|First appearance||Fantastic Four #48 (March 1966)|
|Created by||Stan Lee (writer)
Jack Kirby (artist)
|Place of origin||Galan: Taa
Galactus: Cosmic Egg
|Team affiliations||Heralds of Galactus
|Notable aliases||Ashta, Devourer of Worlds, The Monster of all Worlds, The hunger that does not cease, God of Oblivion, The Lifebringer, The Seeder of Worlds|
Galactus is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Formerly a mortal man, Galactus is a cosmic entity who originally consumed planets to sustain his life force, and serves a functional role in the upkeep of the primary Marvel continuity. Galactus was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and first appeared in the comic book Fantastic Four #48, published in March 1966.
Lee and Kirby had desired to introduce a character that broke away from the archetype of the standard villain, culminating in the creation of Galactus. In the character's first appearance in The Fantastic Four, Galactus was depicted as a god-like figure who feeds by draining living planets of their energy, and operates without regard to the morality and judgements of mortal beings. Galactus' initial origin was that of a space explorer named Galan who gained cosmic abilities by passing near a star, but writer Mark Gruenwald further developed the origin of the character, revealing that Galan lived during the previous universe. As Galan's universe came to an end, Galan merged with the "Sentience of the Universe" to become Galactus, an entity that wielded such cosmic power as to require devouring entire planets to sustain his existence. Additional material written by John Byrne, Jim Starlin, and Louise Simonson explored Galactus' role and purpose in the Marvel Universe, and examined the actions of the character through themes of genocide, manifest destiny, ethics, and natural/necessary existence. Frequently accompanied by a herald (such as the Silver Surfer), the character has appeared as both antagonist and protagonist in central and supporting roles. Since debuting in the Silver Age of Comic Books, Galactus has played a role in over five decades of Marvel continuity.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Heralds
- 5 Reception
- 6 Other versions
- 6.1 The Adventures of the X-Men
- 6.2 Amalgam Comics
- 6.3 Bullet Points
- 6.4 DC crossovers
- 6.5 Cancerverse
- 6.6 Earth X
- 6.7 Exiles
- 6.8 Galacta, Daughter of Galactus
- 6.9 Golden Oldie
- 6.10 Guardians of the Galaxy
- 6.11 Heroes Reborn
- 6.12 Mangaverse
- 6.13 Marvel Zombies
- 6.14 MC2
- 6.15 Ultimate Marvel
- 6.16 Wha... Huh?
- 7 In other media
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist-coplotter Jack Kirby, the character debuted in The Fantastic Four #48 (March 1966, the first of a three-issue story later known as "The Galactus Trilogy").
In 1966, nearly five years after launching Marvel Comics' flagship superhero title, Fantastic Four, creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby collaborated on an antagonist designed to break the supervillain mold of the time with god-like stature and power. As Lee recalled in 1993,
Galactus was simply another in a long line of super-villains whom we loved creating. Having dreamed up [many] powerful baddies ... we felt the only way to top ourselves was to come up with an evil-doer who had almost godlike powers. Therefore, the natural choice was sort of demi-god, but now what would we do with him. We didn't want to use the tired old cliche about him wanting to conquer the world. ... That was when inspiration struck. Why not have him not be a really evil person? After all, a demi-god would be beyond mere good and evil. ... [What] he'd require is the life force and energy from living planets!
Kirby described his Biblical inspirations for Galactus and an accompanying character, an angelic herald Lee called the Silver Surfer:
My inspirations were the fact that I had to make sales. And I had to come up with characters that were no longer stereotypes. ...I had to get something new. And ... for some reason, I went to the Bible. And I came up with Galactus. And there I was in front of this tremendous figure, who I knew very well, because I always felt him, and I certainly couldn't treat him the same way that I would any ordinary mortal ... and of course the Silver Surfer is the fallen angel. ...[T]hey were figures that have never been used before in comics. They were above mythic figures, and of course, they were the first gods.
Kirby elaborated, "Galactus in actuality is a sort of god. He is beyond reproach, beyond anyone's opinion. In a way he is kind of a Zeus, who fathered Hercules. He is his own legend, and of course, he and the Silver Surfer are sort of modern legends, and they are designed that way."
Writer Mike Conroy expanded on Lee and Kirby's explanation: "In five short years from the launch of the Fantastic Four, the Lee/Kirby duo...had introduced a whole host of alien races or their representatives...there were the Skrulls, the Watcher and the Stranger, all of whom Lee and Kirby used in the foundations of the universe they were constructing, one where all things were possible but only if they did not flout the 'natural laws' of this cosmology. In the nascent Marvel Universe, characters acted consistently, whatever comic they were appearing in. Their actions reverberated through every title. It was pure soap opera but on a cosmic scale, and Galactus epitomized its epic sweep."
