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Quote1 In a time beyond time shall be born a new universe and into that universe there shall be one entity like no other -- a living organism who possesses the matchless power and raging appetite of a galaxy. But he shall be more than a galaxy. He shall be a galactic ravager...He shall be...Galactus! Quote2
The Sentience of the Sixth Cosmos[src]

Galactus is a cosmic being that consumes the life energy found in planets for sustenance. He has appointed several Heralds, such as the Silver Surfer, to both scout for suitable worlds and signal Galactus to come. He empowers them with the Power Cosmic.[25][26]

Born Galan of Taa, a mortal Taa-an from the Sixth Cosmos, in a universe before the current one, he was approached by the Sentience of the Sixth Cosmos (the precursor to Eternity) when his universe ended. Galan fused with its essence and was able to pass on to the next cycle, the Seventh Cosmos, where he would emerge as Galactus after an incubation period. Despite being the Devourer of Worlds, he holds no malice toward any living thing and simply does what he must do to survive. Indeed, by his own admission, he is destined to one day give back to the universe infinitely more than he has ever taken from it.[1]

Galactus was recently killed by Thor.[23] He was reborn when his corpse, which had been reanimated by the Destroyer,[5] devoured energy from the M'kraan Crystal. Galactus now hungers for knowledge instead of worlds.[4]

History

Galan of Taa[]

Galactus is a survivor from the Sixth Cosmos, the previous Multiverse. Originally, he was a Taa-an named Galan, born in the previous incarnation of the universe of Earth-616 on the planet Taa, a paradise-like world whose civilization was said to have been the most advanced of its time. However, the Sixth Cosmos and all of its various universes ended and were reborn in a new form as part of the Multiversal Cycle.[1][8][18][27][28][29]

Galan (Earth-616) from Defenders Vol 6 2 001

Galan as a baby

Galan was the genetically engineered son of Taaia, the Scienceer Supreme. Due to her obligations to Taa, she was a neglectful mother, giving him very little personal contact and leaving a technologically advanced crib to raise him. When his mother brought home his time-traveling future Herald, the Silver Surfer, the Surfer decided to use the opportunity to teach Galan compassion, hoping it would encourage him to try harder to resist his cosmic hunger in the future.[12]

Galan (Earth-616) from Thor Vol 1 169 001

Galan of Taa

Due to a plague called the Black Winter,[30][31] the universe began dying at a rapid pace and Taa's civilization was one of the last ones still in existence. Lethal radiation from the dying universe was expeditiously wiping out all life across the universe. Galan, a space explorer, was dispatched to travel through the cosmos to find a means of saving Taa, but he found none. The radiation eventually killed off all but a tiny fraction of the population of Taa. Knowing that their deaths were inevitable, Galan proposed to the remaining survivors that they die gloriously by piloting one of their starships directly into the heart of the Cosmic Egg. As the starship containing Galan and his fellow survivors approached the termination point of the universe, the cosmic radiation killed all of the passengers except for Galan, who strangely found himself filled with new energy.[1]

Galan (Earth-616) and Sixth Cosmos (Multiverse) from Super-Villain Classics Vol 1 1 001

Galan merging with the Sentience of the Cosmos

Right before the universe's end, Galan was approached by the Sentience of the Sixth Cosmos, who merged its essence with the mortal Galan, giving birth to a new entity who would survive beyond the end of time: Galactus the Devourer of Worlds.[1][8][18][27][28][29] The Black Winter later presented an alternative account of Galan's survival, claiming that it had spared him and turned him into Galactus in order to mark him as its Herald.[32]

Rebirth as Galactus[]

Following a period of nothingness, the Seventh Cosmos was born from a Big Bang, and with it its new embodiments, Eternity and Infinity. An incubating Galactus ended up in this seventh incarnation of the universe.[1][18][27][28][29]

Galan (Earth-616) and Ecce (Earth-616) from Super-Villain Classics Vol 1 1 001

Ecce the Watcher finding a newly reborn Galactus (before he created his suit of armor) and choosing not to kill him

The nascent Galactus drifted in his recreated starship for eons as new life came into existence. Eventually, the nascent Galactus' starship was sighted by Ecce, one of the Watchers, who drew it down to his planet for study. There, Ecce learned that the being within it had power beyond comprehension and would eventually be forced to consume entire worlds to satiate his cosmic hunger for life-sustaining energy. Realizing the danger that the nascent Galactus posed to the cosmos, this Watcher considered destroying the entity, who was still vulnerable due to his metamorphic state, but instead decided to abide by the Watchers' oath of non-interference and let the nascent Galactus depart in his starship. Ecce, however, feared that for eons yet uncounted he would regret this decision that he had made that day, though the Watchers themselves have since come to an understanding that Galactus is an intrinsic and necessary component to the natural order of the cosmos.[1][8]

The nascent Galactus employed his vastly limitless strength and power and created a suit of armor to help him regulate his raging internal energies. He then transformed the starship of the last of the Taa-ans into a kind of incubator, where Galactus spent thousands upon thousands of years evolving into his current form.[1] Galactus' incubator eventually crashed on the surface of Ego, the Living Planet, causing him pain as it began to drain his life force. Ego saved a time-displaced Silver Surfer from Knull, and the Surfer repaid the favor by removing the incubator from him.[33] The Surfer, knowing in advance what Galan would become, planned to destroy the being before his birth. However, Uatu the Watcher warned the Surfer that, despite the destruction he would bring, Galactus would be important for the balance of the universe. The Surfer entered the incubator, intent on absorbing Galactus' Power Cosmic in order to restore himself to his normal form as Norrin Radd, and was confronted by Galan. The two of them talked and, eventually, the Surfer decided to spare Galan, removed the incubator from Ego and set it on a one-way course toward the planet Archeopia.[31] The Archeopians themselves did not disturb the strange object, but years later a marauding space fleet, approaching Archeopia and thinking that Galactus' incubator was a weapon, attacked it.

