Galactus is a male cosmic being who features in Marvel Comics.
Galen was a male inhabitant of a previous iteration of the universe where he was a native of the highly advanced world of Taa. (Fantastic Four v1 #262) Taa was said to had been a paradise so far advanced from any other world. (Thor v1 #169) It was shown that he was involved with a woman named Aala who became pregnant at the time when Galan’s experiments revealed that the universe was contracting and dying. (Mighty Thor v1 #4) He created Lifebringer One that was a conveyance designed to study the decay of the centre of the universe and safeguard the information along with theoretically protect the crew into the next reality. (Silver Surfer v8 #13) Thus, Sciencemaster Galan and his crew of Scienceers set about for this ultimate knowledge beyond space and time. (Ultimates v2 #2) One account of their fall was that they became victims of the dreaded Creeping Plague that had struck numerous worlds. (Thor v1 #169) The disease was actually part of the final wave of entropy that was afflicting the universe which was dying. Thus, Galen and a small band of brave explorers decided to journey to the centre of the universe where time and space ended. Their travel saw all the explorers perish except for Galen who in his final moments was visited by the Sentience of the Universe that spoke to him. The Taa-an vessel was encased by the dying cosmos as the universe collapsed and was born anew with the ship ejected into the new version of reality. By this point, the ship had become a cocoon around Galen who was being transformed by the great energies to become a cosmic being. (Fantastic Four v1 #262)
Just before this previous universe met its end, the Phoenix Force culminated the positive emotions of all living beings in the cosmos in order to preserve them from suffering from eternal damnation. At the same time, the Sentience of the Universe which served as this universes equivalent of Eternity met Galan and informed him that they both had to die in the final moments of their universe and explained that they would be preserved and enter the universe that would follow their own. After merging with him, Galan was encased within the "Cosmic Egg" and began to transform him into a powerful cosmic being that would become known as Galactus, the devourer of worlds. In time, the "Cosmic Egg" created the "Big Bang" leading to the birth of a new universe. As part of this creation process, the entities known as Eternity and Death became the embodiments of their concepts of this new universe whilst the newborn Galactus was hurled outward in his newly created starship.
The transformation of the being once known as Galan was not, however, complete and he drifted in his vessel for eons as the rebirth process continued. In the mean time, life began to form in the new universe which powerful beings from the previous universe such as the Elders of the Universe. As the developing Galactus continued to form in his starship, he was discovered by one of the Watchers known as Ecce billions of years ago. After approaching the vessel, he learnt of the being that was developing inside; that it was a creature beyond comprehension and that when it was born, it would be forced to consume entire worlds in order to sate its hunger or perish from it. After understanding the danger that was forming, Ecce considered destroying Galactus before it could be fully formed but instead decided to abide by his races oath of non-interference and simply observed before departing. Eventually, the Watchers came to the conclusion that Galactus was an important component of the natural order of the cosmos and thus agreed with Ecces decision. However, Ecce expressed guilt iover his actions and felt partially responsible for the destruction caused by Galactus.
Eventually, his birth came about and Galan became the creature known as Galactus. Using his vast cosmic beings, he fashioned himself a suit of armor which regulated the raging energies inside his being and transformed his starship into a form of incubation chamber where he spent the next thousand upon thousands of years evolving into a more powerful form that was the final stage of his metamorphosis. His vessel eventually drfited upon the inhabited world of Archeopia though its natives did not interfere with it. It was only when a marauding force of aliens who believed Galactus's vessel to be a weapon belonging to the native Archeopians did Galactus emerge. Now in his final form, he destroyed the invading fleet with a simple gesture but came to realize that as a powerful cosmic being, he had an uncontrollable hunger to consume energy. Quickly, he turned his attention on the energy rich planet of Archeopia and consumed its energies to sate his hunger. A number of survivors of this planet managed to escape their world and formed a group known as the Wanderers. Over the next few millennia, Galactus created a massive world ship which engulfed the Archeopian star system which he named Taa II and became his home as well as a tribute to the first planet he had ever consumed. For the next several billion years, Galactus began to consume planets but did so only on those worlds that were uninhabited by sentient lifeforms with centuries passing before his feedings.
Whilst conducting his own purpose, Galactus became aware of strife afflicting the Proemial Gods who were cosmic beings charged by the living universe to be caretakers of the cosmic consonance. Originally, they were born without will but over time developed their own traits as they evolved awareness and came to realize that the reason they were created was no longer needed. This led to Diableri of Chaos into corrupting the purpose of several of his kin to turn against the rest. Their conflict eventually drew in Galactus who struck back with his power slaying Diableri whilst he imprisoned Aegis, Tenebrous and Antiphon at the Klyn prison. (Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus v1 #2)
With his task complete, Galactus resumed his duties of patrolling the spaceways and devouring worlds to sate his never ending hunger. After encountering Death and Eternity, it was believed by many that Galactus served a vital role in the universe as he served as a balancing mechanism between those two cosmic forces. Whilst initially, Galactus sought only to devour uninhabited planets, his feedings became more frequent and the time inbetween those moments grew shorter. This led to Galactus indiscriminately choosing worlds to feed upon; whether they were inhabited or not as he began to believe he was above other beings.
