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Superman: Herald Of Galactus

06/21/2013 // No Comments

In 1999, Marvel and DC comics published a crossover book called Superman/Fantastic Four, written and drawn by Dan Jergens with “finished art” by Art Thibert. The cover says: Galactus: Devourer of Krypton? Superman: Herald of Galactus? The Fantastic Four: Earth’s only hope? The infinite destruction is upon us!

Front and back cover of the Superman/ Fantastic Four comic book.

The beautiful cover painting by Jergens and Alex Ross.

The story starts out over in the DC Universe where Superman comes across some information that convinces him that Galactus devoured his home world of Krypton, so he decides to fly over to the Marvel Universe to talk to the Fantastic Four so they can help him get revenge on the devourer of worlds. Not too long after he arrives in the Marvel U, Superman and the FF are attacked by the Cyborg Superman (who followed supes from the DC U). Then immediately after they start fighting, Galactus shows up and imbues Superman with the Power Cosmic making him his new herald and then they take off in search of – what else? – a planet for Galactus to eat.

Superman stands in the air as the new herald of Galactus.

Superman: Herald of Galactus

Superman: Herald of Galactus looks the same as regular Superman, but gold from head to toe and without a cape. He has pretty much the same powers, but now he can shoot energy blasts out of his hands.

Galactus, Superman: The Herald of Galactus, and the Fantastic Four.

The Fantastic Four (reluctantly teamed up with the Cyborg Superman) set off on a journey to save their new buddy Superman. Meanwhile, after initially behaving like a good loyal herald and leading Galactus to a coincidentally uninhabited planet, Superman slowly begins to snap out of it and challenge the idea of what Galactus is ordering him to do. Eventually Superman betrays his master, just like the Silver Surfer before him…

Superman shooting Galactus with power cosmic blasts.

The heroes stop Galactus from devouring an inhabited planet, they find out Cyborg Superman had only tricked Superman into believing Galactus had devoured Krypton, Superman is stripped of his new powers, and Superman and Mr. Fantastic have this conversation about the devourer of worlds…

MR. FANTASTIC: He’s only doing that which any living organism does – whatever he must to survive.
SUPERMAN: You almost sound like you… admire him.
MR. FANTASTIC: Respect is more appropriate. Nevertheless, I will work ceaselessly to stop him. 

When I first heard about the concept of Superman being the herald of Galactus, of course I was excited, but I didn’t get my hopes up. I didn’t expect a Superman/ Fantastic Four crossover to be very good, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.The art is beautiful (it looks especially great at the 10 x 13.5 inches oversized format) and the characters were very well written. Unfortunately I dont believe it has ever been reprinted. So if you want to get it – and you should – you need to buy a used copy and it isn’t always cheap on eBay.

And here’s another picture in case you wanted more (I know I did)…

Superman, Galactus, and the FF all together.

Silver Surfer #1 (1982)

06/18/2013 // No Comments

The cover of the Silver Surfer one shot from 1982.

I didn’t know Silver Surfer #1 (1982) existed until I found and started researching the album Surfing With The Alien (which features an image from the comic on its cover). It’s written by Stan Lee with art by John Byrne and tells the story of the Surfer finally breaking free of the barrier Galactus created which kept him exiled on earth so many years.

The first thing the Surfer does is return to his home planet of Zenn-La only to find it “a smoldering, seething inferno – a blazing, lifeless ruin”. We learn in a flashback that after his betrayal in the Galactus Trilogy, his former master returned to Zenn-La, considering his agreement with the mortal Norrin Radd null and void. The Silver Surfer eventually finds a camp of survivors, but is crushed when he learns that his beloved Shalla Bal was abducted by Mephisto and he spends the rest of the issue fighting to save her.

Galactus standing above Zenn-La warning the people below.

It’s interesting to note that Galactus gives the people of Zenn-La 24 hours to evacuate the planet before he destroys it.

This comic is another example of Stan Lee’s great writing in the 1980s (I love almost all of his work from the 80s until today). And although Galactus is only in it for two flashback scenes (the origin of the Silver Surfer and the destruction of Zenn-La), it is a great Silver Surfer comic that you can usually find for pretty cheap on Ebay.

Galactus builds a machine to destroy Zenn-La.

Robolactus (Sonic The Hedgehog)

06/17/2013 // No Comments
Side by side comparison of the Sonic The Hedghog #104 and Fantastic Four #49.

The cover of Sonic The Hedgehog #104 (left) which is pays homage to the cover to Fantastic Four #49 (right)

The 2002 comic book Sonic The Hedghog #104 features several parodies of Marvel Comics characters such as Galactus, the Silver Surfer, and the Guardians of the Galaxy. It takes place in the far future of an alternate universe within Sonic The Hedghog continuity. The character Robolactus the Planet Glutton is a “robotic descendent” of the Sonic villan, Dr Robotnik – and is obviously a parody of Galactus. His herald is called Silver Snively and is based on Dr Robotnik’s nephew Snively Robotnik and is a Silver Surfer parody.

Robolactus about to consume a planet's "life force".

The story is only 16 pages and is about Robolactus coming to destroy the planet that the “Fighters of the Galaxy” are stationed on. It’s a pretty basic Galactus story with the heroes doing their best to sabotage the “planet juicer” that Robolactus uses to drink the planet’s “life force”. Meanwhile, the “planet glutton” easily swats them away and calls them “insects.” Eventually the Silver Snively convinces his master to leave that planet and eat a different planet inhabited by a race called “The Sharks” (who apparently are somebody I would know if I had been reading past issues)

The Silver Snively shows Robolactus a new planet to consume.

This is the first issue I’ve ever read of Sonic The Hedgehog and I wasn’t very familiar with the characters, but it wasn’t terrible. It did seem kind of pointless, but I thought maybe it would appeal to kids. Then again I gave it to my ten year-old son who is a big fan of Sonic comics and he didn’t seem too impressed with it. He said it was alright but would have been better if it had the characters from the regular series instead of characters from an alternate reality. He would have liked to see Robolactus show up and battle the actual Sonic The Hedghog and his friends. I guess I would have preferred that as well, but actually I guess I didn’t really care that much anyway.

Marvels #3 (1994)

06/16/2013 // No Comments

Marvels is a 4 issue miniseries written by Kurt Busiek and painted by Alex Ross that retells the events of the early Marvel Universe from the point of view of a news photographer named Phil Sheldon. Issue #3 focuses on the story of the coming of Galactus and shows us how the events from the Galactus Trilogy looked to the people on the ground . They all feel completely helpless and of course they think it’s the end of the world.

two full page paintings from the Marvels #3 comic book

The whole mini-series is beautifully painted and tells a really great story, but issue #3 is particularly awesome.

Silver Surfer: Parable

06/07/2013 // No Comments

Stan Lee always liked to use the Silver Surfer as his voice to philosophize on what is right and what is wrong with the world. Through the eyes of an alien, he could comment on humanity from an outsider’s perspective. And the 1988 two issue story Silver Surfer Parable is a perfect example of that.

Cover to the comic book Silver Surfer Parable, signed by Stan Lee

My copy of Silver Surfer Parable #1 signed by Stan Lee. One of my favorite comic covers of all time. Drawn by Moebius.

In my opinion, this book is Stan Lee’s best writing. It is considerably more deep and dark and philosophical than any of his other work. In one of the special feature documentaries on the Rise of the Silver Surfer DVD, Stan Lee says this book is his favorite Silver surfer story – and it’s also the only book Stan Lee has ever won and Eisner Award for.

