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Characters / Marvel Comics: Galactus
aka: Galactus

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"I hunger."

Alter Ego: Galan

Notable Aliases: Ashta, The Devourer of Worlds, The Lifebringer, The Seeder of Worlds

First Appearance: Fantastic Four #48 (March 1966)

"Of all the creatures in the vastness of the Universe, there is none like me. I was present at the birth of the Universe, and I shall be there at its end. Though I ravage worlds to live, I bear no malice toward any living thing. I simply do what I must to survive. And why must Galactus survive? For, no matter how many worlds I devour ... How many civilizations I destroy ... It is my destiny to one day give back to the Universe – Infinitely more than I have ever taken from it. So speaks Galactus!"

Galactus is the famed "Devourer of Worlds" in the Marvel Universe. His powers are nearly omnipotent. He has appointed a number of entities as his Heralds, imbuing them with the Power Cosmic. He uses energy from the core of planets and universal sources to sustain himself.

Sole Survivor of the universe existing before the Big Bang, Galactus is perhaps the most feared being in the cosmos. Untold billions of years ago, he was born the humanoid Galan on the planet Taa, a wondrous paradise of scientific and social achievement. However, his universe was in its final stages, with all matter plunging towards a central point via the "Big Crunch", collapsing into a new "Cosmic Egg", a sphere of disorganized, compact primordial matter. Galan, a space explorer, discovered a radiation plague threatening all of Taa. Though he was initially scoffed at, the truth became clear as the people of surrounding planets perished. Despite the efforts of Taa's greatest scientists, no cure could be found, and the population began to die off. Galan convinced the handful of remaining survivors to die gloriously by flying a starship into the blazing cosmic cauldron. The others were killed by the intense radiation, but Galan was filled with new energy and saved by the sentience of the dying universe. The sentient energy spoke to Galan as it brought him into the egg.

With the next Big Bang, the Cosmic Egg matter exploded outwards, eventually condensing into stars and planets. The future Galactus and his starship were re-created simultaneously with the embodiments of Eternity and Death, though he drifted inert for billions of years while new life began to populate the universe. The starship crashed on an unnamed planet, where Ecce The Watcher saw its occupant emerge as raw energy. Ecce recognized the danger the nascent being would pose and could have destroyed him then, but instead chose to abide by his oath of non-interference. Launching his ship back into space, the being ejected its lifeless companions into the void, there to drift in endless flight. He then created a suit of armor to harness and regulate his awesome energies, and transformed his ship into an incubation chamber, where he spent countless centuries evolving into his current form. Eventually his craft again fell into orbit around a verdant planet, Archeopia. The advanced natives scanned the craft, detected its awesome energies, and wisely left it undisturbed.

Galactus initially went centuries between feedings, seeking out uninhabited worlds that could support life; but he gradually hungered more frequently, and began consuming inhabited worlds if he could find no others. He rationalized his actions by deeming himself a higher being, a belief made easier after learning of a prophecy that he would eventually compensate for all his destruction. In addition, he eventually encountered Eternity and Death, and the three beings hypothesized that Galactus represented a balancing force between the two opposites.

Lonely, Galactus created a being in his own image; however, while Galactus was content to survive, his creation craved conquest. The creation, becoming known as Tyrant, battled his creator in a struggle beyond description. Galactus eventually triumphed, possibly aided by the Spinsterhood order of women warriors, banishing Tyrant to parts unknown. Since then, Galactus has used many mindless servants, chief among which are the Punishers, possibly living beings enslaved or created by Galactus. Eventually, the world-devourer realized it was more efficient to send a herald to seek out worlds for him. His first herald was eventually cast out and imprisoned, presumably due to its corrupt and violent nature. This former herald, the Fallen One, escaped many times over the millennia, each time heading directly after its previous master, who always defeated it.

Galactus threatened to devour the planet Zenn-La, but was persuaded by native Norrin Radd to spare it in exchange for becoming a new herald. Galactus transformed Radd into the Silver Surfer, suppressing his morals so that he would lead Galactus to inhabited worlds when necessary, such as a symbiote-ruled planet, and the Kree planet Tarsis. The Surfer once even led Galactus into ending the threat of the murderous warlord Kallreich the Unconquerable by consuming a world he had invaded. When the Silver Surfer brought Galactus to Earth, despite the efforts of Uatu The Watcher to hide the planet, Alicia Masters reached Norrin's long-submerged emotions, convincing him to turn against his master. Galactus had easily overpowered the Fantastic Four, but the Surfer's power delayed Galactus' meal long enough for Reed Richards to present him with his first defeat. Uatu sent the Human Torch to Galactus' worldship to retrieve the Ultimate Nullifier, a device allegedly having the power to destroy even mighty Galactus; Reed used it to force him to spare Earth, but Galactus punished the Surfer for his betrayal by trapping him on Earth.

Soon after, Galactus sensed abundant energy sources within the enigmatic Black Galaxy, but Galactus was distracted when Dr. Doom usurped the Silver Surfer's power and crashed into Galactus' barrier; sensing this disturbance, Galactus scanned Doom, but found him beneath his notice and sent him back to Latveria. Galactus soon sent his Punishers to retrieve the Surfer from Earth; the Fantastic Four held it off long enough for the Surfer to escape into the microverse. Galactus forced them to help him find the Surfer, who located an uninhabited planet for him, after which he left the Surfer trapped on Earth for easy future location.

Galactus had a daughter, Galacta, who suffers from the same hunger issues that he has, but chooses to prevent the destruction of most forms of life by instead consuming malevolent sources that would end up destroying life if left unchecked.

The All-New, All-Different Marvel era has been a time of great change for Galactus. The new The Ultimates, an all-star team dedicated to solving cosmic problems, picked him for their first mission. They tracked down his old incubation chamber and forced him back into it, "evolving" him into a new, golden form. This "Lifebringer" Galactus, who restores desolate worlds, became one of the team's central allies throughout the book's entire run. It's all a bit ironic, considering his rampage through the Ultimate Marvel universe ended up destroying the original Ultimates. Note, by the way, that the Ultimate universe had his own one, Gah Lak Tus (for tropes about this one, see here).