Galactus, with his metamorphosis complete, emerged from his incubator and, with a mere gesture, destroyed the invading space fleet. Galactus, realizing his uncontrollable hunger for energy, next turned his attention to the energy-rich Archeopia below. Galactus immediately consumed the life energy of Archeopia; only a small fleet of Archeopian spaceships managed to escape the planet in time (the Archeopians would later be completely exterminated by Ego, the Living Planet).

Worldship (Taa II) from Super-Villain Classics Vol 1 1 0001

The Worldship Taa II

Over the following millennia Galactus constructed for himself an immense home, the Worldship that he named Taa II, which completely engulfed the entire Archeopian solar system as a tribute to both his homeworld and to Archeopia, the first planet that he had ever consumed. Indeed, Taa II was so enormous that other planets soon orbited around it as if it were a sun. For several billion years Galactus consumed only planets uninhabited by sentient lifeforms, Archeopia being the only exception, and centuries passed between his feedings.

However, as eons passed, the intervals between his feedings decreased considerably in length, and Galactus found himself finally needing to consume worlds inhabited by sentient races only if he could find no other worlds possessing the energy that he needed to sustain himself in time. Galactus has succeeded in suppressing his sympathy for other intelligent beings who are similar in nature to the being from which he was birthed and thus, realizing himself to be a higher kind of being than they are due to his intrinsic role in the natural order, is willing to destroy their lives in order to continue his own. Moreover, he is also fully aware that he is destined to one day give back to the universe infinitely more than he has ever taken from it.[1]

The Heralds of Galactus[]

The first being Galactus selected as his Herald was the Fallen One, so called because he quickly rebelled against Galactus. Galactus imprisoned the Fallen One, but this former Herald later escaped from his imprisonment and began hunting him down over the millennia.[34]

At one point in time Galactus threatened to consume the planet Zenn-La, the homeworld of a civilized humanoid race. One of that world's inhabitants, Norrin Radd, persuaded Galactus to spare the planet in return for willingly volunteering to become his Herald and search out uninhabited worlds for him to consume. Galactus agreed and transformed Radd into the Silver Surfer.

Norrin Radd (Earth-616) and Galan (Earth-616) from Cosmic Powers Unlimited Vol 1 1 001

The Silver Surfer loyally served Galactus for an unknown length of time, leading him to countless energy-rich worlds.[35] Eventually, however, Galactus grew determined to consume the energy-rich planet Earth.[36] The Surfer rebelled as a result,[37] and Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four thwarted Galactus by threatening to use an alien device called the Ultimate Nullifier on him, a weapon that could destroy the universe and kill even Galactus. Galactus was forced to vow to spare Earth in exchange for the Nullifier's return, and he punished the Surfer for his betrayal by erecting an undetectable energy barrier that prevented the Surfer from leaving Earth.[38]

Much later, when he discovered the existence of Counter-Earth, he became determined to consume it instead of Earth. He and his Herald at the time, the Destroyer, were opposed by the Fantastic Four once again, who had been contacted for help by the High Evolutionary, who had created Counter-Earth in the first place.[39] Galactus then consumed the Poppupians' homeworld of Poppup instead and was nearly killed in the process by terminal indigestion.[40]

Eventually releasing himself from his vow to Reed Richards to never again try to consume Earth by defeating the immensely powerful Sphinx (who was further empowered by the secrets of the universe, which had been downloaded from the Living Computer of Xandar),[41] Galactus returned several times to Earth to consume it, but was always narrowly defeated. Meanwhile, he consumed numerous inhabited worlds throughout the known universe to satisfy his cosmic hunger, and was feared as a menace to all known starfaring races. Galactus also took on a succession of new Heralds.

During his final attempt to consume Earth, Galactus had gone so long without feeding that his energies were the lowest that they had ever been and he was near death; thus, a large number of Earth's superhuman defenders actually succeeded in defeating him in battle. Galactus lay dying, succumbing to his own cosmic hunger, but Reed Richards saved his life with the help of Thor's mystic hammer Mjolnir. The grateful Galactus pledged his eternal friendship to Reed and sincerely vowed never to try to consume Earth again. Galactus has steadfastly abided by this vow ever since. During this visit to Earth, Galactus created another Herald, Nova, who, like the Silver Surfer before her, willingly volunteered to become his Herald in return for sparing Earth.[42] Galactus continued to consume other worlds, however, and consumed the Skrulls' throneworld of Tarnax IV, thereby temporarily plunging the Skrull Empire into chaos.[19]

The Trial of Reed Richards[]

For saving the life of Galactus, Reed Richards was placed on trial by all of the alien survivors of Galactus' many feedings. Galactus appeared for Reed's defense and Eternity manifested, confirming to all present the importance and necessity of Galactus in the universe as the balance between Eternity himself and Death.[8]

The Elders of the Universe[]

At some point afterward, Galactus was targeted by the alien organization named the Elders of the Universe, who believed that his death would trigger a new Big Bang and thus recreate reality. In this new reality, the Elders believed that they would become a race of Galacti, each with infinite cosmic power with which they could use to endlessly pursue their individual special interests. Galactus' former Herald the Silver Surfer, the Fantastic Four, Franklin Richards, and his then-current Herald Nova managed to upset the Elders' plans.[43]

The In-Betweener[]

Eternity appeared to Galactus, informing him of his hidden role in his battle with the Elders and revealing Galactus' role as the third force of the universe. One of Galactus' roles as an alien force is to help balance life and death, as represented by Eternity and Death.[44] Galactus later ran afoul of the In-Betweener, the third force of another universe that was ruled by Master Order and Lord Chaos who was confirmed to be Galactus' own opposite from that universe. Whereas Galactus is absent of dualities, the In-Betweener is the crossroads of all dualities.[45]

Morg the Executioner[]