Parable seems to take place in some kind of alternate universe. One where Galactus and the Silver Surfer came to earth just as they did in the original Galactus Trilogy, but this takes place in a future where there doesn’t seem to be any more super heroes around, nobody remembers Galactus, and people have only a vague recollection of the stories of the Silver Surfer – who is now living among them on the streets, homeless, having given up on humanity.

Illustration of Galactus standing over a city from the comic book Silver Surfer Parable.

I love the scale of Galactus in this book.

And that is when Galactus comes back to earth. But in order to keep his promise not to harm the people of earth, he come to them this time as a benevolent God, standing above them and telling them “I am come to set you free. Free from guilt! Free from worthless man-made laws! If you would be saved, do what you will! Take what you will! There is no wrong! There is no sin! Pleaseure is all! …So speaks Galactus!” (Stan Lee does love exclamation points) He is not breaking his solemn pledge, but rather than attacking the earth, he is allowing mankind to destroy themselves in his name. Than after they destroy themselves, then he can consume the energies of this planet and satiate his great hunger.

Illustration of Galactus from the comic book Silver Surfer Parable.

Churches are built in Galactus’ name, a false prophet arises, and the few that question the believers are punished with death. This is where Stan Lee’s commentary really really excels – through the story, he addresses the purpose of religion, the dangers of blind faith, and there’s lot’s of veiled references to Jesus and the Bible.

Illustration of Galactus and the Silver Surfer from the comic book Silver Surfer Parable.

And the art (as you can see in these pictures), is absolutely gorgous. It is done by the legendary French comic artist, Moebius. It is a beautiful book both visually and story-wise that I recommend to anyone and everyone. You can find the single issues pretty easily for cheap on line, but in my opinion, the colors are greatly lacking in the original issues. However, it has recently been reprinted in a lovely hardcover edition, that as I am writing this post is currently only $10 on Amazon.

Detailed close up of Galactus and the Silver Surfer from the comic book Silver Surfer Parable.

Silver Surfer #51

06/06/2013 // No Comments

Cover to the comic book Silver Surfer issue #51

Silver Surfer #51 says it’s an Infinity Guntlet crossover issue, but the only because Galactus keeps saying that the reason he needs to eat is so he can be strong enough to face Thanos, if comes down to that. Besides that though, this 1991 issue written by Ron Marz and beautifully penciled by Ron Lim is pretty much a stand alone issue and can be enjoyed without any further context.

Illustration of Galactus and Nova from the comic book Silver Surfer #51

It’s rare to see Galactus without his helmet. And I am not sure I’ve seen him with that weird goatee thing before. Also shown in this picture: Nova’s ass.

The issue starts out (as so many Galactus comics do) with Galactus telling his loyal herald, Nova, that he is hungry and she must go out to find him a planet to eat. As she searches the cosmos, Nova’s mind drifts back to an experience she had had in the past (though this is the first time it is shown). In this memory, she is about to choose a planet for Galactus that is inhabited by a very primitive race of creatures, when the Silver Surfer shows up and stops her. He pleads with her to avoid delivering her master to such places. He then takes her back in time to the dawning of man on Earth and points out that humans too were once primitive and that when Galactus destroys a planet like that, he he nipping that races potential in the bud.

Illustration of Galactus and his herald, Nova.

Did I mention that Ron Lim’s art is beautiful?

Back to the present, Nova is once again unable to find an uninhabited planet and reluctantly leads Galactus to one filled with life. But her conscious troubles her as she watches her master prepare to dine and finally she speaks up: “You realize this planet is inhabited. Its people are simple farmers. Is there no way they can be spared?”

In response, Galactus then takes her to task: “What do I care for any organisms that cling to this body? I require energy this planet can provide. Anything else is of no consequence. Even were there time to evacuate the planet, I would ignore your request. Galactus Bows to no will other than his own, particularly that of a hireling. Your fealty is to me alone, Nova. See that you remember that.”

But then after he has fed, he thanks Nova for her service and says he will overlook her “earlier indiscretion”, leaving her struggling with her feelings of guilt.

One of my favorite things about the character of Galactus is the question of his moral responsibility in the universe and the struggle those close to him feel for the role they play. So although Galactus is only in a few pages and the beginning and end of this issue, I really enjoyed it for addressing those issues and introducing a little more depth to Nova’s character.

Darkseid vs Galactus

06/06/2013 // No Comments

Cover to Cover to the comic book Darkseid vs Galactus The Hunger

Sometime in the mid 1990s, comic creator John Byrne was approached by a fan at a comic convention who gave him the idea for a book. According to the story, the fan simply said “Galactus tries to eat Apokolips.” From there, Byrne started fleshing out the intercompany (Marvel and DC) crossover which was eventually published in 1995 called Darkseid vs Galactus: The Hunger.

Illustration of Galactus piloting large machinery.

Galactus prepares to consume Apokolips.

When I first picked up this book, I didn’t really know anything about Darkseid other than that he was created by Jack Kirby for DC Comics in the 1970s. But this comic gives a brief yet though-enough background of the character and the twin planets, New Genesis (where the good gods live) and Apokolips (where Darkseid and the bad gods live). And it also retells the origins of both Galactus and the Silver Surfer, so no matter how familiar you are or aren’t with these characters, the foundation is laid and the story is a fun and interesting read.

Darkseid operating machinery

Darkseid prepares to stop Galactus.

As you can guess, Galactus is hungry and Apokolips and all of it’s inhabitants are about to become his dinner. Apparently Darkseid is a pretty formidable foe in the DC universe, but I don’t think he stands much of a chance against the Devourer of Worlds. But he gets the help of both his sworn enemy, Orion (who is a proud warrior and doesn’t want anyone else to kill Darkseid before he can), and eventually the Silver Surfer himself. But when Galactus finally prevails and starts the process of devouring Apokolips, he realizes that that planet has no life energy and he leaves.

Illustration of Silver Surfer fighting Orion from Darkseid vs Galactus The Hunger

The Silver Surfer vs Orion. If I knew more about Orion, I assume I would have found this scene quite epic.

Pretty everything John Byrne has done with Galactus was fantastic and this book is no exception. Although there are a couple plot holes (like why the Surfer lead Galactus to Apokolips in the first place if that planet has no life force?), it was a nice story and had some really cool parts – particularly those with the Silver Surfer. It’s not entirely clear when this story takes place, but it seems to be before Fantastic Four #47, because the Silver Surfer at this point doesn’t remember his history as a mortal or his life back on Zenn-La. Darkseid knows this and uses it against Galactus when he uses a machine to return the surfer’s memory – which sends him in a mad rage against Galactus.

Illustration of Silver Surfer from Darkseid vs Galactus The Hunger

Norrin remembers.

Eventually Galactus makes his herald forget again and explains “It was not compassion which led me to remove Norrin Radd’s memory, Darkseid. From the day I accepted him as my herald, I have known a time would come when he would turn on me. This alas was not that time, but when it comes at last, terrible shall be my punishment. And not the least shall be the slow and painful restoration of those memories.” What does he mean by that? Is he saying that part of the punishment Galactus will experience will be watching Norrin’s memory return? Will he be hurt by the guilt of what he’s done that day? I am not sure if that’s what Byrne was saying, but that’s how I choose to take it.

Galactus In The Infinity Gauntlet

06/04/2013 // No Comments

Whenever there is a galactic-sized event in the Marvel Universe, you have to wonder what role Galactus will play in the story. This post is going to cover the world devourer’s role in the 1991 classic event, The Infinity Gauntlet – and a couple of What If… stories that based on that series.