Galactus appears in the following works:


  • Super-Villain Classics: Galactus the Origin
  • Galactus: The Devourer


DC Crossovers


Video Games

  • Silver Surfer (1990): Galactus makes a cameo appearance in the 1990 video game, sending the Silver Surfer to the Magik Domain to collect the Cosmic Device.
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance: Galactus is the boss of the "Skrull Planet" level. The Silver Surfer appears to fight alongside the heroes, dishing out the damage while the player characters activate three consoles that will overload Galactus's machines.
  • Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet: Galactus is the boss of Episode 8: Taste of a Throneworld.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3: The final boss of the game, Galactus takes up the entire right side of the screen. In order to reach this fight, the player characters must defeat two randomly-selected "Heralds": silver versions of some of the game's playable villain characters.
  • Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Same deal, except there's now an unlockable mode where you play as Galactus.
  • Lego Marvel Superheroes: Galactus is the game's Big Bad, and also an unlockable character upon completing the game. Sadly, He's only playable as a minifigure, smaller even than Big Figure characters like the Hulk.

Western Animation

Galactus provides examples of the following tropes:

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  • Above Good and Evil:
    • He doesn't see himself as good or evil, just a predator doing what he has to do to survive. In a way, this is true due to him being Inherent in the System. In the end, he is more a cataclysm than an actual villain and cannot be judged by human moral standards.
    • Reed Richards even gave this a great deal of thought during the first Secret Wars storyline, musing about how odd it was that the Beyonder considered Galactus "evil" and grouped him in with all the other villains. Reed knew that Galactus was so far beyond good or evil that the concepts simply didn't apply. He regarded Galactus as a force of nature, comparable to an earthquake or a hurricane, which also cannot be judged as good or evil.
    • He uses this to call out the Phoenix (then possessing the comatose body of Rachel Summers, while the latter recovered from psychic trauma resulting from her brutal battle with Necrom in Excalibur) after she nearly killed him in a misguided attempt to protect a planet he was about to feed on. Not only did the fallout devastate the planet, but as Galactus pointed out, he's a) just doing what he has to in order to survive, b) would much prefer to feed on barren worlds or dying civilisations. The Phoenix, by contrast, draws on life as yet unborn when she's incarnate on the mortal plane, which is why her power seems infinite. This leads to the Armor-Piercing Question of who is the greater evil: the one who devours life whose time has ended, or the one who denies life to generations unborn. The Phoenix is understandably horrified.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Beings of different planets perceive Galactus differently, as seen here.
  • A God Am I: One of the most powerful forces in the Marvel Multiverse. Reducing matter to energy and travelling at 'impossible' speeds are everyday matters to him. With the aid of the Power Cosmic that invests him, even planet-shattering foes like Thor or the Hulk can be destroyed. In one DC/Marvel crossover he was noted for surviving Darkseid's Omega Beams, which are ordinarily a One-Hit Kill to anything. It's hard for him to stay humble:
    Ego the Living Planet: You are but a simple being! I am an entire world!
    Galactus: Your words are true. But in all of Space, I stand alone! I am Galactus...the be-all and end-all of the Universe.
  • A God I Am Not: Although he's pretty egotistical, Galactus does not consider himself godlike. He has criticized the mortal belief that power makes you one.
    "Sphinx! You share the folly of all your lowly species. You believe that power itself makes one a God! But even Galactus, to whom all is possible, even Galactus whose every passing whim becomes reality — even Galactus is no God."
  • Alliance with an Abomination: While a Cosmic Entity, Galactus is still reasonable and has agreed to work with mortals like the Fantastic Four. His Heralds were also mortals who he gave a job offer to search for worlds in turn for sparing their own.
  • Always a Bigger Fish:
    • Pretty much the first thing we ever learned about Galactus. The Skrulls, who'd been a recurring menace to the Fantastic Four at this point, see Galactus approaching, and freak out. This is an entirely justified fear.
    • Doctor Doom running into the barrier Galactus created to keep the Silver Surfer from leaving Earth caused Galactus to notice him. He scanned Doom, decided he wasn't worth his attention, stripped him of the Silver Surfer's stolen powers and sent him back to Latveria.
    • Many galactic threats, like (regular) Thanos or the Supreme Intelligence of the Kree, quail at the thought of direct confrontation with Galactus. But Galactus is not at the very top of the power spectrum either: he has been stomped by the Beyonder in the original Secret Wars (1984), by the Phoenix (possessing Rachel Summers) in Excalibur (though he won the moral victory by pointing out the cost of her power to the universe at large), defeated in a DC/Marvel crossover by Krona, and conquered by the Chaos King in Chaos Wars.
    • Subverted when he is confronted by Master Order and Lord Chaos after his reversion at the hands of the Ultimates. Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet rated either of them individually well above Galactus, but now that he has fused with his Ultimate counterpart and been reversed (which removes his hunger, not to mention directly conflicts with Order and Chaos' fundamental existence), he not only defies them, but subjects them to this trope.
    • In The Hunger, The Source warned Highfather that Galactus was coming, so Highfather hid New Genesis, which, unlike Apokolips, would make a tasty treat for Galactus.
  • Anti-Villain: Type III. Make no mistake, Galactus is a dangerous entity and actively devours planets and all life within in order to remain alive. However, he isn't doing this out of sheer sadism or evil, he's simply doing what every sapient being is programmed to do: survive. He is an honest being who always honours his word and is perfectly willing to spare planets if they prove themselves to him, as he did with Earth-616. He also has every intention of repaying for the lives he takes one day as the Lifebringer as his page quote indicates.
  • Arch-Enemy: Has been a contender for this to the Silver Surfer.
