Monday, July 30, 2012




Dedicated to Jackson Bostwick for always keeping the Dream alive...

    Created by: C.C. Beck and Bill Parker    First Appearance: WHIZ COMICS #2 (1940)

Orphaned by his parents' murder and abandoned by his legal guardian, young Billy Batson was forced to fend for himself on the streets of Fawcett City. Adapting to his situation, he sold newspapers at night and subsisted on scraps of food, while managing to keep himself in school during the day. However, destiny intervened, as one night he was guided to a mysterious cave underneath the city, where he encountered an ancient wizard known as Shazam.  Recognizing his courage and good heart, the ancient wizard granted the boy the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury -- which transforms the young boy into the adult body of the super-powered Captain Marvel.

Capable of tapping into his patron's abilities by shouting the wizard's name, The World's Mightiest Mortal has used these abilities, as well as the power of flight, to combat everything from power-mad scientists to super-intelligent alien worms. Meanwhile, Billy Batson has made good with his own life, becoming a newscaster for WHIZ Radio and making enough money to support himself while he continues his education. 

While not as well known as Superman (due to DC propaganda IMHO), whom he bears a passing resemblance to, Captain Marvel is just as powerful, and one of the only beings in the DC Universe capable of fighting and defeating the Man of Steel in a straight up fight. With this much raw-power at his disposal, Captain Marvel is by far one of the most elite and most revered superheroes in all of comic book history. And even though The World's Mightiest Mortal could rip apart an entire planet with his bare hands, he is an altruistic soul that would rather help those in need than engage them in a senseless fight. But being a superhero with a ton of arch-enemies who want to destroy him, it does come with the job. So without further ado, here is a ranking of Captain Marvel's absolute greatest slugfests ever...


Writers: Roy Thomas, Julius Schwartz, Gil Kane, and Joey Cavalieri  Art: Gil Kane

The story begins with Superman victorious in a battle against Captain Marvel's arch-nemesis Dr. Sivana. Sivana uses a gigantic mecha to attack New York City on Earth-1, but Superman defeats his Mech-Armor and sends Sivana on his way back to Earth-S. Not to be outdone, Sivana uses science to manipulate the wizard Shazam and when Fawcett City is threatened and Billy says the magic word that turns him into Captain Marvel, half of that power is funneled into Sivana, turning him into a super-powered villain calling himself Captain Sivana. With Captain Marvel being de-powered, Sivana will beat him up and bury him within the Rock of Eternity where he will have to helplessly watch Sivana take over the world. Sivana keeps altering his title as he defeats other members of the Marvel Family such as Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr. Now proclaiming himself Colonel Sivnana, he decides it's time to get revenge on Superman for his defeat at the New York City of Earth-1. Heading to Metropolis, but mistakenly arriving at the Daily Star of Earth-2, Colonel Sivana draws out Kal-L, the Earth-2 Superman into the conflict. While this Superman puts up a fight against Sivana, he is clearly older and less powerful than he once was and begins to take a pounding from the more vicious super-powered Sivana. When Sivana finally defeats the Earth-2 Superman in combat, he uses the aid of a Kryptonite meteor shower to imprison him. 

Sivana decides he'll be called General Sivana and finally heads to the proper Earth for the showdown with Kal-El (the Superman of Earth-1). Kal-El and Sivana go back and forth until Sivana springs a trainload of Kryptonite on him while Captain Marvel watches horrified from the Rock of Eternity feeling more helpless than ever. Soon CM gets a pep talk from the Elders and digs down deep within himself regaining his full-powers and breaking free from his imprisonment. Flying at super-speeds, CM gets back into the game stopping General Sivana from delivering the killing blow to Superman. This will give Kal-El the opportunity to jump over to Earth-2 to save the older Kal-L from the meteor shower. Captain Marvel is the one who finally lays the smack-down on "General" Sivana in a massive slugfest. With Shazam now released he turns Sivana back to normal and everybody heads back to their proper universe.


Writers: Joe Simon and Jack Kirby  Art: Jack Kirby and Joe Simon

Dr. Sivana creates a robot named "Z" that will help out his fellow thug posse in his schemes against Captain Marvel and the world. While "Z" and Sivana's gang gets defeated by CM in the first encounter, Sivana will increase the robots power by injecting him with a secret formula. Once again "Z" manages to goad Captain Marvel into a fight and this time really takes it too him. Struggling more than he has ever before, Captain Marvel actually almost drowns when the fight ends up in the ocean. While Marvel barely manages to get the knock out, we learn it was the weight of the water that hindered "Z" at the end of the fight. Now in a final attempt to destroy The Big Red Cheese, "Z" and Dr. Sivana kidnap Billy Batson and burn down a warehouse in hoping Captain Marvel will show up in the process (both are not privy to that fact that Billy Batson is actually Captain Marvel himself). When Billy gets free and says the magic words of "SHAZAM!" Captain Marvel appears to face "Z" in the final showdown! This fight is all Captain Marvel as he goes all out and pounds "Z" into scrap metal for the definitive win. But Marvel even states at the end that this robot gave him the fight of his life and it remains one of the most intense and toughest one-on-one scraps of CM's Golden Age career.

3.) ALL-STAR SQUADRON #36 (1984)

Writer: Roy Thomas  Art: Rich Buckler and Richard Howell

Under the influence of Adolf Hitler’s Spear of Destiny, Captain Marvel attacks Earth-2 Superman and the rest of the All Star Squadron. They have a HUGE no holds barred brawl in the sky until Captain Marvel hits Superman with a tremendous punch that rockets the Man of Steel crashing back to the Earth. When other Squadron members go to Superman’s aide, they are shocked to find him stunned and defeated. While most Superman purest like to discredit this victory over the Man of Steel, Captain Marvel is clearly shown to live up to his hype and stand among the titans of the DC Universe. This fight without a doubt put The Big Red Cheese on the map and has to be considered one of his greatest and most defining ever!

