Galactus is a cosmic being that consumes the energy found in planets for sustenance. He appoints "Heralds" such as the Silver Surfer to scout for suitable worlds and he empowers them with the Power Cosmic.
Galactus is from a universe before this one and was originally a Taa-an named Galan. At the end of his universe, Galan was approached by the Sentience of the Cosmos (Eternity's predecessor) and fused with its essence, allowing him to survive and become Galactus in the next cycle.
Galan of Taa
Galactus is a survivor from the sixth incarnation of the Multiverse. Originally Galactus was a humanoid named Galan, born in the previous incarnation of Earth-616 on the planet Taa, a paradise-like world whose civilization is said to have been the most advanced of any of the known universe of that time, to the scienceer Taaia. However, the Sixth Infinity and all its universes were in their final stages of collapse due to the multiversal renewal cycle, being consumed by the Abstract Entity known as the Black Winter.
He was the genetically engineered son of Taaia, the closest thing Taa had to a superhero. Due to her obligations to the planet she was a neglectful mother, giving him very little human contact and leaving a technologically advanced crib to raise him. When his mother brought home his time-traveling future herald, the Silver Surfer, he decided to use the opportunity to teach him compassion, hoping it would encourage him to try harder to resist his hunger in the future.
Originally, like all universes in the Multiverse, this universe had been a "Cosmic Egg"; a primal sphere of disorganized, dense, compact primordial matter. The sphere underwent a "Big Bang," an explosion that hurled the matter outwards, where much of it eventually condensed into stars and planets. This universe expanded in size for billions of years, and then contracted, undergoing a "crunch" over the following billions of years. All of the matter of that universe was plunging towards a central point, where it was collapsing into a new "Cosmic Egg."
Taa's civilization was one of the last still in existence. Lethal radiation caused by the "Big Crunch" this universe was experiencing was 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 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 focal point of the Big Crunch, the heat and radiation killed all the passengers except Galan, who strangely found himself filled with new energy.
Rebirth as Galactus
When the cosmos was going to meet its natural end, Galan was then approached by the embodiment of the Sixth Infinity, the Sentience of the Cosmos, who merged its essence with the mortal Galan, this way giving birth to a new entity who would survive the multiversal renewal: Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds. The Black Winter presented an alternative account of Galan's survival, claiming it had spared him and turned him into Galactus to mark him as its Herald.
After the Multiverse ended its renewal cycle, the Seventh Cosmos was originated from the ashes of the Sixth Infinity, and with it, its new embodiments, Eternity and Infinity. The newborn Galactus eventually ended up in the seventh iteration of his universe, now called Earth-616.
The nascent Galactus drifted in his recreated starship for eons as life began to come into existence in the universe, including the races that would give rise to the Elders of the Universe. Eventually, the nascent Galactus's starship was sighted by Ecce of the Watchers, an ancient species who possess vast psionic and energy manipulation powers who had undertaken to observe the events of the universe. Ecce drew the starship down to his planet to study it. There he learned that the being within it had power beyond comprehension and would eventually be forced to consume entire worlds to satiate his hunger for life-sustaining energy.
Realizing the danger 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. Although over time the Watcher race has come to understand that Galactus is an intrinsic and necessary component to the natural order of the cosmos, Ecce has expressed guilt over his decision those billions of years ago and feels partially responsible for the destruction Galactus has caused since.
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 Galan into a kind of incubator, where Galactus spent thousands upon thousands of years evolving into his current form. Galactus' incubator eventually crashed on the surface of Ego, the Living Planet; causing him pain as it began to drain his lifeforce. Ego saved a time-displaced Silver Surfer from Knull, and the Surfer repaid the favor by removing the incubator from him. The Surfer, knowing what Galan would become, planned to destroy the being before 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 to restore himself, and was confronted by Galan. The two talked and eventually the Silver Surfer decided to spare Galan and removed the incubator off Ego and set it on the course to Archeopia. The Archeopians themselves did not disturb the strange ship, but years later a marauding space fleet, nearing Archeopia and thinking Galactus's ship to be a weapon, attacked it.
