The cosmic entity feared throughout the universe as Galactus has, on occasion, employed certain individuals with the task of finding him suitable worlds for consumption. Galactus would empower his chosen minion with a portion of the power cosmic granting him enormous abilities such as flight, superhuman strength and endurance, energy manipulation, and even matter manipulation. His heralds are also capable of traveling at the speed of light, and surviving in space indefinitely. Upon finding a world with the appropriate energies to sustain him temporarily, a herald of Galactus would summon his master and await his arrival.
The first known individual to serve him was none other than Norrin Radd, the Silver Surfer. Norrin Radd was one of the few beings who chose to assist Galactus in his never-ending search to satisfy his insatiable hunger in order to spare his home world of Zenn-La. In Norrin Radd’s case, Galactus removed any feelings of guilt over what he was doing in order to make him a more efficient herald. However, after leading Galactus to countless planets, both inhabited and uninhabited, the Silver Surfer eventually found his way to Earth. His contact with humans, specifically Alicia Masters and the Fantastic Four, convinced the Surfer to turn against his master leaving Galactus no choice but to punish his herald and travel the stars alone once more.
Soon after, Gabriel Lan, a captain of a Xanadrian space vessel, became the herald known as Air-Walker. Lan was killed protecting his master from the alien race called the Ovoids and was replaced by a robot that housed his essence. Air-Walker led Galactus to Earth once more and his robotic body was destroyed by the Fantastic Four. This forced Galactus to choose another herald in Firelord. However, after a brief alliance with the mighty Thor, the Norse God of thunder convinced Galactus to free Firelord from his service in exchange for the Asgardian construct, the Destroyer. Unfortunately, the Destroyer armor was stolen back by Loki, God of mischief.
Eventually striking a deal with the Fantastic Four, Galactus chose to save the Earth in return for a new herald. The Four found a herald who, unlike the Silver Surfer, was not apprehensive about destroying lives. Terrax was born and his desire for power was almost as great as Galactus’ hunger. Terrax’s own desires led him to ignore his master’s commands and in the end, he tried to escape his servitude. This only angered Galactus and, after empowering Dazzler with the power cosmic and using her to find his missing herald, Terrax was stripped of his powers and abandoned. Now finding himself back on Earth and terribly weakened, Galactus had to feed. If it wasn’t for Frankie Raye, who sacrificed herself the same way the Silver Surfer had done before her to save his world, the Earth may have been destroyed. Galactus gave her a portion of the power cosmic, enhancing her already awesome powers, and Nova was now herald to the World Devourer.
Nova didn’t think anything of leading Galactus to inhabited planets until the Silver Surfer taught her that all life is precious. Slowly turning away from her master’s influence, Nova was dismissed, and Galactus took on a new herald. Finding a completely loyal and murderous individual in the being called Morg, Galactus was satisfied his new herald would outshine all that came before. The Silver Surfer was determined to stop Morg from dealing death throughout the cosmos and recruited all other former heralds to stop him. An epic battle followed, leaving both Nova and Morg dead, and Firelord and Air-Walker to act as heralds to Galactus.
Some time later, Galactus found a new herald in the enigmatic Red Shift, but an encounter with the Silver Surfer caused Galactus to meet his apparent demise. Eventually resurrected, Galactus traveled to Earth in search of a group of alien survivors determined to hide planets from his notice. Galactus took the Human Torch, who temporarily switched powers with the Invisible Woman, as his herald in order to prevent their plans from becoming reality. With the help of Quasar, Galactus was transformed back into his powerless humanoid form of Galan, but he exiled himself to prevent the destruction of Earth when his powers did return.
Nevertheless, Galactus’ powers were restored, and he took a new herald to search out worlds for him to devour. Stardust, an extremely powerful and virtually indestructible entity, wanted nothing more than to please his master and unquestionably did his bidding. It wasn’t until a conflict arose between him, Beta Ray Bill, and a demon named Asteroth, that Stardust was tested like never before. Galactus even empowered another defeated foe of Beta Ray Bill’s, Alpha Ray, with the power cosmic to defeat the demon. In the end, Stardust returned to Galactus’ side but was released from service, so the Silver Surfer could be taken as herald once more in order to oppose the forces of Annihilus. After the Annihilation Wave was destroyed, Stardust proved his love for Galactus by offering the last of his race, the Ethereals, to nourish him for a short respite. Galactus took Stardust back as a herald to work side by side with the Surfer until such a time where Stardust may have to defend Galactus against a traitorous Silver Surfer.
* Note: It has been revealed that the very first herald to Galactus is known as the Fallen One, but he was imprisoned by Galactus possibly because of his corrupt nature. The Fallen One has escaped imprisonment many times over and was recently allied with Thanos until his death. It has yet to be revealed when and where the Fallen One will turn up next.