Cover to the Infinity Gauntlet #5

In the original Infinity Gauntlet story, written by Jim Starlin and drawn by George Perez and Ron Lim, the Mad Titan, Thanos uses the combined power of the Infinity Gems to make himself into a God and take control of the universe. Shortly after he begins his reign of terror, all of the cosmic entities of the Marvel Universe (including Galactus) are called together in a council to decide what actions if any need to be taken. Adam Warlock is in attendance and proposes that the cosmic entities should follow his plan of attack against Thanos. Galactus is the only one who has a problem with the idea of taking orders from a mortal and after a short argument, blasts Warlock out of the sky with an eye blast. After Warlock proves unharmed, the Lord Chaos and Master Order vouch for him and one by one, the cosmic entities all vow to follow his plan.

Illustration of the cosmic entities confronting Galactus.

After all of Earth’s heroes fail to stop Thanos, it is finally time for the cosmic entities to enter the battle. After a short cosmic confrontation, Thanos finally prevails, leaving the cosmic entities imprisoned under his control.

Thanos imprisons the Marvel Cosmic Entities.

Later, when Thanos’ granddaughter, Nebula steals the Infinity Gauntlet from the Mad Titan, she must face the cosmic entities again in battle – and once again, they are defeated by the limitless power of the Infinity Gems, this time being left frozen in stone.

Cosmic entities frozen in stone from Infinity Gauntlet.

Eventually Adam Warlock gains control of the Infinity Gauntlet and the first thing he does is free the cosmic entities.

Two years later, in 1993, Marvel published What If #49 by Ron Marz and Scott Clark that told the story of what would have happened if the Silver Surfer had succeeded at taking the Infinity Gauntlet away from Thanos.

Cover to What If Silver Surfer Possessed the Infinity Gauntlet.

This is a really great story and definitely one of my favorite What If comics. As you can guess, the surfer uses that power to right all of the wrongs in the universe. After returning all of the cosmic entities to their respective realms, he takes a moment to converse with Galactus and vow to the world devourer that he need not worry and that the surfer holds no ill will toward his former master. It is a very short scene, but it is interesting to see the surfer’s lack of patience, now that he is a god, when Galactus questions him…

Picture of Silver Surfer

Another fun What If story was #104, published in 1998 and written by Thomas Virkaitis with art by Gregg Schigiel. It tells the story of what would have happened if The Impossible Man had taken the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos. One of the first things he uses his newfound power for is to recreate Zenn-La and everything on it (including Shalla Bal) as a favor to the Silver Surfer. Although he knows it cannot be the real Zenn-La, the surfer is happy to return to living on this close imitation of his old home world.

Cover to Infinity Gauntlet What If story.

Next Impossible Man decides to confront Galactus for having devoured his own home planet, Poppup (back in Fantastic Four #175). Eventually Galactus agrees to help him recreate Poppup and all of it’s former inhabitants, as long as the Impossible Man agrees to turn over the Infinity Gauntlet to the Silver Surfer. But in the process of recreating Poppup Galactus needs another planet’s raw materials and the Surfer reluctantly offers up the artificial Zenn-La. Afterwards he asks Galactus why he doesn’t use his power to bring back all of the planets he has devoured in the past and this is a really nice part…

Galactus and the Silver Surfer from a What If comic

Afterwards the Silver Surfer ponders what had just occurred and thinks to himself “Perhaps Galactus was aiding me. He knows that I could never be happy while living a lie. Not while the truth – the real Zenn-La – is out here!”

Overall, Galactus doesn’t end up playing much of a role in this cosmic event that is The Infinity Gauntlet, but the few short scenes he does have are nice. Each of these books are great and worth your time, even if they are not as Galactus-centric as I would have hoped.

Thanos vs. Galactus

05/21/2013 // No Comments

Cover of comic book

The 2003 Thanos miniseries is out of print and very hard to come across, but if you can get your hands on at least the first 6 issues, you won’t regret it because they have a really cool Galactus story written and drawn by the great Jim Starlin.

The series starts with Thanos having a change of heart and wanting to atone for having destroyed a planet called Rigel-3 by helping a colony of Rigelians whose planet is about to be destroyed by Galactus. We find out that Galactus isn’t actually planning on eating the Rigelian planet but he is syphoning the lava core of it to help him detonate a nearby sun – which is all part of a larger plan to collect the infinity gems which are scattered across the universe. Galactus has built a machine that when combined with the infinity gems, he believes will help him cure his hunger forever.

Illustration of Thanos and Galactus fighting.

Thanos and Galactus go head-to-head…

Galactus with helmet off and eyes glowing with fire.

…resulting in Galactus’ helmet being destroyed.

But Thanos discovers that Galactus is actually being manipulated by a being from another reality called Hunger who devours entire realities and is using Galactus to open a doorway to our reality. When Thanos tries to explain this to Galactus, they fight and then the portal is opened and Hunger enters our universe. Galactus and Thanos then of course team up to battle Hunger.

Galactus with shirt and helmet off

By the end of the battle, Galactus’ entire costume is in shreds.

This is an awesome story and it was fun watching Thanos and Galactus duke it out both physically and on a mental plane. It also had a lot of insights on the character of Galactus, showing that he is more conscious of the destruction wreaks than he usually lets on. It also explores quite a bit just how lonely and isolated his existence really is – particularly in issue 3, which retells his origin in a really cool and personal way. I really wish Marvel would rerelease this in a collected format, because the individual issues are way too expensive on eBay, but it is a really great book.

Wolverine vs. Galactus

05/20/2013 // No Comments

Cover of Wolverine comic.

In Wolverine #138, we get to see what happens when Wolverine takes a stand against Galactus. Does Wolverine have what it takes to stop the Devourer of Worlds? Of course not.

It starts with Galactus getting ready to consume the Collector’s Prison World, where he keeps the last survivors of endangered alien races. Wolverine had recently been called to help free the prisoners and now end up trying to get as many of them to safety as he can before Galactus destroys everything and everyone.

Even though Wolverine tries his best, there is little he can do against a force like Galactus. But it is interesting to see Wolverine’s frustration at being so outclassed and in the end he seems really bothered that he wasn’t able to do more.

Wolverine gazes down at Galactus' work.

This issue from 1999 was written by Erik Larsen with art by Jeff Matsuda, Steve Scott, and Yancey Labat. It’s an okay little story and the art and script were good, but in the end, this issue  had nothing for me to really get excited about. But like I said, it did have some cool art…

Galactus using his world devouring machine.

The Silver Surfer #48: Past Sins

05/19/2013 // No Comments

Cover of Silver Surfer #48 comic book.

In the early 90s, Silver Surfer has had a couple of experiences that have made him question his own feelings about what had transpired for eons in the service of the World Devourer, and in Silver Surfer #48 (1991), he finally decides to confront his former master. He explains “while trapped in a strange plane of existence called Soul World, I met a being called Adam Warlock. He had the power to look into my soul. Do you know that his inspection found? Alteration! Modification! Tampering! Someone had manipulated the workings of my spirit.”

Silver Surfer yells at Galatus.

We find out that Galactus had in fact modified the Surfer’s personality so as to help him better deal with the mass genocide he would oversee. And then at the Surfer’s insistance, Galactus removes the block and the Surfer is imediately overcome with guilt and anguish over his past sins as herald of Galactus.

Galactus and the Silver Surfer

After his former master offers to put the blocks back in place, the Surfer insists that no, he must accept responsibility for and learn to live with his actions. He says “Too long have I hidden away in the cozy harbor of self-deceit. Never again. I will either come to terms with my soul’s burden or die trying. A man can live no other way and remain a man.”

This issue, beautifully written by Jim Starlin and drawn by Ron Lim is one of the better Galactus comics I have read. There’s no fighting or unnecessary action, there is just great character development as secrets from the past are revealed and the Surfer has to face the truth about his actions in the service as herald to Galactus and what those truths will mean to him going forward. This issue should be easy to track down for just a couple of dollars and I recommend it to any fan of the Surfer or Galactus.

