In Marvel Comics, there are few beings in the Marvel Universe who are as destructive or powerful as Galactus, the World Devourer. Seen by Marvel’s heroes as an armored giant bigger than most planets, Galactus is a massive force to be reckoned with, who consumes entire worlds if he’s feeling peckish. Who is Marvel’s Galactus, and what are his origins and powers?
Galactus wasn’t always a giant hungering cosmic entity with the ability to pull off blue and pink armor. Before the Big Bang and the beginning of the known universe, Galactus hailed from a precursor universe. At that time, he was known as Galan of the planet Taa. However, a then-unknown destructive force began destroying worlds in its wake including Taa, leading to Galan and other survivors’ attempt to escape the death of their world. However, they were caught in the events of the Big Bang, leaving Galan as the only survivor.
Galan survived due to his bonding with the Sentience of the Universe, which transformed him into Galactus, a World Devourer who must consume the energies of planets in order to sustain his own existence within the cosmos. Galactus would consume worlds regardless of whether or not they were inhabited, caring only about the hunger that drove him. Naturally, this makes Galactus quite the malicious and threatening force in the Marvel Universe, especially when he set his sights on Earth. Galactus was lead to Earth by his herald known as the Silver Surfer, whom he had employed and imbued with the Power Cosmic. Silver Surfer’s job was to locate new worlds for Galactus in exchange for sparing the Surfer’s own world. However, Surfer found allies in the Fantastic Four and was convinced to rebel against the World Devourer. With the Surfer’s help, Mr. Fantastic came into possession of the Ultimate Nullifier, one of the few pieces of technology that could defeat Galactus. As a result, Galactus kept his distance from Earth, though he would trap his former herald on Earth for a time.
Galactus would continue to be a destructive force in the Marvel Universe, consuming planets across the cosmos, which often put him in conflict with many Marvel heroes among the stars. However, at one point his entire being and motivations were reversed by the Ultimates, turning him into a Lifebringer instead of a Devourer, restoring worlds he had once razed and consumed. This didn’t last long, however, as it was revealed that Galactus actually serves as a corrective force in the Marvel Universe, helping achieve cosmic order and balance with the worlds he destroys.
Some fans might not know, but Galactus’ form is actually fluid and unknown, appearing differently to whoever sees him in a form that they can comprehend (most often resembling a being that resembles their own race). This is why readers and the heroes of Earth see Galactus in the form of a giant armored man.
When Galactus consumes a planet, the energy he takes in and absorbs gets converted, which in turn fuels his powers dubbed the Power Cosmic. With said Power Cosmic, Galactus is able to achieve a number of great feats such as energy projection, the ability to change his size, telepathy, telekinesis, teleportation, transmuting matter, force fields, and the creation, manipulation, and resurrection of life to name a few out of a plethora. He’s also able to imbue others with the Power Cosmic, which he does when he’s chooses a new Herald, such as the Silver Surfer or Terrax. Galactus also has possessed an array of advanced technologies aboard his space station Taa II, which he named after his former homeworld.
In recent comics like Donny Cates’ Thor, Galactus crashed down onto the kingdom of Asgard, demanding the help of its new king Thor, the God of Thunder. According to the World Devourer, the star plague known as the Black Winter was coming for the Marvel Universe, revealed to be the very same plague that destroyed Galactus’ own universe and homeworld. Thor agrees to aid Galactus in his search to find worlds that might give him enough energy to combat and hopefully defeat the Black Winter. Surprisingly, Galactus transforms Thor into his new Herald of Thunder with the Power Cosmic.
It’s revealed later on in the series that Galactus had received a vision that Thor would be his undoing, hence his hopes that imbuing Thor with the Power Cosmic would allow him to control the King of Asgard and prevent his demise by the God of Thunder’s hand. However, Galactus underestimated Thor and his power as the King of Asgard, using his Asgardian power combined with the Power Cosmic to destroy and kill Galactus. Thor then used the energy in Galactus’ body like a bomb to blow up the Black Winter and save the universe…for now.
Despite his apparent death in the current Marvel Universe, Galactus still has an upcoming story left to be told: there’s still Fortnite’s Nexus War. Nexus War is the title of the latest season of the popular battle royale game, which has joined with Marvel Comics for an epic crossover event. While fans have been able to don Marvel-themed skins and employ the powers of their favorite heroes in the game, there’s actually been an overarching comic narrative. Apparently, while Galactus and Thor were in search of new worlds to consume to stop the Black Winter, they traveled through a rift that took them to the Fortnite island. Arriving before the World Devourer, Thor used the Bifrost Bridge to assemble a collection of heroes and villains from the Marvel Universe to aid him in his fight against the destructive cosmic being. Very soon, players will be able to join in the fight against Galactus as well in order to keep him from destroying the island for good.
Additionally, it’s possible Galactus could make his debut in the near future of the MCU. Disney now owns the rights to the frequent Fantastic Four villain, and Galactus would certainly be a big enough threat to rival that of Thanos the Mad Titan. Hopefully, he’d look a little bit better than FOX’s portrayal of the character in 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (he looked like a not so well received space cloud in that film). While he might be dead currently in the comics, there’s no way Galactus stays out of the game in the Marvel Universe for long. He’s far too powerful and hungry to stay dead.