2.) L.E.G.I.O.N. '91 #31 (1991)

Writers: Alan Grant and Barry Kitson  Art: Barry Kitson

Network is an interplanetary police force headed up by Vril Dox. One of the many operatives that work for Dox is the bounty hunter known as Lobo. Trying to get away from his duties as a L.E.G.I.O.N. operative the aggressive Czarnian bounty heads to a local dive bar to have a drink when Captain Marvel (coming from the War of the Gods crossover) comes tumbling into the bar crashing directly on top of the self-proclaimed "Main Man." Captain Marvel tries at all costs to avoid being provoked by Lobo into a fight. But eventually when Lobo stuffs a patron into a toilet bowl Captain Marvel has had enough of his antics and wants to teach this bully a lesson in manners. While the fight goes back and forth, Marvel eventually gets teleported away and the fight ends. This fight ranks in at number 2 on this list because it clearly shows what the true essence of Captain Marvel is all about. Especially when he is opposed against an ultra-violent  and brutal character like Lobo who is his polar opposite. And rarely did you ever see Marvel lose his cool the way he does with Lobo, because if there is one thing Billy Batson can't stand, it is a bully. This issue is not only one of Captain Marvel's greatest battles but also one of his greatest stories as well.

1.) KINGDOM COME #3 and 4 (1996)

Writer: Mark Waid  Art: Alex Ross

There is no doubt that this is by far the greatest Captain Marvel fight of all time and it cannot be disputed. Because it was this fight that truly defined Captain Marvel to the masses and gave him the credibility that he has always rightfully deserved. The Big Red Cheese would now walk among the DC Universe as an undeniable equal with the Man of Steel (and that is the way it should be). For the Superman and Captain Marvel fight in this series is by far the most popular, most referenced and most legendary clash in the history of their rivalry. 

With the war of all wars breaking out, the two most powerful beings on Earth square off in a final battle. They face off in the final pages of Kingdom Come #3 when Captain Marvel slams into an unsuspecting Superman. In the next issue, total war breaks out with Captain Marvel (who has been brain washed by Lex Luthor) and Superman battle it out. They fight toe-to-toe until Captain Marvel batters Superman by using his magic lightning bolt over and over but dodging before it hits him, leaving Superman to bear the brunt of a magical lightning strike. However, as Captain Marvel says “SHAZAM!” again, Superman grabs him and the lightning finds its mark; turning Captain Marvel back into Billy Batson. Holding Batson's mouth shut, Superman tells Batson that he is going to stop the remaining bomb, and Batson must make an important choice: either stop him and allow the warhead to kill all the super-humans, or let Superman stop the bomb and allow the super-humans' war to engulf the world. Superman tells Batson he must be the one to make this decision, as he is the only one who lives in both worlds, that of normal humans (as Batson) and the super-human community (as Marvel). Superman releases him and flies off to stop the incoming bomb. Batson, his mind now clear of Luthor's influence, turns into Captain Marvel, flies up to Superman, throws him back down to the ground and takes hold of the bomb. Having found a third option, Marvel shouts "SHAZAM!" three more times in rapid succession and the lightning sets off the bomb prematurely, killing himself in the process. Although an Elseworlds tale, Kingdom Come was for all intents and purposes set in the future of the then-current mainstream DC Universe. This is superhero writing, art and action at its absolute finest! 

Agree? Disagree? Let's hear it fanboys!!

Check out other "THE TOP 5 GREATEST BATTLES OF..." here:



The Sub-Mariner


The Thing



Iron Man


The Avengers 


John Cimino
John Cimino is a Silver and Bronze Age comic, cartoon and memorabilia expert that runs a business called "Saturday Morning Collectibles." He buys, sells, appraises and gives seminars on everything pop culture, so if you got something special, let him know about it. He contributes articles to ALTER EGO, RETRO FAN, BACK ISSUE and THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR from TwoMorrows Publishing, runs the Roy Thomas Appreciation Board on Facebook and has appeared on the AMC reality show Comic Book Men. He also represents some of comicdoms biggest stars and brings them to a Comic Con near you. John likes to think he's the real Captain Marvel, people just don't have the heart to tell him he's just an obsessed fanboy that loves to play superheroes with his daughter Bryn. Contact him at or follow him on Instagram at megostretchhulk.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012





The Outcast: a person who is rejected or excluded from a society; a wanderer. 

A word that best describes two of the most popular and misunderstood characters in the Marvel Universe; the Incredible Hulk and the Silver Surfer. They don't trust or have been trusted by the general population of Earth (and by most heroes) despite fighting off the forces of evil time and time again. They have been greatly feared because both possess levels of power that go far beyond the comprehension of man. And with this power they walk their own path in life choosing to be loners and answering to no one. To know them, you have to understand that they have legitimate reasons for their disdain for most people. 

The Silver Surfer cannot understand the careless nature of the human race. While they have been blessed with a planet of paradise, they continually take it for granted and destroy it along with themselves. He gets frustrated by their ignorance and bigotry and does his best to stay far away from their ways of life. The Hulk is angry with the humans. Angry that he is constantly hunted and hounded by them. Angry that their leaders want to either destroy him, steal his immense power or use him as a weapon to fight others. Yes, both outcasts find their sanctuary and solitude while being alone, and that is how they like it.

But both the Hulk and the Silver Surfer have found familiar ground as allies on the Defenders, fighting alongside fellow outcasts; Dr. Strange and Namor, the Sub-Mariner (among others). And being on this team "defending" the planet from the evils of the world despite being feared by them is a testament to who each individual really is deep down within. This is the true definition of what being a Defender is all about; giving it your all -- even your life, to help those in need while still being feared and unappreciated by them in the end.

Despite being outcasts on a planet that mistrusts and fears them, the Defenders band together and stop the forces of evil that try to destroy it.