  • The Artifact: Became this amongst the other cosmic entities as time went on. Galactus has a silly name and an even sillier outfit, while his peers are named after the concepts they represent and their bodies look like how you would actually think a celestial entity looks like. But Galactus is too popular and iconic as a character to change at this point.
  • Attack Drone: What Gah Lak Tus becomes after it merges with Galactus in Hunger.
  • Back from the Dead: Galactus was actually killed once in the Marvel-616 universe. Unfortunately for the many mortals who cheered this event, it was soon revealed that Galactus' existence was denying a certain Multiversal Conqueror access to their universe. The Fantastic Four had no choice but to restore Galactus to life.
  • Badass Boast: Galactus may be a bombastic gloater, but he produces some truly imposing boasts.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: Eating planets may be monstrous, but it is necessary for the continuation of the entire universe. The writers just can't seem to agree on why, though.
    • Originally it seemed like he was storing up the energy from devoured worlds so he could, should the universe come to an end, use it to restart the whole thing. note 
    • Later authors suggested he needed the energy to maintain a seal that held the Eldritch Abomination Abraxas in check.
  • Beam Spam: One of his attacks in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Galactus fires energy beams from his eyes and all ten of his fingers, filling the screen with a barrage of unavoidable firepower. All the player can do is block and suffer massive chip damage.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Stealing from Galactus is a good way to wind up atomized. You'd think someone who proclaims himself beyond good and evil wouldn't care so much, but apparently not.
    • When Galactus thought the Ultimates were there to kill him, he took it with an annoyed resignation. The minute they tell him they're actually going to help him, he flips his lid.
    Galactus: As you are to the ant, so am I to you! I am not a problem to be solved!
  • Big Bad: He sometimes takes this role either to the Silver Surfer or in a Marvel crisis crossover.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Depending on the Writer. In Kirby's original story, Galactus was outright stated to be beyond good and evil and incapable of being judged by any human morality system. He more resembles a natural disaster than a man. During Secret Wars, when the Beyonder transported a group of heroes and villains to a distant planet to battle each other, Galactus was placed among the villains. Reed Richards found this to be completely incomprehensible, stating that Galactus was a force of nature and was no more capable of having enemies than a hurricane or an earthquake. Galactus completely ignored the rules that the Beyonder tried to impose on him, choosing instead to try to drain the planet of all its energy in order to challenge the Beyonder, whom he claimed had the power to end his all-consuming hunger.
  • Breakout Villain: He started out as just another threat from space: nowadays he rates just behind Doctor Doom as Marvel's most famous villain.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: In his fight with the Mad Celestials, he took all of them at once and actually killed one. Unfortunately this only caused them to see how much of a threat he was and merge together.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Depending on the Artist he often has a clear letter G on his chest. Going back to his first appearance.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: And it's because he never needs to.
  • Captain Ersatz: Another multi-universal devourer of worlds: Unicron the Dark God, the Chaos Bringer. When the Transformers' Marvel Comics series retooled Unicron's being and backstory, the similarities between Galactus and Unicron were so great that Unicron is often seen as the Transformers version of Galactus, right down to You Cannot Grasp the True Form. Unsurprisingly, this has led to many fanworks and fanwanks about a Galactus vs. Unicron showdown and their squabbling over worlds to devour. As far as motives go however, they couldn't be more different. Unlike Galactus, Unicron doesn't even need to eat worlds and only does it out of sheer hatred, which itself can be seen as a parallel to the 1610's Galactus. Also, Galactus has to absorb biospheric energy from planets. Unicron literally just eats them and consumes their mass.
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: Although he can teleport, he usually utilizes Cool Ships to cross the universe.
  • Catchphrase: "I hunger". Usually at the end of a Badass Boast, like so.
  • Combat Compliment: Usually only in the face of incredible power, like when he got hit by Darkseid's Omega Beams.note 
    Galactus: Your power is great, master of Apokolips. But if in this you think you see a weakness in Galactus, you see no weakness but your own.
  • Complete Immortality: Well, he can be killed by more powerful cosmic entities as well as the Ultimate Nullifier, but basically true so long as he remembers to eat.
  • Cool Helmet: Galactus' helmet is easily his most recognizable feature. In Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, the cloud entity called Galactus takes on a familiar shape once the Silver Surfer reaches its center. The helmet itself becomes a prized possession of MODOK in his Marvel vs. Capcom 3 ending. His daughter Galacta also has a helmet modeled after his. Par for the course for Jack Kirby, of course. His helmet is not unlike many of the helmets the New Gods wear.
  • Cool Starship: The Taa II, a ship the size of a solar system.
  • Cosmic Entity: One of the fundamental forces of the universe. Unfortunately, the most likely of them to visit an Insignificant Little Blue Planet.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Most of his fights have him dishing this out to the point where it's easier to list exceptions. When he's subjected to The Worf Effect he ends on the receiving end of it.
    • In his debut, the Fantastic Four couldn't scratch him. He's only driven away by the Ultimate Nullifer.
    • When Doctor Doom stole the powers of the Silver Surfer, he was defeated by tricking him into the barrier Galactus created around Eartht to keep Silver Surfer from leaving Earth. When Doom run into the barrier, it alerted Galactus, who scanned Doom, felt he was beneath his notice and sent him back to Latveria without the Power Cosmic.
    • During Red Hulk's Invincible Villain phase, Galactus knocked him out with a single attack.
    • Terrax rebelling against him led to this. Galactus demonstrated how little patience he had at this point for his Heralds and turned Terrax into a worm digging through dirt, then energy dispersed through the galaxy, before returning him to normal. Terrax quickly surrendered.