This led to the introduction of Galactus in Fantastic Four #48–50 (March–May 1966), which fans began calling "The Galactus Trilogy". Kirby did not intend Galactus to reappear, to preserve the character's awe-inspiring presence. Fan popularity, however, prompted Lee to ask Kirby for Galactus's reappearance, and the character became a mainstay of the Marvel Universe.
In order to preserve Galactus's mystique, his next two appearances were nonspeaking cameos in Thor #134 (November 1966), and Daredevil #37 (February 1968). Numerous requests from fans prompted the character to be featured heavily in Fantastic Four #72–77 (March–August 1968). After a flashback appearance in Silver Surfer #1 (August 1968), the character returned to Earth in Thor #160–162 (January–March 1969). Galactus's origin was revealed in Thor #168–169 (September–October 1969).
1970s and 1980s
The character made appearances in Fantastic Four #120–123 (March–June 1972) and Thor #225–228 (July–October 1974). These two storylines introduced two new heralds for Galactus. Galactus also featured in Fantastic Four #172–175 (July–October 1976) and #206–213 (May–December 1979).
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby reunited for the origin of Silver Surfer and Galactus in the one-shot graphic novel The Silver Surfer, The Ultimate Cosmic Experience! in 1978. This Marvel Fireside Book, published by Simon & Schuster, was an out-of-continuity retelling of the origin story without the Fantastic Four.
The full Lee-and-Kirby origin story was reprinted in the one-volume Super-Villain Classics: Galactus the Origin #1 (May 1983), inked by Vince Colletta and George Klein, lettered by John Morelli and colored by Andy Yanchus. While nearly identical to the previous origin, this story featured supplemental material, edits, and deletions by writer Mark Gruenwald, pencillers John Byrne and Ron Wilson and inker Jack Abel. Rather than traveling into a dying star, the character enters the core of the collapsing universe before the Big Bang; the story was later reprinted as Origin of Galactus #1 (February 1996).
The character guest-starred in Rom #26–27 (January–February 1982). Galactus featured in two related storylines of Fantastic Four #242–244 (May–July 1982) and #257 (August 1983). Another appearance in Fantastic Four #262 (January 1984) sparked controversy. At the end of the story, Eternity, an abstract entity in the Marvel Universe, appears to validate the existence of Galactus; Howard University professor of literature Marc Singer criticized this, accusing writer-artist John Byrne of using the character to "justify planetary-scale genocide." Byrne and Stan Lee also collaborated on a one-shot Silver Surfer story (June 1982) in which it's revealed that after the Surfer's rebellion against Galactus, the planet eater returned to Zenn-La, the Surfer's homeworld, and drained it of energy after allowing the populace to flee.
Writer-penciller John Byrne and inker Terry Austin produced "The Last Galactus Story" as a serial in the anthology comic-magazine Epic Illustrated #26–34 (October 1984–February 1986). Nine of a scheduled ten installments appeared. Each ran six pages, except part eight (which ran 12). The magazine was canceled with issue #34, leaving the last chapter unpublished and the story unfinished; however, Byrne later published the conclusion on his website.
Galactus played a pivotal role in the limited series Secret Wars #1–12 (May 1984 – April 1985), and became a recurring character in the third volume of the Silver Surfer (beginning with issue #1, July 1987).
Artist John Buscema of the original Silver Surfer series produced a 64-page hardcover comic made all of full-page splash panels that Stan Lee scripted. It was published in October 1988 as Silver Surfer: Judgment Day. In it, Mephisto kidnaps two of Galactus's heralds, the Silver Surfer and Nova. Galactus himself invades Mephisto's realm to reclaim them. The cosmic battle between Mephisto and Galactus ends when the latter starts to absorb the life energy of Mephisto's "brimstone world", forcing the lord of evil to concede.
Galactus was featured in the miniseries Infinity Gauntlet #1–6 (July – December 1991), Infinity War #1–6 (June – November 1992) and Cosmic Powers #1–6 (March – August 1994). The character starred in the six-issue miniseries Galactus the Devourer (September 1999 – March 2000), written by Louise Simonson and illustrated by John Buscema, which climaxed with Galactus's death. Simonson originally conceived that the story arc would occur in the third volume of Silver Surfer, but the title was canceled due to dwindling sales. She proposed a separate limited series, and at the time was initially doubtful that Marvel would approve what she considered a "radical" idea concerning "why the very existence of the universe depends on the health and well-being of Galactus."
The consequences of Galactus's death are explored in the Fantastic Four Annual 2001 and Fantastic Four #46–49 (October 2001 – January 2002), resulting in Galactus's revival. The character features in the first six issues of the series Thanos (December 2003 – May 2004), written by Jim Starlin. The story is noteworthy due to its evaluation of the standard justifications (Social Darwinism and divine right of kings) for the character (by defending the need for a social contract with the rest of the universe) and its search for alternate means to feed his hunger. Issues #7–12, written by Keith Giffen, introduce the first herald (the Fallen One).