And while the Hulk and the Surfer have been through many adventures together on The Defenders, they have never really been that close. Deep down the Surfer could never really be around or understand someone with the temperament of the Hulk for long periods of time (I'm not really sure who can). Surfer mostly felt sorry and pitied the brute more than anything else, especially for how he was treated by the human race. The Hulk was probably more tolerant to the Surfer because the Sky-Rider usually just kept to himself and stayed quite in the background. Most of the time, I'm sure the Hulk forgot about the Surfer altogether. To be honest, both stuck around as members of the Defenders because of Dr. Strange who was the heart and soul of the team and one of the few beings that they trusted and considered a friend. And an inevitable bond had formed between them from being teammates for so long and despite how different the Hulk and the Silver Surfer are, they could still count on each other in times of need.

But when you're dealing with the Hulk, it doesn't matter if you're friends, allies, teammates, or even family -- because if you stay around the Green Goliath for too long, chances are he's going to get angry. And an angry Hulk is an aggressive Hulk, and an aggressive Hulk is a Hulk that attacks! So regardless of how passive or non-violent the Silver Surfer is, it's in the Hulk's nature to fight -- anyone or anything -- even if you're the greatest Herald Galactus ever created.

Surprisingly, despite how long the Hulk and the Surfer have been teammates, they haven't really fought much in their history (the Hulk usually clashed with the Sub-Mariner because he was just as temperamental and egocentric as the Hulk was). And even with their reputations in the annals of the Marvel Universe, they've never really had any truly legendary slugfests. Sure, they had some good ones, but because they have such different styles combined with Surfer's passive personality and his Power Cosmic (which can manipulate every type of radiation, including gamma-radiation) it doesn't make for an interesting fight. "Hulk vs Silver Surfer" is one of those confrontations that is hard for writers to make work. What fun is a fight where Surfer can just suck out the Hulk's gamma rays and it's over? That's boring and doesn't really answer questions on who would win in a straight out fight between them. Fanboys need confrontation and they need answers!! They crave more fisticuffs, more action and more destruction!!! I know I do! But despite all that with the recognition of their names and both being the highest-end of the most powerful Marvel characters, the Hulk battling it out with the Silver Surfer will always be a fight readers want to see regardless and this write up is a dedication to that.

So enough with the background, let's get to the combatants...


Name: Hulk

Height: 5’9 ½” (Banner), 7’ (Hulk)

Weight: 128lbs (Banner), 1,040lbs (Hulk)

Real Name: Robert Bruce Banner

Origins: Gamma bomb explosion at Desert Base New Mexico

Home Base: Earth

Nicknames: Green Goliath, Green-Skinned Goliath, Jade Jaws, Annihilator, Captain Universe, Joe Fixit, Mr. Fixit, Mechano, Green Scar, Jade Giant, The Jolly Green Giant, Green King, Holku, Green One, Eye of Rage, Eye of Anger, Harkanon, Haarg, Once-Savage, Two Minds, Professor, War, Maestro, Two-Hands, Greenskin, Gray Goliath, Mighty Bob, Anti-Hulk, Friday, Green Golem, Golem, Man-Monster, World-Breaker, Sakaarson, Nul: Breaker of Worlds, Doc Green, The Most Powerful Being on Earth, The Strongest One There Is 

Powers: Possesses the potential for near-limitless levels of vast superhuman strength ranging beyond the limits of virtually any other known humanoid being, depending directly on his emotional state, particularly his anger. He is extremely resistant to physical damage, psychic assaults, temperature extremes, and is completely immune to disease and poisons. He has an adapt gland that enables him to breathe underwater, survive unprotected in space, and when injured, possesses superhuman healing, enabling him to regenerate body tissue (including internal organs) within minutes to seconds. His aging is also slowed, or may have ceased altogether, due to these regenerative properties of his gamma ray irradiated cells. His powerful legs allow him to cover 3 miles in a single bound, but he has been known to leap into lower Earth orbit or even across continents when angry. Besides great strength, his durability, healing, endurance, and possibly speed, likewise also increase in relation to his anger levels. He can maintain this peak output for hours on end and still continue to grow even more powerful as his adrenaline levels continue to increase with no apparent limit. Unrelated to his physical abilities, he can see astral (spirit) forms normally invisible to the naked eye and can locate his place of birth; Desert Base New Mexico no matter where he is in the world via psychic bond. As Bruce Banner, he is considered one of the greatest minds on Earth. He is the foremost expert on Gamma Radiation and has developed expertise in the fields of Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Physiology, and has a PhD in Nuclear Physics.

Favorite Expressions: “Hulk Smash!”, “Hulk is the Strongest One There is!”, "BAH!", “Nothing Can Stop Hulk!”, "The Madder Hulk gets, the Stronger Hulk gets!", “Don’t make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I’m angry.”

Incarnations: I listed the “Savage” Hulk’s classic stats up above because it is generally considered that this Hulk persona is the most popular and most powerful of all the incarnations. But his height, weight and powers varies to a degree depending on his current incarnation. Within each “Hulk vs Silver Surfer” comic description listed in the sections below, I included which incarnation of the Hulk was present for that fight. 

 *Please note that all incarnations listed are only "real" Hulk incarnations with Bruce Banner. No alternate future or pseudo-Hulk incarnations are included.

