In my review of `Watchmen' I mentioned that during my 1970's childhood, I was enraptured by the superhero Tales produced by Marvel Comics (and was not a very big fan of DC, at that time = `Watchman' came later circa 1986, when I was no longer reading comics).
But, in the mid to Late 70's, Marvel was definitely on the `cutting-edge' combining `realistic' human drama (not just super-heroics) - with elements of Science Fiction, and even some deep philosophical insights (much beyond the normal reach, of a mere 10 year old!).
Much of the credit of course, goes to Stan Lee, the head writer/conceptualist/Creator at Marvel since the mid-1950's (but really making his mark in the early 1960's with Fantastic Four, Hulk, Spiderman, Thor, Iron Man, Avengers, et al), with BIG assist from artist extraordinaire Jack Kirby! By the mid-Sixties, Lee and Kirby, in the hallowed pages of Fantastic Four, had greatly broadened the horizons, scope & Scale of stories that could be presented in this previously `juvenile' medium. The `Galactus Trilogy' encompassing FF#48-50, was like the `Star Wars' of comics, with the Earth threatened by the planet devouring Galactus (a near omnipotent `force of nature' neither good nor evil - simply necessary, in the grand-cosmic scheme of things) - the only thing standing between Galactus munching a gourmet Terra-firma Lunch (i.e. Earth-burger Delux, hold the mayo!), was that enlightened, shiny-domed board riding philosopher, the `Silver Surfer' who uncannily saw the potential for good, in human beings, and decided that our planet deserved a second-chance (and also that we probably didn't taste very good, to boot!).
Between the Silver Surfer's nearly limitless `cosmic' powers (originally endowed by Galactus, himself), in combination with Reed Richard's Einstein+ brainpower, the Earth (along with us) Lived another Day!
The `Silver Surfer' proved so popular, and so `in tune' with the peace & Love zeitgeist of the Late 1960's, that he was given his own eponymous `Mag' in 1968 - I didn't start reading/collecting comics until around 1977 - but at that time, you could still get a lot of the 1960's classics, at relatively reasonable prices (at flea markets, etc. - as long as you did not require an expensive `Mint' copy!).
But fortunately, in the last decade or so, Marvel has produced many `compilation' books, of nearly all their Key issues (and even entire series runs) - the `Silver Surfer' is one of my very favorites - and actually holds-up quite well, even when read as an adult (the masterful John Buscema Art doesn't hurt, either - almost like Michelangelo!)
Trivia: Yes, the film `Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer' did cover roughly the same ground as the FF comic issues #48 thru 50 = and I actually liked the movie, a lot! And I don't understand why they decided to stop making FF films? With the phenomenal recent success of `Avengers' I wonder if the FF will come back?! The Fantastic Four was actually one of the most Science Fiction/Speculative Fiction based Marvel franchises = seems like there would be tremendous on-going movie/Story potential there (might have to ask the omnipotent `Watcher' to go talk some sense to those thick-headed movie producers! - or better yet...just send them out to Lunch, with Galactus*!)
Note*: I think H. Ellison would endorse this suggestion!
note2 = Clarification, this compilation collects 'Silver Surfer' issues 1 thru 6 (1,3 &4 are especially 'classic' Buscema's Art in #4 is Spectacular!!); and
if you also want to re-read FF#48-50, and also the debut of 'Inhumans' => order from Amazon, of course: Fantastic Four Marvel Masterworks, Vol. 5 - this is Stan Lee & Jack Kirby, at the height of their significant 'Cosmic' Powers!!!