On Earth-552, a Blight afflicted many planets across the cosmos, turning them lifeless. Galactus was created in this universe in order to restore and breathe life to these dead planets. Galactus was respected across the cosmos, and some revered him as a god. Unfortunately, the Blight destroyed worlds much faster than Galactus could revive them.
Scientist Norrin Radd from Zenn-La came to Galactus and proposed becoming the Silver Surfer, his herald, to aide him by searching for more planets for the World Creator to restore. In return, Galactus promised to some day pass his secret of healing broken worlds on to Radd. However, Norinn Radd was not entirely truthful with Galactus. Radd had been a military scientist who had inadvertently destroyed his planet with one of his inventions. Galactus refused to help his herald as his duty was to restore only the worlds that had been destroyed by the Blight. This angered the Silver Surfer, who went rogue and used his powers against those who worshiped his master and eventually attacked Galactus in order to steal Galactus' powers for himself.
Galactus was severely wounded by the Surfer near Earth, which was destroyed by the Herald. Galactus was defended by the Shi'ar Imperial Guard when the Exiles arrived in Earth-552 to help Galactus. The World Restorer used Blink to send the Silver Surfer away to Saturn and teleported himself and the Exiles safely inside his ship. Sorely weakened, Galactus was taken to the heart of the Shi'ar Empire where he recuperated. When the Silver Surfer returned, Sabretooth of the Exiles confronted Galactus and asked him to give him whatever cosmic powers he had left to stop the Surfer. Galactus was humbled by Sabretooth's request and obliged, turning him into a Herald.
Following the Silver Surfer's defeat and death, Galactus was very impressed with Sabretooth's actions and considered making him his herald permanently. Sabretooth declined his offer. Galactus was even more impressed by this selfless refusal of power and remarked that he would always remember Sabretooth. Galactus took back the cosmic power from Sabretooth and instead chose Manta as his new herald. Galactus began reviving planets that had been decimated from causes other than the Blight as recommended by his new herald, starting with the restoration of Earth and later Zenn-La.
Earth-552's Imperial Guards, the Superguardians, are a close analogue to DC Comics' Legion of Superheroes (in which the mainstream Imperial Guards were based on the Legion) and even right down to possessing Flight Rings.
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- Reality Gallery: Earth-552