When we speak of a villain, there are a whole host of powers and traits that we can refer to. We have villains like Norman Osborn, whose genius allows him to make scientific breakthroughs in the fields of genetics, robotics and chemistry. He relies on his keen intellect and cunning to try and get the best of his foes. Or there are villains like Sabretooth. A furry ball of mutant fury, who relies on sheer physical power and ferocity to claw his opponents to ribbons. Each powerful in their own way, but ultimately still flesh and bone. Albeit flesh and blood infused with superpowers and healing factors, but powerful nonetheless. But we care not for villains of the flesh anymore -- we want a massive entity composed of vast reserves of cosmic energy who can destroy entire worlds without batting an eye.
Luckily, we have Galactus to fulfill all of our powerful cosmic entity needs. The Devourer of Worlds or just plain old Galactus, no matter what you call him, this hulking being is on the level of gods when it comes to his powers. Just looking at that fluorescent purple and blue armor lets us know instantly that there’s more to this galactic threat that what meets the eye. Contained within that armor are a plethora of weird bodily functions, peculiar ticks and ridiculous secrets that you may not know about. We’re going to peel back that intergalactic outer layer and take a look at some of the weirder facts about this terrifying world eater.
20 HE TURNED AUNT MAY INTO ONE OF HIS HERALDS
One of Galactus’s most well know powers is his ability to transfer the Power Cosmic to other individuals, turning them into his heralds. Such is the case for the chrome domed Silver Surfer. Many individuals have been chosen for the mantle of Herald throughout the years. But none quite as weird as when Aunt May was chosen in Marvel Team Up #137.
That’s right. Frail, feeble, sweet hearted Aunt May is imbued with the Power Cosmic, becoming one of the strongest beings in the Marvel Universe. Those wrinkles are replaced with a sturdy, golden chrome body, transforming Aunt May into the Golden Oldie! Disappointingly, it’s revealed at the end to just be a dream. We would have liked this Aunt May to stick around.
19 HE’S AN ENORMOUS TENTACLED EYEBALL IN THE MANGAVERSE
At this point, when we see the iconic purple and blue armor, we know there’s some trouble coming. But what’s more terrifying than seeing the classic Devourer of Worlds descend upon your planet? Oh we don’t know. Maybe this freakin’ gigantic tentacled eyeball! Yes, this is actually Galactus... or rather an interpretation of Galactus from the early 2000’s Marvel Managverse.
Even more powerful in this universe, Galactus is a living planet. Unlike his humanoid counterpart who ‘eats’ worlds by draining their life force, this Galactus literally eats worlds -- literally swallows them whole. Our question is, with such a massive eyeball, where does he shove those planet sized portions?
18 HE’S NOT ACTUALLY A HUGE DUDE IN PURPLE ARMOR
If you’ve seen Galactus in a comic book you’ve probably thought the same thing as us. Why on earth is such a powerful entity garbed in that ridiculous purple getup? Well it turns out, his sometimes-comical appearance is actually due to the human mind’s inability to comprehend his true form.
Despite what it seems, he’s not just a massive humanoid in armor -- Galactus is a primal force. A force so awesome, so far above the mortal realm, that he is never truly seen. He appears differently to all of the hundreds of thousands of different alien species from different planet. What we see is just our mortal mind trying to give form to something we can’t hope to understand.
17 HE MERGED WITH THE SILVER SURFER
It seems weird considering the Silver Surfer is, to a degree, just an extension of Galactus’s body. But this was a result of the Silver Surfer, once again, showing off his heroism in the Last Planet Standing miniseries. Galactus goes full hangry when he decides to destroy the entire universe to trigger a new big bang. As you’d expect, the heroes aren’t too thrilled with this idea.
With a final attack, combining the powers of the Silver Surfer, Scarlet Witch and a slew of other heroes, Galactus is defeated. For some reason though, this attack causes Silver Surfer and Galactus to fuse. With a shiny new look, the chrome entity takes to the skies intent on repairing the damage done to the universe by Galactus.
16 HE USED TO BE A PLAIN OLD MAN
Although humanoid in his appearance, Galactus is in no way human. At least not currently. It may be hard to believe, but Galactus was, at one point, just a plain old man. A man from an alien race with incredibly advanced technology, but still a man. Before his days of galivanting the universe as a world-devouring cosmic entity, he was merely Galen -- a mortal man of the planet Taa.
However, after merging with the Sentience of the Universe and being cocooned within a Cosmic Egg for billions of years, he transforms into the intergalactic threat we know today. Although he may miss his humanity at times, we think god like powers are a fair trade off.