Name: Silver Surfer

Height: 6'4"

Weight: 225lbs

Real Name: Norrin Radd

Origins: Planet Zenn-La, Deneb System, Milky Way Galaxy

Home Base: Mobile throughout the universe

Nicknames: The Surfer, The Sky-Rider of the Spaceways, The Sentinel of the Spaceways, The Silver Sentinel, The Space-Rider, Silverado, Chrome Dome, The Silver Savage

Powers: The Power Cosmic; granting superhuman strength, endurance, durability, senses and the ability to absorb and manipulate the universe's ambient energy for a variety of effects. He can navigate through interstellar space, dimensional barriers, and can fly at near-limitless speeds on his board entering hyperspace when he exceeds the speed of light. He has even proven capable of time travel on several occasions, even able to make others time-travel with him. He sustains himself by converting matter into energy so he does not require food, water, air, or sleep (although he occasionally enters a sleep-like meditation in order to dream); and can survive within nearly any known natural environment, including deep space, hyperspace, and even within black holes and stars. He can analyze and manipulate matter and energy, and molecularity restructure or animate matter at will such as causing vegetation to grow much quicker, even transmuting elements or creating objects. He can also project energy in various forms for offensive and defensive use, including the erection of force shields, bolts of cosmic force powerful enough to destroy entire planets, and create black holes. He can utilize the Power Cosmic to augment his superhuman strength to indeterminate levels. He can heal living organisms, though he cannot raise the dead, and he has proven capable of revitalizing and evolving organic life on a planet-wide scale. He can also alter the size of himself or of other matter, cast illusions, create interdimensional portals and microverses, phase through solid matter and exercise some level of control over the Astral Plane. His senses enable him to detect objects and concentrations of energy light years away and to perceive matter and energy in subatomic detail, including life energies of living beings. He can even see through time, and with concentration he can achieve limited perception of past and future events in his general vicinity. He has demonstrated telepathic ability, including mind-reading on occasion and has proven to be able to influence human emotion and sensation.

ParaphernaliaCosmic Surfboard; this board is composed with the same impervious, cosmic-powered silvery material as the Silver Surfer himself. It is mentally linked to the Surfer; it moves in response to his thoughts, even when he is not in physical contact with it. It is totally indestructible, but on those rare occasions where it has been damaged or destroyed, the Surfer has been able to repair or even re-create it. The Surfer can attack opponents remotely by directing the board against them, and it is capable of absorbing and imprisoning other beings temporarily.

Favorite Expressions: "Now, I ride the Eternal winds once more! And none shall ever be my master!", "Time is long and fate is fickle ... My destiny still lies before me! And where it beckons — there shall soar the Silver Surfer!", "If die I must — let it be as I have lived — soaring swift and silent — striving for the right — no matter what the cost!", "Let my board and me again become as one! For I must leave this place of madness!", "Yet, none is the master of one who wields the Power Cosmic!"


The comics listed in this section are each time the "REAL" Hulk and the Silver Surfer have squared off, had words and fought each other in actual official Marvel continuity. I will also explain each encounter in detail. Unfortunately, all fights and situations are not always so clear cut and I've tried my very best to be fair, objective and unbiased about the outcome of each battle. A "MATCH UP" is considered a round within a fight or face off confrontation. Since situations can be erratic in the story, there can be multiple outcomes between opponents in a fight. I will continually list each "MATCH UP" with a result and tally it. A "MATCH UP" will only result in a "WIN" if the losing character is rendered unconscious, teleported away against their will or immobilized in such a fashion that they are only freed by the other combatant or an ally. There may even be cases when a character gets a victory due to interference of their teammates, partners, etc. This may not be a definitive "WIN" but it will still be tallied against the losing opponent and explained so. When a character gets an "EDGE" result, they had the advantage at the end of the fight but the opponent may still be conscious or fighting on, so it will not be tallied against him. A "DRAW" result means no one was victorious during that encounter. A "NONE" result means there was no way a logical result could be given in that confrontation or situation from the two characters facing off and this can occur for a number of reasons and will be explained in the text. And finally, an "UNKNOWN" result means the ending of the fight was never shown so a definitive result cannot be given. At the end, I tallied up the totals so you can come to your own conclusions and be the judge to see who holds the overall edge in this legendary battle.

TALES TO ASTONISH #92 and 93 (1967) / SILVER SURFER #1 (1968)
I should mention that Silver Surfer #1 is included here because it tells of a flashback to the Tales to Astonish "Hulk vs Silver Surfer" fight from a slightly different perspective. I believe the reason for the small change was that Stan Lee probably just forgot certain details from his previous work. In the grand scheme it doesn't really matter because basically the same outcome occurred.

With the entire world on the look out for either the "Gravage" Hulk or Bruce Banner, Banner himself has gone into hiding, and disguises himself when out in public. Having gotten an apartment in New York, Banner has collected together parts needed to build a device that would bombard him with Gamma Radiation, in the hopes that it will finally cure him of being the Hulk. However, after the experiment Banner once more turns into the Hulk. The Hulk bursts out of the apartment and tries to find a safe place to hide. Hopping through the city, the Hulk begins hoping to find a way off the planet. He spots what he thinks is a space ship and tries to stop it but the brute keeps getting forced back by speeding winds and then a powerful punch. When the Hulk bellows of revenge against these strange forces he is then confronted by the Silver Surfer for the first time (continues into the next issue). Now the Hulk demands that the Surfer take him away from Earth, to find a new home where he won't be hounded. Unaware that the Surfer is unable to leave the Earth, the Hulk attacks when the Surfer refuses to help the Green Goliath. After a brief fight, Surfer uses his board to knock the Hulk down. As the Hulk staggers back to his feet, the police step in and blind him with bright lights and flame throwers. RESULT: DRAW


While trying to leave, the Surfer sees what the police are doing to the "Gravage" Hulk and feels compassion for the brute. So he turns around and grabs the Hulk's wrist and flies him away to safety. While in the air the Hulk asks the Surfer to take him from the Earth, but once again, Surfer tells the Hulk he cannot bring him out into space. The Hulk thinks Surfer is lying so he attacks in a fury again. This time the Surfer's patience is at an end with the brute and really fights back, easily knocking the Hulk unconscious with the Power Cosmic. RESULT: WIN SILVER SURFER


Now using his Power Cosmic to probe the "Gravage" Hulk's mind, Surfer learns of Banner's curse. Attempting to use his powers to cure the Hulk, the Hulk awakens and believes that the Surfer is attacking him and slugs him! Realizing now that the brute will not stop, Surfer uses his Cosmic Force to push the Hulk back and flee. The Hulk, alone once more, realizes that his rage prevented him from leaving the Earth. RESULT: DRAW