Galactus, with his metamorphosis complete, emerged and with a gesture destroyed the invading fleet. Galactus, realizing his uncontrollable hunger for energy, turned his attention upon the energy-rich Archeopia below. Galactus immediately consumed the life energies of the Archeopia, only a small fleet of Archeopian ships managed to escape the planet in time. (The Archeopian race would later be fully exterminated by the living planet Ego).
Over the following millennia Galactus constructed for himself an immense home, the world-ship he calls Taa II, which engulfed the Archeopian solar system as a tribute to both his homeworld and to Archeopia, the first planet he ever consumed. 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 ages passed, the intervals between feedings decreased considerably in length, and Galactus found himself needing to consume worlds inhabited by sentient races if he could find no other worlds possessing the energy he needs in time to sustain himself. Galactus has succeeded in suppressing his sympathy for intelligent beings who are similar in nature to the entity from which he was birthed, and, 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 to continue his own. Moreover, he is aware that he is meant to one day give back to the universe infinitely more than he has ever taken from it.
Heralds of Galactus
The first being Galactus selected as his Herald was the Fallen One - so-called because he quickly turned against Galactus. Galactus imprisoned the Fallen One, but his former Herald later escaped and began hunting him over the millennia.
At one point Galactus threatened to destroy the planet Zenn-La, home of a civilized, humanoid race. One of that world's inhabitants, Norrin Radd, persuaded Galactus to spare the planet by volunteering to become his "herald" and search out uninhabited worlds for him to consume. Galactus agreed, and transformed Norrin Radd into the Silver Surfer.
The Silver Surfer loyally served Galactus for an unknown length of time, leading him to countless energy-rich worlds. Eventually, however, Galactus grew determined to consume the energy-rich planet Earth. The Surfer rebelled as a result, 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 lay waste to 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.
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 called for help by the High Evolutionary. Galactus then consumed the Poppupians' home world instead and was nearly destroyed in the process.
Eventually freeing himself from his pledge to Richards by defeating the immensely powerful Sphinx (who was further empowered by the secrets of the universe downloaded from the Living Computer of Xandar), Galactus returned several times to Earth to consume it, but was always narrowly thwarted. Meanwhile, he consumed numerous inhabited worlds throughout the known universe to sate his hunger, and was feared as a menace to all known star faring races. Galactus also took on a succession of new heralds.
During his last attempt to devour Earth, Galactus had gone so long without "feeding" that his energies were the lowest 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 hunger, but Reed Richards saved his life with the help of Thor's mystic hammer Mjolnir. The grateful Galactus pledged his friendship to Richards and sincerely gave his word never to attack Earth again. Galactus has steadfastly abided by this oath ever since. During this visit to Earth Galactus recruited his latest herald, Nova.
Galactus continued to prey upon other worlds, and destroyed the Skrull throneworld, thereby plunging the Skrull Empire into chaos. There is an account of a far distant alternate future, in which man no longer exists on Earth, and Galactus, therefore no longer feeling bound by his oath, consumes it at last.
Trial of Reed Richards
For saving the life of Galactus, Reed Richards was placed on trial by survivors of Galactus' attacks. Galactus appeared for Richard'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.
Elders of the Universe
At some point afterward, Galactus was targeted by the alien organization called the Elders of the Universe, who believed his death would trigger a new Big Bang and recreate reality. In this new reality, the Elders believed they would become a race of Galacti, each with infinite cosmic power with which they could use to endlessly pursue their special interests. His former herald, Silver Surfer, the Fantastic Four, Franklin Richards, and his herald Nova managed to upset the Elders' plans.
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. Galactus later ran afoul of the In-Betweener, the third force of a universe ruled by Master Order and Lord Chaos who was confirmed to be Galactus' own opposite from another universe. Whereas Galactus is absent of dualities the In-betweener is the crossroads of all dualities.