Galactus's origin is re-examined in Fantastic Four #520–523 (October 2004 – April 2005), where the character is temporarily reverted to his mortal form. After appearing in the limited series Stormbreaker: The Saga of Beta Ray Bill #1–6 (March–August 2005) Galactus was a central character in the "Annihilation" storyline, appearing in the limited series Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1–4 (June–September 2006), Annihilation #1–6 (October 2006 – March 2007) and the epilogue, Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1–2 (February–April 2007).
Galactus was an antagonist in Fantastic Four #545–546 (June–July 2007), where he tried to devour fellow cosmic function Epoch. In Nova vol. 4, #13–15 (May–July 2008), the character had no dialogue. Author Andy Lanning said that he and co-writer Dan Abnett were "treating Galactus like a force of nature; an inevitable, planetary catastrophe that there is no reasoning with, no bargaining with and no escaping." Galactus also appeared in the limited series Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter #1–3 (June–August 2009), a sequel to Stormbreaker: The Saga of Beta Ray Bill.
Galactus and the Silver Surfer appeared as antagonists in Skaar: Son of Hulk #9-11, and as protagonists in the limited series The Thanos Imperative (June–November 2010). Galactus was a member of the God Squad in the miniseries Chaos War #2–5 (December–March 2010). After an appearance in Fantastic Four #583–587 (November 2010 – March 2011), the character returned to Earth in Silver Surfer vol. 6, #1–5 (January–May 2011) and was the antagonist in The Mighty Thor #1–6 (April–September 2011).
Fictional character biography
Galactus was originally the explorer Galan, from the planet Taa, which existed in the prime pre-Big Bang universe. When an unknown cosmic cataclysm gradually kills all other life in his universe, he and other survivors leave Taa on a spacecraft and are engulfed in the Big Crunch. Galan does not die, however; he is transformed by bonding with the Sentience of the Universe. He gestates for billions of years in the current universe which formed after the Big Bang, emerging as Galactus. A Watcher (Ecce) sees Galactus's emergence from his gestation vessel; although the Watcher recognizes his destructive nature, he chooses not to kill him. Fully awake, Galactus is so hungry that he consumes the nearby planet of Archeopia. This planet is the first of many, since Galactus must consume the life energy of whole planets for his sustenance. In memory of his dead home world, Taa, and the first planet to fall prey to his hunger, Galactus constructs a new "home world" (Taa II), which is actually a Möbius strip-shaped space station.
Galactus later becomes involved in a civil war among the Proemial Gods, who came into being during the universe's infancy as the initial caretakers of cosmic consonance. After time, the Proemial Gods become self-aware, and a faction of the gods (led by Diableri of Chaos) attempt to remake the universe in their image, Galactus kills Diableri and imprisons three other rebel gods (Antiphon, Tenebrous, and Aegis) in the Kyln.
Galactus is driven to create a being in his own image, who later becomes known as Tyrant. Tyrant rebels and after a battle that ravages entire galaxies, they part. Millennia later, Galactus decides to empower others as heralds to find worlds for him. Unhappy with his first herald, the Fallen One, he dismisses him and later accepts Norrin Radd's offer to become his herald as the Silver Surfer in exchange for sparing the planet Zenn-La.
After making his way to Earth, Galactus is driven off by the Fantastic Four, Uatu the Watcher, and the rebellious Silver Surfer after The Human Torch—with the Watcher's assistance—retrieves the Ultimate Nullifier from Taa II. Galactus leaves Earth, vowing that he will never try to consume it again; however, he exiles the Silver Surfer there for betraying him. He later returns for his former herald, but the Surfer is unrepentant and chooses to remain on Earth. Thor sees Galactus when the entity is in conflict with Ego the Living Planet, and discovers his origin.
Returning to Earth, Galactus again tries to re-enlist the Silver Surfer. The Fantastic Four and the Surfer defeat Galactus's new herald, Air-Walker; Mr. Fantastic reprograms Galactus's ship to travel to the Negative Zone, said to contain many uninhabited worlds that he could consume. Thor and Olympian ally Hercules see Galactus when his next herald, Firelord, travels to Earth to be free of his master. Galactus frees Firelord when Thor presents Galactus with the Asgardian Destroyer to animate and use as a herald.