When Nova finally rebelled as Galactus' Herald, he dismissed her from his service and simply created another one: the alien Morg the Executioner, who ultimately murdered Nova on his own volition. Morg, in turn, was defeated by a collection of Galactus' former Heralds. Galactus accepted the Air-Walker automaton and Firelord as returning Heralds after the battle with Morg, but secretly preserved Morg's body in order to restore him slowly over time.[46]

Erased from Existence[]

At one point, Galactus was apparently erased from existence by the Ultimate Nullifier.[47] Reed Richards determined that he was still alive, however, and neutralized his own alternate-reality grandson Hyperstorm by connecting the two, leaving Galactus to feed indefinitely off of Hyperstorm's fundamental power.[48]

Addiction[]

Galactus' cosmic hunger became such that he would only consume the life forces of sentient beings and leave the planets on which they lived intact. However, he began to consume more and more frequently because, unlike the life essences of the planets he normally fed on, the life forces of mortal beings offered him no sustenance; thus, his addiction left him perpetually starving, weakened and insane. He created another Herald named Red Shift to help him succeed in consuming all of the sentient life forces that he came upon. He approached Earth once more, and had to be driven off by a large contingent of Earth's superheroes, while Red Shift was defeated by the Silver Surfer. Finally, the Surfer agreed once more to become Galactus' Herald again and to search for planets with sentient life for him to consume.[49]

Almost immediately, the Silver Surfer led Galactus to Chandilar, the homeworld of the Shi'ar Empire, perhaps the most technologically advanced in the known universe, in the hopes that they would have the forces to repulse the now-weakened Devourer of Worlds. The Shi'ar quickly joined forces with other races and several of Earth's superheroes to battle Galactus. During the conflict, the Surfer managed to turn Galactus' own energy-siphoning machines on Galactus himself, fatally weakening him. Galactus died while warning that the insanity which had consumed him was a precursor to another, greater horror. As he died, Galactus was converted into energy by his own energy-siphoning machines, revealing his true form, that of a sentient star. As Reed Richards noted, his energy would radiate forever outward, so he could never again reform.[50]

Abraxas[]

Galactus (Earth-616) from Nova Vol 4 13 0001

Galactus' "death" allowed the being known as Abraxas, the metaphysical embodiment of destruction born from Eternity, to emerge from his imprisonment. He soon began to cut a swath of terror through various alternate realities, including the murder of several parallel versions of Galactus. He used the decapitated head of one alternate reality's Galactus to target and home in on the mainstream reality's Earth and to plant a mole in his version of the Herald known as Nova. On Earth, Abraxas attacked Uatu the Watcher, left him comatose, and stole half of his signature medallion.[51]

Abraxas taunted the Fantastic Four with the inevitability of his coming, enticing the team to search for the Ultimate Nullifier, of which the clues to its location were scattered among several alternate realities. Ultimately, the Fantastic Four found the Nullifier when Abraxas suddenly appeared and stole it from them. Abraxas called forth an army of Novas to attack Earth, and the Fantastic Four held no hope of defeating him. Instead, Franklin Richards, the son of two of the Fantastic Four's members Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, combined his Celestial-level cosmic powers with those of his sister, Valeria, and returned Galactus to his natural state while restoring balance to Eternity, at the cost of (seemingly) forever burning out his powers. Galactus easily wrenched the Nullifier from Abraxas but, due to interference from the army of Novas, the Nullifier fell into Reed Richards' hands, who used the weapon to destroy the Multiverse. The result then served to re-create the Multiverse into one in which Abraxas had never escaped. Since all that was had ended, all that is was realigned and, as such, this allowed Mister Fantastic to survive along with all of those who had died in Abraxas' reign of terror.[52]

Annihilation[]

During Annihilus' ambition of "conquering" the universe, Galactus was vengefully attacked by the freed two surviving Proemial Gods, Tenebrous of the Darkness Between and Aegis, Lady of All Sorrows, leaving him badly weakened, and was, along with the Silver Surfer, captured by Thanos the Mad Titan, who was responsible for bargaining with the Gods into fighting the Devourer of Worlds. Galactus and the Surfer were brought to Annihilus and were experimented upon as weapons in Annihilus' war. Galactus was used as a sort of cosmic weapon, capable of destroying whole planets, and both his and the Surfer's Power Cosmic were used as fuel for weapons that would be used against the Annihilation Wave.[53]

Eventually, Annihilus' overall plan was to use Galactus as a "bomb" capable of destroying every life form in the universe and thus fulfilling his desire of being the only being in the known universe. However, Annihilus' plan was foiled by the efforts of Moondragon, Drax the Destroyer and the Silver Surfer as they successfully freed Galactus. After teleporting Moondragon and Drax to safety and succumbing to his rage, Galactus proceeded to unleash a massive omnidirectional blast that later became known as the "Galactus Event." The Silver Surfer was sent ahead of the blast by Galactus to herald the imminent destruction, as the unleashed "Galactus Obliteration Perimeter" wiped out the majority of the Annihilation Wave, as well as more than three star systems, and even vaporized a Watcher. Galactus' action ultimately stopped the war and forced the remaining warring parties to form a truce.[54]

Post-Annihilation[]

Following the end of the Annihilation Wave, Galactus became hungrier than ever before and requested his Heralds to find planetary substance for his cosmic hunger. It was then revealed that, at some point in the early years of the creation of the universe, Galactus became involved in a civil war between the Proemial Gods. He slew Diableri of Chaos, the leader of the opposing faction of the Gods who attempted to gain total control of the universe, and imprisoned the two remaining Gods who had survived the war (Tenebrous and Aegis) in the Kyln (a third God, Antiphon the Overseer, was also imprisoned in it for unknown reasons). Angered by and concerned about the freed two remaining Proemial Gods Tenebrous and Aegis (Antiphon had already died in the Kyln under unknown circustances), Galactus ordered the Silver Surfer to find and defeat the two Gods once and for all. After the Surfer killed the two Gods by luring them into the Crunch, the all-destroying border of the universe, Galactus saved a heavily beaten and exhausted Surfer and healed him of his considerable wounds.[55]