When Nova finally rebelled as his herald, Galactus created another in the alien Morg, who ultimately murdered Nova on his own volition. Morg in turn was defeated by the collection of his former heralds. Galactus accepted Firelord and Air-Walker as returning heralds after the battle with Morg, but secretly preserved Morg's body to restore him slowly over time.
Erased from Existence
At one point, Galactus was apparently erased from existence by the Ultimate Nullifier. Reed Richards determined that he was still alive, however, and neutralized his own alternate grandson Hyperstorm by connecting the two, leaving Galactus to feed indefinitely off of Hyperstorm's fundamental power.
Galactus' appetite became such that he would only devour the life forces of sentient beings and leave the planets on which they lived intact. He began to consume more and more frequently, because, unlike the life essences of the planets he normally feeds on, the life forces of mortal beings offer him no sustenance; thus his addiction left him perpetually starving, weakened and demented. He created a new herald, Red Shift, to help him succeed in devouring all of the sentient life forces 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 Silver Surfer agreed once more to become Galactus' herald and to search for planets with sentient life to consume.
Almost immediately, the Silver Surfer led Galactus to the homeworld of the Shi'ar Empire, perhaps the most technologically advanced in the known universe, in hopes they would have the forces to repulse the weakened planet devourer. The Shi'ar quickly joined forces with other races and several of Earth's superheroes to battle Galactus. During the conflict, the Silver Surfer managed to turn Galactus' own energy-siphoning machines on Galactus himself, fatally weakening him. Galactus died, while warning that the madness which had consumed him was a precursor to another greater horror. As he passed away, Galactus was converted to energy by his own planet-destroying 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.
Galactus' "death" allowed the being known as Abraxas, the metaphysical embodiment of destruction and the antithesis of Eternity, to emerge from his imprisonment. He soon began to cut a swath of terror through various alternate realities, including the murder of parallel versions of Galactus. He used the decapitated head of one alternate reality Galactus to target and home in on the prime reality 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.
Abraxas taunted the Fantastic Four with the inevitability of his coming, enticing the team to search for the Ultimate Nullifer, of which the clues to the location were scattered among alternate realities. Ultimately, the 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 the Four 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 (presumably) forever burning out his powers. Galactus easily wrenched the Nullifier from Abraxas, but, due to interference from the army of Novas, the Nullifier fell to Reed Richards, who used the weapon to destroy the multiverse. The result served to re-create the multiverse in which Abraxas had never escaped, and since all that was had ended, all that is was realigned, and as such, allowed Mister Fantastic to survive along with all those who died in Abraxas' reign of terror.
During Annihilus' ambition of "conquering" the universe, Galactus was vengefully attacked by the freed 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, who was responsible for bargaining the gods into fighting the World Devourer. 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 his and the Surfer's cosmic power were fueled as weapons for the Annihilation Wave.
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 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.
Following the end of the Annihilation war, Galactus became hungrier than ever before and requested his Heralds to find planetary substance for his hunger. It was 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 slayed Diableri, the leader of the opposing faction of gods who attempted to gain total control of the universe, and imprisoned the remaining gods who survived in the Kyln. Angered and concerned about the freed Proemial Gods, Aegis and Tenebrous, Galactus ordered the Silver Surfer to find and defeat the gods once and for all. After the Surfer killed the 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.
Galactus fed upon a planet named Orbucen, whose people reached out to the only serving Nova Corps member 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. Rider then stowed aboard Galactus' ship to save himself from the destruction of Orbucen, his presence on the ship ultimately alerted Galactus to the Harrow, a being which had hid itself aboard to feed on the fear of the denizens of the worlds consumed by Galactus. After learning of it's previously hidden presence, Galactus incinerated it and then removed Rider from his ship.
The Surfer led Galactus to the planet Sakaar where he destroyed the planet after easily defeating both Skaar and the Surfer who was being controlled by Skaar. He became addicted to the Old Power after devouring the planet and set out to find all 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.
Galactus discovered Nu-World and its power source. He went to Earth and took Reed Richards to Nu-World to fix their power source, but, in the end, Galactus chose to destroy the world, rather than eat it, for daring to use him as a power source.
