Galactus is probably my favorite of Marve's Cosmic Pantheon. He is certainly one of the most powerful beings in all of the Marvel U (the most powerful would be The Living Tribunal). Galactus is a survivor of the last universe, which was destroyed in a "Big Crunch". Originally called Galaan, he was a scientist from the planet Taa. He attempted to escape the destruction of his universe in a space vessel, but was caught up in the cataclysm anyway. As the last sentient being in the universe he was joined to the Sentience of the dying Universe and managed to survive through the Big Bang, albeit in a whole new form. After gestating in something like a cosmic egg for a few billion year, Galactus emerged.
Galactus is able to channel a force called the Power Cosmic. This is what gives him his god-like abilities. He has been seen using this power for molecular reconstruction, matter transmutation, teleportation - of himself and objects of any size, energy projection, the creation of impenetrable force fields and inter-dimensional portals and cosmic awareness to name a few. He has been known to re-create entire planets and to raise the dead. He can even manipulate with a being's soul. He always imbues his heralds with a small fraction of the Power Cosmic, which is more than enough for any mortal to be unstoppable in their search for sustenance.
One thing that most beings in the Marvel universe don't understand is that Galactus is not exactly a villain, at least he's no more a villain than a tornado or tsunami. He's a force of nature and necessary to the balance of life in the universe. To survive, Galactus must consume the life energy of entire planets. As you can imagine this does not make him popular. In his incredibly long life he has devastated countless worlds and destroyed untold civilizations, but he takes no joy in this. He understands his place in the cosmos and thinks no more of consuming a planet than one would of destroying an ant hill. Galactus is beyond reproach and beyond anyone's opinion. Galactus is, and must be.
This does of course not mean that he hasn't tried to limit the amount of destruction he causes. Being a scientist AND a god has enabled Galactus to develop the most advanced technology in all of the Marvel Universe. His suit and World Ship are specifically designed to extract every last big of energy and convert it to his use as efficiently as possible. He has even tried to find alternate forms of sustenance (like the Infinity Gems), but nothing has ever held his unending hunger at bay like planet energy.
Galactus' home, the mobius strip-shaped Taa II, is also known as The Worldship. It's a fitting name as the vessel is easily the size of an entire solar system. Once he has been signaled by his herald, Galactus will take a smaller vessel, only about the size of a moon, to the planet to begin siphoning and converting the planet's energy.
Galactus has had many heralds, the Silver Surfer being the most famous, but he was not the first. Considering that he is a god, it is fitting to have someone announce his imminent arrival (which also allows more advanced civilizations some time to flee). The main reason for having a herald is to have someone searching out suitable planets for consumption, two heads are better than one after all.
His herald's have included:
- The Fallen One
- The Silver Surfer
- The Destroyer Armor
- Nova (Frankie Raye)
- Red Shift
- Johnny Storm
I could go on and on about Galactus, but I wanted to give a nice overview of him and his abilities. He will pop up quite often in future Cosmic Cognizance postings, as he's an important part of the Marvel Cosmos, so you will learn more about his as we move along. Next time though, I think I'll move on to some of the Abstracts. Now there are some wild and interesting beings, but they pop up so rarely that I will probably group a bunch of them together in one post. Stay tuned!