    • Ultron once began a rant threatening to kill Galactus slowly and painfully, which ended poorly for Ultron even before he could finish his second sentence.
  • Death Is Cheap:
    • At the end of Galactus the Devourer, he turned into a star, with Reed Richards stating he'd never reform. In 2001, Franklin and Valeria Richards resurrected him to deal with Abraxas.
    • Dies early on in Donny Cates' run of Thor in 2019. Dan Slott revived him in 2022 at the end of The Reckoning War.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: After the combined forces of the Fantastic Four, The Avengers and Doctor Strange prevent a starving Galactus from destroying the Earth, Reed Richards shows the Devourer of Worlds mercy. In exchange, Galactus calls Richards "friend" before vowing that Earth need no longer fear his hunger.
  • Deflector Shields: Galactus can erect near-impenetrable energy shields.
  • De-power: Reed Richards once built a weapon that stripped Galactus of the Power Cosmic, turning him back into the mortal Galan for a time.
  • Destroyer Deity: Although he isn't actually a god, Galactus is this in the Marvel Universe. He regularly destroys entire planets while consuming their Life Energy as food.
  • Determinator:
    • Tasked with finding a way to save Taa, Galan piloted his ship into the heart of a Big Crunch singularity as a last resort. Galan would not stop, surviving radiation that killed not only his shipmates, but most of the life in the universe. Eventually, Galan gets the attention of the Sentience of the Universe, who gives rebirth to Galan as Galactus, and bids farewell to him when sent away into the new universe.
    • Galan became this again after being depowered. Initially considering his merging with the Power Cosmic as it seeks him out to be inevitable, he became inspired after seeing the people around him struggling against the inevitable to survive. He used the Four's teleportation technology to warp to another dimension in an attempt to escape the Power Cosmic. Galan knew it would find him again sooner or later, but he realized he had to try.
  • Doomed Hometown: The planet Taa, Galan's home prior to becoming Galactus.
    • And the entire previous universe it was a part of; Galen fused with its consciousness as it was dying at the end of the last Big Crunch/Big Bang cycle to become Galactus.
  • The Dreaded: He's known and feared across the universe. He once frightened off an armada of aliens planning to attack Earth by threatening to destroy the homeworld of whoever attacked first. All of them ran away with their tails between their legs. The fact Earth has driven him off so many times is one of the reasons aliens are so nervous about it.
  • Driven to Suicide: He's considered just not eating planets and letting himself starve, but has decided not too, since he's too important to the cosmic balance.
  • Dub Name Change: In Spanish translations:
    • The completely stupid, silly and awful name of Alberto El Hambriento ("Alberto the Hungry" or "Hungry Albert") was given to Galactus by the now defunt Novaro editorial for a time. Quite difficult to take a planet-eater seriously with that name.
    • The Mexican dub of the Hannah-Barbera cartoon of the The Fantastic Four (1967) named him Marte (Mars) for some unexplained reason. Still better than Alberto.
    • The Latin American dub of Silver Surfer: The Animated Series named him "Galaxius", possibly to combine better with "galaxy", we are not sure. We repeat, still better than Alberto.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In his first appearance at the end of #48 Galactus is colored red and green and is shown with bare legs and arms. By the next issue, he has been fixed to the trademarked violet and by the final issue he's acquired pants and gloves.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: In the comics, the battle between Galactus and Tyrant is said to destroy entire galaxies before its conclusion. In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Galactus destroys Earth if the player loses the final battle.
  • Eldritch Abomination: A Cosmic Entity who needs to feed on energy of planets to survive, and is capable of feeding the energy from anything from stars to pocket universes.
  • Enemy Mine: During The Infinity Gauntlet, Galactus teamed up with Adam Warlock and other cosmic heroes to challenge Thanos. Later, Galactus worked with The God Squad to protect his food supply, not for the greater good.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Some regard Galactus as A Lighter Shade of Black. His survival preserves the universe from greater harm: he does what he must to survive and can rightly be considered a higher being. He always keeps his word, pays his debts, and is willing to leave sentient beings alone or escape doomed planets as long as they don't bother him. He tends to show disgust at those who cause meaningless destruction like Tyrant and the Fallen One. And if it's one of his own that's causing it, he'll usually do something about it when someone brings it to his attention.
    • He calls out the Phoenix, hard, in an issue of Excalibur when the entity in question nearly kills him in a misguided attempt to protect a planet he was feeding, on the grounds that a) the battle had devastated the planet anyway, b) he's just doing what he has to in order to survive, while the Phoenix, when incarnate on the mortal plane, draws on the life of generations unborn to fuel her power, leading to the Armor-Piercing Question of who was the greater evil. The Phoenix genuinely didn't know this and was horrified.
    • On the other hand, he also tried to kill every sentient being on Counter-Earth out of self-stated spite, simply because they had succeeded in killing a future version of himself in self-defense, which renders much of the above claims of his nobility and lack of pettiness null and void - though he did begrudgingly allow time for evacuation. In addition, it has been established that he can just as easily feed on stars or non-sentient cosmic energy sources instead of wiping out trillions of sentient beings, yet only rarely does he seek out such sources - though in his defence, it has been sometimes been shown that this is either a temporary measure, or been retconned that he has to eat planets.
    • When he confronted Darkseid in a Marvel/DC crossover, he became outraged at Darkseid for the massive waste of life, throwing his Parademons and troops at Galactus knowing they didn't stand a chance and knowing that there was no life force on Apokolips for Galactus to feed on. He's mollified by Darkseid stating that he did it because it's in his nature - Galactus nods and states that he and Darkseid are not so different: both are slaves to their basest drives.
    • Galactus also has no love for Cyborg Superman either.