Attack on Asgard
Galactus was in search 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, First King of the Asgardians, the seed gave birth to the World Tree over which the nine realms hang. The Surfer arrived on behalf of Galactus for the seed since, as quoted by the Silver Surfer, the seed may be able to satisfy Galactus and stop his hunger. Odin refused to hand the seed over to Galactus, believing that Galactus was in search for godhood and wants to live forever. This made Galactus attack Asgard in search for the seed. However, Galactus was not able to get the seed as Odin was 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 that "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 the seed was gone he informed Galactus. Knowing that his main objective was no longer under Asgardian possession anymore, 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.
After the event the Surfer proposed a truce between Galactus and the Asgardians, in which one of the conditions was that if the Surfer sensed the seed 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 Mike, 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 task, becoming Praeter, the latest Herald of Galactus.
Galactus vowed to Reed Richards that he would protect the Earth until the Galactus Seed could be retrieved from Yggdrasill. He gave Richards the means to summon him in the near future, when he foresaw Earth in peril. Galactus and the adult Franklin Richards from the future stood toe-to-toe against the Mad Celestials. After they were defeated, Galactus and Franklin bonded over the fact that Galan would no longer face the end of the universe alone - Mister Franklin would survive to the end and witness it with him.
Clash with the Ultimate Universe
Months after his return, Ultron launched a massive attack on Earth, annihilating humankind and conquering the planet. Wolverine was one of the remaining survivors, and used Doctor Doom's time machine to travel back in time numerous times until he could prevent Ultron's rise of 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 of reality. Galactus was one of these beings dragged to another universe, in this case Earth-1610.
Galactus' arrival to this Earth happened just in the precise moment and location in which his counterpart, the entity 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 Galactus with a greater need to feed, who then sent part of Gah Lak Tus as his new herald to seek and consume.
When Galactus attacked Hala, the Kree capital, the planet was defended by that world's Silver Surfer, Nova and Captain Mahr Vehl. 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 Earth looking to consume its power.
On his way, he was met by Vision as she attempted to return Galactus to his own universe. She failed in doing so and was destroyed. Upon arrival to 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 nuisance to the world devourer.
Galactus was ultimately defeated when the Elemental Converter was destroyed by a giant 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 incarnation of the zone was completely lifeless, Galactus should starve to death.
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 Negative Zone and brought him back to Earth-616. They then stated that they planned to use the Gods' Whisperer to unleash him upon the Kree when he awoke.
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.
With the renewal of the universe after its destruction, a group of heroes known as the Ultimates started working on problems of cosmic scale that could endanger the universe. One of their first missions consisted of solving Galactus' hunger.
The Ultimates retrieved Galactus' Incubator and forced the devourer of worlds into it, so a new process of 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 lifebringer. The first planet that Galactus restored was Archeopia, which had been the very same first victim of his hunger.
When the Ultimates attempted to exit the Omniverse in order to assess the damage time-travel had caused to it, Galactus was tasked by Eternity to stop them. 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 Eternity wanted to prevent the Ultimates from knowing, that it was in chains.
Now tasked with the duty to find Eternity' cosmic jailer, Galactus enlisted the help of the Anti-Man to recruit the Ultimates and transform them into his Heralds of Life. Once the Anti-Man assembled the Ultimates and Galactus asked for their help, the Lifebringer was summoned to the Superflow to be put in trial at the request of Lord Chaos and Master Order, 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 wasn't set. Lord Chaos and Master Order took this council to heart, and assaulted the Living Tribunal, killing him. Chaos and Order subsequently tried to change Galactus back. However, the same principle that made it possible for them to murder the Tribunal, that there wasn't a hierarchy yet, meant they couldn't 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 behind, and merged into a new more powerful being, Logos. They eventually returned and reverted Galactus back to his old form, bringing him his hunger back. Fortunately, the reversion was short-lived as the Anti-Man sacrificed his powers and life to change Galactus back into the Lifebringer.
