Occupation: Planet Destroyer
throughout the universe, including Earth
Legal Status: None
Place of Birth: Planet Taa
(as Galan) Unknown, (as Galactus) None
Known Relatives: None, although
Galactus has spoken figuratively of Eternity and Death as his relations
Base of Operations: Mobile, via his worldship,
throughout the known universe
First Appearance: FANTASTIC FOUR #48
History: Galactus is the sole survivor of the
universe that existed prior to the creation of the current
universe. Originally Galactus was a humanoid named Galan,
who was born 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.
However, this universe was in its final stages of collapse.
Originally, 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 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
Taa's civilization was one of the last still in existence.
Lethal radiation caused by the death of this universe
was wiping out life on nearby planets. Galan, a space
explorer, was dispatched to travel through the cosmos
to find a means of saving Taa, but he found none. The
radiation then 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 traveling in a starship straight into the
"Cosmic Egg." As the starship approached its
destination, radiation killed all the passengers except
Galan, who strangely found himself filled with new energy.
The sentience of the dying universe, contained within
the "Cosmic Egg," prevented Galen and his starship
from being destroyed by the "Egg's" tremendous
gravitational forces and heat. (Presumably, this was a
previous incarnation of Eternity, the embodiment of the
life forces of the current universe.) The dying universe's
sentience contacted Galan, telling him that they both
would die, but that both would be reborn, and that Galan
would thus become Galactus, ravager of worlds. The "Cosmic
Egg" absorbed Galan into itself.
There is no way of determining how much time passed between
the death of that universe and the creation of the current
one. But finally the "Cosmic Egg" underwent
another "Big Bang," thus creating the current
universe. Eternity and Death, the ethereal embodiments
of the new universe, were created in this "Big Bang,"
and the being that had been Galan was simultaneously hurled
outward in his recreated starship. (It is because all
three were created simultaneously that Galactus refers
to Eternity and Death as his siblings.)
The nascent Galactus drifted in his 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 one of the Watchers, an ancient race of
beings who had undertaken to observe the events of the
universe. This Watcher, who was not Uatu, the Watcher
who observes Earth, drew the starship down to his planet
to study it. There he learned that the being within it
had vast, growing power, and would eventually have to
consume worlds to satiate his hunger for energy. Realizing
the danger the nascent Galactus posed to the cosmos, this
Watcher considered destroying the being before he harnessed
his full power, but instead decided to abide by the Watchers'
oath of non-interference, and let the nascent Galactus
depart in his starship.
The nascent Galactus learned how to use his vast power,
and created a suit of armor to help him regulate it. He
then transformed the starship into a kind of incubation
chamber, where Galactus spent centuries evolving into
his current form. Finally, the incubation ship drifted
into orbit around the inhabited planet 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, his incubation finished, emerged, destroyed
the fleet, and then, hungering for energy, consumed the
biospheric energy of Archeopia. A small fleet of Archeopian
ships managed to escape, but all life on the planet was
destroyed. (The Archeopian race would later be fully exterminated
by the living planet Ego).
Over the following millennia Galactus built himself an
immense starbase, the world-ship he calls Taa II, which
engulfs the Archeopian solar system. Galactus also sought
out planets rich in certain unknown energies that he consumed
to sustain his life. During these many millennia Galactus
consumed only planets uninhabited by sentient lifeforms,
except for Archeopia, and many centuries passed between
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 like
himself when he was Galan, and, believing himself to be
a higher kind of being than they, is willing to destroy
their lives to continue his own. Moreover, he is aware
that he was created to fulfill an as yet unrevealed purpose
that he believes will ultimately compensate the universe
for all the destruction he wreaks.
At one point Galactus threatened to destroy the planet
Zenn-La, home of a civilized 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
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 kill
even Galactus. Galactus was forced to vow to spare Earth,
and he punished the Surfer by erecting an energy barrier
that prevented the Surfer from leaving Earth.
Despite his pledge to Richards, 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 destroy Earth, Galactus had
gone so long without "feeding'' that his energies
were severely waning, and a large number of Earth's superhuman
defenders actually succeeded in defeating him in battle.
Galactus lay dying from lack of energy, but Reed Richards
saved his life. 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 continues to prey upon other worlds, and recently
he 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.
At some point afterward, Galactus was targeted by the
alien organization Elders of the Universe, who believed
his death would trigger a Big Bang and recreate reality.