Galactus comes into conflict with the High Evolutionary when he tries to devour Counter-Earth, but he is transformed into harmless energy after attempting to devour the planet Poppup. Returning to his normal form, Galactus is sought by the Fantastic Four to help stop a new cosmic threat (the Sphinx). Mr. Fantastic offers to release Galactus from his vow to avoid Earth if he helps defeat the Sphinx. Galactus agrees, if the Fantastic Four recruit Terrax as a new herald. The heroes succeed, and the newly empowered Terrax leads his master to Earth. Galactus finds the Sphinx in Egypt, defeats him, and retreats when Mr. Fantastic threatens to use a fake Ultimate Nullifier while the Watcher, again interfering, prevents Galactus from reading Richards' mind.
Later, believing that Terrax was trapped in a black hole, Galactus summoned the mutant known as Dazzler and empowered her to cosmic scale and temporarily made her into his herald, as he thought that Dazzler was one of the few beings in the universe that stood a chance of shedding light inside a black hole. Once inside the black hole, however, Dazzler found that Terrax was not trapped, but was actually hiding from his master. A fight started and, as Dazzler was still empowered by sound blasts that Galactus's ship kept firing inside the black hole, she was able to render Terrax unconscious. She returned the herald to his master and Galactus then went on with his usual business, forgetting about Dazzler. Only by glowing incredibly bright did she make her presence known and bring Galactus to return her to Earth.
Galactus is later fooled by the Galadorian Spaceknight Rom into trying to devour the Black Nebula, home of the Dire Wraiths. The devourer is repelled by the Wraith Sun. Weakened, he pursues the rebellious Terrax to Earth and strips him of his power. Near death, Galactus is saved by the Fantastic Four and the Avengers and acquires another herald, Nova.
He destroys the Skrull homeworld, and discusses his role in the universe with fellow cosmic entity Death. Mr. Fantastic is captured for saving Galactus's life, and is tried by aliens who are remnants of races annihilated by Galactus's hunger. During the trial the cosmic entity Eternity—the sentient embodiment of space and reality of the Marvel Universe—intervenes, allowing all intelligent living beings present to momentarily become one with the universe, giving them the understand that Galactus is part of the cosmic order, despite the loss of whole races. After the encounter no one can remember why Galactus is necessary, but they know that he is.
During the Secret Wars, Galactus tries to consume Battleworld in order to have his insatiable hunger taken away by the Beyonder but his plan is foiled by Dr. Doom. He grants clemency to the Surfer, who helps his former master against the Elders of the Universe and the In-Betweener's schemes. He also rescues the Silver Surfer and Nova from Mephisto's realm. Galactus helps the cosmic hierarchy in a war against the mutant Eternal Thanos, who had the Infinity Gauntlet.
When Nova is conscience-stricken at causing the death of billions of aliens, Galactus takes on a new herald, the bloodthirsty Morg. Tyrant returns; despite capturing the Surfer, Morg and several other cosmic-powered aliens, he is thwarted by Thanos and destroyed when Morg uses the Ultimate Nullifier.
Galactus decides, with help from a new herald Red Shift, to only devour the energy of living beings; this brings him into conflict with alien races and Earth's heroes. During a final confrontation near the home world of the Shi'ar, the Silver Surfer turns Galactus's siphoning machines on him. Galactus starves and dies, taking the form of a star.
The death of Galactus allows the entity Abraxas (a metaphysical embodiment of destruction, and the antithesis of cosmic entity Eternity) to emerge from imprisonment. He wreaks havoc across thousands of alternate universes, killing every incarnation of Galactus that he encounters. Abraxas is thwarted when the children of Reed Richards, Franklin Richards and Valeria Von Doom, exhaust their powers to restore Galactus; Mr. Fantastic uses the Ultimate Nullifier to reset reality, preventing Abraxas's escape and destruction.
Conscience-stricken, Galactus tries to rid himself of his hunger by feeding on the power from the Infinity Gems but is tricked into releasing the Hunger, which feeds on entire universes. The creature's access is sealed, with Thanos's help.
When an alien race develops a technology making planets invisible to Galactus, he empowers the Human Torch (who has traded powers with the Invisible Woman) as an unwilling herald to locate the planets. The Fantastic Four and Quasar are able to free the Torch by changing Galactus back into Galan.
Galactus consumes Beta Ray Bill's Korbinite home world and reveals a new herald: Stardust. When the Negative Zone villain Annihilus launches a war on the universe, one of his first attacks destroys the Kyln and frees Tenebrous and Aegis. Sensing their release, Galactus temporarily releases Stardust from service and reemploys the Silver Surfer as his herald. Aegis and Tenebrous find and defeat the Silver Surfer and Galactus, delivering them to Annihilus.
Annihilus binds Galactus, and plans to use his energy to destroy all life in the universe. Drax the Destroyer frees Galactus, and after Galactus teleports Drax to safety, unleashes a blast which destroys most of Annihilus's forces. Galactus accepts Stardust as his herald again, with Silver Surfer. Seeking a final confrontation with Aegis and Tenebrous, Galactus sends the Silver Surfer to locate them. The Surfer finds them and engages them in battle, drawing Aegis and Tenebrous into the barrier between the universe and the Negative Zone (which destroys them).