SUB-MARINER #34 (1970)
When the "Savage" Hulk sees Namor and the Silver Surfer in the sky, he leaps up and attacks them. A small scrap ensues as Namor and the Surfer try to convince the brute that they want to befriend him. But the Hulk doesn't trust them and continually attacks. Soon this fight gets interrupted by the San Pablo Army. RESULT: DRAW


SUB-MARINER #35 (1970)
After a battle with the Avengers, the "Savage" Hulk, Namor and the Silver Surfer must settle their differences with them after they realize that the nuclear reactor they thought was going to explode won't. Naturally this frustrates the Hulk even further, who wants to smash the reactor so it won't cause any more problems. This will make Namor and the Surfer leap onto the brute and try to restrain him. But the raging Hulk will thrown them off and leap away already forgetting about the reactor. RESULT: NONE


Dr. Strange has returned to his Sanctum Sanctorum to inform Clea and Wong that he has found a method that may free the Black Knight from his stone prison and so begins summoning the Defenders to aid, however the only Defenders he is able to rouse are the Silver Surfer and the "Savage" Hulk. While back under the sea, Red Ghost and Attuma have finished their mind control over the captured Defenders and are plotting to use them in their attack against Atlantis. On the surface, as the other Defenders mull over what to do about Val and other others, the Hulk mentions he might know where they went but just wants to leave. This will cause the Surfer to attack the Hulk by jumping on his back to stop the brute. As the Hulk begins to get angry and attack Surfer, Dr. Strange casts a spell to stop the brute and help him remember. Strange and Surfer learn that the other Defenders were captured by Attuma and taken under the sea, and the Hulk didn't go after them because he doesn't like water. Putting the Hulk to sleep, the Silver Surfer and Dr. Strange fly off to rescue their captured. RESULT: NONE


The "Savage" Hulk shows up in a quiet farm and turns back into Bruce Banner. Suddenly, the scientist sees a bull running towards a little girl. Bruce saves the kid's life but receives the impact and lies unconscious. The little girl's mother brings Bruce into her home. Soon they become friends and start having feelings for each other. At this time the Silver Surfer has been trying to escape the Earth but cannot break free from Galactus' force-field that keeps him prisoner on the planet. Then he realizes that he needs unlimited power to break the field and the only being that possesses that kind of power on Earth is the Hulk. The Surfer shows up looking for Bruce and tells him that he wants the Hulk's power, Banner loses control from the stress of all this. Now the Hulk emerges and attacks! After a brutal attack that drops the Sky-Rider, he removes the gamma energy from the Hulk's body, turning him back into Bruce Banner. Banner now finally stands cured of the curse of the Hulk forever! RESULT: WIN SILVER SURFER


Deprived of gamma energy, the grateful scientist hears the alien's wish: increase his power with gamma rays so he can break Galactus' barrier around the Earth. The experiment eventually fails and Bruce manages to get bombarded with gamma rays again to becomes the "Savage" Hulk. So the Surfer takes the brute into space and they have a back and forth slugfest on the Surfer's surfboard. But the Surfer will surprise the Hulk with his levels of the Power Cosmic and absorbs all of the giant's gamma energy again turning him back into Bruce Banner. Now with the Hulk's strength within him, the Surfer is able to break the barrier and flies off to freedom within the stars! But at this time the unconscious form of Bruce Banner is falling back to the Earth below. Surfer sees this and flies back into the Earth and the barrier, catches Banner, bathes him with the gamma energy he absorbed to save his life and finds himself trapped on the planet once again. RESULT: WIN SILVER SURFER


THE DEFENDERS #101 (1981)
The Defenders have returned to Dr. Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum following their victory against the Six-Finger Hand and Satan's conspiracy to make Hell on Earth, however despite their victory, the moral of the group has been deeply shaken following the conflict. When the "Savage" Hulk angrily asks Silver Surfer and the rest of  The Defenders what's wrong, Hellcat lashes out at him, and the Hulk ultimately gets fed up and leaves the group not wanting to be around a group of miserable people. The Sub-Mariner also takes this as a cue to leave as well opting to return to Atlantis to deal with his royal affairs and flies off. Once more feeling useless now that he is crippled again, Nighthawk once more quits the Defenders and leaves with his caretaker Luann. Devil-Slayer decides to stay with the group, having nothing to turn to since his wife Cory decided to stay in Israel. The Silver Surfer speaks up and tells the group that they shouldn't be so melancholy, however Dr. Strange feels this way after losing Son of Satan to his father and his arrogance and pride almost causing the Six-Fingered Hand their victory. RESULT: NONE


A battle between the "Savage" Hulk (honestly, I'm not sure which Hulk incarnation this is because it is never stated) and the Silver Surfer is played out in a commercial for Damage Control. It is never mentioned in the story if this is an actual fight that really happened or just a made up fight for the commercial itself. Either way it has to be listed and I'll leave it up to the reader to decide. RESULT: UNKNOWN (the ending of this fight is never shown so a definitive result cannot be given.)


While the Defenders are battling the Wild One, the "Professor" Hulk will make an unexpected move by taking the Silver Surfer and throwing him at the enemy. When Surfer looks at the Hulk all confused and asks him why he did that the Hulk reply's that he didn't want to ruin his spandex. Although this maneuver could have led into a fight between them, they continue to battle the Wild One. RESULT: NONE


SILVER SURFER #96 (1994)
When the Silver Surfer and the Fantastic Four run into the "Professor" Hulk, it takes all the team has to hold the Thing back from fighting with him. After they calm Thing down (avoiding what could be a "Hulk vs Silver Surfer" scuffle), they learn that the Hulk has come here for the same reasons they did. So they all continue together towards a disturbance. They eventually find the source of the disturbance, which has seemingly drawn them to it and disappeared. In the center of a lake of fire, the Surfer finds out that Nova has returned to life. RESULT: NONE


SILVER SURFER #125 (1997)
The Silver Surfer returns to Earth and finds the "Bannerless" Hulk on a rampage. The Surfer tries to talk some sense in him and resume their friendship, but the Hulk won't listen. After a back and forth fight the Hulk smashes the ground on top of Surfer and tries to escape. RESULT: EDGE HULK (Although the Hulk manages to bury the Surfer to give him the "edge" in this scrap, Surfer quickly recovers and resumes his search for the brute.)


