5704 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Galactus (Marvel Comics) creates the Silver Surfer

Galactus


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Appearing in 1966, Galactus was a sort of Space God. An incomprehensibly powerful being from before time who subsisted by destroying entire planets.

That the Fantastic Four saved Earth from Galactus was an important step in establishing the team. Galactus would return multiple times, and appear in various cosmic crises.


Background

  • Real Name: Galan
  • Other Aliases: The Devourer of Worlds, Ravager or Worlds
  • Marital Status: Inapplicable
  • Known Relatives: Death (sister, wife, daughter)
  • Group Affiliation: The Cosmic Beings Community
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile across the Universe
  • Height: Variable, but 28’9″ at full energy Weight: Unrevealed
  • Eyes: Unrevealed Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Possessed of cosmic power far beyond human imagining, Galactus is able to rearrange matter, project force blasts, and teleport vast distances and erect force fields. A telepath, he can connect to any mind with which he comes in contact.

In addition to his physical might, Galactus also possesses a superhumanly powerful intellect capable of creating the most wondrous of devices.

Galactus’ only weakness is that he loses energy at an enormous rate; to survive he must regularly consume the life-energies of entire planets to survive.


History

Galan — the being who would become Galactus, sole survivor of a dead universe — was born on the planet Taa. Taa was home to the most advanced civilization in all the stars.

But as the world’s humanoid population ascended to the pinnacle of prosperity, scaling heights rarely dreamt of since the dawn of creation, creation itself stood on the verge of collapse.

The dense sphere of planet-forming, primordial matter propelled outward billions upon billions of years before by the force of a cataclysmic Big Bang had begun to recede, with equally catastrophic results. Taa’s civilization was one of the last remaining, and lethal radiation had ravaged the planet’s population.

Galan, a space explorer, was dispatched to scour the cosmos for a means of salvation. But he only could establish the inevitability of his planet’s demise. Galan proposed that Taa’s survivors meet death on their own terms — in a glorious fashion befitting the grandeur of their fallen home world.

Galan led his people’s exodus via starship into the Cosmic Egg at the heart of the dying universe, the centralized collection point for the shape and substance of untold worlds.

As the vessel approached its final destination, its crew began to succumb to the lethal effects of radiation poisoning. But the sentience of the dying universe spared Galan the fate of his fellow passengers. They both would die, the entity revealed, only to be born anew.

The Cosmic Egg absorbed Galan into itself — bringing into being Galactus, insatiable ravager of worlds.

Galactus preparing his machines

Time passed beyond reckoning. Hurled outward in Galan’s recreated starship by the force of a second Big Bang, Galactus drifted for aeons as life began to flourish.

Arisen from the ashes of a dead universe, Galactus discovered that he could survive only by visiting a similar fate upon other unsuspecting planets. Consuming their raw energies, he would leave them lifeless and barren.

Galactus constructed an immense, planet-sized ship called Taa II to carry him forth on his quest. Though at first compassionate enough to devour only uninhabited worlds, survival dictated he could not be so fastidious.

Galactus sowed the seeds of his eventual downfall when he threatened the planet Zenn-La, home to a highly advanced race of humanoid being. One of the orb’s inhabitants, Norrin Radd, persuaded Galactus to spare Zenn-La in exchange for his servitude.

As Galactus’ herald, Radd would seek out uninhabited worlds for his master to consume. And so Galactus transformed Radd into his Sentinel of the Space ways: the Silver Surfer.

Eventually, Galactus grew determined to consume the energy-rich planet Earth. The Surfer rebelled, and elastic inventor Reed Richards of the legendary team of adventurers known as the Fantastic Four thwarted Galactus. He threatened with an alien device called the Ultimate Nullifier — powerful enough even to eradicate the ravager of worlds.

Galactus was forced to spare Earth, but he punished his insubordinate herald by erecting an energy barrier that prevented the Surfer from leaving the planet.

Despite his pledge to Richards, Galactus returned on several occasions to consume Earth. Always, the planet’s costumed champions narrowly diverted his appetites.

Galactus towering over high-rises (Marvel Heroes illustration)

Meanwhile, Galactus devoured numerous inhabited worlds throughout the known universe to slake his hunger. His legend spread across the cosmos, and Galactus became feared as a menace to all star-faring races.

Preceding one of his many attempts to destroy Earth, he had gone so long without feeding that his energies were severely depleted. Before his life force ebbed entirely, Richards delivered him from death’s door. The grateful Galactus pledged his friendship to the scientist and promised never to attack Earth again.

