Warren Ellis' Ultimate Galactus Trilogy originally suggested that the Ultimates' ally the Vision was the herald of Galactus, a robotic probe that travels through space warning civilizations of the impending arrival of Gah Lak Tus. In the final miniseries of the trilogy, Ultimate Extinction, silvery humanoids began to appear, sent to trigger mass suicides in order to reduce the population's resistance. Suicide cults founded by the creatures began to appear all across the globe as Gah Lak Tus drew near. These silvery beings had the ability to grow wings; morph into an ovoid; form spikes; or take an intermediary form, gliding on an oval surface. They also demonstrated the ability to manipulate large quantities of energy.
In Ultimate Fantastic Four #42, another Ultimate incarnation of the Silver Surfer appears, called the Silver Searcher. He is teleported to Earth after Reed mistakes him for a star that he is trying to harness. His appearance triggers planet-wide chaos and natural calamities. In #43, Reed comments that Gah Lak Tus seems to have modeled its drones on this surfer, and he gives his name as Norin Radd. The Searcher states that he will summon his "master", who will make the population of the Earth happier than they have ever been.
In #44, the Surfer's master is revealed to be Zenn-La's ruler, Revka Temerlune Edifex Scyros III, "the king without enemies", who uses mind-control to make the population of Earth worship him (before it takes effect on the Fantastic Four, the Human Torch calls him "Psycho-Man"). It is revealed that the Surfer has been exiled from Zenn-La for destroying the control that Psycho-Man had over Zenn-La, but because of finding Earth for his master to "save" he may return. After Psycho-Man gains domain over Earth, the Silver Surfer, temporarily imprisoned in his own 'memorial' statue, rescues Mr. Fantastic, tells him his story, and asks him to save Earth. The Surfer then helps the Fantastic Four defeat other Surfer-like assassins of Psycho-Man. With the Surfers beaten and the insane Psycho-Man reprogrammed to experience the unthinking happiness he had imposed on others, Silver Surfer wanders the space ways.
In Ultimate X-Men, Jean Grey as Phoenix travels through space and is stopped by what is named as "A Silver Surfer". He informs Phoenix that the Watchers disapprove of the problems her flight across the universe is causing and briefly battles her before asking what she is looking for.
On Earth 552, Norrin Radd had been a great military scientist who accidentally destroyed his own world with his greatest invention. Determined to bring it back to existence, he approached Galactus, Restorer of Worlds, and became his herald in the hope that Galactus would resurrect his world in exchange for his service. However, Galactus had taken an oath to only revive those worlds destroyed by the Blight. An enraged Silver Surfer then turned against his master, destroying those who worshiped him and attempting to kill Galactus himself in order to steal the knowledge of world restoration. This led to the destruction of Earth, the coming of the Exiles, the deaths of the Shi'ar Imperial Elite Guard, and inevitably the Surfer's own destruction at the claws of a cosmically empowered Sabretooth.
The Silver Surfer remains uninfected in the Marvel Zombies on Earth-2149. Instead of coming to Earth and meeting the Fantastic Four, he is attacked by a horde of zombies. After fighting valiantly, he is killed by the Hulk, and his body is devoured by a few of the zombies (Hulk, Colonel America, Giant-Man, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Wolverine, and Spider-Man). His corpse grants the zombies a portion each of his cosmic powers, which they use to kill all of the other zombie heroes and villains whom they consider "competition" for what's left of the living. Afterwards, Pym creates a machine that concentrates the Cosmic powers they all share to create a massive blast that kills Galactus, at which point they eat him. Now imbued with the power of Galactus himself (and realizing they can now fly and survive in space), they adopt his role, traveling the universe and picking worlds clean of life.
During the finale of Last Planet Standing, the Silver Surfer foils Galactus' plan to create a new Big Bang, merging with Galactus himself in the process to become a new being. Gaining control of Galactus' powers, the new entity undoes the damage done by the old Galactus.
