Another day, another unexpected Fantastic Four rumor. We’ve only just got our heads around the idea of Pedro Pascal potentially being our Reed Richards, and now it’s possible the Silver Surfer could be female.
To be clear, unlike the Pascal casting — which was reported by Deadline, although Marvel declined to comment on the story — this is very much just a rumor. However, according to self-styled scooper Jeff Sneider of The Hot Mic podcast, the Fantastic Four’s frequent ally will be portrayed as a woman once they make their debut in the MCU. This same source claims Galactus will be the villain of the reboot film and could be played by Javier Bardem.
Again, let’s not put too much stock in this for now, but for the sake of argument, has there ever been a female Silver Surfer? Could this really be Marvel’s plan? Let’s take a look.
There is a female Herald of Galactus, and she’s already appeared in the movies
First of all, yes, there actually is a female Silver Surfer in the pages of Marvel Comics. The Silver Surfer of Earth-829, known as Juno, is a gender-flipped variant of Norrin Radd. She only appeared in three issues of 2010’s Hercules: Twilight of a God comic, however, so she seems an unlikely figure to make a jump to the big screen.
What seems more plausible is that Marvel could be planning to adapt Frankie Raye, a female Herald of Galactus from Earth-616’s continuity. Originally introduced as a love interest for Johnny Storm who had a fear of fire in 1975’s Fantastic Four #164, Frankie’s phobia was later explained as a result of her own repressed pyro powers. After embracing her own abilities, she volunteered to become the new Herald of Galactus in order to save the Earth in 1982’s Fantastic Four #244.
From then on, Frankie became known as Nova, although confusing, she’s nothing to do with Marvel’s other cosmic superhero Nova. Although she’s not a Silver Surfer as such, then, Frankie is very much the female counterpart to Radd in the comics, so it’s possible the two characters could be spliced together to create an original female Silver Surfer in the MCU.
Funnily enough, both Norrin Radd and Frankie Raye made their cinematic debuts together, in 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Radd was memorably voiced by Laurence Fishburne (with Doug Jones as his physical presence) while Raye was taken back to her roots and introduced as a romantic interest for Chris Evans’ Human Torch. This incarnation was played by Beau Garrett.
There are ways to make Silver Surfer a woman, then, but whether that’s the direction Marvel should take down I’ll leave it to the fans to debate (and debate, and debate).
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