Deadpool Team-Up With Galactus

04/01/2013 // No Comments
Cover of Deadpool team-up comic.

I love this cover by writer Skottie Young!

When Deadpool is running low on funds, he needs to start looking for a new job – that is how Deadpool Team-Up #883 (written by Skottie Young and drawn by Ramon Perez) begins. He ends up taking a job as Galactus’ new herald. He really seems to enjoy his new job until he eventually Galactus can’t take any more of his non-stop talking and banishes him.

Galactus and Deadpool panel from the comic.

Shortly after which, he runs into the Silver Surfer who has come to stop him from assisting Galactus. After they fight for a while, back and forth with their power cosmic, Deadpool ultimately resigns from his new job and returns to earth, where he joins a former heralds of Galactus support group…

Support group of former heralds of Galactus.

It’s a fun little issue and pretty much just feels like a humorous What If… story. I am not a huge fan of Deadpool as a character, but it’s worth a read.

Oh and my favorite panel is of Galactus devouring a planed inhabited by what appear to be a bunch of Pikachu…

Galactus about to devour a planet while small yellow aliens run away.

Stan Lee Meets Silver Surfer

04/01/2013 // No Comments

Cover of the comic book with Stan Lee on the Silver Surfer's board.

In 2006 and 2007, Stan Lee wrote a series of one-shot comics for Marvel called “Stan Lee Meets…” where Stan Lee himself meets and interacts with some of his greatest creations. There is an issue for each of the following: Doctor Doom, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Thing, and Silver Surfer. In Stan Lee Meets Silver Surfer, Stan is abducted out of his office by Galactus who explains that he is concerned about the Surfer and without going into detail, sends Stan to go see if he can help him.

Stan Lee talking to Galactus.

After a short time together, Stan has had enough of the Surfer’s non-stop philosophizing, which Galactus later explains has been driving him crazy as well.

Stan Lee in outer space with the Silver Surfer.

In fact, that was the reason Galactus had asked for Stan’s help in the first place – in hopes that he could somehow cure him of his “eternal preaching”.

Galactus complaining about the Silver Surfer being such a bore.

It’s only a 10 page story (the rest of the issue has a short story by Paul Jenkins and a reprint of a classic Silver Surfer issue), but Stan Lee’s writing in the last 10 years has been so hilarious and fun. And it’s drawn by the great Mike Wieringo, so even for such a short story, it is well worth the money you’d spend to pick it up – and you should be able to get it for pretty cheap.

Silver Surfer 107-109 (vol. 3)

03/18/2013 // No Comments

Not all Galactus stories from the 1990s were terrible, but I have noticed that the worst Galactus comics I have read have been from the 1990s – and I would certainly count Silver Surfer 107-109 (1995) among them.

comic book cover with Galactus and the Silver Surfer.

The cover to issue 109 wasn’t that bad.

The Silver Surfer battles a Doombot  for his Power Cosmic, then makes a Punisher punish himself, Tyrant (a being that Galactus created eons ago) confronts Galactus, Morg (the herald of Galactus at the time) calls people “butt-face” and “crud-spew” while attempting to protect Galactus with the Ultimate Nulifier.  The whole thing ends with the Ultimate Nulifier exploding inside Galactus’ world ship killing Galactus and… ugh, who cares? I hated it.

Galactus getting in the face of a weird green and purple robot.

Tyrant and Galactus go toe to toe.

The art is in a style that was very popular in the 90s (though not the worst from that time) and the writing has to be one of the most ridiculous pieces of comic writing I’ve ever read. I recommend you steer clear. There was almost nothing redeeming about this story, so I’m just going to pretend it didn’t happen.

Last Planet Standing

01/31/2013 // No Comments

The 2006, 5-issue series, Last Planet Standing, takes place in the MC2 Universe (an alternate future in the Marvel Universe that went through several series from 1998 – 2008). This story was originally intended to be the ending of the MC2 Universe, but after complaints of the fans and the success of this book, the ending was changed and the universe was spared.

3 comic book coverse featuring Galactus.

Covers to Last Planet Standing issues 1, 2, and 5.

The story begins with Galactus going through the universe destroying entire galaxies and collecting gods (Thor, the Elders of the universe, etc.) and other cosmic artifacts. We learn that he is not just consuming planets as usual, but as he explains: ”Since time immemorial I have been trapped in an eternal cycle of seeking and consuming energy. Now thanks to a recently birthed star – Galactus will be FREE! I can finally evolve to the next level.”

Galactus and his herald, Dominas The Wavemaster, eventually arrive on earth where the world devourer begins assembling a machine that is different than the one he usually uses to devour planets. This machine is called and Excavatron and he plans to use it to combine the energy of the earth with the energy he’s been collecting and blast it all into a new-born star, which will implode, destroying this universe and creating a new Big Bang.

Picture of the herald of Galactus flying through space.

Dominas The Wavemaster, herald of Galactus.

When earth’s heroes try to thwart his plans, Galactus summons an army of Punishers to fight them off.

Galactus and an army of Punishers.

An army of Punishers.

Reed sends out a signal to the Silver Surfer who comes to help in the fight. He eventually defeats Dominas and takes his Power Cosmic and then confronts his former master.

Galactus operating a large machine.

Galactus and his fancy-schmancy Excavatron.

At the end, the heroes are successful at reversing Galactus’ energy ray and turn it back around on the world eater. As Galactus is about to die, the Surfer comes to his rescue and envelopes the both of them into a “protective cocoon of ethereal force.” And when the cocoon is ultimately reopened, Galactus and the Silver Surfer have merged into a new being (who looks like a large silver Galactus with a surfboard) which possesses a new form of energy called the “Power Essential“, which he uses to repair all the damage which was done to earth before heading out into the cosmos , stating “From this day forward, I will devote my life to being a builder of worlds and a guardian of life. Across the cosmos shall I journey, transforming dead planets into bearers of life and joy.”

A silver Galactus riding a giant silver surfboard.

The merging of Galactus and the Silver Surfer.

I liked this story despite not being much of a fan of the MC2 Universe. I especially liked Galactus’ plan and the merging of the surfer with his former master. I thought that was a fun new idea and I’d really like to see more of that new character. It was written by Tom Defalco with nice art by Pat Olliffe.

The Last Fantastic Four Story

01/28/2013 // No Comments

In 2007, Marvel released a one-shot called The Last Fantastic Four Story, written by Stan Lee and drawn by John Romita Jr. It’s title pretty much explains what it is… the last adventure the Fantastic Four have before they retire – and Galactus plays a pretty major role in it.

When a great council on the other side of the universe, called the Cosmic Tribunal, decide that mankind is no longer worthy to continue, they send one of their own (a being called the Adjudicator) to tell humankind that it has one week to say its goodbyes to one another before it is destroyed. When earth’s authorities and superheroes discover that there is nothing they can do to stop the Adjudicator or the Cosmic Tribunal, Reed Richards sends his friend, the Silver Surfer, to find Galactus. Galactus tells Reed that there is nothing even he can do to fight the Cosmic Tribunal, but Reed has an idea – a piece of information that Galactus has that might be their last hope…

After Galactus gives Reed that information, the Silver Surfer rushes off into space at Reed’s behest, leaving all of the inhabitants of earth to morn and prepare for the end. A short time later, the Adjudicator exclaims “The impossible has happened!” and takes off, leaving the earth behind. It turns out that the information Galactus had given, was the name and location of the one race in all of the universe could stand a chance of defeating the Cosmic Tribunal (a mindless, war-loving race called The Decimators), and the surfer had rushed off to find them and lead them to the Tribunal.