The Surfer catches up with the "Bannerless" Hulk and continues to try to speak with him. The Hulk tells him Banner is dead (from Onslaught) and attacks the Surfer, wanting to be left alone. The Surfer uses his Cosmic Power to remove the radiation from his blood and revert him to Banner as he had done in the past. It fails and the Surfer realizes that Banner must be gone and the Hulk is telling the truth. He soon realizes the Hulk is rampaging because he is scared. He will soon die without Banner. The Hulk leaves and the Surfer decides to leave him in peace. RESULT: DRAW


Bruce and General Ross are taken to Freehold, which is now run by the Troyjans. This Intergalactic group reveals that they previously resurrected General Ross; and now their leader, Armageddon attempts to use the "Heroes Return" Hulk's energies to resurrect his son, Trauma who he believes the Hulk killed. Meanwhile, we see the Silver Surfer blasting his way into Freehold. Surfer comes to the rescue and as he blasts in – he tells the Hulk to leave – but Hulk declines (while this exchange of words could have lead to a fight between the two, it doesn't). The Hulk says that he will do it, he will give his life for Armageddon’s life.  Hulk climbs into the machine and once it begins the Troyjans say the readings are off the scale. Armageddon asks why Hulk is laughing – and suddenly the whole machine explodes. Trauma’s body burns up and Armageddon is happy that at least the Hulk was taken in the explosion. Then the Hulk walks out of the rubble saying that it tickled. Armageddon knows that the Hulk knew what would happen. The Troyjans are ready to attack – but Armageddon stops them.  In a strange turn of events, he applauds the Hulk’s confidence and says that the Hulk beat him. Then, as he is leaving with his army, he tells the Hulk that he WILL kill him someday – and asks who loves him enough to bring him back when he dies. RESULT: NONE


In the woods near Point Promontory, the Silver Surfer, Namor, Dr. Strange and the "Savage" Hulk suddenly appear from thin air. Namor accuses Strange of this doing and insists he is returned to his home, but the magician is quick to deny any involvement. It takes mere seconds before the accusations of stupidity fly and then the Hulk and Namor are at it with their fists. While Strange tries to break up the fight explaining that they must find the one who summoned them, the Hulk slams the ground sending Dr. Strange and Namor flying. The Surfer simply cannot understand the mindless rage which drives Earth's mortals. He sends a cosmic bolt between the two which drives them apart. This only causes the two savages to turn their rage on him. Suddenly, the din is disrupted by a woman's voice. Hellcat arrives in time to inform the group that it was she who summoned them because the world was in danger. RESULT: NONE (It should be noted that this issue shows the Hulk's superior durability over Surfer and Namor as well.)


THE ORDER #4 (2002)
The members of the Order (Namor, Dr. Strange and the Silver Surfer) decide they have to change the "Gray" Hulk incarnation to one that is not so perverse. Surfer and Strange will hold the brute in an energy field as they try to summon up a new personality. Soon the "Savage" Hulk emerges and breaks free from the field! Namor and the Surfer will attack and hold the brute, but once the Surfer let's go, the Hulk continues to pound on Namor and begins to choke the Sea King out! Quickly, Dr. Strange steps in to help out Namor by summoning the "Professor" Hulk and this stops the fight. RESULT: DRAW (While this is a short fight, once Surfer let the Hulk free, the brute continued to attack Namor and began choking him. Dr. Strange then stepped in and summoned a better Hulk personality which put a stop to the fight.)


In the holding cells of the Great Arena, the Lieutenant looks in on the Silver Surfer (who is being hailed as “The Silver Savage”). The Lieutenant asks the Surfer who he is and where he is from but Surfer doesn't answer. She turns to the jailer and tells him to make him talk. Surfer’s obedience disk jolts him and then he tells them his origin and how it got onto their world. Soon the people in the streets hear a triple drum call as the people migrate toward the coliseum and the workers prepare the battle field. The announcer introduces the "Gravage" Hulk (who is known as "The Green Scar") and his team, The Warbound. The people rumble with applause. The announcer says that they are going to face their final challenge...the Silver Savage! Hulk takes one look at him and asks if he's the Silver Surfer, Surfer says that he is. Surfer’s obedience disk starts to glow as he launches his mace across the Hulk’s face. Hulk grabs Surfer and says that he thought he was different, but that he is just like the rest of the heroes back on Earth. Surfer tells Hulk to forgive him and then blasts him with a burst of power. Now the rest of the Hulk's team attacks Surfer and are all easily disposed of. The Hulk then tells Hiroim to attack high. As Surfer blocks him with the surfboard/shield the Hulk hits Surfer hard with a spear into Surfer’s disk breaking it. Now Surfer realizes that he is no longer being controlled and starts to thank Hulk, but the Hulk is raging and pounds Surfer into the ground. The people erupt in cheer. Hulk hits Surfer again and again. The people’s cheering stops in awkward silence as they hear a loud crunch coming from the blows. Hulk growls loudly and the people look on with wide eyes and open mouths. Korg grabs Hulk’s arm and tells him no. Hulk growls, but Korg tells him that they won. Hulk looks down and sees the Surfer in a heap. Korg shouts that they have survived their three rounds and should be given their freedom. RESULT: WIN HULK (This fight is a little tricky to judge as both the Hulk and Silver Surfer were not fighting at full-strength due to the portal that brought them to this world. Plus the Hulk had help from his Warbound team. But in the end, it was just the Hulk who ended the fight by pounding Surfer into submission so there is no question that he took the victory. I should also point out that the Hulk is clearly shown to be the physically superior in this fight. Each of his blows grew increasingly more powerful than the next as he raged and almost killed Surfer, luckily Korg stopped the Hulk's attacks.)