Galactus consumed the planet Orbucen, whose people reached out to the only serving member of the Nova Corps at the time, Richard Rider. Rider tried to get Galactus to forestall his feeding, which led to a confrontation with the Silver Surfer while Galactus himself ignored Rider.[56] Rider then stowed away aboard Galactus' starship to save himself from the destruction of Orbucen; his presence on the starship ultimately alerted Galactus to the Harrow, a being which had hid itself aboard to feed on the fear of all of the denizens of the worlds that had consumed by Galactus. After learning of its previously hidden presence, Galactus incinerated it and then forcibly removed Rider from his starship.[57]

The Silver Surfer led Galactus to the planet Sakaar, where he consumed the planet after easily defeating both Skaar and the Surfer, who was being mentally controlled by Skaar.[58] He became addicted to the Old Power after consuming the planet and set out to find all of the planets that possessed the Old Power within them, leading Skaar's twin brother, Hiro-Kala, to use the Old Power to poison him in retaliation for consuming Sakaar.[59]

Nu-World[]

Galactus discovered Nu-World and its power source. He went to Earth and took Reed Richards to Nu-World to repair their power source but, in the end, Galactus chose to destroy the planet rather than consume it for daring to use him as a power source.[60]

Attack on Asgard[]

Galactus was searching for the “Galactus Seed”, a cosmic heart that will give birth to the next universe to come. Created by Eternity before the recording of time and discovered by Bor, the First King of the Asgardians, the Seed gave birth to the World Tree over which the Nine Realms hang. The Silver Surfer arrived on behalf of Galactus for the Seed since, as quoted by the Surfer, the Seed may be able to satisfy Galactus and stop his cosmic hunger. Odin refused to hand the Seed over to Galactus, believing that Galactus was in search of godhood and wanted to live forever. This made Galactus attack Asgard in his search for the Seed. However, Galactus was not able to get the Seed, as Odin was standing in his way.

Galactus and Odin fought by using their telekinetic and telepathic powers because, if they had fought physically, the power they both possessed would have been able to destroy the universe. Odin was able to render Galactus unconscious by head-butting him before falling into the Odinsleep. After regaining consciousness, Galactus proceeded to attack Asgard in search for the Seed despite the fact the Silver Surfer was trying to stop Galactus from proceeding, as it would be a declaration of war on Asgard, with the Surfer telling him "They are Gods. They are power and fury and an act of war against a race of Gods is beyond even you...". Nevertheless, Galactus proceeded until Odin summoned the Destroyer, which was powered by the Seed's energy while, at the same time, Loki successfully hid the Seed. When the Surfer detected that the Seed was gone, he informed Galactus. Knowing that his main objective was no longer under Asgardian possession any more, Galactus retreated, therefore canceling the invasion, and later learned that the Seed was lost somewhere within Odin's World Tree, and that searching for it would be like searching for a needle in a pile of space-time.[61]

After this event the Silver Surfer proposed a truce between Galactus and the Asgardians, in which one of the conditions was that, if the Surfer sensed that the Seed had been disturbed, then the war between Galactus and the Asgardians would continue anew. Needing to stay on Earth to observe the Asgardians and ensure that they never retrieved the Seed, the Surfer approached a preacher in Broxton, Oklahoma named Pastor Mike (last name unknown) about taking up his role as Herald due to having observed Mike's courage in standing up to Galactus for the good of his people. Mike reluctantly accepted the offer, becoming the Praeter, the latest Herald of Galactus.[62]

The Future Foundation[]

Galan (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 602 0001

Galactus vowed to Reed Richards that he would protect Earth until the Galactus Seed could be retrieved from Yggdrasill. He gave Reed the means to summon him in the near future when he foresaw that Earth would be in peril.[63] Galactus and the adult Franklin Richards from the future overwhelmed the Mad Celestials. After the Mad Celestials were defeated, Galactus and Franklin bonded over the fact that Galactus would no longer have to face the end of the universe alone - Franklin would also survive to the end and witness it with him.[64]

Clash with the Ultimate Universe[]

Months after his return, Ultron launched a massive attack on Earth, annihilating humankind and conquering the entire planet. Wolverine was one of the few remaining survivors, and used Doctor Doom's time machine to travel back in time numerous times until he could prevent Ultron's rise to power and thus the annihilation of humankind, which resulted in the evil A.I. being destroyed once and for all, but at the cost of the space-time continuum being broken, thus causing a "Multiversal Chaos" where numerous beings from other realities were transported to other universes through the tears in reality. Galactus was one of these beings dragged to another universe; in this case, the universe of Earth-1610.[65]

Galan (Earth-616) and Gah Lak Tus (Earth-1610) from Hunger Vol 1 1 001

Gah Lak Tus merging with Galactus

Galactus' arrival to this Earth happened just in the precise moment and location in which his alternate universe counterpart, the entity named Gah Lak Tus, found itself in the middle of the Chitauri-Kree War. Galactus was approached by Gah Lak Tus, who unexpectedly took the action of merging with its counterpart, creating an even more powerful version of Galactus with a greater need to feed, who then sent part of Gah Lak Tus as his new Herald in order to seek out and consume worlds.[66]

When Galactus attacked the planet Hala, the capital of the Kree Empire and the homeworld of the Kree, he was defended by that universe's versions of the Silver Surfer, Nova and Captain Mahr Vehl.[67] During the battle, Mahr Vehl died of the injuries caused by the Gah Lak Tus swarm. Nova wore Mahr Vehl's armor and became Captain Marvel, using his newly acquired vast power and a weapon on Mahr Vehl's armor designed to kill Gah Lak Tus to unleash a powerful attack on Galactus. Thought dead by the heroes, Galactus was only heavily weakened by the attack and started heading to that universe's Earth, intending to consume it.[68]