    • Once he got to the Ultimate Marvel universe and was confronted by its version of the Vision, he was disgusted and outright called the Darker and Edgier universe broken.
  • Even More Omnipotent: Whenever the Silver Surfer rebels, Galactus just No Sells all of his attacks. Or when any being he bequeathed with the Power Cosmic tries the same - it's surprisingly common. Galactus is able to take back their powers at will or override any actions they attempt to take. Then he tried it on the Herald of Thunder. That didn't go so well.
  • Evil Is Bigger: They don't get much bigger than Galactus, who is approximately the size of a planet.
  • Exact Words: Galactus is a Rules Lawyer and will honor the word of any pact he makes.
    • When the Space Knights offered a deal for him to feed on the Dark Nebula instead of their planet, Galactus kept up his end of the deal to spare their planet and keep their world from falling into the Dark Nebula even though he was under no obligation to. But he saved the planet by moving it to a location the Space Knights didn't know about.
    • In a wider sense, this applies to Galactus's unique diet of planets. Specifically speaking, he has to drain the "bioenergy," or life-sustaining capabilities, of worlds. But there doesn't have to be life on the planet at the time—it just has to be capable of someday supporting it. Writers will often use this to Hand Wave why the Fantastic Four are helping an entity that eats entire planets—the heroes specifically try to send him to uninhabited worlds for his meals.
  • Eye Beams: One of Galactus's most deadly attacks. In Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Galactus immediately knocks down any player character who attempts to fly with these.
  • The Faceless: He does have a face, but he's far more recognizable with that helmet on.
  • Fermi Paradox: Reed Richards's answer to this paradox is Planet Eater Galactus.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: In Latin America, he was renamed Alberto El Hambriento (Literally Albert The Hungry).
  • Foregone Conclusion: In-Universe. In The Hunger, Galactus tells Darkseid he knows Norrin Radd will someday regain his memory and turn on him, and that it'll be a difficult time for him. He isn't particularly upset about it, just knows it's going to happen and there's nothing he'll be able to do about it.
  • Friendly Enemy: To the Fantastic Four and especially Reed Richards. Yes, Galactus is the Devourer of Worlds, and the Four led an assault to defeat him when he first threatened Earth. However, Galactus has genuinely come to like the group over the years and occasionally helps them deal with cosmic-scale problems. The Four, in turn, are willing to aid Galactus by sending him to viable (though currently empty) planets to eat when his immense hunger is threatening his life.
  • Fusion Dance:
    • Before anything else Galactus is a fusion of the last universe's Eternity, maybe the equivalent of the Phoenix Force and the last known surviving mortal Galan of Taa.
    • Galactus is sucked into the Ultimate Marvel Universe when Wolverine breaks reality during the Age of Ultron event, and is attacked by his counterpart Gah Lak Tus, which tries to eat and ends up fusing with him, creating an even more powerful and ravenous entity.
    • There is also Galactiac from the Amalgam Universe when the Marvel universe fused with the DC universe, a fusion of Galactus and Brainiac.
    • During the events of Infinity War, he's merged by Gamora with Doctor Doom, becoming Doctor Doomactus.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Although he is sometimes depicted with Black Eyes of Crazy and/or Electronic Eyes.
  • Hand Blast: Galactus can project powerful energy blasts from his hands capable of knocking Darkseid off his feet.
  • Hates Being Alone: While often solitary and can't really interact with most any other being in the universe as an equal, Galactus actively fears and dreads the prospect of being the last living thing in existence. Keep in mind the guy's been alive since the dawn of creation and spent billions of years alone until life and other cosmic beings came into the picture. He's secretly elated when he finds out that Franklin Richards will be there with him when the last light goes out and after all other life has gone billions of years before that. Unless the One Below All has his way, in which case neither of them will be there to see it.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Even leaving aside the fact that he's generally considered a force of nature, and Above Good and Evil, he makes an apparent Heel–Face Turn as the Life-Bringer. However, as Carol Danvers points out in the second volume of The Ultimates when he recruits the titular team and assures them of his benevolence, he might be benevolent now, but there's no guarantee it'll last - Status Quo Is God and all that. Galactus, who's been worrying about that very problem, is struck silent and admits he can't guarantee that the wind will always blow in their direction (however, even after he's reverted to normal and Doctor Doom unwisely tries to use him as a giant battery, he still leaves Earth alone, with Reed noting that he gave his word).
  • Heel–Face Turn: As the Life-Bringer, he's cured of the Cosmic Hunger and no longer feeds on planets, instead restoring them. As such he's now a force for good (he even recruits two new teams of Ultimates to help protect the universe), and he won't go back to the old status quo without a fight. He does, eventually, but some of the Character Development seems to stick. Some. After his resurrection following The Reckoning War, he seems to now just be hungry for knowledge, specifically of the nine-tenths of the universe that are newly restored.
  • Holier Than Thou: Often displays this attitude. Justified in his case though, as he indeed is a natural part of the Cosmic Balance, in contrary to many self-proclaimed Gods. His mere existance also keeps Abraxas at bay, a far worse entity.
  • Horrifying the Horror: During a casual conversation with Owen Reece, the Molecule Man, Galactus spends the entire conversation telling himself that Owen could erase him with a thought if he felt like it.
  • Human Alien: As Galan.
  • Humanoid Abomination: As seen by humans. Other races see him... differently. See You Cannot Grasp the True Form.
    • Squirrel Girl's sciurine sidekick, Tippy-Toe, sees him as an enormous squirrel.
  • Hungry Menace: He hungers. Always has, always will. And did we mention that, even without being drained by attempts to defend himself or people stealing his powers, his hunger just gets stronger over time? At the beginning of the universe, he could go centuries or millennia without eating. Not so much these days.
  • Hyper-Awareness: The Cosmic Awareness, which Galactus shares with his Heralds.