Variant Cover
HULK #10 (2008)
Elders of the Universe, the Grandmaster and the Collector want to play a game involving some of Earth's greatest heroes. The "Savage" Hulk, Namor, Silver Surfer and Dr. Strange are plucked from time in their moment of greatest sorrow. They are each just about to lose, or have already lost, their greatest love. And since they would do anything to save their loved ones, they make the perfect pawns in the Elders schemes. After the Hulk loses Jarella, he meets up with the Surfer who is with Shalla-Bal and telling her that he cannot be with her anymore as he is now a Herald of Galactus. Surfer does not even know who the Hulk is at this point in time so he attacks the Green Goliath firing a cosmic bolt. The Hulk takes the attack and then convinces the Surfer of what is happening and the fight stops. RESULT: NONE (Although there was no actual fight, the Hulk has to be given props here because he was able to shrug off Surfer's Cosmic bolt with ease due to his high adrenaline levels at the time.)


When Bruce Banner turns into the "Doc Green" Hulk, he attempts to help Dawn Greenwood. The Silver Surfer will then grab the brute and throw him aside saying he will be the one to help her. When the Hulk rises for a fight, Dr. Strange steps in and stops him. RESULT: NONE


After Shuma-Gorath is defeated, the "Doc Green" Hulk and Dr. Strange meet up with the Silver Surfer and Dawn. The Hulk is ready to renew his beef with the Surfer but Strange will banish him away (as well as himself), the Surfer says "Next time." RESULT: NONE


(This issue has five variant covers)
When Namor is flung into space by Nebulon, the Silver Surfer must make a choice whether to save the Sea King who'll die in space or continue to fight Nebulon to stop him from destroying more planets that is empowering the cosmic train. Just then the "Immortal" Hulk shows up and grabs the Surfer by the neck and hurls him into space at Namor to save him. The Hulk will then takes the Surfers board and attack Nebulon with it. RESULT: NONE


Hulk and Silver Surfer have fought a few times in non-cannon stories or as alternate incarnations of themselves. Truth be told, despite some interesting stories, these issues don't count. I see them as writers interpretations of “Hulk vs Silver Surfer” battles without continuity restraints so they always have fun twists of “What could have been.” Listed here are not all but the best of the best of the Hulk and Silver Surfer battles that occurred outside of actual Marvel continuity or cannot be listed as actual "official" fights between the two combatants.

NOT BRAND ECHH! #13 (1969)
The Simple Surfer rockets through the sky lost in thought knocking over heroes in the process. The Bulk is among the heroes that get bumped out of the way.

The "Savage" Hulk (with a special helmet on that gives Bruce Banner's brain control of the Hulk) battles illusions of his greatest foes inside the infected mind of Glenn Talbot. There, an illusion of the Silver Surfer is among the many foes that attack and get defeated by the raging Hulk (who has long destroyed the helmet) which eventually frees Talbot from the control.

When the "Savage" Hulk speaks about the Fantastic Four and tells some terrible jokes about them (that don't get any laughs), he threatens the Silver Surfer and all the other heroes to laugh...and they do.

SILVER SURFER #58 (1991)
The Silver Surfer will do battle with ghosts of his teammates, The Defenders. The ghost of the "Savage" Hulk attacks Surfer and lands some punches, but the Power Cosmic soon takes him out.

WHAT IF #80 (1995)
"IF" tale of the "Professor" Hulk becoming the Maestro! The cover shows the Hulk over the bodies of dead heroes, the Silver Surfer is among them.

Variant Cover
Iron Man leads the charge of flying zombies against the Silver Surfer. The Surfer fends off the zombies with his energy blasts, cutting Stark in half at the waist and striking Moondragon down in the throng below. Stark manages to get hold of the Surfer's board and grapples him along with Nova and Vulture. The Surfer's skin is quite impenetrable, however, and Stark just breaks his teeth trying to take a bite. The Surfer manages to shake the trio, and quickly dispatches Nova and Captain Marvel. Thor is more successful, and knocks the Surfer from his board when he shatters his makeshift hammer on the Surfer's face.
The Colonel leads the rush on the ground, telling everyone to keep the silver stranger off balance. This strategy doesn't amount to much, and the Surfer quickly dispatches the Vulture, Moon Knight Namor, and Falcon. Wolverine slashes at him, but the force of the blow just rips the adamantium bones from the rotten flesh of his arm. Wolverine ends up right by Stark's torso. Stark ask Logan to toss him into the fray so he can use what's left of his power for one more repulsor blast. Wolverine complies, and tosses Tony into the melee as the Surfer takes out Speedball and Gambit.
Hank Pym watches safely from the shadows of an alley, very thankful that he took his time getting back from the lab. He decides to wait until this whole ordeal is over. Elsewhere on the sidelines, Spider-Man resolves to finally just pull off his dangling, broken leg. Banner feels the hunger setting in, and transforms back into the "Zombie" Hulk. Rushing in, Hulk takes the Surfer from the other zombies restraining him, and is rewarded with two cosmic blasts to the face. Surfer tries to make his escape on his board, with zombies close behind. An even more enraged Hulk leaps at the Surfer and bites his head off.

The Maestro has the Silver Surfer's board and he's not giving it up without a fight. While the Maestro attacks Surfer, he is considered nothing more than a nuisance and easily brushed aside. The Sky-Rider will take the board, mend it with his Power Cosmic and then fly off leaving the Maestro standing there dumbfounded.

Variant Cover
Variant Cover
THANOS #17 (2018)
In an alternate future story line, the present Thanos and his future-self battle it out with a Mjolnir wielding Silver Surfer. The two Mad Titans unleash a future version of the Hulk to attack Surfer. They fight for a bit but eventually Surfer gets serious and just holds the Hulk by the neck and talks the brute down, making him change back into Bruce Banner.


I had to list this "Hulk vs Silver Surfer" honorable mention because when I was a kid I loved this game and I always found it interesting that panels of the Hulk slugging it out with the Surfer from the pages of Tales to Astonish #93 were used on the game board.



