Of all the characters in the Marvel Universe, Galactus is probably one of the most beloved and hated of them all. His purpose is to seek out new life and destroy it by consuming the very energy that makes life special. For all the destruction he has caused, you wouldn't think he had a big fan base, but the readers have always loved him. Despite his purple armor and spiked helmet, fans have been reading this character for more than 40 years and his actions in the Marvel Universe have shaped events as much or more than those of Thanos, which is saying something.
With all that has been published and written about Galactus, there is still a lot that isn't known about him. How well do we know this unstoppable force of nature within the cosmos and what do we really know about his body? We decided it was high time we analyzed the things that make Galactus an interesting character by looking into what makes him who he is. Why does he wear that armor and what else does he do that's strange and unusual?
We seek to answer these questions and more with this list of 20 Strange Facts About Galactus’ Body
20 HE'S ALWAYS HANGRY
If there's one thing people know about Galactus: Devourer of Worlds, it's that he consumes planets. Galactus travels the universe from planet to planet consuming them to help sustain his life force. In order to get what he needs, he must consume planets teeming with life or those that have the potential to host sentient life in the future. The key element here is life— he must consume the "life energy" of sentient beings throughout the universe or perish. As a result, he is almost always talking about his hunger. Frankly, it's almost all he talks about.
Galactus' need to consume life is the reason he never stops for long at places like Jupiter or Pluto. There are literally billions of worlds he would consume if they only had lifeforms on them, but not just any hunk of rock in space will do.
He has even expended great amounts of energy to create and empower heralds who travel the cosmos hunting for planets that meet his needs. One such herald, the Silver Surfer, brought Galactus to Earth back in Fantastic Four #48-50, written by Stan Lee and penciled by Jack Kirby in 1966. Since that time, he has been a major threat to pretty much the entirety of the Marvel Universe thanks to his insatiable hunger.
19 HE HAS PSYCHIC AND PSYCHOKINETIC POWERS
When it comes to superpowers, Galactus pretty much has them all - he's on the level of a god. One ability that he employs often, but is rarely discussed, is his psychic power set. He has shown his psychic powers in a number of ways, but most often, he communicates with his heralds across the universe with a mere thought.
You might think it has something to do with his iconic helmet, but those psychic powers are all within him.
In addition to psychic communication, he also possesses psychokinetic powers that would make Jean Grey green with envy.
Galactus has demonstrated his psychokinetic abilities by moving objects of any size and mass with his mind. He also has the ability to alter the minds of others. When he transformed Norrin Radd into the Silver Surfer, he altered his memories and even erased his emotions so he would be able to undertake his mission without remorse - one of his more notable failures, certainly, given Silver Surfer's heroic transformation.
In addition to altering someone's mind, he can project images into a person's thoughts, making them see whatever he wants. This may have something to do with how he is perceived by lesser beings.
18 HE ATE THE INFINITY GEMS
Galactus has never had much of a problem with his actions in the universe. He sees other living creatures as mere insects whose sole purpose is to sate his hunger. While this doesn't bother him like it might a rational, mortal person, he wouldn't mind not having to deal with his unending hunger once and for all. He came up with a plan to solve this problem by assembling the Infinity Gems and consuming them. His plan came to fruition in Jim Starlin's Thanos #4, published in 2004.
The only problem, it turned out he was manipulated into combining the Infinity Gems by an entity even more dangerous than him: Hunger.
Hunger was the multiverse equivalent of Galactus. It consumed entire realities instead of simply eating a planet here or there. Galactus was influenced into combining the Gems by Hunger so he could be released, leaving him with the power and ability to completely consume all of reality. Galactus was able to use the combined energy of the Infinity Gems, Thanos, and his life-form consuming machines to thwart Hunger's plan.
Ultimately, the Infinity Gems were scattered across the universe and Galactus was left without the means to stop his unending hunger. The plan never worked out, but it's telling of his physiology that he could consume the Infinity Gems, seeing as most people can't even hold them.
17 HE WAS EATEN BY ZOMBIES
For some wacky stories, there's What If...? but for others, there's the vast Marvel Multiverse, which allows for variations of characters you wouldn't think possible, like zombie versions of your favorite superheroes!
Marvel introduced "Marvel Zombies" in the pages of Ultimate Fantastic Four when Reed Richards stumbles across a universe devastated by a Zombie plague. In that universe, Sentry crashes in New York City from space and immediately infects the Avengers and other superheroes on the scene. The plague continues to spread to almost every superhero and villain on the planet. These superpowered zombies quickly consume every "normal" human on the planet, leaving them hungry for more.