After an encounter with Epoch, Galactus consumes the planet Orbucen. He and Stardust again come into conflict with Beta Ray Bill when a distraught Bill seeks vengeance against Galactus for the destruction of the Korbinite home world. Feeling empathy for the only survivor of a destroyed planet, Galactus creates a female Korbinite for Bill.
The Silver Surfer finds the body of a future Galactus under New York City, and summons the present Galactus (who confronts Mr. Fantastic) to Earth. Mr. Fantastic explains that in the future, the heroes on a dying Earth had killed Galactus to escape to the present with time travel. When he discovers that those heroes live on a planet called Nu-Earth in the present, Galactus destroys it (and its inhabitants) in retribution.
A tear in the fabric of space caused by the Annihilation Wave and other interstellar conflicts allows the extra-universal forces of the Cancerverse (a universe without death) to invade. Galactus, the Celestials and the resurrected Tenebrous and Aegis combat the powerful Cancerverse weapon, the Galactus Engine (constructed around the corpse of the Cancerverse's counterpart to Galactus).
In the "Chaos War" storyline Galactus is teleported to Earth by Hercules to help fight the Chaos King, a metaphysical embodiment of oblivion and another antithesis of Eternity. While Hulk and his allies (the God Squad, Alpha Flight and the surviving Dead Avengers) fight Amatsu-Mikaboshi's forces, Amadeus Cho and Galactus work on a machine which will move Earth to the sealed-off continuum.
After an encounter with the High Evolutionary, Galactus attacks Asgard. The Silver Surfer says that Galactus is looking for an Asgardian artifact to sate his hunger and spare future civilizations, while Odin contends that Galactus wants to ensure that he is not replaced in the next universe. Galactus and Odin engage in a battle that ends when the Silver Surfer offers to remain on Earth to guard the artifact, if Galactus can have it after Asgard dies. To replace the Surfer, Galactus takes a preacher (Praeter) as his new herald and is pulled through a hole in space-time to an alternate universe. He meets another version of himself, a space-faring mechanical hive-mind called Gah Lak Tus, and they merge into one being while using portions of the collective of machines to fulfill the purpose of his heralds. With Galactus proving to be too powerful to defeat in a straight fight, the Ultimate Marvel heroes, after a brief trip to Earth-616 to acquire local information on Galactus, eventually manage to send Galactus to the Negative Zone, reasoning that he will eventually starve to death due to the fact that Negative Zone is made of anti-matter. Following an incident where the Eternal known as Ikaris is brainwashed by a Kree device called the God's Whisper, he swears vengeance on his would-be captors. With help from Aarkus, the Eternals find the comatose Galactus floating in the Negative Zone, and state that they plan to use the God's Whisper to unleash him upon the Kree when he awakens.
Sometime later, Galactus is freed upon the universe and plans to devour Earth once again. He befriends Squirrel Girl and her sidekick Tippy Toe, who are the only ones he has ever met who see him as an equal. They convince him to go to another, uninhabited planet, which is devoid of intelligent life but rich in nuts. After that, he sends the two back to Earth and leaves.
The Ultimates, a team formed to solve cosmic scale problems, retrieve Galactus' incubator and force him into it. This time, Galactus emerges from it as a lifebringer instead of a Devourer of Worlds. His first act is to restore Archeopia, the first victim of his hunger. He later finds Conner Sims (aka the Anti-Man) outside the Multiverse and using his newfound powers as the Lifebringer, Galactus transforms Sims into his first Herald of Life. Sims was then sent to recruit the recently-disbanded Ultimates in order to help him discover who had imprisoned Eternity.
Powers and abilities
Galactus was created during the union of the Sentience of the [previous] Universe and Galan of Taa, and a herald described him as "the physical, metamorphosed embodiment of a cosmos." Galactus considers himself a higher being than all non-abstracts, maintaining his existence by devouring planets with the potential to support life. This has resulted in the elimination of entire extraterrestrial civilizations on a number of worlds.
Galactus wields a type of cosmic energy known as the Power Cosmic and has appointed a number of beings as his heralds, granting each a small fraction of the Power Cosmic. This Power Cosmic replaces the auras (or souls) of its holders, causing each wielder's physical form to adapt to store and manipulate it. Galactus can remove the Power Cosmic from the person to whom he has given it. He can use the Power Cosmic to produce nearly any effect he desires, including size alteration, the transmutation of matter, the teleportation of objects across space, the creation of force fields and interdimensional portals, telepathy, telekinesis, universal cosmic awareness, the creation of life, resurrection, manipulating souls, memories and emotions, recreating dead worlds in every detail (including utterly convincing illusions of their entire populations), and energy projection.