This drawing set came with six images of the Hulk to paint. One image features the Hulk locked in combat with the Silver Surfer.



In this section I list every time that the Hulk and the Silver Surfer engage in combat with each other. No cartoons or animated features with friendly team ups or situations are included.


As the Hulk and his Agent's of S.M.A.S.H. are floating through space, they come across the Silver Surfer who begins attacking their ship. The Hulk's will jump on rocket boards and confront him. Soon the Hulk begins to get angry and pounds on the Surfer but stops once the Hulk regains control of himself. Eventually the team of Hulk's and the Surfer face Null the Void who are making them all confront their biggest fears. After another brief fight between the Hulk and Surfer, everyone overcomes their fears and defeat Null.


To know the Marvel Universe you have to know about the "BIG 3." These 3 characters are at the top of the food-chain when it comes to levels of power for the greatest Marvel Heroes. These 3 characters strike the most fear and gain the most respect from opposing opposition. These 3 characters are without a doubt The Marvel hierarchy of ultimate power. They are The Incredible Hulk, The Mighty Thor and The Silver Surfer. Yup, these guys are the standard, and every other hero that wants to be deemed "super" is measured up against them to see how high up the ladder they are and regarded among peers. Here is how the "BIG 3" rank in certain categories between each other. 

Strength and Durability: Hulk  Skill and Mindset: Thor  Overall Versatility: Silver Surfer 

You can make an argument on who ranks second and third in each category between them, but there is no doubt that the character listed as number 1 is the rightful owner of that power-level. And if you read my other write ups; "Hulk vs Thor" or "Thor vs Silver Surfer," you will notice that each of the "BIG 3" is so insanely powerful that they balance themselves out when it comes to fighting each other. While Hulk has the edge over Thor in their battles, Thor has the edge over the Silver Surfer, which leads me to this write up where the Surfer has the edge over the Hulk.

In 22 official match ups, the Silver Surfer takes the edge 3 to 1 over the Hulk and this comes as no surprise to me. While the Hulk is billed as "The Most Powerful Being on Earth," he is just that -- from Earth. The Silver Surfer is another type of "being" altogether as he is not from Earth. He is from the distant planet of Zenn-La and he is empowered with the near-limitless Power Cosmic. This energy gives the Surfer so much of an arsenal, that he is more trouble than even the Ever-Incredible Hulk can handle. Yup, and that is something you don't hear everyday. While they both have unearthly levels of physical attributes, the Hulk is clearly the physically stronger and more durable of the two, but he is just too limited against someone with the Surfer's versatility and power output. Because not only does the Surfer posses great strength (that he can cosmically boost to immeasurable levels to try and match the Hulk's anger-induced levels), he can fly at light speeds and move and react at that speed. He can be in and out of the Hulk's range in the blink of an eye, it just doesn't matter where the fight goes, Surfer can do damage and he can do it in so many ways. And I've yet to mention what the full extent of what the Power Cosmic does (read my TALE OF THE TAPE description above for a full listing)! You throw this power into the mix and the Hulk is in for a frustrating night (and that's a good thing because his anger will only make him stronger and more durable). But what can the Hulk do if the Surfer simply turns him back into Bruce Banner? Hell, the Surfer could cure the Hulk if he really wanted too. There are just way too many options for what the Surfer can do in this fight no matter how strong the Hulk gets and that will never change.

Okay, we know how the Surfer can win this match up, but can the Hulk defeat the Sentinel of the Spaceways? Of course he can, he's the Incredible Hulk! The Green Goliath is a downright brutal, relentless and untamed engine of destruction! He is a force of nature who will not stop! The Hulk will continue to attack and smash until one of them is nothing but meat sauce. And this tireless brawling technique while growing more powerful with every passing second is a perfect foil against someone with the mindset of the Silver Surfer (or any opponent). Surfer is a poet, astronomer and pacifist at heart and his own attitude and personality towards a fight becomes a hindrance while in combat, especially when fighting someone as battle-lusting and as savage as the Hulk. Because if Surfer is going to be passive against ol' Jade Jaws, the Herald of Galactus is going to get smashed -- plain and simple (see their fight from The Incredible Hulk #95). Surfer needs to be focused and stop holding back and utilize his Power Cosmic to its utmost on the Hulk before he gets too powerful (see their second fight from Tales to Astonish #93 and both fights from The Incredible Hulk #250). 

So it comes as no surprise, with Surfer's huge advantage in versatility and how his powers effect the Hulk's physiology, the Sky-Rider of the Spaceways will win this one the majority of the time. Just expect him to cry about it afterwards (I'm kidding Silver Surfer fanboys... well, the more I think about it, the more it seems likely). But in the end, I guess it doesn't really matter who you think should win this match up. When one of the "BIG 3" square off against each other or go up against the villains that threaten the Marvel Universe, you will get the best of the best in comic book action and that's what every fanboy wants to see anyways.

Agree? Disagree? Let's hear it fanboys!!

Check out other "DEFINITIVE WRITE UPS" here:

Jack Kirby vs Alex Toth

Superman vs Captain Marvel
Thor vs Ulik
Hulk vs Thor
Hulk vs Hercules
Hulk vs Sub-Mariner

John Cimino
John Cimino is a Silver and Bronze Age comic, cartoon and memorabilia expert that runs a business called "Saturday Morning Collectibles." He buys, sells, appraises and gives seminars on everything pop culture, so if you got something special, let him know about it. He contributes articles to ALTER EGO, RETRO FAN, BACK ISSUE and THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR from TwoMorrows Publishing, runs the Roy Thomas Appreciation Board on Facebook and has appeared on the AMC reality show Comic Book Men. He also represents some of comicdoms biggest stars and brings them to a Comic Con near you. John likes to think he's the real Captain Marvel, people just don't have the heart to tell him he's just an obsessed fanboy that loves to play superheroes with his daughter Bryn. Contact him at or follow him on Instagram at megostretchhulk.