Now that the Tribunal is doomed, mankind is safe from their judgement. BUT the Fantastic Four cannot stand by and allow an intelligent race to be slaughtered, so they take off with Galactus to go save the Cosmic Tribunal and convince them that mankind is noble and does deserve to continue on…

This is one of my favorite Fantastic Four stories. It is an excellent example of Stan Lee’s more recent writing (which I love) and it is also an example of John Romita Jr’s best work – his stuff looks fantastic when inked by Scott Hanna. And of course, I loved that Galactus played such an important role and even helped save the day in the final battle. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It doesn’t get much better than this.

What If The Silver Surfer Had Not Betrayed Galactus?

01/26/2013 // No Comments

In What If… issue 70, we learn what might have happened if the Silver Surfer had not betrayed Galactus. It starts at that point in Fantastic Four #50 where Reed Richards is confronting Galactus with the Ultimate Nulifier. But before Galactus can agree to spare the earth, the Silver Surfer grabs the weapon out of Reed’s hand and knocks him unconscious. The rest of the Fantastic Four grab Reed and Alicia and retreat into the basement of the Baxter Building where they are accidentally locked in.

Without the help of the Fantastic Four, Galactus kills the Watcher and all of the earths other heros who dare oppose him, and consumes the earth. When the FF finally dig themselves free of the rubble they are burried in, they find themselves left behind on a shattered lifeless husk that was once earth.

The only other survivor they find on the earth is their nemesis, Doctor Doom. Who they agree to help avenge the earth in a group attack on Galactus’s ship. Not surprisingly, Doom wasn’t as interested in avenging earth as he was in getting the power cosmic for himself, but while the Fantastic Four fight a small army of Punishers, Doom dies at the hands of the Silver Surfer – who died as well.

Once aboard the ship, Reed finds the Ultimate Nulifier and confronts Galactsu with it again. But when it came down to it, Reed admitted that he could not destroy the universe all in the name of revenge. At which point Galactus realized he had misjudged the nobility of the inhabitants of the worlds he has devoured…


REED RICHARDS: Then You will no longer consume peopled worlds?
GALACTUS: But who will guide me to my feast with my herald gone? 
REED RICHARDS: We will, Galactus. The Fantastic Four will become your heralds

And from that moment on, the Fantastic Four were the heralds of Galactus, leading him to uninhabited worlds and sparing the lives of billions throughout the universe.

I love What If… comics – especially the ones about Galactus, and this was another great issue. It was written by Chuck Dixon and had quite a few artists working on various pages. The art has a bit of a 90s look to it, but is much better than the typical art from that era. Over all, this is a great issue and you should be able to find it relatively easily for just a couple dollars. It’s definitely recommended!

Galactus vs The In-Betweener: Silver Surfer (volume 3) #15 – 20

01/26/2013 // No Comments

Cover to Silver Surfer 18 by Ron Lim (1988)

At the end of Silver Surfer #10, Galactus ended up eating 5 of the elders of the universe, while the remaining elders escaped into a black hole. In Silver Surfer 15 – 20, we find out the rest of the story. So it turns out that Death had made a deal with the elders that Galactus ate, that she would not take their souls – therefore, they remain alive in Galactus’s stomach and as a result, the devourer of worlds is dying. The Silver Surfer has gathered Reed and Sue Richards (and their son, Franklin) to help save his life. They decide to follow the surviving elders into the black hole (leaving Franklin with Nova, Galactus’ current herald) to get the soul gem from them, which they plan to use to remove the un-dying elder’s souls.

On the other side of the black hole, they find a universe that is governed by two opposing forces: Lord Order and Master Chaos, who have created a third being called The In-Betweener, to “further their eternal conflict”. The In-Betweener teams up with the enders who have passed into his universe and agrees to kill Galactus and help them rescue their fellow elders.

When Nova sees the elders and the In-Betweener on their way towards Galactus’ ship, she releases the Punisher to protect them, but it doesn’t take long for the In-Betweener to “come to know the force which animates (that) particular form of life – and then summon it’s polar opposite,” thereby killing the Punisher.

Once inside the ship, however, The Inbetweener realizes that his method of fighting does not work against Galactus, for Galactus is unique in the universe and has no opposite force which can be used against him.

So he decides to send Galactus’ ship through the black hole and into the universe of Order and Chaos, where the surfer and the Richardses are stuck. The Richardses board Galactus’ ship and with the help of Order and Chaos, get the elders out of Galactus’ stomach and then find that Franklin and Nova had hidden inside Galactus stomach as well, a hiding place Franklin describes as “the safest place there was”.

Galactus, now free of the elders who had been making him ill, is now ready to get his revenge on the In-Betweener.

After battling a short while, the In-Betweener realizes that yes, Galactus is a being without an opposite, but the In-Betweener is a being of all opposites and therefore is himself Galactus’ opposite.

Eventually, with the help of the surfer, Nova, Fire Lord, and Eros, Galactus is able to push the-Inbetweener back through the black hole, so that Lord Order and Master Chaos can punish him themselves.

The last two issues of this story seem to be based around the fact that there are romantic feelings developing between Nova and the Silver Surfer – and that Galactus is jealous due to his own feelings for Nova. In order to keep them apart, Galactus sends them in different directions. He sends Nova to find him a suitable planet for consumption, and he sends the surfer after the elders, who have escaped again. After a misunderstanding between Nova and the surfer, Nova pleads for Galactus to allow her to go speak to the surfer. Galactus reacts in jealous anger and she eventually agrees to stay with the world devourer.

I wouldn’t say this story was a must-read, but it had pretty good writing from Steve Englehart and really great art by Ron Lim, who was at the top of his game in 1989 when this was published.

Marvel Zombies

01/19/2013 // No Comments

Marvel Zombies hardcover cover by Arthur Suydam

Robert Kirkman‘s 2006 series Marvel Zombies is a continuation of a short storyline in Ultimate Fantastic Four from the year prior. It takes place in an alternate universe where the earth has been infected with an alien zombie virus and most of the human population has been killed off by the surviving super heroes and super villains.

The main story in this volume (there were many subsequent sequels) is the arrival of the Silver Surfer and Galactus to zombie earth. It’s a long difficult fight before the zombies succeed in taking down and devouring the Silver Surfer, but after they eat him, they become themselves charged with the Power Cosmic. Which helps them eventually take down Galactus.

After they eat Galactus, they become galactus-powered zombie superheros and head off into space to find new planets full of aliens to eat.

Left, the Marvel Zombies devour the world devourer. Right, the Marvel Zombies, now Galactified.

It’s a fun series with nice art by Sean Philips. I think the Marvel Zombies idea became overhyped and although I think this book is over-rated, I think it is still a good book that most anyone would enjoy.

Galactus and Franklin Richards

01/17/2013 // No Comments

Galactus, the herald of Franklin Richards. Art by Nick Dragotta from FF #16

Jonathan Hickman‘s run on Fantastic Four and FF was EPIC. It was a long, sometimes-complex, story with so many awesome elements: time travel, other-dimensions, Dr Doom, the creation of the Future Foundation, the introduction of the council of Reed Richardses, Dr Doom, Celestials, and some really great character development with Valeria and Franklin. And when it reached its climax last year, all of the work Hickman had been putting into this story all came together – and Galactus played a major part in it. It’s hard to summarize the events in the issues I am going to be talking about, because so so much was going on. So I am going to skip over most of it and just focus on the Galactus highlights and talk about the amazing stuff that we find out about Galactus and Franklin Richards…

Fantastic Four #602 cover by Mike Choi

Issue 600: Galactus gives Reed and Sue a device that they are to use when the earth is in danger. This device will call him to come save the earth – which he wants to protect since that is where the Galactus Seed is. He also tells them that their son, Franklin, has been doing some things they don’t know about (he’s gotten his power back and he has been using it to create his own universe is his bedroom closet). This is, of course, not the first time in Hickman’s run that Galactus has hinted about his interest in Franklin.