Thanos wielding the Infinity Gauntlet ranked him on roughly the same scale of power as the Celestials, the Stranger, Odin, and Zeus, but below that of Mistress Love, Lord Chaos, and Master Order. However, he has shown the ability to overcome Odin, and after devouring four planets, Galactus has been shown capable of fighting four Celestials, and destroying one of them, although when they fused together into a powerful Celestial he was defeated. In a conflict Galactus intervened in between two other cosmic beings (Scrier and the Other), the confrontation was stated to eventually threaten two universes, and to have resulted in Oblivion's triumph had it persisted. As "The Lifebringer" Galactus is superior to Lord Chaos and Master Order, but stated that the Molecule Man could erase him with a thought.
Although not an abstract, non-corporeal being, Galactus is a living force of nature set on correcting the imbalances between the conceptual entities Eternity and Death. His true form cannot be perceived by most beings; each species sees Galactus in a form they can comprehend, similar to their race or a deity of their religion. Galactus has also appeared as a humanoid star when addressing fellow members of the cosmic hierarchy.
As Galactus feeds to sustain himself, he must wear armor to help regulate his internal energy. Due to this hunger, Earth's heroes have been successful in defeating a weakened Galactus. In this state Galactus has also shown susceptibility to Ikonn's spell, which forces him to remember all of the beings he has destroyed from his feeding.
The first (and oldest) living entity in the universe, Galactus employs advanced science capable of creating the Ultimate Nullifier (capable of destroying and remaking the multiverse) and the ship Taa II. Reed Richards speculated that Taa II (the Möbius strip-shaped, solar system-sized home of Galactus) might be the greatest source of energy in the universe. Galactus also has the Punisher cyborgs in his service.
The heralds are servants of Galactus who wield the Power Cosmic he gave them, and scour the universe searching for planets that he could devour. Heralds in the main continuity of the Marvel Universe include:
- Fallen One (deceased)
- Silver Surfer (dismissed, recommissioned twice, dismissed to guard an interest of Galactus)
- Gabriel the Air-Walker (deceased)
- Firelord (dismissed)
- Destroyer (dismissed)
- Terrax the Tamer (dismissed)
- Dazzler (dismissed)
- Nova (Frankie Raye) (presumed deceased)
- Morg the Executioner (deceased)
- Red Shift (deceased)
- Human Torch (dismissed)
- Gah Lak Tus (Merged with Galactus)
- Anti-Man (Conner Sims) the Herald of Life
|This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2016)|
In 2009, Galactus ranked 5th on IGN's list of "Top 100 Comic Book Villains". They cited his "larger than life presence" as making him one of the more important villains ever created, and that his ties to Earth and its heroes make him one of the greats. They also felt that "Galactus is one of the few villains on our list to really defy the definition of an evil-doer" because he is compelled to destroy worlds because of his hunger.
Numerous versions of Galactus exist in alternate universes.
The Adventures of the X-Men
The final issue of The Adventures of the X-Men reveals that the previous universe from which Galan originates was the one that contained Earth-92131, the setting of the 1992 X-Men animated series. Galan's rebirth as Galactus is depicted as being observed by the Living Tribunal, and the Brothers from DC vs. Marvel.
In the Amalgam Comics universe combining Marvel and DC characters, Galactus is combined with DC's Brainiac to create Galactiac. He consumes the life force of planets to recharge his energy (leaving a small part of the planet to study), and encounters the Challengers of the Fantastic when he comes to Earth.
In the final part of the five-issue alternate-reality miniseries Bullet Points (January–May 2007) Galactus arrives on Earth with Silver Surfer, intending to consume the planet as in the mainstream continuity. After Earth's superhumans are killed or injured trying to stop him, the Hulk (Peter Parker in this reality) attacks Galactus and is killed. Parker's courageous death inspires the Surfer to turn on Galactus, who flees Earth.
Galactus has appeared in three DC Comics crossover stories: Darkseid/Galactus: The Hunger, Superman/Fantastic Four: The Infinite Destruction and JLA/Avengers. In The Hunger he tries to consume Apokolips, home of the evil New Gods, but stops when he realizes that the planet is lifeless. In The Infinite Destruction the Cyborg Superman (having learned about Galactus during a previous fight with the Silver Surfer) creates false evidence that Galactus was involved in the destruction of Krypton, tricking Superman into traveling to the Marvel Universe so that Cyborg could become Galactus's herald. The plan fails when Galactus chooses Superman instead, but Superman's strong will and the scale of influence that the destruction of Krypton has had on his development allows Superman to resist Galactus's conditioning. At the conclusion of the story, Superman and Reed Richards reprogram Galactus's equipment to drain energy from him instead of planets, ordering him to only feed on lifeless worlds in future. With the Cyborg's deception exposed, Galactus turns the Cyborg into a metal block in response to his pleas for perfection.