However, he continued to prey upon other inhabited worlds, and the universe trembled before his awesome might. Believing Galactus to be out of control, galactic forces united to halt his reign of terror. During a battle led by Earth’s heroes, Galactus finally was felled.

As he lay dying, he told the Surfer that he had allowed himself to be destroyed so he could gain the means to do what must be done in the future. He then warned his former herald that his death was only the beginning, and that a greater horror and purpose remained to come.

The once-mighty world-devourer perished, but his energies lived on in the shape of a star — apparently the true form of Galactus. It has been well established that Galactus is a fundamental component of the Marvel Universe, and that the Marvel Universe ceases when Galactus ceases.

Therefore, Galactus was recently brought back into existence by the son of Reed Richards, the powerful Franklin Richards.


Description

Galactus’ true form is unknown, but it has been hinted that he really is a star. All alien races perceive him as their race’s most fearful alien destroyer or conqueror. This is illustrated in the composite below (of Galactus as seen by many different aliens).

Hence, the appearance of Galactus should signal immediate panic amongst the general populace.

Humans perceive Galactus as a 30-foot man clad in blue and purple armor. Galactus often moves rather slowly, probably to save energy, but can, when his might or his pride are threatened, engage in fast action (blasting and even fisticuffs).

Galactus as perceived by a variety of alien species


Personality

Galactus is not evil, nor is he good. He simply considers himself far above mortals and feels that his needs are important than theirs. He appears aloof to the point of indifference, and almost always acts in his own self-interest.

He takes no particular joy in killing other beings, but if a few billion mortals have to die to keep him fed-well, that’s life.

Secure in the knowledge that he performs an important service for the universe (maintaining the ’cosmic balance‘), he considers whatever he must do to remain alive his just due. In fact, he will sacrifice anything, including his ship and heralds, to attain his goal of survival.

When speaking, he refers to himself in the third person like a true potentate. Despite claiming to have no emotion, Galactus has sometimes been goaded to perform something for the sake of his honor or for practicality. For example, the Sphinx would have destroyed the Earth but for Galactus, who considered Earth an important future meal.

When low on energy, Galactus’s human side begins to show through and he experiences emotion and speaks more like a common intellectual man.


Quotes

“My power is infinitely greater than your infinitesimal mind could ever possibly grasp, human !”

“Who dares disturb the feeding of Galactus ?”

“Galactus does what Galactus must to survive.”

“It matters not to Galactus what other beings think of him. Galactus is beyond good and evil! Galactus is utterly amoral! Galactus simply … is !”

“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 !”

“Know me, Annihilus and…  KNOW FEAR !

“Herald my rage !”


DC Universe History

Galactus has met Darkseid (and easily stood up to him; Orion versus the Surfer was more equal). There was also a Superman – FF crossover where Supes became the herald of Galactus.

Inserting Galactus into the DC Universe might be done as follows : clearly, Galactus was originally not part of the DCU, having perished as Galan in the “previous” universe.

However, when the renegade Oan scientist known as Krona was researching the timestream, he reached through the end of time to see the start of time and accidentally brought Galen from the end of time back to the start of time and thus made him into a personification of Entropy.

All that was evil of Galan’s universe was distilled into the parallel, anti-matter universe of Qward, and Galan was also transformed, becoming an aspect of death—in his case, death on a planetary scale.

The destabilizing presence of Galactus caused the other Oans to act, creating the Psions, Manhunters, and eventually Green Lantern Corps.

It’s a also a very nice touch subbing the Sun-Eater for Galactus, and having Hal go out stopping him from eating Earth. That would be another fine mess the blue freaks made for him to clean up although only he knew that secret.

It is also speculated, though by no means confirmed, that, during the Crisis, the Anti-Monitor attempted to harness Galactus to speed the destruction of the universe.


Sharing

The links to follow us and/or subscribe to our monthly newsletter are at the bottom of this page.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Galactus

Dex: 10 Str: 35 Bod: 30 Motivation: Survival
Int: 24 Wil: 30 Min: 25 Occupation: Planet Destroyer, Force of Nature
Inf: 18 Aur: 25 Spi: 25 Resources {or Wealth}: 040
Init: 052 HP: 350

Powers:
Awareness: 20, Bestow: 45, Comprehend Languages: 20, Continuum Control: 30, Dimension Travel: 05, Flame Immunity: 25, Flight: 40, Force Field: 12, Growth: 08, Mental Illusion: 15, Mind Probe: 18, Neutralize: 25, Recall: 10, Sealed Systems: 35, Systemic Antidote: 30, Telekinesis: 18, Telepathy: 25, Vampirism: 75