  • I Gave My Word:
    • After his life was saved by Reed Richards, he promised never to attack Earth again, a promise he's kept thus far, even in the face of provocation. He's even come to the planet's defense.
    • He also gave his word regarding sparing Zenn La in exchange for Norrin Radd's servitude as his herald. He erased the Surfer's memories so he no longer had any attachment to his planet, but still kept his end of the deal. After the Surfer dies, Galactus vows that neither he nor anyone else will ever harm the planet.
    • When Galactus attempted to devour the homeworld of the Space Knights, while it was falling towards the Dark Nebula, the home of their enemies the Dire Wraiths, the Space Knights cut a deal with Galactus to feed on the Dark Nebula instead in exchange for sparring their world. Galactus couldn't feed on the Dark Nebula, but nonetheless kept his word to spare the Space Knight's planet even though nothing was stopping him from feeding on it.
  • Inherent in the System: Not only does he serve as a force to fix the natural imbalance between Eternity and Death, but destroying him would result in unleashing a much more dangerous Multiversal Conqueror on the Universe.
  • Joker Immunity: Well, he isn't really a ''villain' per se as much as an incredibly dangerous force of nature, but nevertheless applies. Justified too, since his continued existence is necessary for the stability of the entire universe.
  • The Juggernaut: The best Marvel's heavy hitters can typically do is slow him down, not actually beat him. Advanced civilizations can't even do that. Most cosmic entities have stalemated him at best.
  • Large Ham: One of the biggest in Marvel (except during his Life-Bringer period, and even then, he had his moments). His dialogue in written entirely in capitalized letters, and usually for very good reason.
    "I am Galactus— and I hunger!"
    • Ham-to-Ham Combat: His fight with Mephisto, along with an evenly matched clash of power, the two equally hammed up the scenery in their verbal clash. Likewise, when he confronts the Phoenix Saga era Phoenix in Generations, the two being more or less evenly matched, both go all out - both in power and Chewing the Scenery.
  • Last of His Kind: Galactus is the sole survivor of a universe destroyed by the Big Bang. However, he conceived a daughter and she's pregnant - though that miniseries has been somewhat Exiled from Continuity.
  • Legacy Character: According to 2021's Defenders, the previous multiverse before this one had a Galactus of its own: Omnimax. The difference is that Omnimax actually is evil, destroying and eating planets out of malicious spite, because unlike Galactus, his component was the Sorcerer Supreme of the Fifth Multiverse.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: He destroys planets, but if he dies, Abraxas, who destroys universe, will be freed.
  • Life Energy: The life energy of planets is what keeps Galactus alive.
  • Mecha-Mooks: His Punisher robots.
  • Mind over Matter: Not often used, but he can throw planetoids with it.
  • Mister Seahorse: He spawned a daughter without a partner. Being a cosmic entity probably had something to do with it.
  • Natural End of Time: As Galan, he lived during the end of the previous universe and traveled with a shapeship in hopes of his crew surviving. This failed, but he merged with the dying Sentience of the Universe to be reborn in the current Marvel Universe. It's suggested that Mr Immortal will play the same role when the current universe reaches its end, and be reborn as the Galactus equivalent in the next universe.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Good One Above All, does Galactus have conflicting backstories. He originally, alongside the last survivors of his race, flew into a star to go out in a blaze of glory rather than die to a plague. It wasn't until later that his classic origin of being the last survivor of the previous universe and merging with the Sentience of the Universe was established, and even then, the exact details varied. Then Thor (2020) would throw the whole "merged with the Sentience of the Universe" bit away and have him empowered by the Black Winter.
  • No-Sell: In a big way. Examples are innumerable, while exceptions can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand.
  • Noble Demon: Galactus doesn't act out of spite and malice, he's just trying to survive. As a result, he can be quite reasonable; he honors his promises, even if only literally, and he can be gracious to those who have helped him. When Reed Richards saves his life, he not only agrees to leave Earth alone (a vow he has upheld ever since), but he has since come to its defense multiple times to repay him.
  • One-Track-Minded Hunger: Galactus himself. His hunger defines his character, and it's pretty much the only thing he ever does, his Life-Bringer phase being the main exception (and even that had a lot of him worrying about reverting/being reverted to his old self).
  • Only Friend: Galactus' first post-Surfer Herald was the Xandarian Gabriel Lan, called the Air-Walker. He and Galactus became friends and Lan ended up sacrificing himself to buy a severely malnourished Galactus the time needed to escape from a race of aliens that might have been able to destroy him. Its been insinuated many times that Galactus regrets not being able to save Lan's life.
    • He comes to consider the new Ultimates team his friends after teaming up with them during his Life-Bringer period, and like Lan, he considered Conner Sims a.k.a. Anti-Man, his Herald of Life, a friend, and mourned him when he performed a Heroic Sacrifice to save him, determined that his sacrifice wouldn't be in vain.
    • In the Fantastic Four animated series of the 1990s, Galactus declares that the titular heroes are the only people in all of creation who can he consider friends. The feeling is surprisingly mutual, as the Four once called on Galactus to help them deal with Ego the Living Planet.
  • Parental Abandonment: After creating Galacta and placing her on Earth, Galactus left for parts unknown to continue his own existence, with no intention of watching over how she developed. Galacta doesn't enjoy the fact that she's related to him. In fact she outright hates him because of what he does. However, in her greatest moment of need, Galactus shows Galacta that he still cares for her with what he would consider to be unconditional love by saving her from death by starvation.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Usually by accident, but Galactus did kill the Skrull Emperor when he ate their throneworld. Shame he also killed everyone else on the planet as well (and Hulkling's mother).
  • Pet the Dog:
    • As mentioned above, he does care for his daughter. Saving her from starvation involved sacrificing some of his energy - which means making his own hunger even worse. All for her.
    • His treatment of Conner Sims a.k.a. Anti-Man, who was rather less than sane thanks to being continuously bombarded with a form of cosmic awareness, turning him into his Herald of Life, and mourning him after Sims performed a Heroic Sacrifice to save him.
    • He's actively protected Earth from threats in gratitude for the Fantastic Four saving his life and continues to do so whenever someone like Reed Richards or the Avengers summon his aid.
  • Physical God: Most of Marvel's standard Physical Gods need to Zerg Rush him to stand half a chance.
  • Pitiful Worms: He often refers to those he views as lesser beings as "gnats", "worms", "insects" and the like.
  • Planet Eater: Very likely the Trope Maker.
  • Planet Spaceship: Taa II, the Worldship belonging to Galactus, and named after his ravaged homeland Taa, is the size of a solar system.
  • Power Echoes: How adaptions portray his voice.
  • Power Limiter:
    • The Ultimate Nullifier, which was once part of him and which he sealed away from himself because he feared it's power and destruction.
    • There's also his own armor, which serves as a self-imposed Power Limiter. The power inside Galactus is so overwhelming that he needs the armor to control it, and if he were to ever remove it, he'd be consumed from within and turned into a small star.