He plays a key role in JLA/Avengers when Krona comes to the Marvel Universe for knowledge about the creation of the cosmos. The Grandmaster tries to prevent Krona from destroying the Marvel Universe by revealing the existence of Galactus (a being who lived through the Big Bang, and can tell Krona what came before) and offering to play a game with Krona for the being's identity. As a result, the Justice League and the Avengers are manipulated into competing against each other to acquire twelve items of power from their respective universes, but although the League - serving as the Grandmaster's team - wins the conflict, Krona kills Galactus and the Grandmaster to obtain the knowledge he seeks (nearly destroying both universes despite the Grandmaster using the assembled items to briefly trap Krona) before the two teams can destroy Krona's equipment and his base, built from Galactus's remains, and allow the universes to be restored to their proper condition (including restoring Galactus and the Grandmaster to life).
In the limited series Earth X, Galactus is one of the three essential entities in the universe keeping cosmic entities the Celestials in check. By destroying planets ("eggs" of the Celestials), he prevents them from overpopulating the universe. Franklin Richards adopts Galactus's identity.
An alternate-universe version of Galactus appears in Exiles, restoring (instead of destroying) worlds. This version of the character came under assault by a version of Norrin Radd (The Silver Surfer) determined to force Galactus to restore Zenn-La. To combat him, Sabretooth of the Weapon X team of Exiles convinced this Galactus to grant him the Power Cosmic in order to defeat him. Afterwards, Sabretooth asks to be allowed to return the Power Cosmic to Galactus, a request which impresses him and he agrees to allow Sabretooth to revert to normal and go on his way.
Galacta, Daughter of Galactus
Galacta, a female character spawned as an anomalous energy field within Galactus, was created by writer Adam Warren and penciller Hector Sevilla Lujan for "Galacta (or: The World-Eater's daughter)" in Marvel Assistant-Sized Spectacular #2 (June 2009) and later appeared in the four-issue Marvel Unlimited miniseries Galacta: Daughter of Galactus #0–3 (January–April 2010). A normal-sized young adult human female on Earth (her chosen home), she suffers from a hunger similar to her parent's but her conscience permits her to devour alien invaders only.
Spider-Man's Aunt, May Parker, was transformed by Galactus into the cosmically-powered being Golden Oldie to serve as his herald. Rather than lead him to populated worlds, Oldie discovered an extraterrestrial baker who bakes planet-sized snack cakes that sate Galactus's hunger. May's transformation is revealed as a dream. The issue of "Marvel Team-Up", a parody of an old Hostess snack cake advertising campaign, was part of Marvel's "Assistant Editors Month" series of humorous issues.
Guardians of the Galaxy
In the alternate future of Earth-691, the original Guardians of the Galaxy witness the formation of a symbiotic relationship between Galactus and the former Silver Surfer, now known as the Keeper. Having been named a Protector of the Universe by Eon and further empowered with the Quantum Bands, the Keeper could not only stand as an equal with Galactus, but possessed sufficient power to supply Galactus with energy, ending his need to consume worlds to feed his hunger.
Galactus appears in the second volume of the Fantastic Four in the pocket universe created by Franklin Richards after the events of the Onslaught saga. This version of the character has five heralds simultaneously, all of whom are worshiped by the Inhumans. They are the Silver Surfer, Firelord, Terrax, Air-Walker and Plasma. They were all used to try to consume the Earth, but were eventually unsuccessful when the Silver Surfer turned on his master.
In New Mangaverse Galactus appears as a gigantic, planet-sized life form, with a single, massive eye and tentacles to drain life from planets. It is covered with a number of life forms (Galactus spores), which aid its digestion. This version also has four sentries which resemble the Silver Surfer, Terrax, Nova, and Firelord.
The limited series Marvel Zombies focuses on the Earth-2149 universe, which is infected by a virus changing sentient beings into flesh-eating zombies. The Silver Surfer is caught and devoured by "zombified" versions of Earth's heroes, who use technology to wound (and eventually defeat) Galactus. As they devour Galactus, the zombies (known as the Galacti) receive a portion of the Power Cosmic.
The MC2 title Last Planet Standing features a future version of Galactus with a new herald, Dominas. He tries to recreate the universe by triggering a new Big Bang, but is defeated when Earth's heroes disrupt his equipment; this allows the Silver Surfer to take Dominas's power and merge with Galactus, creating a new being who vows to repair worlds instead of destroying them.
Three limited series (Ultimate Nightmare, Ultimate Secret and Ultimate Extinction) were published by Ultimate Marvel, introducing the threatening entity Gah Lak Tus. First mentioned by the robot Ultimate Vision, Gah Lak Tus is shown to be a group mind of city-sized robotic drones. The group mind attacks worlds via envoys similar to the Silver Surfer, who introduce a flesh-eating virus. Gah Lak Tus merges with Galactus when a temporal rift sends the latter being to the Ultimate Marvel universe.