After resting until he could recover his power, Galactus gathered Ego-Prime, Psi-Hawk, the Infinaut, and the ghost of the Shaper of Worlds to form the Eternity Watch in order to help Eternity. 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 strengthen Eternity.
When this process proved to be counterproductive and actually began to damage Eternity even further, Galactus had the ghost of the Shaper of Worlds teleport the Ultimates to the High Evolutionary's Counter-Earth. With the help of another group of Ultimates brought back to life by the Maker, who subsequently rebelled against him, Galactus' Ultimates managed to reverse the damage caused to the Superflow and restored 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 Black Panther's ascended astral form and the rebirthed Celestials, the Eternity Watch defeated the Aspirants and Logos. 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 their ways.
With Ultron about to launch rockets from Saiph to infect the universe into his image through the Ultron Virus and the Soul Gem, the Silver Surfer approached Galactus and asked him to destroy the planet in order to save the galaxy. Though reluctant at first, Galactus went on to consume the planet for the Surfer promised to become his herald again should his hunger ever return.
The Return of the Black Winter
When the Black Winter, the entity which destroyed Galactus' universe, returned, an injured Galactus went to Asgard, crashing on it, while Thor attacked him. Upon awakening, Galactus revealed that when he looked at the Black Winter the second time he saw Thor, meaning that the God of Thunder was to be his death. He turned the Asgardian into his new herald and begun consuming the five planets needing to empower Galactus enough to defeat the Black Winter. Following the fight between Thor and Beta Ray Bill, Galactus was successful in devouring the remaining planets, just in time to face the Black Winter. Galactus was overwhelmed by the Black Winter, who revealed to Thor that Galactus had been its herald and that it had come to reclaim him. 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 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.
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, 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 he could help fight the Reckoning. As a former Herald, the Destroyer armor was drawn out. The 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.
When the Surfer learned that he was almost too late as the Reckoning was nearing the Apex of All Reality on the Watchers' planet 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 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 hinderance than an ally.
Cosmic Entity: Galactus possesses the immeasurable Power Cosmic and is one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe, having near-limitless godlike powers, and being considered an omnipotent entity. His cosmic powers are beyond most forms of measurement. He was once referred to as "the most awesome living entity in the cosmos." 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 are well below the Living Tribunal. As such, Galactus is able to employ the cosmic energy within him to produce virtually any effect he desires. After devouring four planets, Galactus has been shown capable of fighting four Mad Celestials, and destroying one of them, although when they fused together into a powerful Voltron Celestial he was defeated. Galactus has also shown the ability to overcome Odin. In effect, the virtually omniscient Oblivion remarked that Galactus' battle against Scrier and the Other affected reality itself, and suggested they threatened to destroy the Multiverse entirely if their fight had not ceased.
However, although his power is great, it is dependent on the amount of energy he has absorbed from planets. If he does not feed regularly, then it will run out, and he will weaken and starve to death.
A few of the abilities he displayed are:
- Immortality: Galactus is said to be the oldest living entity; therefore people consider him as an ageless being.
- Immeasurable Strength: Galactus has demonstrated the potential for a solar scale of limitless strength.
- Immeasurable Stamina: Galactus can partake in physical strenuous action, like battles, for an undefined period of time, but absorbing the energy of a planet will only sustain him for a month, and using it will cause the time-span to lower dramatically, so he normally cannot fight for too long.
- Immeasurable 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 he was drained by the cosmic entity Hunger. Galactus emerged intact from a massive strike from Nega-Bombs. He has also stated that, much like Aegis and Tenebrous, he could not survive the forces of the Crunch. After Odin headbutted him from the outer atmosphere all the way to the planet Earth, Galactus very swiftly recovered, while Odin was severely injured and forced to enter Odinsleep. Galactus has regularly withstood attacks from beings as powerful as the mystic entity Agamotto and Odin, and even managed to withstand a blow from a Chaos King empowered Zeus.