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Galactus uses the APs of all his Powers as their AV scores (+1).
  • Bestow has the No RAPs Limit (+5) is Permanent (+5) and has the Any Ability (+5) Bonuses.
  • For details of Vampirism see ’Devouring a Planet‘.
  • Mind Probe may be used for rewriting a subject’s memory (+3).
  • Mind Probe is not usable against a mind that is already being read (-1).
  • Growth is always on and is already calculated into stats (-1).
  • Misc. Limitations: Using Continuum Control at its full AP level equals unusually quick loss of energy; in addition to his normal loss rate, Galactus loses an additional 1 AP from all Effect Attributes, Resistance Attributes and all powers except Vampirism whenever he uses this power at the full level (-1).

Skills:
Gadgetry*: 24, Scientist*: 24, Vehicles (Space)*: 10

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (The Universe), Headquarters (Truly expansive: Taa II), Immortal, Iron Nerves, Life Support (No need to Sleep), Scholar (High-energy physics), Scholar (History).

Connections:
Cosmic Community (High), Former Heralds (Low), Morg (High), Nova II (High), Reed Richards (High), Silver Surfer (High).

Drawbacks:
Voluntary Exile (The original universe and Taa), Gradual Loss Vulnerability (See ’Devouring a Planet‘ below), Mistrust, Oblivious, Overconfident, Strange Appearance (each race sees him as their most horrifying evil alien form), Misc. Serious Superman Syndrome (see new rules).

Equipment:

  • TAA II SPACESHIP [BODY 26 STR 25 INT 20 WIL 15 MIN 15, Detect (Energy): 25, Energy Absorption: 20, Flight: 29, Life Sense: 30, Radar Sense: 40, Recall: 30, Warp: 50, 50 AP’s Laboratory, 11 APs Security Systems, Bonuses: Hardened Defenses (+1), Detect (Energy) can be used to detect and identify (PQ) large concentrations or expenditures of energy (+1), Misc. The spaceship itself can, in desperate situations, be absorbed by Galactus to replenish some of his energies (by use of Vampirism). Such an act will completely disintegrate the ship and immediately give back Galactus 5 APs to all lost Effect Attributes, Resistance Attributes and all powers].
  • The Ultimate Nullifier [BODY 05, Bomb: 85, Laser Beam: 55, Neutralize: 80, R#0, Limitation: Bomb is a self-destruct mechanism that automatically actives upon unskilled use of the gun only (it can also be voluntarily activated) (-2); the resulting explosion immediately destroys the weapon, the entire planet, the people and the surroundings, Note: The ultimate weapon and handgun capable of stopping even mighty Galactus himself. While feared by him, it is kept onboard Taa II.].

Devouring a planet

Galactus is the Devourer of Worlds. At all times, Galactus loses energy at astronomical rates ; as a consequence he loses 5 APs of all Effect Attributes, Resistance Attributes and all Powers except Vampirism per 20 APs time (one month ; Growth is only lost at a rate of 1 AP during each such loss, such Growth losses are lost when energy levels are replenished) ; should any of his Resistance Attribute fall to 0 APs as a consequence of such losses he’ll die.

All of these losses can be immediately replenished by absorbing the life-force of an entire, bio-energy rich planetary body (or his spaceship Taa II as a last resort reserve, see above). It’s the planet that itself is reduced into rubble, not the population, but they will die as a consequence of that.

Individuals will not be attacked by the power as a substitute since absorbing them will not grant Galactus any replenishment whatsoever (-3).

Galactus will attempt to feed on a planet when the first energy loss has occurred and he’s still strong (20 APs of time). If further energy losses occur (another 20 APs of time) Galactus will grow increasingly desperate. Galactus can absorb a planet either by himself or by the help of a machine.

Galactus may apply his full APs of the Vampirism power onto the inorganic planet itself, by sinking into it and absorbing it (+2), but will thus, as a default, place himself into a long coma-like state (-2).

If Galactus ever tries to absorb a planet lacking the important life-force associated with it, his power will turn onto himself, possibly ending his existence by doing so (-2). Due to the drawbacks of his own power, Galactus has devised a converter machine to help him overcome such problems. The machine has the following stats :

ELEMENTAL CONVERTER MACHINE [BODY 10, Energy Absorption: 75, Invulnerability: 35/. Bonuses and Limitations: Hardened Defenses (+2), The machine effectively refines absorbed bio-energies so that Galactus may feed on them with no ill effects (+2), If Galactus absorbs a dead planet (lacking bio-energy) and becomes destroyed as a result of that, the machine might collect his dissipated energies and resurrect him to life again (+1), Notes: this piece of machinery is present in disassembled form onboard Taa II ; reassembling or disassembling it (Galactus does this by use of telekinesis) requires the Genius Advantage and has an OV/RV of 18 APs. If lacking the power or time to bring the equipment to a planetary surface, Galactus will create the machine out from thin air instead using the power cosmic.)