In other media
- Galactus appeared in the 1967 Fantastic Four episode "Galactus", voiced by Ted Cassidy.
- Galactus appeared in several episodes of the 1994 Fantastic Four series, including "Silver Surfer and the Return of Galactus", "To Battle the Living Planet”, "When Calls Galactus", and the two-part episode "Silver Surfer and the Coming of Galactus".
- Galactus appeared regularly in the Silver Surfer cartoon series, voiced by James Blendick.
- Galactus appeared in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "Last Exit Before Doomsday", voiced by George Takei.
- The character was featured in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episodes "Prisoner of War" and "Avengers Assemble".
- Galactus made humorous cameo appearances in Spider-Man's cutaway comments in the Ultimate Spider-Man episodes "Back in Black" and "Beetle Mania".
- Galactus appeared in the Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode "Galactus Goes Green", voiced by John DiMaggio.
- John DiMaggio reprises his role as Galactus in the Avengers Assemble episode "Guardians and Spaceknights".
- Galactus appeared in the 2007 film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The film's novelization calls the character "the Gah-Lak-Tus". 20th Century Fox's reason for portraying the character as a cosmic hurricane-like cloud was to keep him discreet. Visual effects studio Weta Digital convinced Fox to add hints of his comic-book appearance, including a shadow and a fiery mass inside the cosmic cloud resembling Galactus's signature helmet. Director Tim Story said he created Galactus as a cosmic cloud so a future Silver Surfer spin-off film would be unique yet introduce the character as he normally appears. J. Michael Straczynski, the spinoff's writer, confirmed that Galactus was in his script: "You don't want to sort of blow out something that big and massive for one quick shot in the first movie." In this film, Galactus devours planets as in the comics, and uses the Silver Surfer as his herald to help him do it, in exchange for Galactus not eating the Surfer's home world. He is killed when the Surfer rebels against him to save the Earth.
- In Jeremy Slater's original draft of the 2015 Fantastic Four reboot, Galactus gives the Fantastic Four their powers after meeting them in the Negative Zone. Galactus was removed from the script when Simon Kinberg re-wrote the script.
- Galactus appears in the 1990 Silver Surfer NES game.
- Galactus appears as a prisoner of the Skrull in the Game Boy Advance game Fantastic 4 — Flame On. As the Human Torch you have to save him.
- Galactus appears in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, voiced by Gregg Berger. He appears as the boss of the Tarnax IV level and the heroes must confront him (while he tries to devour the Skrull Homeworld) to steal the Muonic Inducer in order to power the M'Kraan Crystal that will help them defeat the now godlike Doctor Doom. The Silver Surfer appears in order to help the player during the battle, using his fraction of the Power Cosmic to stun his master so that the heroes can damage him. In the ending however, he vowed revenge and plans to destroy the Earth.
- Galactus appears in the PSP and PS2 versions of Spider-Man: Web of Shadows as an assist character who steps on the enemies, saying "Your debt is paid."
- Galactus appears in the 2009 game Marvel Super Hero Squad as an unvoiced, minor character in a Silver Surfer cutscene.
- Galactus is mentioned in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2. When the player asks Thor about Galactus, he says he prevented Galactus from taking revenge on the heroes.
- Galactus appears in the Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet video game. Targeting the Skrull Homeworld for consumption, Galactus runs afoul of Wolverine and Black Widow. They use a cargo ship to dump food into his mouth, satisfying him enough to spare the Skrull Homeworld. When Silver Surfer uses the Infinity Sword and the Infinity Gauntlet to become Dark Silver Surfer, Galactus wonders if he found any other planets; Dark Silver Surfer teleports him far from Earth.
- Galactus makes a brief appearance in LittleBigPlanet's Marvel-level pack in the first level.
- Galactus is the main antagonist and final boss of Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds voiced by Jonathan Adams. He creates Silver Surfer-based copies of Dormammu, Doctor Doom, Albert Wesker and Akuma, which the player fights while a timer counts down before he destroys the Earth. In the Ultimate version, he is a playable character in Galactus Mode.
- Galactus appears as a playable character and the final boss of Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by John DiMaggio. He comes to Earth following the Silver Surfer's signal, hoping to have that planet as the next course of his meal. When he gets there, however, Loki brainwashes him to be used in his own plan to destroy both Earth and Asgard. After their defeat by the heroes and the other villains, Galactus angrily rebels against Loki for mind-controlling him by having him as a palate cleanser.
- Galactus appears as the final boss in the Fantastic Four virtual pinball game for Pinball FX 2 released by Zen Studios.
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