- Energy Discharges: Galactus can project devastating energy blasts. In effect, after absorbing energy from several planets following a period of starvation, and thus still heavily weakened, Galactus proved capable of destroying at least three solar systems. Galactus has effectively affected entire galaxies while battling the entity Mephisto, and it's been speculated that Galactus might be able to destroy even the Multiverse as a side effect of a titanic battle. Indeed, Galactus' clash with the entity Agamotto even wreaked havoc in entire dimensions. Also, during a confrontation with Tyrant in his original form, it was stated that they "must have destroyed entire galaxies". Moreover, the captive Galactus would be employed as a weapon capable to destroy two universes. After devouring four planets, Galactus even destroyed a Mad Celestial, who has withstood the destructive power of the Ultimate Nullifier (though its power depends on the wielder's mindset, varying between universal to multiversal in magnitude).
- Energy Absorption: Arguably his most viable power, as his survival depends on absorbing the Life Force from planets or stars. During his fight with Mephisto, he showed that he is even capable of absorbing an entire domain. During his attack on the Ultimate Universe he also absorbed Vision's Dark Matter-attacks. During the "Time Bubble"/"Black Celestial" alternative future story he was going to devour an entire 4-dimensional universal spacetime continuum, and grew larger than a galaxy.
- Levitation: Galactus can traverse or glide through air and space using sheer willpower.
- Size-Alteration: Galactus's 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 extent of which is unknown. He once grew to a stature so great that he could wrestle with the Wraithworld sun.
- Adapted Appearance: Although Galactus is usually represented in humanoid form, each sentient being perceives him having a form resembling their own. Hence, humans see Galactus as an enormous armor-clad humanoid, while an amoeba-like species, for example, would perceive Galactus in an enormous amoeba-like form. This is due to the Manifestations, who change his appearance based on the mental image of the beholder (as they do with Abstract Entities). Although as Galan, Galactus was indeed a humanoid, his true current form is unknown.
- Molecular Restructuring: Galactus can manipulate, reshape and rearrange the molecular complexions of any organism, allowing him to rebuild or redesign things internally.
- 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.
- Teleportation: Galactus can make himself, other people, and objects appear anywhere in the entire universe that he wishes with a mere thought. He has even teleported the planet Galador from one galaxy to another.
- Force-Fields: Galactus can erect near-impenetrable energy shields.
- Interdimensional & Intradimensional Portals: He can create wormholes between dimensions and within dimensions.
- Telepathy: Galactus is telepathic and able to read or communicate with other minds across universal distances.
- Telekinesis: Ability to move enormous amounts of mass through mental concentration.
- Cosmic Awareness: Galactus can sense disturbances or changes within the cosmic ether on a universal scale.
- Resurrection: He can raise the dead.
- Creation: Galactus can create complex, sentient, biological or bio-technical life-forms seemingly from nothing, or at least using his control over molecules to do so.
- Soul Control & Manipulation: Galactus can control and manipulate the souls and spirits of living beings at will. 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 Zen-La, including population, etc. in every detail.
- Power/Ability Bestowal: Galactus' heralds, whom he has endowed with a minuscule fraction of his cosmic power, are able to manipulate matter and energy in ways that are far beyond human comprehension.
- Vitakinesis: Galactus is able to heal himself and others from physical wounds although this may simply be molecular reconstruction.
Cosmic-Genius: Galactus, as the oldest known living entity in the universe, possesses one of the universe's absolutely most advanced minds. His scientific knowledge is beyond human understanding. Reed Richards has admitted an inability to fully comprehend even the most rudimentary devices found within Galactus' Worldship Taa II. The Worldship itself is a solar system-sized construct that is said to surpass any natural world in beauty and splendor and yet within it's computers is contained knowledge so unfathomable and far reaching it can grant awesome power to those who come into contact with it (see Korvac).