Fortunately, the Silver Surfer finds Earth around this time and proves to be a wholesome snack everyone can enjoy. When Galactus arrives to eat the planet and ask for the whereabouts of his herald, he is attacked by the Marvel Zombies, who relentlessly attack and eat the Devourer of Worlds!
For whatever reason, Galactus can be eaten and when he is, the Power Cosmic is transferred to all the zombies who ate him. They end up taking his place and leave Earth to consume all life in the cosmos, which doesn't take them very long at all.
16 HE CAME FROM A COSMIC EGG
Galactus' origins had him begin life in another universe only to find himself the lone survivor as he entered into this one. The means by which he survived the Big Crunch/destruction of his entire universe and came into being in this one was a Cosmic Egg. In the Marvel Universe, a Cosmic Egg is an incredibly powerful artifact, which it would have to be to create someone like Galactus.
In the case of Galactus, his Cosmic Egg was created thanks to the Phoenix Force of his universe.
As it was condensing into the Big Crunch that would become the Cosmic Egg meant to explode into the new universe, the Phoenix Force spoke to Galen and brought him into the Egg.
Eventually, the Big Bang resulted in the Cosmic Egg exploding, which sent all the matter and energy outwards. Galan was reborn as Galactus and was resurrected alongside his ship though he remained inert passing through space as life began to evolve all around him. His craft crashed into a planet and he emerged as a being of pure energy. He reformed his starship and transformed it into an incubation chamber that would continue to evolve his physical form over hundreds of years before he could emerge as the Galactus known today.
15 HIS ARMOR ACTUALLY LIMITS HIS POWER
When Galactus emerged from his crashed vessel on an unnamed planet in the new universe, he was a being of pure, raw energy. That presented something of a problem seeing as the Power Cosmic is so incredibly powerful that, if it weren't contained, it would wreak havoc throughout the universe. Because of this, Galactus realized he needed to contain his energies within some form of armor, so he set about creating it before moving out into the universe to consume whatever life he came across.
This makes his armor somewhat unique: instead of protecting him from external threats, it protects the universe from his own body.
It boggles the mind somewhat to think about how he could come up with armor that would actually be able to do this, due to his shifting appearance. Despite this little hiccup, it appears he made the armor using the Power Cosmic, which means he shaped the armor out of nothing - using the very forces he needed to contain.
Whatever it is ultimately made of, it does appear to retain a similar shape, no matter what form he appears in, and while he is almost always wearing his helmet, he does take it off from time to time.
14 HE WAS A WEIRD CLOUD
As we mentioned, Galactus appearance can shift, for reasons we'll get into later, but things got a little strange in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. In the film, the Silver Surfer made his way to Earth to prepare it for consumption by his master, but instead of seeing a giant purple man in armor, an even larger sentient cloud of dust showed up to threaten the planet. It was weird and fans weren't too happy about the filmmaker's decision, but it turns out they had a reason for it.
The film was meant to be the second in a trilogy, which would have left the following movie, tentatively titled Silver Surfer for a big reveal. The cloud was supposed to be a threatening darkness that was hiding something - and we did see an outline of Galactus' iconic helmet at its center. In the third film, the true form was going to be revealed and it would have been a giant purple armor-wearing humanoid.
Unfortunately, the film didn't do so well at the box office and the following film was scrapped. It's a shame too— if they had just been able to make Silver Surfer, director Tim Story could have been saved from a lot of online vitriol.
13 HE WAS A HIVE OF DRONE ROBOTS
What If...? gave us Galactus as an Elvis impersonator and Ultimate Fantastic Four showed us what happens when Galactus is eaten by zombies, but that's not the "standard-issue" Galactus for that universe.
In Marvel Comics, the Ultimate Universe has its own Galactus and he isn't a single being of pure cosmic power, he's a swarm of rampaging drones. At least they are still purple. His origin story is far different in that universe as well. Instead of coming from a previous universe and gestating in a Cosmic Egg, Gah Lak Tus was created by the ancient Kree long ago.
Like most robotic drones in fiction, these guys got out of control and set about on a path of cosmic destruction.