The World Devourer
For centuries, Galactus continued his act of devouring entire worlds but in time, he began to feel the need for some form of companionship. Thus, he created a version of himself which led to the formation of a being known as the Tyrant who was an equal in both size and strength. However, where Galactus took only what he needed to survive, the Tyrant instead had the desire to conquer. After learning of the Tyrants goals, Galactus stripped him of his power and reduced his size whereupon he banished the being to the edges of the universe.
To prepare worlds for conquest, he created the Cosmos Automatons that were sent as probes built by base worlds to prepare them for consumption. He came to use them for thirty millennia until inhabitants of these base worlds came to sway the machine programs and sometimes even turned them against their creator. As a result, Galactus began to discontinue the practice of using these program/entities though some still operated in space whilst the World Devourer began to turn to organic sentients as possible servitors. (Fall of the Hulks: Red Hulk v1 #1) He came to decide to empower individuals to become one of the Heralds of Galactus to seek out worlds for him and found a being who eventually came to be known as the Fallen One. Galactus empowered this individual with Black Matter from the void between the stars making him incredibly powerful. However, eventually, the Fallen One went rogue and turned on his master who eventually imprisoned his Herald at the Kyln.
As a result of this failure, Galactus would being the practice of embuing new heralds with a portion of his own Power Cosmic.
At some point, Galactus discovered the planet of Zenn-La which he sought to feed upon. However, a native of that world known as Norrin Radd managed to persuade Galactus to spare his world by agreeing with the devourer of worlds to become his herald. An agreement that Galactus settled upon and using the Power Cosmic, he transformed Norrin Radd into the Silver Surfer and tasked him with finding planets to sate his hunger.
Personality and attributes
After becoming Galactus, the being that was once Galan made a decision to devour only those worlds that were uninhabted and that would suppress his hunger. However, in time, his feedings came more frequent and thus his sympathy for intelligent beings began to diminish as he instead focused on his own survival. Furthermore, his ascension into a cosmic being began to color his view and he saw himself as a higher being that was vital in the maintenance of the natural order of the cosmos. Thus, he began to rationalize his need to destroy entire worlds of living beings in order to continue his own existence. Despite these views, Galactus was aware that one day, he will be required to give back to the universe infinitely more than he has ever taken from it.
Powers and abilities
Another creation was the Cosmos Automaton that existed as a dataloop that travelled the universe until arriving at a base world where it influenced a native to construct a mechanical housing for itself. Upon taking possession of the body, it proceeded to remove all resistance in order to allow its creator to consume the world efficiently and without delay. (Fall of the Hulks: Red Hulk v1 #1)
- Galactus was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby where he made his first appearance in Fantastic Four v1 #48 (March, 1966).
- In Fireside Book Series v1 #11 (1979), an alternate version of Galactus appeared in the setting of the world designated as Earth-7888. It was revealed that Galactus was able to manifest a being called the Master of Guile who was born from the darkest recesses of the World Devourers own mind. The humanoid being embodied his darkest impulses and evil nature that Galactus sometimes used as counsel to determine his own thoughts on a matter. At the time, he summoned the Master of Guile who was tasked with bringing back the Silver Surfer after the former Herald had renounced Galactus's service. The loathsome being suggested his master craft a being in the form of the Surfer's old love Shalla-Bal thus creating Ardina in an attempt to lure Norrin Radd back to his duty as a Herald.
- In Thanos v2 (2017), an alternate future was shown where Thanos succeeded in wiping out all life in the galaxy with him taking the name Mad King Thanos. This version began a campaign to kill all life and take over the universe with him hunting Galactus who was one of the few foes to oppose him. In desperation, the World Devourer came to Earth to get aid from its heroes but they were slain with Galactus only encountering the new Ghost Rider Frank Castle. Castle had been left abandoned on Earth and wanted to fight Thanos where he offered a deal with Galactus in that he would become his Herald in exchange for him consuming Earth once they defeated the Mad Titan. The pair they confronted Thanos who managed to slay Galactus and enslaved the Cosmic Ghost Rider to his control
- In Marvel 2-In-One v1 #4 (2018), an alternate version of Galactus was shown where in this universe he arrived on Earth to consume it and killed the Thing of that parallel world. Mr. Fantastic fled in an attempt to find a means of killing the World Devourer only to fail. It was at that point that Doctor Doom emerged to protect Earth as he sought to rule it where he used psionic techniques of the Ovoids bolstered with technology to take over Galactus's body. He succeeded and became the World Devourer where he vowed to spare Earth but his great hunger meant that he had to feed leading him to consume everything else in his universe except for his home planet.
In other media
- In Fantastic Four, Galactus appeared in the 1967 animated television series in the episode "Galactus" where he was voiced by actor Ted Cassidy.
- In Fantastic Four, Galactus made multiple appearances in the 1994 animated television series where he was voiced by actor Tony Jay.
- In Silver Surfer, Galactus made a number of appearances in the animated television series where he was voiced by actor James Blendick.
- In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Galactus appeared in the finale episode of the animated television series where he was non-voiced character.
- In Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Galactus appeared in a non-voiced role in the 2007 live-action film. This version resembled a giant cosmic cloud with a fiery core that took the shape of the characters helmet in the comics.
- In Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, Galactus appeared as a boss antagonist in the video game where he was voiced by actor Gregg Berger.
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- Fall of the Hulks: Red Hulk v1:
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- Infinity Countdown v1:
- Fantastic Four v6: