Psych Ward

Psych Ward: Silver Surfer

Preparing to embark on a brand new adventure, the Surfer drops in on his former therapist.

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The client goes by the moniker “Silver Surfer” but identifies as once having been a member of a humanoid race of the planet Zenn-La known as Norrin Radd. For the purpose of record keeping, he is listed under this name at our clinic as “Silver Surfer” is just a human label and Radd is more reflective of his life and culture even if he, personally, does not believe himself to be Radd anymore. In session, however, it is recommended the therapist simply mirror how the client refers to himself.

The Silver Surfer

The client sacrificed his life to save his planet and ended up becoming what the literature refers to as a “herald” of the cosmic entity Galactus. This led to his transition into the Surfer which gave himself something called the “Power Cosmic” and his distinctive metallic in appearance “shell.” As pointed out by previous therapists, this covering has created a certain distance between himself, although it is unclear if the shell actually “makes” this happen or if Radd’s reaction is psychosomatic in nature.

In general, the client presents as deeply introspective as well as casually grandiose. He can be deeply unsettling to many as his mixture of largely affectless appearance and dissertations on the cosmic horrors of the universe is difficult to connect or engage with in ways that might feel meaningful.

This, however, is not without reason. Much of the symptoms that Radd presents are often rooted in traumatic life experiences. In the case of Radd, he has been placed, again and again, in the horrific position of seeking out and offering planets filled with life to quell his master’s insatiable hunger. As all indications point to him being a moral creature, this task is, no doubt, devastating to him. Additionally, in order to do this, he was ripped from his planet, his family, his friends, and his life and given abilities so significant they appear to have left him feeling lost, adrift in himself. He is, in many ways, a stranger in his own body.

Silver Surfer #1

SILVER SURFER 1 (ANMN, WITH DIGITAL CODE)
On sale March 26
It is interesting then that the main motivation for Radd returning to therapy with this writer—after a disastrous group experience this writer now acknowledges was an overreach—is the client’s connection with an Earth woman. While the client has a long history of “team-ups” with human beings—most recently with, news reports suggest, Daredevil, hardly the most cosmic of costumed vigilantes—he rarely has “worked with” or interacted with anyone of Earth in a non-super powered capacity. To have connected with a woman and be considering bringing her into his world of planet hopping and universe traversing is a significant break in typical behavior for the client, which could be a very heartening development in his recapturing of his inherent empathy and emotional warmth.

The writer has recommended Norrin Radd, the Silver Surfer, seek out therapy—alongside the woman in question—with Doctors Dan Slott and Mike Allred. The results of their session will be available March 26 in the report SILVER SURFER #1.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens, MA is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant and Psychology intern at a small(ish) university in New York City. He rarely has time to consult with entities of vast cosmic power these days.

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