Cosmic Hunger: Galactus requires unknown energies obtainable only from a certain type of planets in order to sustain his life. The suitable type of planet need not to be one where life is present, but it must have the potential to support life. When recently sated Galactus is incredibly powerful; however, the longer he goes without feeding the more his strength, power, and cosmic awareness wane. Indeed, over one month after consuming a suitable planet his power will have already been reduced exponentially, although in such a hungered state his powers are still far beyond mortal comprehension. In recent times Galactus has been known to go without feeding for numerous months at a time bringing him to the brink of death and reducing his power to such a degree that superhuman teams such as the Avengers, and the Fantastic Four etc. can defeat him. When he first emerged from his cocoon, Galactus could go without feeding for over century before his hunger weakened him to a significant degree. Why the intervals between his feedings has decreased over the millennia is unknown.
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 makes the conversion of energies more efficient. Galactus also wears a full-body suit of armor constructed from an unknown material of his own design that helps him to regulate and control his personal energy. If he were to remove the armor for an extended period, his vast cosmic energies could run rampant and potentially give him the appearance of a star. After his resurrection, he merged with the Destroyer armor to become the Destruction.
Galactus often employs a robot called the Punisher, which possesses vast superhuman strength, speed, and durability; to battle adversaries whose power levels do not warrant his direct attention. Galactus also keeps in his possession a weapon called the Ultimate Nullifier. This weapon has the ability to destroy any target 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. It was revealed in the Abraxas story arc that the Ultimate Nullifier may be an aspect of Galactus himself.
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 a mile in diameter) which is capable of trans-light speeds and inter-dimensional travel. Galactus has even on rare occasions been shown to travel in his solar system-sized Worldship, Taa II.
- 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 disease. The sun transformed Galan into Galactus. (Note: The Sixth Cosmos was not involved in this original origin story.)
- 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 Universe who bonded with him and they passed on into the next cycle as Galactus.
- 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 Universe who bonded with him and they passed on into the next cycle as Galactus.
- 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 Galactus' universe and created him.
- The Black Winter is a cosmic entity that feeds on entire universes. It destroyed Galan's original universe and spared him with the intent of making Galan (as Galactus) his herald.
- Galactus had devoured countless worlds, among them:
- Galactus does not have a 'true form' because he is "no longer a being in the absolute, physical sense", "each mind that views him struggles as best as it can to perceive that unknowable force as an image it can comprehend" (according to Galacta, she and her father seem to wear purple because "that's merely what your crude little cortexes perceive," due to "the colour's royalty symbolism" from "ancient mythopoetic cultural sludge encrusting your merely mortal minds"). This is the same "neurocensoring FX" that causes the mortal brain to see "Kirby crackles" ("odd black circles in/around [it] ... artifacts from your mortal brain's inability to directly perceive Power Cosmic reality distortion).
- The people of Earth-616 have used Galactus' likeness to market a number of products, among them; toys, burgers, amusement parks, and laxatives.
- 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.
- Galactus' real name Galan might have been based on the word galan from the bible verses which means "Live Long and Prosper".
- Jack Kirby didn't originally intend to have Galactus reappearing 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.
- When plotting the end of his run in Ultimates², writer Al Ewing originally planned for Galactus to sacrifice his status as the Lifebringer in order to save Eternity, with the intention to make of the character's journey in the story a tragedy. Having grown fond of writing Galactus' new form, Ewing decided to scrap that idea.
- Galactus' appearance and existence is derived from his Fourth Cosmos template, the Archetype of Evil called What-Must-Be, who has an Archetype of Good form called "What-Can-Be" that resembles Galactus' Lifebringer form.
- Odin speculated that Galactus might have been a renegade Celestial before learning his origin.
- 438 appearance(s) of Galan (Earth-616)
- 14 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Galan (Earth-616)
- 156 minor appearance(s) of Galan (Earth-616)
- 356 mention(s) of Galan (Earth-616)
- 16 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Galan (Earth-616)
- 4 invocation(s) of Galan (Earth-616)
- 474 image(s) of Galan (Earth-616)
- 41 quotation(s) by or about Galan (Earth-616)
- 8 victim(s) killed by Galan (Earth-616)
- 8 item(s) used/owned by Galan (Earth-616)