Issue 602: Reed and Sue use the device to call Galactus who comes and helps them out by destroying the Kree armada that was threatening earth…

Galactus talks telepathically to Reed and Sue. Art by Barry Kitson.

Issue 603: Galactus takes on four Celestials who are trying to kill Reed. After he kills one Celestial, the other three combine into one giant Celestial and then blast Galactus, leaving him unconscious.

Galactus vs the Celestials and the Super Celestial. Art by Barry Kitson.

Issue 604: The adult Franklin from the future shows up to save the day. In the middle of his battle with the three Celestials, Franklin sommons Galactus to rise and come to him. It says “Throughout all of space and time… the devourer of worlds has had many heralds…Franklin has had only one.”

Franklin summons his loyal herald. Art by Steve Epting.

And then we see that Galactus is the herald of Franklin Richards. Which, of course, is the coolest thing ever. The two of them then beat the Celestials and save the earth. And although the epic battle ends in Fantastic Four issue 604, the best scene between Franklin and his herald, Galactus is in FF #16

BFF art by Nick Dragotta.

GALACTUS: One day, it will all end. Suns will die and worlds will wither as the universe begins to cool. The heat death of everything. For so long I have thought I would face it by myself.
FRANKLIN: But now you know better. I will be there, standing beside you – we will watch as all that has been will become something new. The birth of a new universe. Still… Buck up, big guy… we’ve got billions of years until we have to worry about that. 
GALACTUS: I dreaded… feared… the return of solitude – of being alone. Forever. I never imagined this is what you could become.
FRANKLIN: Well, you’ll have to wait a little longer… union occures further down the road. And Galen?
GALACTUS: Yes, Franklin?
FRANKLIN: Be thankful that you never ate the earth.

I love the relationship between Galactus and Franklin and that last scene, although it’s only three pages long, is maybe my favorite Galactus moment in any comic. I love Galactus opening up to Franklin about his fears and I love how Franklin comforts and reassures him. But most of all, I love how Franklin speaks to Galactus like an old friend and calls him Galen (I don’t think I have ever seen anyone call him by his old first name like that).

Those last two two-page spreads on this post are two of my most favorite moments in comics ever!

The God Ship Galactus

01/16/2013 // No Comments

The story of the dead Galactus from the future played out over quite a few years in the pages of Fantastic Four. It started in Mark Millar’s run in 2008 when the New Defenders from the future captured Galactus to use him to power the time machine they used to transport all of earth’s survivors back to our current time – which resulted in the death of future Galactus. The story continued in 2010 and 2011, during Jonathan Hickman’s run, when the present-day Galactus found out about what had happened and went out to get revenge on the New Defenders and the other survivors from the future.

Then in 2012, as Jonathan Hickman was wrapping up his wonderful run on Fantastic Four, he had a couple of strings left with this story to tie up – and he did so in issue 609. That issue, drawn by Ryan Stegman, told us what happened to the New Defenders who were able to get away from NuWorld before Galactus destroyed it…

The New Defenders, with Reed’s help, dig up future Galactus’ corpse to transform it into “The God Ship Galactus“.

Powered by the energy left in the corpse’s bones the God Ship isn’t  just a space ship, it is also a time machine the New Defenders use to travel 1,000 years forward in time, where they will settle. The last page shows the God Ship (the mechanized corpse of Galactus) watching over their new life in the future – as Reed describes it: “A sentry watching over a better future – populated by the consciousness of a failed tomorrow.”

Although it was cool to see Galactus’ corpse turned into a big space/time ship, this wasn’t my favorite piece of the Dead Future Galactus story. Though maybe that is because of the awesome stuff Hickman was doing with Galactus just a few issues prior to this. Still, if you want to follow the whole story of the Galactus corpse, you should read this final chapter. Also, it was pretty awesome seeing Galactus’ corpse turned into a spaceship.

Galactus vs NuWorld

01/06/2013 // No Comments

In Mark Millar‘s run on the Fantastic Four, he told the story of the “New Defenders” from the future using the Galactus from the future to power their travel back through time. Once they arrived, future Galactus died and Reed Richards helped the remaining survivors from the future, by giving them a home on NuWorld – an artificial earth exactly like our that was introduced in Millar’s run (read my review/synopsis of that story HERE).

In Jonathan Hickman‘s subsequent run on the book, he followed up on what happened after that…

Fantastic Four issues 583-587

Fantastic Four 575: While traveling to Subterranea with Mole Man, we see that Reed Richards had buried the dead body of future Galactus deep beneath the earth…

art by Dale Eaglesham

Fantastic Four 583: The Silver Surfer is drawn by a “tickling (on) the edge of his mind”, to the place where Galactus’ body had been left.

Fantastic Four 584: After hearing the Silver Surfer’s report, Galactus shows up on earth to confront Reed Richards about why his dead body was hidden beneath the earth. Reed explains to Galactus what had happened and Galactus and the surfer take Reed with them to visit NuWorld, where Galactus aims to avenge his own future death.

Fantastic Four 585-587: After their arrival on NuWorld, Reed tells Galactus that it is not necessary for Galactus to destroy our earth to prevent this future, but that Reed can make sure it never happens. Galactus agrees, however, nothing can stop him from destroying NuWorld.

art by Steve Epting

I love Jonathan Hickman’s work on Fantastic Four and the stuff he does with Galactus (there is more to come following this story) is beautiful. His writing is very smart and not always easy to follow, but I recommend it to anyone willing to put forth the effort.


One of the coolest bits from this story is when Galactus quickly leaves the earth because, he says, he feared a potential confrontation if he stayed any longer. Who would Galactus fear a confrontation with? Reed’s son Franklin Richards, who has recently gotten his powers back…

art by Steve Epting

The Answer

01/06/2013 // No Comments

The following short 8-page story appeared in Epic Illustrated Magazine issue #1 (1980). Story by Stan Lee, art by John Buscema & Ruby Nebres, painting by Rick Vietch.

I love Stan Lee’s poet-philosopher Surfer! And the art is gorgeous. I got this magazine fairly cheap on eBay.

“…This Morning, I helped Kill a Galactus On Earth 2012″

01/01/2013 // One Comment

Fantastic Four is my favorite comic book series and my favorite Fantastic Four story is in issues #570 – #572, written by Jonathan Hickman and drawn by Dale Eagalsham. It tells the story of how Reed Richards, in his quest to solve all of the world’s problems, finds a council of other Reed Richardses from other universes who had the same desire and teamed up to solve them together. They save suns from exploding, they save planets from starvation, and in issue #571, they save an earth in another universe from a Galactus attack…

The Galactus scene is only 3 pages, but it’s awesome to see the Galactus of Earth 2012 with his slightly different helmet, shoulder-mounted guns, and his multiple silver surfers. It’s not really a Galactus comic, but it’s an awesome and touching story that everyone should read. And the awesome cover (below) had a quote across the top that said “…This morning, I helped Kill a Galactus on Earth 2012″ 

Fantastic Four 558 – 561

12/30/2012 // No Comments

Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch were the creative team on Fantastic Four from issues #554 – #569. (2008-2009). The first half of their run was really strong and introduced some really cool ideas – including a group of superheroes from 500 years in the future that have traveled back in time. In the year 2509, the earth started to fall apart. “Twelve billion people starved to death, half the world’s cities drowned in the seas and cancer and disease affected almost every living creature” In desperation, the world’s heroes teamed together to take care of the survivors. In desperation, a time machine was built with the idea of bringing all of earth’s survivors back in time to live on the earth while the air, food and water were still clean. But they didn’t have enough energy to power the machine – until Galactus arrived – and he had enough power to be the battery for the time machine.