Unlike the humanoid counterpart from Earth-616, Gah Lak Tus attacks psychically by sending out a broadcast that drives sentient lifeforms insane. When the swarm set its sights on Earth, it was up to Professor X to stop it with his psychic powers. Reed Richards chipped in by creating the Ultimate Nullifier, which he used to send the swarm back to the Big Bang, which should have destroyed it. Unfortunately, it only destroyed about 25% of the drones, which were later found by the regular Galactus, who made them his heralds.
12 HE MERGED WITH THE SILVER SURFER
Last Planet Standing was a five-issue miniseries written by Tom DeFalco and penciled by Pat Olliffe in 2006. The story took place in the MC2 universe (Earth-982) and revolved around Galactus making a final playfor Earth while moving to destroy the current universe and ignite a new Big Bang.
As he makes his way to Earth, the Great Powers of the Universe send a bolt of energy to destroy him, but Reed Richards uses his transdimensional cannon to stop it. He had planned on using the weapon, which only had a single shot, on Galactus, leaving Earth somewhat defenseless.
All the heroes of Earth stood up to Galactus, but it took the Silver Surer to defeat his herald Dominus, which gave him and Scarlet Witch an opening. Their combined attack (alongside everyone else) weakened Galactus enough that he nearly lost his life. For some reason, this leads to the Surfer and Galactus merging into a single being who declares himself to be full of the Power Essential.
This new being who was never given a proper name flew away from Earth, intent on repairing the damage caused by Galactus and becoming a guardian of life instead of one who takes it.
11 HE USED TO BE A MAN
Galactus wasn't always a gigantic, world-eating cosmic monster. At one time, he was little more than a man, but that was a very long time ago in a universe far, far away.
Galactus was once a mortal man called Galen of Taa.
He and his people existed in the universe that preceded the Big Bang, which created the current Marvel Universe. Galen was a scientist and a member of a species that had existed for a long time making his technology superior to anything we have today. When it became clear the universe was coming to an end thanks to a Big Crunch, Galen constructed a spaceship and set out to try and find a way to save his universe from certain destruction.
In his efforts, he was offered an opportunity to merge his being with the Sentience of the Universe, which enabled him to survive. This made him the sole survivor of the universe that came before all existence as we know it, but there was a cost.
Galen was cocooned within a Cosmic Egg where he underwent a metamorphosis that lasted billions of years. When the time was right, the Cosmic Egg hatched and the entity we now know as Galactus emerged along with his trademark hunger and need to consume the life force of other sentient beings.
10 HE CROSSED OVER WITH DC'S BRAINIAC AND BECAME GALACTIAC!
If you aren't familiar, Amalgam Comics was set up as a special publishing imprint between DC and Marvel Comics. The idea was to merge both universes into a shared where fans could finally see what a merging of DC characters with Marvel characters might look like. Some examples are the Iron Lantern, which combined Iron-Man and the Green Lantern, while Lobo the Duck saw the unlikely pairing of Lobo and Howard the Duck.
It was a fun way of reinterpreting the characters we all knew and loved in a new and interesting way so it should come as no surprise that two of the biggest bads in either universe joined into one called Galactiac!
Galactiac was the amalgam of both Braniac from DC and Galactus from Marvel. In keeping with the amalgamation concept, Galactiac travels the cosmos looking for intelligent life. When he finds a planet teeming with life, he drains it so that he can recharge his energy-cells, but instead of destroying the remaining world, he shrinks it so that it can be preserved for future study.
There are aspects of each character included, but regardless of his previous incarnations, Galactiac remains an immensely powerful cosmic being intent on the consumption of life-energy.
9 HE CAN TRANSFER THE POWER COSMIC TO OTHERS
One of Galactus' key features revolves around his use of chosen heralds who work for him.
When he was first introduced in Fantastic Four #48, the Silver Surfer filled this role, though his origin wasn't fully fleshed out until Marvel published The Silver Surfer #1 in 1968. When his home planet of Zenn-La was about to be consumed by Galactus, Norrin Radd flew to bargain with him. He offered his services to Galactus so his home would be spared— an offer Galactus quickly accepted. He placed his gigantic hand over the man and transferred his powers into him, making Norrin Radd the Silver Surfer.
The Surfer wasn't the first or last herald Galactus has used over the years.
His first herald, Tyrant, turned out to be one of the Surfer's main villains over the years. Over the years, Galactus has made heralds of numerous people, including Terrax the Tamer, Firelord, Destroyer, Nova, and even the Human Torch though this was only temporary.