His former herald, Silver Surfer, saved him.
Galactus was believed to have developed romantic feelings
for his herald Nova. 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 heralds, leaving
Galactus alone again.
More recently, Galactus' appetite became such that he
would only eat on planets of sentient life. He began to
consume more and more frequently, developing a mania.
He created a new herald, Red Shift, to help him succeed
in this. He approached Earth once more, and had to be
driven off by a large contingent of Earth's superheroes,
and Red Shift was defeated. Finally, he was repulsed by
the Silver Surfer, who agreed once more to become Galactus'
herald and to search for planets, this time of 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 planet
devourer. The Shi'ar quickly joined 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, 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. As Reed Richards
noted, the energy would radiate forever outward, so he
could never again reform.
Galactus' death allowed the being known as Abraxas to
emerge from the concept of Eternity that embodies destruction.
He soon began to cut a swath of terror through various
alternate realities, including the murder of other versions
of Galactus. He used the head of 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 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, the clues to the
location of which were scattered among alternate realities.
Ultimately, the Four found the Nullifer when Abraxas suddenly
appeared and stole it from them. Abraxas called forth
an army of Novas to attack Earth, but 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 cosmic powers with those of his sister
Valeria, resurrecting Galactus and thus restoring balance
to Eternity, at the cost of burning out his powers. Galactus
took the Nullifer from Abraxas, giving it to Mister Fantastic,
who used the weapon, destroying himself and Abraxas. The
result served to re-create reality in which Abraxas never
existed, and since all that was had ended, all that is
was realigned, allowing Mister Fantastic to survive along
with all those who died in Abraxas' reign of terror.
Height: 28 ft. 9 in.
Weight: 18.2 tons
Unusual features: Galactus's height diminishes by as much as
10.9 feet when he is greatly in need of life-giving energy.
Although Galactus is usually represented in humanoid
form, each sentient being perceives him having a form
resembling his own. Hence, humanoids see Galactus in humanoid
form, while a Skrull, for example, would perceive Galactus
as resembling a Skrull. Although as Galan, Galactus was
indeed a humanoid; his true current form is unknown. It
is unclear why beings from different sentient races perceive
Strength Level: At full power, Galactus possesses
Class 100 strength, enabling him to lift well over 100
tons, and he can use his vast power to increase his strength
immeasurably beyond that. However, Galactus invariably
relies on his energy powers in combat rather than his
Known Superhuman Powers: Galactus possesses cosmic
power beyond the abilities of human beings to measure.
Galactus is able to use the vast energies within him for
an incalculable number of effects. Some of his most rudimentary
abilities are the molecular restructuring or conversion
of matter, the projection of energy with enormous concussive
force, the teleportation of objects across space or even
time, and the erection of invincible energy-screens and
force fields. Even his heralds, whom he has endowed with
a small fraction of his ever-renewing power, are able
to manipulate matter and energy in ways far beyond human
Galactus wears a full-body suit of armor constructed
from an unknown extraterrestrial metal that permits him
to regulate and control his personal energy. If he were
to remove the armor, the vast cosmic energies that empower
him would run rampant, with the potential to turn him
into a small sun.
Galactus requires unknown energies obtainable only from
a certain type of planet in order to sustain his life.
The suitable type of planet need not be one where life
is present, but it must have the potential to support
life. Although he is able to extract and absorb this energy
himself, he generally employs a complicated array of equipment
to perform the conversion process for him. The equipment
is not only more efficient than he is, but also enables
him to avoid the needless expenditure of energy involved
in the process. Sometimes Galactus drains the energies
he needs from a planet while still leaving it barely habitable.
Other times he destroys all life and water on the planet
in the process, leaving its surface devastated and barren.
Most often his feeding process destroys the planet, reducing
it to space rubble. When Galactus was newly born in his
current form, the energy of a medium-size Earth-like planet
was enough to sustain him for over a century (using Earthly
measurements of time). Now, for unknown reasons, he needs
to feed about once a month. His body totally converts
the energy he absorbs for its life functions and bodily
activities without any waste products.
Galactus is telepathic, able to scan the thoughts of
any mind he has yet encountered, no matter how alien or
advanced it was.
Weapons: Galactus often employs a robot called
the Punisher, which possesses great superhumanoid strength,
to battle adversaries whose power levels do not rival
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.