In the alternate timeline of Earth-691, notably the Guardians of the Galaxy issues #24 and #25 story arc, Norrin Radd was featured as The Keeper. This new version of the Silver Surfer, sans his surfboard, had Quantum Bands, which augmented his "Power Cosmic" and designated him as the Protector of the Universe, as with other bearers of the Bands before him. He works with the Guardians in an attempt to kill Galactus once and for all, his first attempt with Firelord and Dargo-Thor having failed. Eventually, the Keeper realizes that, with his augmented power, he can supply Galactus with the energy he needs and end the Planet-Eater's consumption of worlds. Eon, cosmic being and creator of the Quantum Bands, reveals that this was the ultimate purpose of the Keeper becoming the Protector of the Universe, and he enters into a symbiotic partnership with Galactus, who accepts the Keeper as an equal; he is last seen leaving with Galactus, riding a silver surfboard once more.
In issue 11 and 12 of the Earth X series, Black Bolt calls upon Galactus to come destroy the Celestial seed growing within Earth. The Silver Surfer accompanies him along with his love Shalla-Bal, who had now been turned into a silver herald of Galactus as well.
Green Lantern/Silver Surfer: Unholy Alliances
In Green Lantern/Silver Surfer: Unholy Alliances, the Silver Surfer confronts Cyborg Superman over the destruction of a planet and is met by Parallax. Parallax beats the Cyborg, but the Silver Surfer lets him go and tries to sympathize with Parallax. The two return to Earth to find Kyle Rayner with Thanos, leading them to believe they formed an alliance when in reality Thanos tricked Kyle. Kyle convinces the Surfer to help him stop Parallax and Thanos from destroying the universe and that he was duped into giving Thanos Oa's power. The Surfer similarly gave most of his power to Parallax to reform the destroyed planet, forcing Kyle to use his ring to drain both villains of their enhanced powers before they can destroy everything. Unable to contain the power himself, Kyle channels the power from the two villains into the Silver Surfer, who opens a portal and sucks the two inside.
Silver Surfer was featured in different issues of What If?
- One issue of What If? revolving around Atlantis Attacks had Silver Surfer and Quasar as the survivors of an attack by Set. With the help of Thor (who is horribly burned and placed in stasis to keep him alive), Silver Surfer and Quasar destroy two of Set's heads before Quasar (empowered by the Uni-Power) sacrifices his freedom to exile himself and Set inside Doctor Strange's Eye of Agamotto. Silver Surfer gives the Eye of Agamotto to Uatu the Watcher for safekeeping as Set's children are born.
- Another issue of What If? revolved around the Cosmic Carnage where the Carnage symbiote remained bonded to the Surfer, forcing Spider-Man and the Avengers to battle him until Firestar was able to use her powers to disrupt the symbiote's control over the Surfer. After his powers were used to destroy dozens of New York City blocks and realizing that there was only one way to stop the symbiote, the Silver Surfer flew himself into the sun, seemingly destroying both himself and the creature.
- In What If? vol. 2 #49, the title is "What If the Silver Surfer Possessed the Infinity Gauntlet?" In the original Infinity Gauntlet story arc, the Silver Surfer plays the role of messenger, having witnessed firsthand the resurrection of Thanos and the beginning of his quest to obtain the six Infinity Gems (as told in The Thanos Quest mini-series). In this issue, the story of the Gauntlet is partially retold and shows Thanos in space with the Gauntlet, ruling over all existence. In the original Infinity Gauntlet story, Nebula intercepts the gauntlet from Thanos; however, in What If? vol. 2 #49, the Surfer takes the gauntlet and wears it himself. Initially, the Surfer tries to use the gauntlet for good, but ultimately the supreme power of the gauntlet forces the Surfer to destroy it in order to avoid becoming corrupted by it. Prior to destroying the gauntlet, the Surfer creates a distant planet for himself and Shalla Bal (his wife) to reside on for all time and the Surfer returns to his human form of Norrin Radd. This story is told from the perspective of the Watcher who continually observes the universe and refuses to interfere in the natural unfolding of things.
In Warren Ellis's Ruins, the Silver Surfer is briefly seen when described by Mar-Vell to reporter Phil Sheldon. When the Kree Liberation Force set forth to invade Earth, they found the floating mutilated corpse of the Surfer near Earth's moon. Mar-Vell says that he and his comrades concluded that the Surfer had been driven mad because of his lack of need for oxygen and clawed open his chest in order to expose his lungs to the atmosphere, but died of shock.