On his way there, he was met by the Vision as she attempted to return Galactus to his own universe. She failed in doing so and was destroyed as a result.[69] Upon his arrival to this alternate Earth, Galactus immediately began his path of destruction, as well as preparations to consume the planet. The Ultimates arrived to stop Galactus, but even their most devastating attacks proved to only be a mere nuisance to the Devourer of Worlds.[70]

Galactus was ultimately defeated when the Elemental Converter was destroyed by a gigantic Kitty Pryde, and Thor pushed the cosmic entity through a portal created by Reed Richards into the Negative Zone, with the intention that, since this version of the Zone was completely lifeless, Galactus would starve to death.[71]

Return from the Negative Zone[]

Following an incident where the Eternal Ikaris was brainwashed by the Kree using a device called the Gods' Whisperer, he swore vengeance on his would-be captors. With help from Aarkus, Ikaris and his fellow Eternals found the comatose Galactus floating in the alternate Negative Zone and brought him back to the mainstream universe of Earth-616, then they stated that they planned to use the Gods' Whisperer to unleash him upon the Kree when he awakened.[72]

Time Runs Out[]

In order to stop the incursions, among other solutions, the Illuminati went to Galactus to arrange a meeting with the Celestials. However, before they could fully assure them their help, they mysteriously vanished.[73]

The Lifebringer[]

Galactus (Earth-616) from Ultimates Vol 3 2 001

Galactus as the Lifebringer

With the re-creation of the universe after its destruction,[74] a group of superheroes known as the Ultimates started working on several problems of cosmic scale that could endanger the universe. One of their first missions consisted of solving the problem of Galactus' cosmic hunger.[28]

The Ultimates retrieved Galactus' incubator and forced the Devourer of Worlds into it so that a new process of a similar nature to the one that created Galactus could happen again. Said process was accelerated with Neutronium. After a flash of light and the incubator's destruction, Galactus emerged anew with a new purpose in life; he became a cosmic entity named the Lifebringer. The first planet that Galactus restored was Archeopia, which had been the very same first victim of his cosmic hunger.[28]

When the Ultimates attempted to exit the Omniverse in order to assess the damage that time travel had caused to it, Galactus was tasked by Eternity to stop them.[75] After interrupting the Ultimates' journey and sending them back to Earth, Galactus found himself outside the reach of the Multiversal embodiment of Eternity, and discovered the truth that Eternity wanted to prevent the Ultimates from knowing, that it was in chains.

Now tasked with the duty to find Eternity's cosmic jailer,[76] Galactus enlisted the help of the Anti-Man to recruit the Ultimates and transform them into his Heralds of Life.[77] Once the Anti-Man assembled the Ultimates and Galactus asked for their help, he was summoned to the Superflow to be placed on trial at the request of Master Order and Lord Chaos, two cosmic entities that saw Galactus' new status as a perversion of the cosmic hierarchy.

The Living Tribunal ruled in Galactus' favor, allowing him to remain as his new self, alleging that the cosmic hierarchy in this new reality was still being formed; thus, it was not yet set. Master Order and Lord Chaos took this council to heart, and then assaulted the Living Tribunal, killing him.[78] Order and Chaos subsequently tried to change Galactus back; however, the same principle that made it possible for them to murder the Tribunal, that there was not a hierarchy yet, meant they could not impose their will on Galactus, as he was on the same level as Order and Chaos. Order and Chaos left the Superflow, leaving a weakened Galactus trapped in it behind, and both of them merged into a new, more powerful being, Logos.[79] They eventually returned and reverted Galactus back to his original form, returning his cosmic hunger to him.[80] Fortunately, this reversion was short-lived, as the Anti-Man sacrificed both his life and his powers to change Galactus back into the Lifebringer.[81]

The Eternity War[]

After resting until his powers could recover,[82] Galactus gathered Ego-Prime, the Psi-Hawk, the Infinaut, and the ghost of the Shaper of Worlds to form the Eternity Watch in order to help Eternity.[29] The Eternity Watch subsequently confronted Logos and the First Firmament's Aspirants in the Superflow. At the same time, the Maker foolishly used the High Evolutionary's technology to bring down the Superflow in an attempt to unify the Multiverse into a single reality and thus strengthen Eternity.

When this process only proved to be counterproductive instead and actually began to damage Eternity even further than before, Galactus had the ghost of the Shaper of Worlds teleport the Ultimates to the High Evolutionary's Counter-Earth.[83] With the help of another group of Ultimates that were brought back to life by the Maker and subsequently rebelled against him, Galactus' Ultimates managed to reverse the damage caused to the Superflow and restore the Multiverse to its normal state.

Galactus and the Eternity Watch subsequently resumed their confrontation against the agents of the First Firmament. With the help of the Black Panther's ascended astral form and the reborn Celestials, the Eternity Watch defeated both Logos and the Aspirants. The First Firmament was also defeated when Eternity summoned the past incarnations of the Multiverse to his aid, the Ultimate Ultimates. With Eternity free and safe once again, Galactus bid the Ultimates farewell and they parted ways.[84]

With Ultron about to launch rockets from the planet Saiph so as to infect the universe through the Ultron Virus and the Soul Gem in order to remake it in his own image, the Silver Surfer approached Galactus and asked him to destroy the planet in order to save the galaxy.[85] Though reluctant at first, Galactus went on to consume the planet, for the Surfer had promised to become his Herald again should his cosmic hunger ever return.[86]

The Return of the Black Winter[]

When the Black Winter, the cosmic entity which had destroyed the previous universe, returned, an injured Galactus went to Asgard and crashed on it, after which Thor attacked him. Upon awakening, Galactus revealed that when he looked at the Black Winter for the second time he saw Thor, meaning that the God of Thunder was to be the agent of his death. He turned the Asgardian into his new Herald and began to consume five planets, needing to empower himself enough to defeat the Black Winter.[87] Following the fight between Thor and Beta Ray Bill,[88] Galactus was successful in devouring the five planets just in time to face the Black Winter.[89] Galactus was overwhelmed by the Black Winter, however, who revealed to Thor that Galactus had been its Herald and that it had come to reclaim him.[32] Furious at this revelation, Thor stripped Galactus of the power he had obtained by devouring the five planets. When Galactus incredulously attempted to attack him, Thor sentenced him to death for the countless planets that he had destroyed and drained him of the Power Cosmic, leaving him on the brink of death. The Black Winter attempted to take Galactus, but Thor used his desiccated body as a cosmic bomb to destroy it; taking Galactus' helmet to use as an entranceway to his throne room.[23]