Most of the future heroes lost their lives in the battle with Future Galactus (we don’t get to see the battle, we are just told this by the heroes)…

First only seven heroes came back in time, to prepare the way for the remaining 8 billion survivors. But in order to bring the rest, they need more power, so they abduct Doctor Doom and the Human Torch to drain their powers. At the end of it all, a place of refuge is found for the survivors from the future, but Future Galactus is found dead in the aftermath…

I recommend these issues – and the four leading up to them – to anyone with an interest in the Fantastic Four or Galactus. You can find it pretty cheaply collected in a hard or softcover called “World’s Greatest”. It’s some of the best Fantastic Four work I have ever read.

Reed Richards’ Anti-Galactus Suit

12/24/2012 // No Comments

This picture is from Fantastic Four #557, but the suit is first mentioned in issue #554 where Reed explains that the price of operating the suit costs an estimated billion dollars a second. The suit is later used, though not to fight Galactus.

Fantastic Four 171 – 175

12/24/2012 // No Comments

This 5-part story by writer, Roy Thomas and artist, George Perez from 1976 was a delight. Maybe it’s because it’s been a couple of months since I sat down and read a Galactus story, but it was a really fun read.
It starts out with Ben Grimm having previously been restored back to his human form and Reed making him a new suit that looks just like the Thing and gives Ben 90% of his former strength. Meanwhile Johnny is on a date in Central Park when he witnesses the crash landing of an alien ship that opens up and reveals a golden gorilla with the ability to grow to a giant size.

Issues #171 and #172 have the Fantastic Four fighting this golden gorilla, named Gorr and eventually having Gorr take them back to his home world where he explains that he is from an exact replica of our earth called Counter Earth, that was created by The High Evolutionary. They needed the help of the Fantastic Four because Galactus was on his way to devour Counter Earth.

The Fantastic Four, The High Evolutionary, and Gorr confront Galactus who tells them he is willing to spare Counter Earth if they can find him a suitable replacement in the next 24 hours. The Fantastic Four and Gorr spend the next two issues visiting three nearby living planets to see if they are suitable to offer to the World Devourer, while the High Evolutionary grows impatient and plans to defeat Galactus in physical battle.

In the final chapter of this story, the High Evolutionary grows to Galactus’ size and fights him in the air above Counter Earth. Galactus of course easily beats The High Evolutionary leaving the Fantastic Four and Gorr to try to fight him off. Durring the battle, Galactus notices that Thing is “not precisely the same Thing” he had encountered in the past, but that he is the human Ben Grimm in a Thing suit. He then says he will “punish (him) even as the Silver Surfer was punished”, and blasts him with a ray that eventually returns him to his former rocky form.

Sue shows up near the end of issue #175, explaining that she has found a planet that is volunteering to allow Galactus to eat them instead of Counter Earth. Galactus goes and begins to consume that planet, when to everyone’s surprise, he is suddenly violently ill and collapses into a heap. It turns out the planet that volunteered themselves to him was actually the planet Poppup (home world to the Impossible Man) where all the Poppupians had previously combined their entire community into each other’s minds and as long as one of them (the Impossible Man) survived, they were okay with the rest of them perishing. Impossible Man explains that the reason Galactus became ill after eating the planet, is because “eating all those community -brain Poppupians was just like having a heavy dinner of nothing but hot air. In other words, Galactus got a case of terminal indigestion”.
As soon as the High Evolutionary sees that Galactus has fallen ill, he tries to save at least his conciseness by using his evolving technology to evolve Galactus into a giant brain that then is spread as inorganic matter across the universe…

Again, I really liked this story despite the fact that Galactus ends up pretty much dead at the end. The art is beautiful and the story was well written and didn’t get boring. I thought it was interesting to see that Galactus had the power to revert Ben back to his rocky form and I also really enjoyed the following two panels…

What Scares Galactus?

10/20/2012 // No Comments

In the 2006/2007 mini-series, Eternals (volume 3), by Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr., there is a Celestial who has been sleeping for millions of years and is about to be awoken. To show just how big a deal this is, they show that The Watcher has to turn his head and Galactus “remembers what it is to be afraid”

Greylactus (Marvel Apes)

10/13/2012 // No Comments

Marvel Apes was a mini series written by Karl Kesel and drawn by Ramon Bachs in 2008 that took place in an alternate universe where everyone was, well… apes. Although Galactus is not featured at all in the main story, he does show up in “The Official History of the Marvel Apes Universe” sections that appeared in each issue. In part 1, an ape Galactus is shown at the beginning of the universe…

And then in part 4, we see ape versions of the Marvel 2099 characters who are all afraid because of the coming of Greylactus – explained by Doctor Strange 2099: “When the world-devourer Galactus grew weary of being defeated by earth’s super heroes, he retreated to a converse dimension on a quest to harness the mysterious apocalyptic force known as Unlove, which, if he finds it, could spell the end of all sentient life! In his absence, he left behind corresponding Galactuses programmed to destroy each of us! Greylactus is Jean’s destroyer-doppelganger.” Then in the final panels of the story, Greylactus does appear after Ape Jean Grey 2099 has been hidden by Ape Ghost Rider 2099…

And that was it. Maybe that’s a reference to the 2099 comics (which I have never read) or maybe it’s a reference to something else I missed in the book, but I just don’t understand the ending.

The Trial Of Reed Richards

10/11/2012 // No Comments

One of the best known stories from John Byrne‘s Fantastic Four run, and from his career, is Fantastic Four #262 (1984), titled “The Trial of Reed Richards“. It is a one-shot story, but before you can get into it, you need to be aware of the foundation Byrne had been setting up in the years leading up to it. As a reminder, in Fantastic Four 242-244, Galactus is beaten by earth’s mightiest, almost to death, only to be ultimately saved by the mercy of Reed Richards. Then some time later, in Fantastic Four #257, Galactus devourers the Skrull Thrown-World.

Now after several months have past, the Fantastic Four have been abducted by the survivors of planets that Galactus has destroyed, lead by the Shi’ar princess, Lilandra. Reed Richards is being put on trial for saving Galactus’ life and thereby allowing him to continue consuming more and more alien planets, including the Skrull Thrown-World.

One by one, the survivors testify of their experience with Galactus and when his time comes, Reed pleads guilty to willingly saving the life of Galactus. In Reed’s statement, he explores many awesome ideas about Galactus and wether or not he is truly beyond good and evil. Eventually Odin and then Galactus himself show up to testify in defense of Reed’s actions. But when the jury is still not convinced, Galactus summons Eternity, who shows up and lays the “cosmic truth” out before everyone in attendance. They are all made “one with the universe” and all accept Galactus’ place in the universe and that saving his life was the right thing. 

I am tempted to explain every bit of awesome in this book, like the testimonies of Reed, Odin, and Galactus, but I would eventually just end up describing every panel. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who has any interest in the story of Galactus and I think you should be able to find it relatively easy and for pretty cheap on the used market.

Two last bits of greatness from this issue I do want to point out: 1. the explanation of when Galactus appears – which I already posted about HERE. And the assassination attempt against Galactus after that…

Aunt May and Franklin Richards vs Galactus

10/09/2012 // No Comments

The title of Marvel Team-Up #173 (1984) is “Aunt May and Franklin Richards vs Galactus”. Which is really exciting because it pits my favorite comic book character (Galactus) against my least favorite comic book character (the old lady who is ruining Spider-Man’s life). But really that title is a bit misleading. It should actually be a What If… story. Something like What if Galactus Came To Earth Looking For A New Herald And Accidentally Bestowed The Power Cosmic Upon Aunt May (giving her the new name of “Golden Oldie”)?

