Shalla Bal was the true love of the Norrin Radd, inhabitants of the peaceful world of Zenn-La. She is the daughter of Anddar Bal. Shalla Bal met Norrin Radd when she was of a very young age. After his mother's death, Shall Bal was made his companion, a Zenn-Lavian custom to help him deal with his grief. While Shalla Bal always wanted to play and have fun, Norrin could only think of studying like his father. They continued their friendship until adulthood. They became involved but it was the same story, Norrin had only the time for his studies and work. She could sense his discontent and often told him that they had all they could ever want together on their peaceful world.
When he sacrificed himself as Galactus' herald to save the planet he left her behind to become the Silver Surfer. She wished to go with him on his space travels but he did not allow it. They still continued to love one another and being a Zenn-Lavian with a long life span, she waited for his return. Her thoughts often went to him, and she wondered if they would ever see each other again.
Shalla Bal was created by Stan Lee and John Buscema and first appeared in The Silver Surfer Vol.1 issue 1 (1968).
Mayor Story Arcs
To Find Her Love
One day she was met by Mephisto, who claimed he was her only hope of reuniting with her love. She agreed to allow his assistance and he created a ship for her to travel to Earth, where the Surfer was trapped. She was but a pawn in his scheme to make the Surfer his servant for all time. The ship was shot down upon reaching the Earth's atmosphere and Shalla was knocked unconscious. He allowed the Surfer to meet with her only to take her to his domain. The Surfer followed and resisted all of Mephisto's offers. He was able to defeat Mephisto. Mephisto offered him the only thing he would listen to, Shall Bal. She told Norrin that their love is eternal and they can prove it to Mephisto by becoming separated once again. Mephisto then sent Shalla back to Zenn-La.
Knowing that the Surfer was alive and trapped on Earth tormented Shalla. She offered her assistance to the only space lab on Zenn-La, run by the evil scientist Yarro Gort. He built her a spaceship to travel to Earth under the condition that if the Surfer was not found or he had found new love that Shalla would marry him. She could not bear the thought but knew that Norrin was there and would still love her. Upon their arrival they spot the Surfer kissing another woman. Unknown to Shalla, this was merely a thank you kiss from a woman he had rescued. Before anything could come of this their ship was shot down. Yarro betrayed Shalla and offered to help their captors destroy the Surfer. Shalla was shot by a soldier when she tried to stop Yarro. The Surfer rescued her and returned her to Zenn-La to receive medical treatment.
Shalla is once again brought to Earth by the devious Mephisto. This time she is displaced among billions and left freezing and starving. When this is shown to the Surfer, he finally agrees to serve Mephisto. His loyalty is tested and Mephisto tells him that he must destroy SHIELD. Mephisto secretly replaces a female SHIELD agent with Shalla Bal, hoping that when the Surfer comes he will destroy her as well. But the Surfer tries to do his task without the death of any innocents and is eventually captured with the help of one of Tony Stark's weapons. Shalla is used as a lure and the Surfer manages to esacpe his prison, only for Mephisto to once again send Shalla away.
But instead of sending Shalla back to Zenn-La, Mephisto sent her to Latveria and gave her memories that she was a simple peasant from the land named Helena. Dr. Doom would use Helena (not knowing that she was indeed the real Shalla Bal) as a pawn to get the Silver Surfer to destroy the Fantastic Four. He claimed Shalla as his wife and promised to return her memories in exchange for the Surfer defeating his friends.
The Surfer captured the Four and brought them to Doom. While the Surfer awaited Doom to return Shalla's memories, she started to remember him after they touched. Shalla now believed that she was brainwashed by Doom and was indeed Helena of Latveria despite her memories of Norrin. She stopped the battle in Castle Doom between Doom and the Surfer to protect it's archives and they parted ways. Shalla would remain in Latveria as Helena and again Mephisto would revel in the torment of his hated foe.
Empress of Zenn-La
Mephisto used Shalla Bal once again to torment the Silver Surfer, only to take her from him. At the last moment he was able to give her some of his Power Cosmic. With this power she was able to help rebuild Zenn-La, which had been drained of it's energy by Galactus. With the power she received, new life grew on the dead planet everywhere she stepped foot. The Zenn-Lavians then pronounced her as Empress of Zenn-La.
When the Silver Surfer escaped his imprisonment on Earth he immediately returned to Zenn-La, and his love Shall Bal. When he asked her to marry him she declined, stating that the people of Zenn-La needed to strive for something to be a good people and Surfer using his power to rebuild the world would not help. She has stated that this is the hardest decision she has ever made. The Surfer was to be the protector of Zenn-La, and Shalla could use her Power Cosmic to contact him in time of need. She still loved the Surfer deeply. When he returned again he told her of his love for Mantis. This devastated her and she asked him why he couldn't have waited longer, he said he had waited long enough. Upon meeting Mantis, she understood why Surfer could love her, being human having much stronger emotions than any Zenn-Lavian. She had shown the Surfer the true meaning of love. This still did not stop her from loving Norrin.