  • Powers Do the Fighting: Relies almost entirely on the Power Cosmic and rarely uses his hands when fighting.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: The end of Cataclysm has him stranded in the Ultimate Universe's Negative Zone, where it was hoped he'd starve to death. Fortunately for Big G, a very angry Ikarus grabbed him as part of a revenge scheme against the Kree.
  • Psychic Powers: Has both Telepathy and Telekinesis powers.
    • Professor X barely managed to rouse his attention in Secret Wars (1984), whereas Moondragon and Thanos almost managed to overcome him in Thanos' own series.
  • Purple Prose: Galactus often speaks like this, especially during the Jack Kirby years or the Darkseid crossover.
  • Reality Warper: Being a cosmic being, Galactus was able to recreate the entire planet Zenn-La, including population, etc. in every detail.
  • Redemption Promotion: Part of the attempts to avert him suffering The Worf Effect also had a break from the status quo and had him become the Life-bringer. As he's cured of the Cosmic Hunger, Galactus is even more powerful, and when confronted by Lord Chaos and Master Order try to force him back to his old self, both of whom were considered to be stronger than him before, he punched the teeth out of the latter.
  • Reset Button: The one time we do see the Ultimate Nullifier used in the mainstream universe it erased its target, Abraxas, along with the entire multiverse, yet everything is recreated to before Galactus' death effectively undoing it all.
  • Retcon:
    • The first time Galactus's origin was given, in Thor #169, it's said Taa was destroyed by a mysterious plague, and the last Taaians flew into a star simply to go out in the most impressive way possible. The bit about coming from the universe before this one didn't show up until 1983's Super-Villain Classics.
    • Donny Cates's run on Thor claims that despite all the previous instances showing Galactus merging with the sentience of the universe, he was actually empowered by a malevolent cosmic entity called the Black Winter.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: We are constantly told that Taa II (Galactus' worldship) is the size of a solar system. If so, no comic book artist has ever really done it justice. And how could they? Fitting it into a panel would shrink even Jupiter to invisibility by comparison.
  • Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: Galactus is the can holding Omnicidal Maniac Abraxas sealed; he's so incredibly hungry that he needs to eat planets because most of his energy is going to keeping Abraxas locked up, and, as bad as Galactus is, Abraxas is worse. In another sense, the Galactus armor itself is a can; Galactus is said to look differently to each race that perceives him, and outside of the armor he's basically a blob of energy.
  • Shadow Archetype: In an odd way. Several stories have shown that Galen of Taa was, in many ways, much like Reed Richards before he became Galactus. Adds an eeriness to the fact Reed's son will either merge with Galactus one day, or just become his successor.
  • Sizeshifter: His physical size directly reflects his own strength and power. A severely weakened Galactus will be relatively humanoid in size.
  • Splash Panel: Dr. Strange explained it in Sergio Aragonés Massacres Marvel: "He has it in his contract. The first time he appears in a story, he has to get a full-page panel! He must have Mike Ovitz as his agent"
  • Strong as They Need to Be: In his case, as much he has eaten. When starving even normally far weaker beings can hurt him, and the Thing once knocked him out. When he is fed however, he is extremely formidable, being able to destroy several solar systems in a single attack, during his fight with Tyrant it was even said that entire galaxies were destroyed and it is generally accepted that a fully-fed Galactus is on par with Eternity. Between that, it varies depending on the story.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Even taking into fact he was once a man who became an energy being, most of Galactus's power really comes from technology. His form is encased in a special suit and even his planet eating is done with machinery. He apparently doesn't need his toys but survival would be a lot more difficult for him without them. Basically, the Taa II (his ship) lets him travel without using his own power, and the extraction machines he uses to drain planets are more efficient than he is.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: How he's typically used when he isn't used a villain.
  • Summon to Hand: As an aspect of him Galactus could summon his Ultimate Nullifier out of Abraxas' hands. Why he never did that under any other circumstance is a mystery.
  • Super-Empowering:
    • The Heralds of Galactus receive a portion of the Power Cosmic while they serve, usually granting them access to power greater than the majority of most Earth-based heroes. To put it another way, in the Galactus/Darkseid crossover The Hunger, the Silver Surfer hit a severely weakened Galactus with a full-power blast. Galactus shrugged it off like it was nothing and proceeded to beat the Surfer down in the dirt.
    • Galactus once made Superman his Herald. Yes, a demigod superhero endowed with godlike cosmic power. Cyborg Superman wanted this power for his own, but Galactus immediately knew he was unfit. He did grant him "perfection" - unfortunately for Cyborg Superman, he used Exact Words and turned him into a brick of metal, a perfect alloy with no imperfections.
    • Was on the receiving end of this when a Franklin Richards from the future empowered him as his Herald to combat the Mad Celestials.
  • Superhero Sobriquets: The Devourer of Worlds, the World Eater, the Ravager of Planets, the God of Genocide etc.
  • Super-Strength: Virtually unlimited thanks to the Power Cosmic.
  • Swiss-Army Superpower: The Power Cosmic, as the name implies, can do just about anything. It's a lot more limited in the hands of other beings, who haven't had billions of years to perfect their technique.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: He's been eating planets since the dawn of time, and has likely killed quadrillions of intelligent lifeforms or more. He still manages to be sympathetic, as he has no choice but to eat planets or die. He's even considered committing suicide by letting himself starve, only to not go through with it because he's too important to the balance of the universe.
  • Talk to the Fist: When Order and Chaos chastise him for going against his Devourer of Worlds to be the Life-bringer and that, sooner or later, he'll go back to being his previous role, Galactus responds by punching Order in the teeth. However, this is also noted as being more metaphorical than literal, since they were fighting on a level of metaphor.
  • Teleportation: Galactus can teleport not only himself, but entire planets, such as Galador, if he chooses.
  • Third-Person Person: Frequently refers to himself as "Galactus" mid-speech.
  • This Was His True Form: Galactus is in truth an Energy Being who only looks like whatever mortal mind is currently observing him. This is often ignored in parallel universe and alternate timelines, where his death leaves static and physical remains in his iconic getup, but his first death in the mainstream universe lead to his body exploding into a second sun for the Shi'ar homeworld.
  • Time Abyss: Older than the current universe by a slim margin. "The Last Galactus Story", which was never finished, and happens within an unofficial alternative future, states that his ultimate fate is to restart the universe with a new big bang.
  • Took a Level in Badass: It might seem impossible seeing how godlike he already was to begin with, but due to the fact that he had suffered quite a bit from The Worf Effect in recent years, the writers' attempts at Character Rerailment have resulted in this:
    • First, he gets dropped off in the Ultimate universe and fuses with his Earth-1610 version.