The Reckoning War[]

After learning from the Queen of Nevers that Eternity was dying due to war breaking out all over the universe due to the actions of the Reckoning,[90] the Silver Surfer traveled to Asgard along with Galactus' many other Heralds and began channeling their power into Galactus' corpse in order to resurrect him so that he could help fight the Reckoning. As a former Herald, the Destroyer was drawn out as well. The enchanted armor then grew to the size of a giant and merged with Galactus, becoming the Destruction. The Surfer gained the Destruction's attention with the Ultimate Nullifier and used it to draw the Destruction toward the Reckoning.[91]

When the Surfer learned that he was almost too late, as the Reckoning was nearing the Apex of All Reality on the Watchers' world of Planet T-37X, he was forced to go on ahead and leave the Destruction behind, but he left a Power Cosmic energy trail for the Destruction to follow. The Destruction quickly caught up to the Surfer and arrived on Planet T-37X, but he ended up being more of a hindrance than an ally. Upon reaching the Apex, Wrath of the Reckoning had already been defeated, but his M'kraan armor was set to self-destruct; the Silver Surfer fed the Destruction this energy, claiming that only a fusion of Galactus and the Destroyer could consume it. The process fully restored Galactus, separated him from the Destroyer, and (seemingly) ended his cosmic hunger. He set off with his companion, the Silver Surfer, to explore the newly-restored regions of the universe that were previously erased by the Ultimate Nullifier.[92]

Attributes

Power Grid[167]
:Category:Power Grid/Fighting Skills/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Energy Projection/Virtually Unlimited:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Virtually Indestructible:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Warp:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Incalculable:Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Omniscient

Powers

Cosmic Being: Possessing the immeasurable Power Cosmic, Galactus is one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe, has near-limitless godlike powers,[24] and is considered an omnipotent entity.[93] His cosmic powers are beyond most forms of measurement.[20] He was once referred to as "the most awesome living entity in the cosmos."[94] Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet ranked him around the same level of power as Odin, Zeus, the Celestials, and the Stranger, but well below Master Order, Lord Chaos, Mistress Love, and Sire Hate who, in turn, are well below Eternity and Infinity, who, again in turn, are well below the Living Tribunal.[95] As such, Galactus is able to employ the cosmic energy within him to produce virtually any effect he desires. Galactus has also shown the ability to overcome Odin.[96] In effect, the virtually omniscient Oblivion remarked that Galactus' battle against Scrier and the Other affected reality itself, and suggested that they threatened to destroy the Multiverse entirely if their fight had not ended.[97] Galactus and his various Heralds were stated to be cosmic level threats.[98] He himself was stated to be a "Universal" threat by the Nova Corps.[2]

Celestials and Galan (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 603 001

Galactus, powered-up by the energy from four planets, fighting four Mad Celestials

Although Galactus' power is great, it is fully dependent on the amount of energy he has absorbed from planets. If he does not feed regularly, he will weaken and starve to death.[99] Normally, he needs to feed once a month and he is at his weakest between feedings.[26] Conversely, he can also power himself up by consuming additional planets; for example, Galactus consumed four planets in preparation for the Mad Celestials, thus becoming powerful enough to challenge four Mad Celestials simultaneously and even destroyed one of them, though he was still no match against the Mad Celestials' combined form.[100] Additionally, some planets have unique energies that give him much more power than usual, but such planets are quite rare.[30]