The transfer of power to a herald appears to be permanent, though Galactus doesn't show any weakness resulting from the creation of a new herald. He can remove the Power Cosmic once he bestows it, but he hasn't done this in every case. When the Surfer rebelled against him, Galactus trapped him on Earth but left him otherwise empowered.
8 THE ONE THING HE FEARS
Galactus is the first living being in this universe, and the last from his former universe. He is responsible for maintaining the balance of life and mortality across the multiverse by consuming billions of people at a time. He is an unstoppable force of nature and threatens the lives of everyone int he universe, so it seems unimaginable that he would be afraid of anything.
There is truly only one thing Galactus fears and that is the device called the Ultimate Nullifier. The device was introduced in Fantastic Four #50 as a sort of deus ex machina used to stop him from consuming the Earth.
The device is considered to be the most powerful weapon in the Marvel Universe (this was pre-Infinity Gauntlet) and possesses the capability of rewriting existence as the user sees fit. If someone wanted to use it to remake the universe so that Galactus never existed, it wouldn't take more than a thought. It is not limited by time or even the actions of a single universe within the multiverse.
It is truly dangerous, which is why it was kept on Galactus' ship. The Silver Surfer helped the Fantastic Four find it and threaten Galactus with its use. Upon seeing it, he recoiled in fear and agreed to leave Earth forever.
7 HE WAS TURNED INTO AN ELVIS IMPERSONATOR
Marvel has never been unwilling to alter its characters and have a little fun. One of the vehicles for this exploration was the What If...? series of books. These allowed the writers to create new stories outside of canon that explored everything possible. In the first issue, Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four, which is what he set out to do in The Amazing Spider-Man #1.
The What If...? stories dealt with the changes to the characters, but also how their actions altered the normal course of events as we now know them. The issues were "hosted" by The Watcher and were presented as if they took place in an alternate universe. Galactus was featured in a story that saw him turned into an Elvis Presley impersonator. Seriously.
It all went down in a story published in issue #34, "What if Thanos changed Galactus into a Human Being?"
Thanos used the Infinity Gauntlet to transform Galactus into an Elvis impersonator and sent him to Earth, where he became immensely popular.
He had the look and the sound to make it big in the United States. As his popularity was growing, Adam Warlock showed up with the Infinity Gauntlet and offered to change Galactus back into his former self. He refused the offer and continued to perform as Earth's new Elvis, Aaron Presley, which is clearly better than having to endlessly travel the cosmos trying to appease an unending hunger.
6 HIS BODY ITSELF IS THE POWER COSMIC
Galactus emerged from the Cosmic Egg as a being of pure energy, but he maintained a physical form of sorts. The special power coursing through him is called the Power Cosmic and there isn't a lot that's known about it. As far as we can tell, Galactus doesn't just use the Power Cosmic, he is the Power Cosmic.
He has shown an ability to transfer a small portion of this power to lesser beings so they can become his heralds, but he can take it away if necessary. When he gives the Power Cosmic to a sentient lifeform, it takes the place of their soul and alters their body completely to be able to hold and use it, which just goes to show how powerful it truly is.
With the Power Cosmic, Galactus is, for all intents and purposes, a god. He spends his time consuming the life-forces of sentient beings, but he has also resurrected and created life when it suited him. He has destroyed entire solar systems but has also recreated destroyed planets with their entire populations left intact. The Power Cosmic appears to have no true limitations as it enables him and his heralds to do just about anything imaginable including traveling faster than the speed of light and flying through the cores of stars. Whatever its true nature, the Power Cosmic is an integral aspect of Galactus and it is contained within his body.
5 NO ONE KNOWS WHAT HE REALLY LOOKS LIKE
One of the most distinctive features for Galactus has to be the fact that he is a giant humanoid who wears clunky-looking purple armor. If you think about it, it's actually rather silly and doesn't make much sense.
Why is he a giant humanoid with a funky goatee when he could look like literally anything else and still be frightening to behold?
It turns out Galactus' appearance is rooted within the eye of the beholder. The reason for this is simple enough: Galactus' very nature is that he is an elemental force of the cosmos who cannot be perceived by lower sentient lifeforms.
Without being able to properly see what he looks like, our minds fill in the gaps based on our own physiology and religious beliefs. For a human, he appears as a humanoid god, but for other species, looks like whatever suits their theology and biology. When Reed Richards was put on trial for bringing Galactus back to life, it was revealed that each interstellar race saw Galactus as something different than what humans saw. Insectoids saw him as a giant spider-monster while robotic life saw him as a non-organic lifeform.