Or it could have been titled What if Galactus Discovered That He Really Hungered For Hostess Twinkies? (okay, it’s not  technically Hostess Twinkies. In the book they are actually called Grostess Twinkles, but they’re the same thing) 

Or What If There Was A Big Cosmic Dough Boy In Outerspace Baking Twinkie (Twinkle) Planets For Galactus? 

So yeah, it’s a pretty ridiculous story written by Michael Carlin and drawn by Greg LaRocque, but it’s a fun and funny read. One thing I particularly appreciated was when Galactus found the giant Twinkie planet and sunk into its spongy surface in the exact same way he sunk into the surface of the Skrull world in Fantastic Four #257… 

The MIghty Thor 225-228 (1974)

10/07/2012 // No Comments

In Thor 225-228, Firelord (the herald of Galactus) has come to the earth looking for Thor. Once he finds Thor (who is busy fighting the Destroyer with the help of his buddy, Hercules), he signals for his master, Galactus. The reason Galactus has come for Thor is because he needs Thor’s help in fighting off Ego, the living planet. Galactus explains “you may recall that once, I tried to conquer that world – to destroy it, and thus to feed on its biological energies. You stood with Ego in that battle, and between you – you defeated me, for a time. And for a time I avoided Ego – until my need for life became too great – and I faced the planet once more.” Then after fighting with Ego for a little while, Galactus determined that Ego had gone insane and was a threat to the entire universe. Also now that Ego is crazy, he’s also much too strong for Galactus. So, now he needs Thor to help stop Ego.  But it actually takes the combined effort of Thor, Hercules, Firelord, and Galactus to stop this great threat. 
Most of this story is Thor, Hercules, and Firelord fighting the different creatures that Ego summons out of his surface. There is also a cool sequence where Thor is shown a vision of how Ego came to be a living planet. In the end, Galactus takes pitty on Ego and rather than killing him, he attaches a giant engine to his back side and sends him rocketing off into space forever.

After Galactus gives them a speech about the worth of ones humanity, Firelord asks if he can be released from service of Galactus and be free to persue his own desires. Galactus agrees that he will free Firelord, but only if they can find him a suitable replacement. And Thor has a great idea for who should be Galactus’ new herald… The Detroyer.

This was a good book, witten by Gerry Conway and drawn by John Buscema (225 & 226) and Rich Buckler (227&228). It was fun to see Galactus’ car thing (seen in the picture above) and also to seem the scale he’s drawn in (in some scenes and on the cover of 226, he seems to be only about 30 feet tall – which is kind of short for him). Also in the first three issues, he has gloves on, but for some reason, the last issue he does not have gloves. My favorite part is in issue 228 when Galactus is sympathizing with Ego and reveals a more vulnerable side… “Once, I too was a man, much as Ego was a man – and a part of that man still breathes within me, as a part still breathes within Ego. To survive, I must do many things which shame me – things which I would not do, had I the choice. Were I not Galactus, and were not Ego mad – we might have been comrads in a way you can never understand… we have our roles, and we must fulfill them – though the sadness is great indeed.”

Bullet Points

09/21/2012 // No Comments

This 2006-2007 miniseries is basically a 5 issue What If? Story. The What If being: What if Dr Erskine (the scientist who turned Steve Rogers into Captain America) was shot one day prior to his assassination in the normal Marvel Universe? And what if his bodyguard MP Ben Parker was shot and killed as well? The story follows the ripple effect of those evens across the Marvel Universe – Steve Rogers put on an Iron Man armor to help win WWII, Peter Parker becomes the Hulk after walking into a gamma explosion (because he’s a punk kid who never had an uncle Ben to teach him responsibility), Reed Richards becomes the head of SHIELD after the other members of the FF are killed in the shuttle crash, and more.

So after establishing a completely new universe, what is the best way to test its mettle? How about bringing in Galactus?

Without the Fantastic Four or the Avengers to help save the day, all the other super heroes and super villains band together to fight off the world devourer to no avail.

Eventually The Hulk (Peter Parker) joins the fight and encourages the Silver Surfer to betray his master.

This story was written by one of my favorite comic authors, J. Michael Straczynski and beautifully drawn by Tommy Lee Edwards. It wasn’t as great as I was expecting from Straczynski, but it was still very good and the Galactus stuff could not have been better (or better drawn). I recommend you check it out.

Fantastic Four 257

07/23/2012 // No Comments

Fantastic Four 257 is another classic issue from the John Byrne era. Only the first 12 pages are about Galactus, but they contain some awesome characterization.

The last time their paths crossed, Reed Richards had tried to appeal to Galactus’ former humanity – and since that encounter, Galactus has been troubled by his memories and the new feeling of compassion he has discovered inside himself. He’s been avoiding planets with sentient life and at the begining of this issue, he is starving and ready to give up on life, when he is visited on his ship by the Death herself.

Death encourages Galactus to continue, explaining that they both have much more to do before the universe dies. It doesn’t take long for Galactus to get over his reservations about destroying inhabited planets and with the help of his herald, Nova, he is soon dining on the Skrull Throne-World.

There are three really cool things in this issue:

1. The interaction between Galactus and Death.

2. We find out that Nova has developed something of a crush on her master…

3. Galactus is so hungry that when he consumes the Skrull Thrown-World, rather than having his machinery extract the life energy from the planet, he sinks himself into the core of the planet and consumes it without any machinery.

Pardon the scans. I am scanning these from the John Byrne Omnibus – which is a great way to get this issue, if you have $100 to spare, but if you just want that one issue, you should be able to get it pretty easily for under $5 at your local comic store or on eBay.

Fantastic Four 242-244

07/09/2012 // No Comments

I love John Byrne‘s Fantastic Four work. And over the years he worked on the book (handling both writing and art duties), he made it pretty clear that he loves the character of Galactus. Fantastic Four 242-244(1982) are another example of his awesome work. And a LOT of cool things happen in these three short books…

Terrax (the psychopathic herald of Galactus) has taken New York City hostage. He has literally picked up New York City and lifted it into space – right outside Galactus’ ship. What does he want? He wants the Fantastic Four to help him kill his master – otherwise, he is going to smash the entire island into Galactus’ ship.
Galactus however isn’t very keen on this idea and it doesn’t take him long to show his traitorous herald who is boss and return New York back to the earth. But along the way, he apparently worked up an appetite – and since he’s already so close the earth, he may as well stop for a bite.
Reed pleads with Galactus – appealing to his humanity, but Galactus doesn’t like that much. He says “Speak not to me of humanity, Richards! You talk of color to one struck blind. My humanity is lost in the swirling mists of time.” He then says…
The Fantastic Four along with Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and Dr Strange then beat the world devourer almost to death (thanks to a spell from Dr Strange that “reached into the darkest corners of his mind to confront Galactus with the ghosts of all those he has slain”) and now they are faced with a dilemma: Do they let him die and save themselves a lot of future trouble – or do they save his life?
There is some disagreement on this, but eventually Reed insists that they save him. But just because they do, doesn’t change the fact that he is still hungry and he still wants to eat the earth. But that is when Frankie Ray (Johnny’s mutant girlfriend) volunteers to become his new herald and help him find an alternate meal.
But before Galactus takes off with her, he explains that perhaps there is another reason he is leaving the earth…
I love the way Byrne showed Galactus’ detachment with his long-lost humanity in 243 and then by the next issue, Galactus has had an experience which makes him consider humankind his friends. These are great issues and you should be able to get the single issues for relatively cheap – or collected in a nice over-sized hardcover. Either way, you should get them and read them. They’re pretty great.