  • Immortality: Galactus is said to be destined to survive until the end of the universe.[10]
  • Godlike Strength: Galactus has demonstrated the potential for a solar scale of limitless strength.[101]
  • Godlike Stamina: Galactus can partake in physical strenuous action, like battles, for an undefined period of time, but consuming the life energy of a planet will only sustain him for one month, and using it will cause the time span to lower dramatically, so he normally cannot fight for too long.
  • Godlike Speed: Despite his size, Galactus can fly at speeds that greatly surpass the speed of light.
  • Invulnerability: Galactus is immune to all diseases, ailments, and toxins. In addition, he is enormously resistant to damage. He was able to survive from two planets colliding and a sizable nuclear arsenal, but was severely injured in the process; however, this happened while his power was drained by the cosmic entity the Hunger.[102] Galactus emerged intact from a massive strike from Nega-Bombs.[15] He has also stated that, much like Tenebrous of the Darkness Beneath and Aegis, Lady of All Sorrows, he could not survive the forces of the Crunch.[55] After Odin headbutted him from the outer atmosphere all the way to Earth, Galactus very swiftly recovered, while Odin was severely injured and forced to fall into the Odinsleep.[62] Galactus has regularly withstood attacks from beings as powerful as the mystical entity Agamotto in Agamotto's own realm,[103] and even managed to withstand a blow from a Chaos King-empowered Zeus.[104]
  • Energy Projection: Galactus can project devastating energy blasts. In effect, after consuming the life energy of several planets following a period of starvation and thus still heavily weakened, Galactus proved capable of destroying at least three solar systems.[105] Galactus has effectively affected entire galaxies while battling the powerful demon-lord Mephisto, and would have annihilated the universe if the battle had continued any longer.[106] Furthermore, it has been stipulated by the nigh-omniscient cosmic being Oblivion that Galactus might be able to destroy even the Multiverse as a side effect of a titanic battle.[97] Indeed, Galactus' clash with the mystical entity Agamotto even wreaked havoc on entire dimensions.[103] Galactus even threatened to exterminate the Earth-616 and the Ultimate Universe jointly just by penetrating in the latter from the former.[66] Also, during a confrontation with Tyrant in his original form, it was stated that they "must have destroyed entire galaxies".[107] Being the physical embodiment of a cosmos,[108] his brute power must be, in standard conditions, at least universal in scope. Moreover, the captive Galactus would be employed as a weapon capable of destroying two universes.[109] After consuming four planets, Galactus even destroyed a Mad Celestial,[110] who had withstood the destructive power of the Ultimate Nullifier (though its power depended on the wielder's mindset, varying between universal to multiversal in magnitude).[111] Galactus was also stated to transcend space and time altogether,[112] making him beyond the physical universes and classifying his raw power beyond the multi-universal level.
  • Energy Absorption: Arguably this is Galactus' most viable power, as his very survival depends on absorbing the life energy from either planets or stars. During his fight with Mephisto, he showed that he is even capable of absorbing an entire domain.[106] During his attack on the Ultimate Universe, he also absorbed the Vision's Dark Matter attacks.[69] During the "Time Bubble" / "Black Celestial" alternate future storyline, he was going to consume an entire four-dimensional universal space-time continuum, and grew larger than a galaxy.[113]
  • Force Fields: Galactus can erect near-impenetrable energy shields.[114] These force fields can disintegrate matter on contact.[115]
  • Levitation: Galactus can traverse or glide through air and space using sheer willpower.[20]
  • Size Alteration: Galactus' base height and weight will diminish when he is greatly in need of life-giving energy. Galactus has the ability to increase his size and mass at will, the full extent of which is unknown. He once grew to a stature so great that he could wrestle with the Wraithworld's Black Sun.[20][101]
  • Molecular Restructuring: Galactus can manipulate, reshape and rearrange the molecular complexions of any organism, allowing him to rebuild or redesign things internally.[116]
  • Matter Transmutation: Being a cosmic being, Galactus can control matter in any object, which allows him to turn something tangible, like lead, into something intangible, like water.[114][117]
  • Teleportation: Galactus can make himself, other people, and objects appear anywhere in the entire universe that he wishes with just a mere thought.[19][118] He has even teleported the planet Galador from one galaxy to another.[101]
  • Telepathy: Galactus is telepathic and able to read or communicate with other minds across universal distances.[20][121][122]
  • Telekinesis: Galactus has the ability to move enormous amounts of mass through mental concentration.[37]
  • Cosmic Awareness: Galactus can sense disturbances or changes within the cosmic ether on a universal scale.[123]
  • Resurrection: Galactus can resurrect the dead.[124]
  • Life Creation: Galactus can create complex, sentient, biological or bio-technical life forms seemingly from nothing, or at least by using his control over molecules to do so.[125]
  • Soul Control and Manipulation: Galactus can control and manipulate the souls and spirits of living beings at will.[122] He uses this power to alter the memories and emotions of others.
  • Recreation: Being a cosmic being, Galactus was able to recreate the entire planet of Zenn-La, including its population, etc. in every detail.[122]
  • Power/Ability Bestowal: Galactus' Heralds, whom he has endowed with a minuscule fraction of the Power Cosmic, are able to manipulate matter and energy in ways that are far beyond human comprehension.
  • Healing Powers: Galactus is able to heal himself and others from physical wounds, although this may simply be molecular reconstruction.[citation needed] If he is grievously injured, he can restore himself by consuming a planet.[126]
  • Adapted Appearance: Although Galactus is usually represented in humanoid form, each sentient being in the universe perceives him having a form resembling their own.[8][127] This is due to the Manifestations, who change his appearance based on the mental image of the beholder (as they do with Abstract Entities).[128]

Abilities

Cosmic Genius: Galactus possesses one of the universe's absolutely most advanced minds. His scientific knowledge is beyond all human understanding.[20] Reed Richards has admitted an inability to fully comprehend even the most rudimentary devices found within Galactus' Worldship, Taa II, and has said that it is the greatest source of clean energy in the universe. The Worldship itself is a solar system-sized construct that is said to surpass any natural world in beauty and splendor and yet, within its computers is contained knowledge so unfathomable and far-reaching, it can grant awesome power to those who come into contact with it (see Korvac).

Weaknesses

Galan (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 522 001

If Galactus loses his powers, he reverts back to Galan of Taa

Galan (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Antithesis Vol 1 2 001

Another instance where Galan becomes mortal again

Victor von Doom (Earth-616) and Galan (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four World's Greatest Comics Magazine Vol 1 10 001

Doctor Doom after stealing Galactus' powers

De-powerment: Galactus was not originally a cosmic being. He was the mortal Taa-an Galan who was cosmically empowered when the universe ended and then began again;[1] therefore, it is possible for him to be de-powered and return to his original form of Galan.[108][129][130]

  • If this happens, his Power Cosmic, the "Soul of Galactus," will automatically search for him, so it is not a permanent non-violent solution to the problem of Galactus.[131]
  • It is also possible for his powers to be transferred to someone else. In another instance where Galactus was de-powered,[130] Reed Richards absorbed it, turning Reed into a Galactus-like being instead of Galan.[132] Reed had planned on using this opportunity to starve himself to death and thus free the universe from the Devourer of Worlds, but the rest of the Fantastic Four convinced him to restore both Galactus and himself.[133]
    • Doctor Doom once used a Cosmic Cube to de-power Galactus and then transfer Galactus' powers into himself.[129] Reed Richards used the same Cosmic Cube to transfer them back into Galactus.[134]
  • Galactus can change back into Galan of Taa willingly, at least temporarily.[29]

Galactus is susceptible to certain powerful artifacts and weapons:

