WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Silver Surfer: Black #5 by Donny Cates, Tradd Moore, Dave Stewart and Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
Over the past few months, the Silver Surfer has gotten an up close look at the history of the Marvel Universe. In Guardians of the Galaxy #1, the Black Order detonated a black hole that threatened the life of nearly every Marvel cosmic hero. The Silver Surfer swung into action, helping save many of them, but the Sentinel of the Spaceways was swallowed into the darkness.
However, Silver Surfer: Black revealed that the character did not die. Instead, he was taken on the other side of a wormhole, where he woke up billions of years in the past of the Marvel Universe that was just coming into its own. He first clashed with a young Knull, the god of the symbiotes; he met a still-forming Ego, the Living Planet, and he even came across his future master and creator Galactus, years before he would be born into who we know as the Devourer of Worlds.
Now, as the series reaches its conclusion with Silver Surfer: Black #5, we learn that Silver Surfer was taken to the past to help create the Marvel Universe as we know it.
The Chicken and the (Silver) Egg
In the final issue of Silver Surfer: Black, the title superhero stops running from Knull. With some help from Ego, the Surfer now has a new weapon to wield against the god of the symbiotes: pure light, the energy of life collected from a billion frightened worlds. Now with a burning energy inside of him, combined with his remaining Power Cosmic, the Silver Surfer takes the fight to Knull and in the spaceways, the two gods battle for the fate of the burgeoning universe.
While Knull appears to gain the upper hand by removing the last of the Surfer's powers, Norrin unleashes the life energy stored inside of him to create a new, burning sun. The flames are enough to drive Knull back to the shadows, but the platinum hero now finds himself on the brink of death. Using the life energy collected from across the cosmos, the Surfer creates cosmic seeds that he plants on a barren planet. The seeds take root and grow into a plant -- the first plant on the planet that will be called Zenn-La, Norrin's future home world.
Then, the Surfer bursts into cosmic flames as he dies. His atoms, imbued with life force, travel all across the universe and seed countless planets with life, including some of the planets that he helped destroy during his time as Galactus' herald therefore come into being.
Not only does the Surfer finally atone for all the death and destruction he once caused by creating life, he also has just become the principal source of life for millions of worlds. The destroyer has become the creator, as we now learn that a large part of early life in the Marvel Universe was sparked into being by a time-traveling Silver Surfer.
Thankfully, this is not the end for Norrin. Eventually, he is able to piece himself back together, and resurface in the present day of the Marvel Universe. Now, Norrin is free to join the Guardians of the Galaxy and the other cosmic heroes in their next quest. But little will all of these people know that in their midst will now stand the creator of the Marvel cosmic universe as we know it.