Shalla Bal and Zenn-La were placed in harm's way many times during the Second Kree-Skrull War. She eventually learned of the Kree Supreme Leader Nenora being a Skrull and was kidnapped. She was kept alive and but was released from their grasp by the Cotati, who had been giving her the hints of Nenora's secret. She was rescued by the Silver Surfer and S'byll when they attacked the Kree homeworld. She was present when S'byll told the Kree of their defeat and a truce was made. The Silver Surfer returned her to Zenn-La. She offered for him to stay with her, but he claimed he was no longer Norrin Radd. She told him that he still was and he left once again to soar space alone.
Shalla along with all of the residents of Zenn-La were all captured by the Enslavers. Because of her beauty, Shalla was made one of Mrrungo-Mu's dancing girls. But Shalla refused to dance. This displeased Mrrungo, who demanded she smile and dance. But Shalla did not speak. He was interrupted and told her that he would be back to break her strong spirit.
The Surfer eventually defeated Mrrungo and freed Shalla and their entire race. They joined together to return the billions of captors back to their homeworlds. For a brief time, Shalla and the Surfer were together and happy.
Disappearance & Death
Shalla contacted the Silver Surfer, which he knew was trouble. She never finished her message so he immediately returned to Zenn-La, only to find that the planet had disappeared. Moondragon had been watching the events and took the Surfer to the culprit, the Great One. He had taken the planet under his protection and in the process made the planet and all on it a part of his mind. With Moondragon's help, he was able to travel to Zenn-La while his body remained in the outside world.
On Zenn-La, Shalla tells him that they had unanimously voted to remain in the mind of the Great One, free from the perils of the outside. With all their responsibilities gone, she and the Surfer could finally be together again. The Surfer opted to stay with Shalla in this paradise. But when the Great One came to greet his people, he was startled by the Surfer, an outsider. He attacked him and in the process the Surfer brought him to near death.
If the Great One were to die, all of Zenn-La was to die as well. Moondragon had a plan and the Surfer returned to the outside while she kept contact with Shalla on the inside. The Surfer was able to remove Zenn-La but at the last moment, the Great One perished and Shalla was lost forever when the Surfer ran out of time to retrieve her.
Adam Warlock discovered that she was not actually dead. Shalla's death was caused by a multi-dimensional dispersion and caused her to be broken down at the subatomic level. He believed that the process could be reversed and Shalla returned to life. He offered the Surfer a friendship, and would help resurrect Shalla if he helped Warlock someday. The Surfer agrees.
With the use of the Mind Gem, the Soul Gem and the Surfer's powers they were able to open a portal to the dimension where Shalla was trapped. They succeeded after accidentally opening a portal to the wrong dimension. They retrieved her, but there was a miscalculation. They retrieved her body, but not her soul. In order to get her soul, they teleported to Death's realm. She informed them that she was not in possession of the soul, and she could not tell them who had it. But she agreed to teleport them to where it could be found.
They ended up in the Nether Realm, home of Mephisto. The Surfer tried to deal with Mephisto once again for Shalla's soul, but he was no longer interested in the Surfer's soul, claiming it is not as pure as he had always thought. Instead, Mephisto would keep the soul in permanent torture and thus cause the torture of the Surfer himself. They battled, but Mephisto defeated him. Mephisto was then challenged by Adam Warlock, possessor of the Soul Gem, claiming to have the power of all souls, including Mephisto. Adam and Mephisto battled an incredible battle. In the end, Warlock was triumphant. The defeated and humiliated Mephisto gave possession of the soul to Adam. Shalla's soul was returned and she was as the same as before. But the burdens of the past remained between Shalla and the Surfer, and they agreed to stay apart once again in order to fulfill their own duties.
A New Love
Eventually, Shalla grew weary of waiting for her and the Surfer to be together and needed a companion. She fell in love with Fennan Radd, the Surfer's half brother that had been kept secret from him by his father. This was devastating to the Surfer, who left Zenn-La truly alone. Even with Fennan, she was still unhappy and often thought of Norrin. But it was soon revealed to the Silver Surfer that Zenn-La and everyone on it was just a elaborate illusion created by Galactus so the Surfer would have a place to call home when he was free from Galactus' service. Zenn-La and all it's inhabitants had been killed by The Other in the Earth year 1947. Surfer said his last goodbyes to his beloved before she and the entire planet evaporated before his eyes.
Silver Surfer (1998)
In the Silver Surfer animated series, Shalla Bal remains basically unchanged from her comic counterpart. Shalla and Norrin are both disciples of the Master of Zenn-La. When Norrin sacrifices himself to become Galactus' herald, the Silver Surfer, Shalla begs Galactus to take her with him as well.
Shalla was voiced by Camilla Scott.