Paraphernalia

Equipment

Galan (Earth-616) from Super-Villain Classics Vol 1 1 001

Galactus creating his suit of armor

Galan (Earth-616) from Silver Surfer Vol 3 10 001

Galactus' pure energy form without his physical suit of armor

  • Galactus wears a full-body suit of armor of his own design, constructed from an unknown material, that helps him regulate and control his energy.[1] It is a separate apparatus that can be taken off or physically removed,[119][143][144] and it remains even if Galactus loses his powers or dies.[23][108][145] Without his armor, Galactus takes on a humanoid form of crackling energy.[1][44]
  • Galactus often employs his Elemental Converter when devouring planets to help him in the conversion of matter into energy. Although he does not require this device to devour planets and will forego its use in certain scenarios, it does make the conversion of energy more efficient.
  • Galactus briefly merged with the Destroyer to become the Destruction.[5]

Weapons

  • Galactus often employs a large group of humanoid robots named the Punishers, which possess vast superhuman strength, speed and durability, both to guard his Worldship, Taa II, and battle adversaries whose power levels do not warrant his immediate attention or are completely beneath his notice. One Punisher alone is strong enough to battle the Thing to at least a standstill.
  • Galactus also keeps in his possession a weapon called the Ultimate Nullifier. This weapon has the ability to destroy any target that the wielder can mentally envision. In the hands of Galactus, due to his cosmic awareness, the Ultimate Nullifier is capable of destroying entire universes and even entire timelines from beginning to end.

Transportation

  • Although Galactus is capable of space travel via his own power, he disdains the needless expenditure of power and prefers to travel in starships of his own design. Though Galactus has many different starships in his personal fleet, his preferred long range vessel is his sphere-shaped starship (over one mile in diameter) which is capable of trans-light speeds and interdimensional travel. Galactus has even on rare occasions been shown to travel in his solar system-sized Worldship, Taa II.

Notes

  • Galactus' origin story has been retconned many times over the decades:
    • The Taa-ans were dying from the "Creeping Plague" and opted to die in a sun instead of the disease. The sun transformed Galan into Galactus (in this version of his origin story, Galactus was not the survivor of a previous universe).[27]
    • The Taa-ans were dying from universal decay and opted to die in the terminal point of the universe. There, as the last survivor of the universe, Galan met the Sentience of the Sixth Cosmos who bonded with him, and they both passed on into the next cycle as Galactus.[1]
    • The Dweller-in-Darkness shattered the M'kraan Crystal, which brought about the end of the Sixth Cosmos. Galan of Taa was saved by the Sentience of the Sixth Cosmos who bonded with him, and they passed on into the next cycle as Galactus.[146]
    • The Galactus Seed is a powerful artifact that could allegedly end the universe and sprout the next one. According to Odin, it was the Seed that ended Galan's universe and created Galactus.[147]
    • In the traditional account, Galan went inside everything (a Cosmic Egg). One account, however, claimed the exact opposite: he was trying to go to the Outside through the "Ultraflow" (the Superflow) and "Neutra-Space" (the Neutral Zone), but the universe ended before he could do so.[28]
    • The Black Winter is a cosmic being that feeds on entire universes. It destroyed Galan's original universe and spared him with the intent of making Galan (as Galactus) into his Herald.[148]
  • Galan was originally stated to be the sole survivor of his old universe,[1][8][149] but retcons made since then have challenged that idea.
    • The Black Winter is seemingly the same one from the Sixth Cosmos.[23]
    • The Dweller-in-Darkness is also possibly from the Sixth Cosmos.[150][151]
    • The Celestials have always been enigmatic. Their history was never clear until the First Firmament revealed that they are its creations; thus, they predate all universes except the first one.[81][152]
      • Even before the First Firmament retcon, the idea that the Celestials came from previous universes was not new. It was previously suggested that they are survivors like Galactus.[153]
      • In the Earth X series, the Celestials were the ones who destroyed Galan's old universe. As they passed on to this one, their actions caused the birth of Galactus as a countermeasure to prevent it from happening again, as in the Earth X continuity, Galactus eats the Celestial embryos inside planets.[154]
  • Galactus had devoured countless worlds; please see the list of known planets destroyed by Galactus. The most notable of these worlds are the following:
  • The process of a survivor from the previous iteration of the universe passing on to the next one as a world-devouring cosmic being is a recurring one. Galactus' predecessor is Omnimax,[12] and his successor is supposedly going to be either Franklin Richards or, possibly, Mister Immortal.[156]

Trivia

Galan (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 48 001

Galactus' first appearance

  • The storyline contained in Fantastic Four #48-50, otherwise known to fans as "The Galactus Trilogy," is considered by many to be one of Marvel Comics' very best stories from the Silver Age of Comics.
  • Stan Lee stated in Marvel Masterworks: Fantastic Four Vol. 5 that, when creating the character, he wanted a near-godlike character who was beyond good and evil, whereas Jack Kirby was inspired by the Bible when creating the character.[158]
    • Galactus' real name, Galan, might have been based on the word "galan" from the Bible, which means "live long and prosper."
  • Jack Kirby did not originally intend to have Galactus return after "The Galactus Trilogy" in order to preserve his awe-inspiring presence, but his popularity among fans prompted Stan Lee to request Kirby to bring back Galactus, making him a recurring character in the Marvel Universe ever since.[159]
  • When plotting the end of his run in Ultimates 2 (Vol. 2), writer Al Ewing originally planned for Galactus to sacrifice his status as the Lifebringer in order to save Eternity, with the intention to make the character's journey in the story into a tragedy. However, having grown fond of writing about Galactus' new form, Ewing decided to scrap that idea.[160]
  • Galactus' appearance and existence is derived from his Fourth Cosmos template, the Archetype of Evil named What-Must-Be, who has an Archetype of Good form named "What-Can-Be" that resembles Galactus' former form of the Lifebringer.[161]
  • Odin speculated that Galactus might have been a renegade Celestial before learning his origin.[162]
    • Odin is not the only one who has theorized a connection between both Galactus and the Celestials. The Overscholars of the Winding Mist hypothesized that the Celestials are the survivors of previous universes and that Galactus will become a Celestial after he is finished being a Devourer of Worlds.[153]
    • Galactus is sometimes called a "space god,"[163][164] which is a term often used for the Celestials.[165]

See Also

Links and References

References

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