Vol 1 #2 - "The Search for the Silver Surfer!"), Silver Surfer hadn't yet joined the group and was suspected of being a villain. In the first issue, he seemed to be acting as accomplice to an evil necromancer.
As part of their adventure, the team (sans Surfer) stumble into a Himalayan valley filled with yetis (of the brown variety). And a fight ensues.
(Thanks to blogger Patrick D Gaertner for posting about this issue and sharing these images.)
During the fight, the Silver Surfer suddenly appears to defend the "harmless" yetis, proclaiming them his children.
Namor bull-rushes the Silver Surfer as he wishes him a Happy Father's Day - the ultimate retort.
The Incredible Hulk fights and insults the yeti, as he is wont to do (see here, here, here, and here (wish list # 6, please)), when he's not dressing up as one.
I'll let Gaertner comment:
"Words cannot describe how much I love this scene. It just gets better and better. Silver Surfer appearing and claiming that the crazy yetis that Hulk has been beating up are his children is good enough. But then Namor just immediately socks him in the face and yells “Well Happy Father’s Day.” It’s just beautiful."
Namor and Silver Surfer do stop fighting long enough to have a conversation. Namor asks him what's up with his whole "being in league with an evil necromancer" thing. Surfer claims innocence. Turns out he has been devoting his life for many years to fostering and teaching this tribe of simple-minded yetis.
That's right, folks. The Silver Surfer is a dedicated father of a flurry of yetis.
Wait - could these be the same yetis that Surfer encountered in Issue # 1 of Silver Surfer (1968)? They were white-furred then, and Surfer vowed to leave that "place of madness", so I'm not sure what happened in 4 years. Did he go back? Plus, weren't they supposed to be living in another dimension, not the Himalayas?
It's a mystery.
Anyway, here's the craziest part of the Defenders' story: the Silver Surfer's children (i.e. the yetis) suddenly reveal themselves to be evil warlocks in disguise. This whole time they had been pretending to be his yeti kids so they could gain his trust and control his mind. They got him to mess with Namor for an evil necromancer's plot. Their leader's name is Calizuma and his minions are called the "Warrior Wizards".
The Defenders be all like "nuh uh" and, now united with a vengeful Silver Surfer, team up to soundly beat the warlocks. And thus the Silver Surfer is recruited into the Defenders.
And that's the end of that.
So I second Namor's sentiment to the Silver Surfer, and this time without sarcasm. If you did indeed devote your life to being the father of a tribe of yetis, teaching them and fostering them, only to be horrifically betrayed by them as they unveiled themselves to be your mind-controlling warrior wizard masters in yeti disguises all along... then I salute you on this day.
I want to wish you a most:
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, SILVER SURFER.
You deserve it.