Published August 17, 2023

Who Is Galactus? The Official Marvel Guide

What do you know about the Devourer of Worlds? Read on to find out everything you’ve ever wondered about Galactus!

As long as sentient beings have looked to the sky, they have wondered about their ultimate demise. Many go peacefully or violently depending on the circumstances of their birth while others find themselves fueling the cosmic entity known as Galactus.

Known as the Devourer of Worlds, Galactus has become one of the most feared beings in all of existence as he travels from planet to planet, gobbling them up with no care for the inhabitants and only a concern for his own appetites. As such, many questions surround the World-Eater and here are the answers!


Where did Galactus come from?

The character now known as Galactus began life as Galan of Taa. Hailing from the reality that existed before the current one, he and a group of fellow adventurers attempted to explore a "Cosmic Egg." Galan was the only survivor and merged with a being called the Sentience of the Cosmos. This new entity made its way into the next reality and floated for eons, gestating until Galactus emerged.

Why does Galactus hunger?

Like any living being, Galactus consumes because he is hungry. Given the enormous amount of Power Cosmic coursing through his being, he must satiate himself with vast quantities of energy, hence the devouring of entire planets and their life energies. Over the eons, he has developed machines that help break the cosmic orb down for efficient feeding. Given his cosmic nature, many have claimed that Galactus is part of the fabric of reality and must exist for everything to continue functioning.  

Who are Galactus' Heralds?

At various times throughout his lifespan, Galactus has granted a piece of the Power Cosmic to individuals whose sole purpose is to find suitable planets for him to consume. The first was The Fallen One, a being who betrayed his master. The next one, Silver Surfer, offered to serve in exchange so that the Devourer would not eat his home planet of Zenn-La. He was followed by Air-Walker, who became a close confidante to Galactus who replaced him with a robot version after the original died in service.

Firelord came in to replace his fellow Xandarian, but did not serve for long. From there, Galactus changed gears and went with a more dangerous entity named Terrax the Tamer. He was followed by Earth-born Frankie Raye who became Nova and then Morg the Executioner, Red Shift and Stardust. At various times Heralds have come back to serve Galactus and even work in tandem with one another. Heroes like Human Torch and Thor have also been Herald of Galactus at various times.

When did Galactus first encounter the Fantastic Four?

Galactus made his first appearance in the 1966 all-time classic story found in FANTASTIC FOUR #48-50. In it, the Herald Silver Surfer found a new suitable meal for his master: Earth! After unsuccessful attempts at stopping th invader, the team received help from both Uatu the Watcher and the Surfer himself. The former showed Johnny Storm how to find the Ultimate Nullifier, while the latter acted against his boss to save humanity. The two events worked in tandem to make the Devourer leave Earth behind unharmed, though he stripped the Silver Surfer of his Heraldry and imprisoned him on Earth. 

What is the connection between Galactus and the Eternals?

While Galactus does seem to share some visual qualities with the Celestials—the gods of the Eternals—there is no known direct link between them at this time aside from their shared status as godlike cosmic entities.

However, in ALL-NEW INVADERS, the Kree made the Eternals so mad that Ikaris and Thena decided to use the God's Whisper to subdue Galactus and place him in the Negative Zone! Ultimately, the Invaders put a stop to this plan. 

How did Galactus go from Devourer to Lifebringer?

When the Ultimates began, their self-described mission was to solve the universe's biggest problems. They hypothesized that Galactus did not spend enough time incubating in his egg, so they tracked one down in an alternate universe and forced him into it. The process worked, evolving Galactus into the Lifebringer, who could restore dead planets. He even joined the Ultimates and fought the Eternity War to save all of existence.

Galactus remained as the Lifebringer for a time, but Silver Surfer asked him to destroy a planet ruled by Ultron. The Earth villain had attained the Soul Stone and intended to use it to take over the entire galaxy. Galactus ultimately agreed, but that decision returned him to his Devourer status.

What are the best Galactus comics to read?

What better place to start than at the beginning with the Devourer's first Earthly encounter in FANTASTIC FOUR #48-50?! Just a few years later, Galactus made trouble for the Thunder God and Ego the Living Planet in THOR #160-161. Later on, Galactus struggles with his own mortality before consuming the Skrull Throneworld in FANTASTIC FOUR #257, an event that continues to ripple in consequence throughout the cosmos.

In 1992, Galactus became an active player in the INFINITY WAR crossover. Over a decade later, he and his Heralds played major roles in ANNIHILATION, the epic that rejuvenated cosmic stories in 2006. A year before that, Johnny Storm's stint as Galactus' Herald ended with the Devourer spending some time on Earth as a human in FANTASTIC FOUR #520-523. You can also read the entire Lifebringer saga in ULTIMATES and ULTIMATES 2.

What is Galactus up to now?

For a cosmic constant, Galactus had been pretty busy the past few years. He spent some time as Doctor Doom's prisoner on Earth in FANTASTIC FOUR #5-9 before consuming planets in the Mystic Realms (DOCTOR STRANGE #12-17). From there, he worked directly with Thor in an effort to fend off the Black Winter, though the adventure ended with the Devourer's death (THOR #1-6).

The God of Thunder incorporated Galactus' remains into the very fabric of Asgard. As the Heralds fought to free their Master, the Destroyer—which itself served as Herald for a short time—merged with Galactus to become The Destruction which served its purpose during the Reckoning War (FANTASTIC FOUR #40-45). Afterwards, Galactus returned to his normal self and the Silver Surfer agreed to be his guide, not his Herald.

To discover all of Galactus' cosmic exploits, head on over to Marvel Unlimited and started reading all of his epic stories!


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