We do know he looked humanoid prior to incubating within the Cosmic Egg, but his real form as Galactus isn't truly known.
4 HE CAN CHANGE HIS SIZE
One of Galactus' most recognizable characteristics is that he is gigantic. There's a reason we are like insects to him— that's a good size comparison between humans and Galactus, but it seems his size isn't set in stone.
He can alter his size however he wants and has demonstrated this on a number of occasions. In ROM #27, written by Bill Mantlo and penciled by Sal Buscema in 1982, Galactus tried to take on the Dire Wraiths on their homeworld. They attacked with acid that dissolved his armor and world-consuming machinery. Not taking this as well as you might think, Galactus flew into a fit of rage and increased his size to that of the black star the planet orbited.
He isn't limited to increasing his size either— he can shrink whenever necessary. Granted, it isn't usually something he chooses to do as he prefers to tower over most lifeforms. In Fantastic Four #243, written and penciled by John Byrne, Galactus is defeated battling the Fantastic Four after his herald, Terrax rebelled against him. After he is weakened and knocked out, his body begins to noticeably shrink, which suggests his size is relative to the amount of energy he contains, but may also have to do with a conscious action to keep it that way.
3 HE HAS EATEN CELESTIAL BEINGS
Galactus has proven his ability to consume planets and all the life forms living upon them, but he isn't limited to eating your everyday species. If the need arises and he is hungry enough, Galactus can feast upon any living entity in the cosmos, which includes those you might not have considered possible.
In one story, Galactus becomes the target of seven Elders of the Universe who sought to end him the hopes it would ignite the creation of a new Big Bang, resulting in a new universe. They believed that they could become the lone survivors of the end of this universe and become even more powerful in the next.
Galactus wasn't happy about their plot so he ate five of them.
This ended up giving him indigestion and so he restored them to life, but he probably could have taken some cosmic antacid and stuck it out if he really wanted to.
In another story, he tried to eat the cosmic entity Epoch but was thwarted by the combined efforts of the Fantastic Four and Gravity. In the past, he increased his size to that of a star to try and eat Wraithworld (this failed), but that just goes to show he could easily eat a Celestial or any other cosmic being who got in his way.
2 HE COLLAPSED INTO A SINGULARITY
Galactus has a purpose in the multiverse and it involves a balance between life and mortality. If we wanted to know what happens in the far future where his appetites are concerned, Marvel hooked us up with Hercules: Twilight of a God, written by Boy Layton and penciled by Ron Lim. The miniseries told what happened when Galactus continued to eat and eat until he finally ate something that didn't agree with him.
After consuming much of the cosmos, Galactus ate a planet that led him to consume too much energy and he ended up collapsing into a black hole. This didn't stop his appetites though— like all black holes, he just kept sucking in everything that strayed too close.
He continued to grow and expand with the matter and energy he consumed until Hercules sacrificed himself to deliver a "White Hole Bomb" into the center of the Galactus Black Hole. The resulting explosion transformed him into a new being called Cosmos, the Bringer of Worlds. Instead of continuing his path of destruction of all life in the universe, his role was flipped and he brought life throughout the universe. This ultimately balanced out his previous actions, fulfilling his purpose of bringing balance in the multiverse.
1 THE UNIVERSE IS DOOMED WITHOUT HIM
It makes sense to assume most sentient beings in the universe fear and hate Galactus. He goes about destroying planets and consuming everyone living on them and you don't build a great reputation doing stuff like that. There have been times when people have banded together to try and stop or even end him - and in one instance, they succeeded.
In the miniseries, Galactus the Devourer in 1999, Galactus loses his life after the Silver Surfer turned his life-force consuming machines on him. When he perished, he turned into a star, but that wasn't the end of the story. His death allowed the being known as Abraxas to appear and that was bad news for everyone, everywhere, in every universe.
Abraxas is the cosmic being representative of the destruction of universes and once Galactus was out of the way, he went on a multiverse destruction spree. The only way to stop him was to bring Galactus back to life and reset the universe via the Ultimate Nullifier. It took the combined efforts of Franklin Richards and Valeria Von Doom, but the world was reset and Galactus was back.
These events resulted in Reed Richards being put on trial by numerous races of the cosmos. He was charged with all the lives that would be lost as a result of bringing Galactus back, but was saved by Eternity, who appeared and insisted Galactus was necessary for maintaining the balance in the universe.
Did we miss any strange trivia about Galactus and his body? Let us know in the comments!