    • Then, after the events of Secret Wars, the Ultimates "reversed" him ridding him of his hunger and turning him into a life-giver. This has upped his position in the cosmic foodchain a bit to boot.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: The main canon and various continuities have all occasionally depicted him consuming something too volatile for him to keep down. Poppup and the Dire Wraith homeworld gave him indigestion, as well as the Elders of the Universe since they were banished from Death's domain.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Mmmm... Planets. Yummy, delicious, life-sustaining planets.
  • Trapped in Another World: After Age of Ultron, he found himself in the Ultimate Universe.
  • Truly Single Parent: Galactus created Galacta spontaneously from the Power Cosmic within him. Unbeknownest to her, she had the same capacity, which has already triggered and created the "Tapeworm" that drives her hunger.
  • Ultimate Universe: Is portrayed as a fleet of sentient ships called Gah-Lak-Tus in Earth 1610 who hate all organic life with a passion. Galactus himself merges with them after the events of Age of Ultron tore up reality.
  • Uniqueness Decay: Jack Kirby never intended for Galactus to be used past the first story he appeared in. He objected to all the character background later given for Galactus as well as the characterization for Silver Surfer in later stories. He wanted Galactus and his herald to remain a mystery and felt that overexposure and excessive character development would undermine the character's effect. Given that there are so many "gods" and other cosmic entities in the Marvel Universe, not to mention ones that are explicitly world eaters as well, he was right. Only in recent years have writers attempted to restore Galactus position in the grand scheme of things, and even then Galactus will always be more of a character than a true mysterious force of nature as he was intended to be.
    • To an indirect extent, his Ultimate Nullifier has also shown up in many hands over the years with little explanation. Only very few of them have been denounced as fakes.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: He is extremely powerful, but his fighting skill is average at best. This is noted in his official power ratings, which lists every stat as 7 except for fighting skill, which is listed as a 2. Of course, given how frighteningly powerful he is, he's never really needed to learn combat or strategy. Even after forgoing eating people's homeworlds for a long time he's still able to kick your ass across the universe.
  • Villain Respect: Galactus holds Earth-616 in high esteem, even when those within it have to stand against him.
    • He holds the Fantastic Four (Reed Richards specifically) in very high regard, especially after they saved him from starving when they could have just let him die. In fact, when the planet was threatened by an entire fleet of powerful alien races, Reed called Galactus. Galactus immediately showed up and drove them away in seconds.
    • Doctor Strange is one of the beings with enough power to stand against him, but they also respect each other enough to talk rationally. Galactus even allowed Doctor Strange to become his herald and kept his word to Strange to cease his rampage.
    • He grew to respect Captain America, Spider-Man and the X-Men after fighting alongside them to stop Thanos.
    • As stated before, Norrin Radd (while not from Earth) was Galactus' favourite herald and the two have a close (but admittedly very complex) relationship. Galactus even treats him more as a friend than a servant.
  • Was Once a Man: Before merging with the Power Cosmic.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: During Annihilation, Annihilus planned to turn Galactus into a cosmic bomb capable of destroying all life in the universe and the Negative Zone. Annihilus was able to capture Galactus because he'd acquired the aid of two of the oldest cosmic beings, each individually almost as powerful as Galactus is.
  • What Other Galaxies?: Galactus is almost always found looking for food in the Milky Way Galaxy, despite the billions of other edible planets elsewhere.
  • World of Ham: When Galactus encounters the New Gods, Purple Prose and dramatic posturing goes to extremes. (Which makes sense, as both are Jack Kirby creations.)
  • The Worf Effect: Being a very recognizable, incredibly powerful character, Galactus has a tendency to be the one to suffer in order to establish that the new cosmic bad guy is a serious threat.
    • Amazingly subverted when, after an entire storyline of beating established characters like Thor, Hulk, and the Silver Surfer, Red Hulk was dismissively one-shotted by him.
    • Superman / Fantastic Four: The Infinite Destruction had Galactus making Superman his Herald. His hold wasn't as strong as it was on others, however, although this can be attributed to the fact that the memory of Krypton's destruction had such a significant effect on Superman that it couldn't be properly suppressed.
    • JLA/Avengers: Krona kills Galactus in a few seconds, and turned into his house. Justified, as Krona is a universe destroyer. Galactus revives after Krona is dispatched, though.
    • The Ultimates did try approaching Galactus for help breaking the planetary barrier in Secret Empire, but as he was recovering from a corruptive attack from Logos, he was saving his energy and in no condition to help.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Galactus's previously-discussed moments of weakness are often handwaved by other writers by saying that Galactus hadn't fed off any planets in a while at the time when he was getting Worfed and wasn't at full strength.
  • Worthy Opponent: Despite their antagonism after the Silver Surfer's rebellion, he deeply respects Norrin Radd for the sacrifice he made for his planet. Especially evident in Silver Surfer: Requiem, where Galactus seems to basically regard himself and the surfer as a father and son who had a fall-out, even comforting the Surfer in his last moments.
  • Wowing Cthulhu: Those who are able to impress him or gain his respect are made his heralds. Silver Surfer is the prime example. Golden Oldie aka Aunt May is another. Doctor Strange is a third.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: The giant man with a weird helmet you see? That's only how your mind interprets what you are seeing. Every species in the Universe sees him differently because what he really looks like is beyond our understanding. An image of what various races interpret Galactus to look like is currently our page image.
    • From Fantastic Four V1 #262, which is where said page image comes from:
    Narrator: A million and more alien eyes look upon him who is Galactus, and for each race the vision differs. For Galactus is truly no longer a being in the absolute, physical sense. He is as Odin named him, a force of nature. And each mind that views him struggles as best it can to perceive that unguessable force as an image it can comprehend.
    • Galan is/was humanoid, so the Galactus that we see is perhaps closest to the real deal. Or perhaps we just saw him as a humanoid.
    • Given that when Squirrel Girl faced off against him, her companion Tippy Toe saw him as a gigantic squirrel, it may instead be A Form You Are Comfortable With
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: In a What If where Uatu killed Galactus himself, he's punished by being forced to take his place.

    Punisher Robots 

Punisher Robots

No, not that one. A relatively small purple and green humanoid robot that protects Galactus' interests. Not to be underestimated, it was able to take on three of the Fantastic Four, and they were only spared when Galactus recalled the robot. When Galactus created the Silver Surfer, he modified the Punisher's programming so that the robot would seek out the Herald if he ever became rebellious. When the Silver Surfer turned against Galactus, the Punisher was teleported to Earth to defeat him and return him to the Worldship. Although the Punisher could have defeated the Surfer, it was unable to defeat the Surfer AND the Fantastic Four. It was destroyed. A second Punisher was sent to force the Silver Surfer to reclaim his job of Herald. It was recalled before the Four could destroy it.

Alternative Title(s): Galactus