Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 introduces many fans to one of the largest Marvel comic book characters with Ego the Living Planet. Ego is one of a number of heavyweights that exist in the Marvel universe, the majority of which who have not yet been seen on the big screen. These titans are most frequently but not always cosmic beings coming from the depths of space who pose threats and sometimes serve as allies for the heroes of earth and other worlds.
In this list, we take a look at these larger than life characters, who they are, what they do and. as best as we can tell, just how big they are. Here are 15 of the largest Marvel comic book characters.
WARNING: The following list contains spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
15. EGO THE LIVING PLANET
When you are a kid, your dad seems huge. When your dad is a living planet, no matter how old you are, he always seems huge. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Peter Quill’s dad is revealed to be Ego the Living Planet. This iteration of the character is revealed to be a Celestial who has the power to control matter, beginning as a giant brain and slowly building a world around himself.
The comic book Ego differs in origin, isn’t a Celestial and isn’t the father to Peter Quill. But the film does a good job of showing the scale and powers of Ego. In the comic books, Ego and a sibling planet named Alter Ego were created by the cosmic entity known as Stranger with the help of the Collector. In the comics, Ego measured 4165 miles in diameter, which is a little less than twice the size of the moon. Ego was created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee and made his debut in Thor #132 in 1966.
Clothed in armor of of purple and blue, Galactus tips the scales at 28’9″ and 18.2 tons, but both his height and weight can vary. Dubbed the Devourer of Worlds, Galactus had much more common origins as a humanoid named Galan on the planet Taa. His universe existed before the creation of our universe, his own having been destroyed when all life was sucked toward the center of a newly forming cosmic egg, this event was known as the “Big Crunch.” Galan and a group of survivors flew into the cosmic egg, though only he survived.
The Phoenix Force collected the positive emotions from the beings in Galan’s universe, creating the Sentience of the Universe, and within the cosmic egg, the Sentience and Galan joined to produce Galactus. It would take billions of years for Galactus to emerge as a threat to the new galaxy once life began and flourished there. Galactus feeds on worlds and, while he initially turned to uninhabited worlds, hunger necessitated he occasionally feed on worlds full of life. It is the hunger that drove him to seek Earth out as food and make his first appearance in Fantastic Four #48 in 1966.
The friendship of Charles Xavier and Magneto has been long and fraught with conflict, but perhaps nothing stranger or more dangerous has been produced by this relationship than Onslaught. During a battle between the X-Men and Magneto’s Acolytes, Xavier used his powers to shut down Magneto’s mind. This act had the unfortunate consequence of allowing Magneto’s psyche into Xavier’s head where the dark aspects of Magneto merged with Xavier’s suppressed urges. Born of this unholy union was the psionic entity known as Onslaught.
Onslaught stands approximately 10 feet tall and weighs in at 900 lbs, but both of these are variable. Though first possessing powers combined from Xavier and Magneto, he would go on to add the powers of Franklin Richards and X-Man to his array of abilities. Onslaught was created by Scott Lobdell, Mark Waid, and Andy Kubert, making his proper debut in 1996 in X-Men #53. Though originally believed defeated by the combined efforts of the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers and others, Onslaught would subsequently return in 2006 and again in 2010 in the Onslaught Reborn and Onslaught Unleashed miniseries.
The apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree when it comes to Tyrant who was created by Galactus. Tyrant was a living machine created by Galactus who possessed impressive cosmic powers and was driven to conquer and rule with more of a passion than his creator. He was first introduced in comics in Silver Surfer #81 in 1993 by writer Ron Marz and Ron Lim.
Tyrant possessed variable height and weight and, in an earlier period, was much more powerful before his original defeat and de-powering by Galactus, which forced him to retreat into unknown space. Tyrant returns to do battle with a variety of heroes as well as Thanos and ultimately once again Galactus. Tyrant was seemingly killed in a conflict with Morg and Galactus, in which Morg triggered the Ultimate Nullifier. While Galactus was able to escape the use of the super-weapon, neither Tyrant nor Morg were able to.
During a battle with the invading alien army, Odin defeated the invaders, however the hatred of billions and billions of these enemies was channeled into the creation of one creature: the Mangog. The creature’s height varies from approximately 12 to 25 feet and his weight varies from 3,500 lbs to much much more. Created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee for Thor #154 in 1968, Mangog is a character that has disappeared and reappeared multiple times over the years.
As the embodiment of the hatred of billions, Mangog possesses incredible physical powers based on some of the individuals that are part of him, as well as powerful energy blasts. Mangog also feeds off of mystical and psionic energies, and when he is deprived of these energies, such as the emotion of hatred, he lessens and can disappear. In his original appearance, Mangog was freed from a cave by the troll Ulik and waged war on Asgard, seeking the Odinsword in order to unsheathe it and end the universe. Ultimately, Thor fought Mangog while Odin countered the spell that created Mangog, destroying the creature by restoring the billions of enemies to life that powered it.
