An image of Shalla-Bal's face from the comics

Yes, Shalla-Bal, the Female Silver Surfer, Is a Comic Book Character

Julia Garner has been cast as Shalla-Bal, a female Silver Surfer in the upcoming Fantastic Four movie. Before you go out of your way calling the “woke” police for making the Silver Surfer a woman, it is time we have a little history lesson on Marvel comics and who Shalla-Bal is.

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Shalla-Bal was created by Stan Lee and John Buscema in 1968, so she’s been around for a while. She was the Empress of Zenn-La, a planet that was created by Norrin Radd, a.k.a. the Silver Surfer. What makes her interesting to me is not necessarily her connection to Radd, though that is relatable because they are a thing, but more that she has multiple universal personas under her belt.

Despite being an empress and powerful all on her own, she is often linked only with Radd. She is a love interest of the Silver Surfer and has had feelings for him for years. So, announcing the casting of Shalla-Bal as specifically the Silver Surfer gives us a couple of things to go off of. When she becomes the Silver Surfer, she’s not alone in having the Power Cosmic.

Named the twin-heralds, Shalla-Bal and Radd were the Silver Surfers together during a comic run on Earth X, so having Shalla-Bal cast as the Silver Surfer really raises some questions as to where this Fantastic Four movie is taking place.

Will this movie be set on Earth X?

A cropped version of the Valentine's Day promo art Marvel Entertainment released to introduce the cast of the new 'Fantastic Four' movie
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

What we know about the new Fantastic Four movie is the cast and Matt Shakman’s involvement as director. Other than that, we don’t know what to expect. Pedro Pascal was cast as Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards along with Vanessa Kirby as the Invisible Woman/Sue Storm, Joseph Quinn as the Human Torch/Johnny Storm, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach as The Thing/Ben Grimm.

Julia Garner taking on Shalla-Bal is an exciting addition to this world, but if Shalla-Bal is there, we can assume that Norrin Radd will not be far behind. But does this mean that the entire movie is going to be set on Earth X?

Personally, I think it doesn’t have to be an Earth X excursion, and they can simply point out that it’s the storyline they’re taking from, but if we do get an entire Fantastic Four movie in another universe, that’s also a very cool move! Until we know more, I’m just excited for the world to meet Shalla-Bal.

(featured image: Marvel Comics)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.