In looking at the early issues of the ambitious 1968 Silver Surfer series, it's puzzling to see the approach that writer Stan Lee took with the character following the Surfer's very successful string of appearances in the pages of Fantastic Four. In that comic, the Surfer was something of a wanderer, a character who stood apart, limiting his contact with humans and being content to explore the planet from his vantage point in the sky--and though he eventually concluded that the human race was warring, savage, and self-destructive, he was never hounded and shunned in the same manner as the Hulk, nor was he the victim of aggression or hatred. Yet once he began starring in his own series, the Surfer was immediately made into a figure of suffering, and became more self-absorbed with his predicament--despondent at his imprisonment on our world, and finding himself persecuted by the very humans he would attempt to help.
Now in the spotlight of his own comic book, it was perhaps understandable that Lee would want to raise his profile from what it had been in Fantastic Four and find some sort of angle to make him more relatable to his readers--that is to say, more sellable. With the preliminaries over and his origin well-explained in his opening issue, all eyes were undoubtedly on the crucial second issue, which would give us some idea of what Marvel was going to do with this character. For the first time since his solo story in the 1967 FF annual, the Surfer would be the principal character who drove the story and was responsible for holding the attention and interest of the reader in a (bimonthly) 40-page issue. A forty-page issue. How would he spend his time on our world, and in all of those pages? In what way(s) would he interact, as he now must, with the humans he had been content to leave to their own devices? How would so different a hero from the more conventional ones in Marvel's lineup sustain a larger, more expensive comic? What sort of adventures could the Silver Surfer have on our planet that a reader would be excited about? The second issue would be looked at to point the way--expectations would be high, and a lot was presumably riding on how the issue would integrate the Silver Surfer to a life spent on Earth, and with Earthlings.
And yet issue #2 chooses to go off-world for its enemy, and likely evokes an unwelcome question:
"Good lord--alien invaders, so soon?"