The heralds of Galactus

In ancient times, Galactus did not need a Herald because he fed so infrequently. However, his hunger has grown in recent centuries, and now he must feed so often that he needs someone to scout out likely candidates for his next meal. Galactus has only one Herald at a time, but when the incumbent dies or rebels, he must recruit a new one.

The Devourer of Worlds empowers each Herald with a bit of his own cosmic energy (by using his Bestow power), making him or her more powerful than most mortals could ever dream of becoming. Often, he also gives a new Herald some sort of item imbued with additional powers, such as the Silver Surfer’s surfboard or Terrax’s axe.

The transformation usually includes some sort of mind alteration that makes Galactus’s new servant both obedient and unemotional about the fates of the planets his or her master must destroy.

Several beings have served as Herald of Galactus in recent years. The first of these was Norrin Radd, who became the Silver Surfer. Radd started the whole herald tradition by offering himself in service to save his planet. But the Silver Surfer rebelled against his master when the latter tried to consume the Earth.

Next, the Devourer of Worlds found a Xandarian named Gabriel Lan, who became the Air-Walker. This herald died fighting the Ovoids, and for a while Galactus used a robotic copy of him instead.

As luck would have it, just after the destruction of the android Air-Walker, a better candidate appeared in the person of Pyreus Kril, loyal friend of Gabriel. In exchange for information on what had become of Lan, Pyreus agreed to become the next Herald was transformed into Firelord.

Kril’s service ended when Thor convinced Galactus to take the Destroyer, a construct of Odin’s, in Firelord’s stead. After Loki stole the Destroyer back, Galactus empowered the Fantastic Four to find him a new Herald. Their candidate, Tyros the Terrible, became Terrax the Tamer.

But the ambitious Terrax proved an annoyance to Galactus, who subsequently stripped him of his power. Next came a young woman named Frankie Raye, whom Galactus transformed into Nova (the second to bear than name). She died fighting Morg, who in turn became the newest Herald.


Connection: The Cosmic Beings Community

Cost: 150/100 (High/Low)

This advantage works exactly like ordinary Connections and essentially makes the character himself into a so-called Cosmic Being. It is very common that a character with this Advantage possesses incredibly high mystical stats. Cosmic beings are beings of incredible, celestial power or beings that personify various aspects of the Universe, such as life, death, time etc. The members of Marvel’s Cosmic Beings Community can be summarized as follows:

Higher-level Cosmic Beings (these have a High-level connection themselves):
Mistress Death (Embodiment of death)
Eternity (Embodiment of all there is)
Infinity (Sister of Eternity)
Galactus (The Devourer of Worlds)
Kronos (Titan God of Time)
Watcher (Watcher dedicated to studying our space sector)
Lord Chaos and Master Order (Galactic Balance)
Living Tribunal (Cosmic Judge of all realities)
Stranger (Mysterious stranger)
Mistress Love and Sire Hate (Embodiments of Love and Hate)
Celestials (Ancient god-like race)
Middle-level Cosmic Beings (these have a Low-level connection themselves):
Adam Warlock (current wearer of the Infinity Gems)
Eon (ancient entity)
Mephisto (The Devil)
Silver Surfer (former herald of Galactus)
Thanos (Demi-God of Death)
Elders of the Universe (lone survivors of the Universe’s first races)
Certain Entities used for invocations
Lower-level Cosmic Beings (these have no level of connection themselves, but will be contacts):
Various Pantheon Leaders (incl. Odin, Zeus, Manitou, Svarog, Tezcatlipoca, Itzamna, Osiris and Nuada)
Most Sorcerer Supremes (such as Dr. Strange)
Most Entities used for invocations
Some Cosmic defenders (such as Mar-Vell of the Kree (currently deceased),
Quasar (Wendell Vaughn) and Gladiator of the Shi’ar)
Lesser heralds of Galactus (such as Nova II, Firelord and Terrax)

By Peter S Piispanen.

Source of Character: Marvel Comics.

Helper(s): Andrew Lee, Jay Myers, John Colagioia, Jackson, Michael Davis, www.marvel.com, Fantastic Four Marvel Saga Roster Book, Bil.

Subscribe to our MINI-NEWSLETTER !

One bare-bones e-mail per month. Plain text. Short. To the point. Learn more.