One of the weirdest of Marvel’s giant characters is Chtylok, who was created by Todd DeZago and Mike Wieringo and introduced in Sensational Spider-Man #13 in 1997. At 25-feet tall, Chtylok is a creature that is half-chicken and half-cow and lives in Antarctica near the Savage Lands, where he was worshiped as a god. As if the size and appearance of Chtylok was not terrifying enough, the creature possess giant razor-sharp claws and the ability to fly as well.
A hole in the ozone layer allows ice to melt which wakes Chtylok from hibernation, which leads him to wake and begin traveling the globe first to Japan and then with other monsters to Florida. The Hulk meets Chtylok in battle and the two are fairly evenly matched in strength in a battle that lasts until Sensational Spider-Man #15, when Hulk is able to gain the upper hand in battle with the help of some Tyrannosaurus Rex.
The nuclear age was the birth of much fear during the Cold War but also birthed a great number of superheroes, villains and monsters. One of these creations was Grottu the King of the Insects, who was a common African ant that was mutated as a result of nuclear tests in Mumbassa, Africa. At 25 feet tall and weighing over 4000 lbs, Grottu was an incredibly powerful creature and possessed a very tough carapace that leaves it invulnerable to most attacks. Grottu also had the ability to command other ants through his antennae.
Grottu made his debut in 1960 in Strange Tales #73 by creators Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. In this story, he was defeated by the adventurer Frank who is later identified as Ulysses Bloodstone. He would later appear in various comic books and stories, being an item in the Collector’s Canadian zoo and battling such heroes as the Fantastic Four and Iron Man. It gets really weird with Grottu when his body was destroyed by the Human Torch but his consciousness survived and possessed Ant-Man’s helmet.
8. FIN FANG FOOM
Appearing in comics over 80 times, Fin Fang Foom is one of the most popular and often used of Marvel’s monsters. The creature that resembles a dragon is actually an alien from the planet Maklu-IV who traveled to Earth during ancient times with a crew of his fellow Makluan with the intention of conquering the planet. While the base form of Fin is that of a roughly 32-foot tall dragon with a 12-foot long tail, members of his species are shape-shifters with the ability to transform and appear as human.
Survivors of Fin’s crew transformed and began to infiltrate society while Fin stayed behind and was put in hibernation with a special Chinese herb. Over the centuries, Fin would be awakened and return to sleep a number of times, including being captured by the Collector and doing battle with the Mandarin and Iron Man. Eventually, with the rest of his crew killed, Fin underwent rehabilitation by Reed Richards and took the role of head chef of a Chinese restaurant in the Baxter Building. From conquering the world to conquering appetites, Fin Fang Foom went a long way to finally find peace.
7. CHIANTANG (A.K.A. BLACK DRAGON)
Chiantang, known as the Black Dragon, is a character that was introduced in 1985 by Jim Owsley and Mark Bright in Power Man and Iron Fist #118. Chiantang was an enormous dragon of around 100 feet in size, and like Fin Fang Foom, he possesses the ability to transform into human form. He is vulnerable to the power of a mystical sword known as Dragonslayer. He sought vengeance on the mystical city of K’un-Lun because of harm done to his sister. As a result, he transformed the mortal who hurt his sister into Shou-Lao the undying dragon.
Shou-Lao is central to the story of Iron Fist and while neither dragon appeared on-screen in season one of Netflix’s Iron Fist series, it is interesting to think that Chiantang or Shou-Lao might appear in future seasons of the series. Given Chiantang’s ability to transform into human form, he also could provide an interesting villain that could serve as someone fighting against Danny Rand or Colleen Wing in the series. In the comics, Colleen Wing teaming up with Master Khan are able to defeat and kill Chiantang while he is in his human form.
An extra-dimensional demon, Shuma-Gorath is a creature of unknown true form who possesses incredible powers. Originally appearing in Marvel Premiere #5 in 1972, Shuma usually adopts a large tentacled form. Shuma came to earth millions of years ago with the “Old Ones” and in an earlier age did battle with the barbarian hero Conan, while in more modern times, he is traditionally opposed by the sorcerer Dr. Strange and his allies. Shuma has the ability to generate his own mystical powers, he can manipulate magic on a planetary scale and possess the power of telepathy.
Banished from Earth, Shuma consistently attempt to recruit followers that find ways for him to be reborn on Earth. In one such attempt he attempted to use the mind of the Ancient One to come to Earth only to be stopped by Dr. Strange when Strange killed the Ancient One. Later Shuma attempts to use Strange to come to Earth and Strange kills himself to again prevent the monster from gaining a foothold on the planet. Unfortunately for Earth, the part of Shuma that emerges on occasion is only a small part of the larger being and there is more just waiting to return.
The fire demon Surtur is one of the biggest and most powerful foes in all of the Nine Realms. Over 1000 feet tall and made of living fire, Surtur hails from the realm of eternal fire known as Muspelheim. Surtur wields the massive mystical sword named Twilight and along with the ice demon Ymir he is older and as powerful if not more powerful than even Odin. Surtur first appeared in 1963 in Journey into Mystery #97 from creators Jack Kirby and Stan Lee.
Surtur was a recurring presence in the cycles of destruction ending with Ragnarok. In one of these stories he attempts to take Asgard but is defeated by the combined forces of Odin, Thor and Loki. Odin traps Surtur in a dimensional rift in a constant state of battle between the two to prevent Surtur from threatening Asgard. Ultimately Surtur would continue to return and figured prominently in the 2012 “Everything Burns” story arc that stretched across The Mighty Thor #18-21 and Journey into Mystery #642-644.
4. THE CELESTIALS
Of unknown origins the ancient race known as the Celestials possessed cosmic powers and on average stood 2000 feet tall. The Celestials were created and introduced by Jack Kirby in 1976 in Eternals #2. Each Celestial appears encased in a physical shell, typically armor and each one his their own specific task.
The Celestials traveled to different worlds conducting genetic experimentation, including Earth. Their experiments on Earth’s early human ancestors resulted in the creation of the human off-shoot species the Eternals and the Deviants. Their experimentation also left genetic coding in human D.N.A. that would produce beneficial mutations. But not all experiments lived up to the Celestial’s tests and in those cases Arishem the Judge and Exitar the Exterminator would cleanse the planets. Overseeing these and the other Celestials is their leader known as the One Above All.
3. APOCALYPSE BEAST
Perhaps the strangest and cartoonish of Marvel’s giant characters is the Apocalypse Beast. Created by Zeb Wells and Seth Fisher, the Apocalypse Beast appeared in 2006 in Fantastic Four & Iron Man: Big in Japan #3 and 4. At over 15,000 feet in height and 3.6 trillion pounds the creature was huge and it possessed a very strange anatomy. The Apocalypse Beast possessed long claws, eyes on its elbow and knee joints, a massive face in it’s torso and a giant tongue with its own mouth and eyes inside of its head.
Iron Man and the Fantastic Four do battle with the Apocalypse Beast with Iron Man and the Invisible Woman actually going into the creature to fight him from the inside. While they battle the creature on Monster Island, Reed Richards deciphers some ancient Deviant art that reveals that the Moloids are actually a virus intended to destroy the Apocalypse Beast. The Moloids inject themselves into the monster attacking the Beast’s immune system, killing him. The Moloid assault not only kill’s the Beast, but also causes its body to turn inside out and it is launched into space.
2. THE ABSTRACT ENTITIES
The Abstract Entities are a group of cosmic beings that are of unknown origin and nearly omnipotent power. These beings include Eternity, Infinity, Oblivion and Death represent fundamental aspects of the universe. Being abstract in nature, they do not have a true physical form in the way that many beings do, they are often depicted in comics larger or as large as many of the other huge cosmic beings. They do possess the ability to take on physical form, the most frequent of these to do so is Death, who often takes a the form a diminutive female.
Eternity and Infinity are similar in concept and powers sharing the abilities to manipulate forces such as time, space, matter, energy and magic. Oblivion shares some concepts with Death and his abilities include being able to appear anywhere he wishes, cannot be harmed unless he allows it and has the ability to give power to agents. Death is not truly alive so she cannot die, she has the power to kill or resurrect any being, and as a mercy can change appearance to a familiar face for those that are dying.
1. THE LIVING TRIBUNAL
Being born into existence when the multiverse itself was born, The Living Tribunal is one of the oldest and most powerful beings in the Marvel universe. The Tribunal’s role is to protect the multiverse from imbalances of mystical energy or an imbalance of good and evil. The giant golden humanoid operates out of a dimension known as the Star Chamber, where it rules over a race of lesser judges known as the Magistrati.
The Living Tribunal has three faces on his hooded head: Equity, Necessity and Vengeance. Each of these faces must agree for the Tribunal to intervene in events. He has the power to appear across different planes and in different universes at the same time sending lesser aspects of himself. One of the Living Tribunal’s most significant interventions was when the Infinity Gauntlet came into the possession of Adam Warlock. The Tribunal ordered the Infinity Gems to be divided among six caretakers, resulting in the creation of the Infinity Watch. But as powerful as the Tribunal was, he was ultimately killed by the Beyonders in New Avengers Vol. 3 #30.
What other monstrous Marvel men and women can you think of? Let us know in the comments!