15 HE’S "EATEN" CELESTIAL BEINGS
It’s a dog eat dog world. Or perhaps more fitting is: it’s a god eat god world. The Celestials and Galactus aren’t officially classified as gods but their powers are god-like. Okay so he doesn’t technically "eat” a Celestial being, but he does drain a mad Celestial of their life force, similar to the way he consumes planets.
It’s impressive to say the least, considering the smallest of the Celestials is just over 600 meters tall. Not to mention they are regarded as one of the most powerful races in all of the Marvel Universe. Nevertheless, Galactus shows his complete dominance by putting his hands on a Celestials head a la Mr. Spock and sucks the life right out of him.
14 HE HAS ONE TRUE FEAR
As a god-like cosmic entity with immeasurable reserves of power, it goes without saying that Galactus doesn’t fear much. He is outclassed by a few truly powerful forces in the Marvel Universe such as the abstract entities like Death and Infinity. But honestly, he doesn’t really have much to be scared of. Save for one, tiny little device: the Ultimate Nullifier.
This device debuts in Fantastic Four #50 and has the ability to completely rewrite reality as its user deems necessary. This includes the ability to simply erase Galactus from reality with a mere thought. Countless heroes have tried and failed to take down Galactus. But any doofus with the Ultimate Nullifier and half a brain cell could permanently destroy him.
13 HE COLLAPSED INTO A BLACK HOLE
Nothing escapes a black hole -- not even Galactus. Especially when Galactus is that black hole. In the Hercules: Twilight of a God miniseries, Galactus finally eats until he pops. Up to this point, his appetite has been insatiable. But even the most experienced of planet eating connoisseurs will eventually find a meal that’s not to their tastes.
With his eyes bigger than his stomach, Galactus eats one too many planets during a cosmos binge. All that excess energy causes him to collapse into himself into a glorious black hole. Just like Galactus, the black hole he turns into is insatiable. Its expanse is only stopped when Hercules sacrifices himself, jumping into the center of the black hole to detonate a “White Hole Bomb”.
12 IF HE DIES, THINGS GET INFINITELY WORSE
He’s big, he’s bad and he can destroy pretty much whoever and whatever he wants. So naturally, the Marvel Universe would be safer without him, right? Wrong. Galactus, for all his terrifying world devouring, has a very specific purpose in the Marvel multiverse. He is a force of cosmic balance. When that balance is removed, things go belly up very quickly.
In Galactus the Devourer, Galactus is ended in a roundabout way by the Silver Surfer. His death clears the road for a much more malevolent being: Abraxas. He’s the cosmic being that represents the destruction of universes. He wants to destroy everything in every universe, which is pretty extreme compared to the occasional planet.
11 HE TURNED INTO AN ELVIS IMPERSONATOR
This is a rare happy ending for the eternally hungry world eater. Marvel’s What If…? storylines explore the lives and struggles of Marvel characters outside of the canon universe. In issue #34's story entitled “What if Thanos Changed Galactus Into a Human Being?”, Thanos does just that -- from world eater to Elvis impersonator in the blink of an eye.
After a massive rise to popularity in the United States, Adam Warlock appears before the transformed Galactus, wielding the Infinity Gauntlet. He offers Galactus a chance to return to his original form but is promptly shut down. The life of an incredibly successful Elvis Impersonator is apparently much more appealing than being a starving cosmic entity. We would tend to agree.
10 INDETERMINATE & VARIABLE SIZE
It’s hard to get a grasp from the comics and movies how big Galactus is. Likely because he doesn’t have a fixed size. He has the ability to completely alter his height and weight, although the extent may be determined by the amount of energy he has in reserve. If he wanted (not that he would want to) he could shrink down to the size of an ant.
But like any supervillain worth his salt, Galactus knows that big means bad. Plus, it’s just more fun to tower over people. In ROM #27, he inflates his body to the size of a star in an attempt to eat the home world of the Dire Wraiths. Big things come in cosmic packages.
9 HIS BODY IS LITERALLY THE POWER COSMIC
After Galan’s emergence from the Cosmic Egg, he is reborn as Galactus, a being composed of pure energy. This energy is referred to as the Power Cosmic. Galactus doesn’t just wield the Power Cosmic -- he is the Power Cosmic. However, not much is known about just what it is. Save for the very obvious fact that it’s incredibly powerful.
His ability to transfer a portion of this energy to sentient beings means that he is giving part of his body to theirs. We use ‘body’ in a very loose sense though. Yes, he does have a physical form. but that form -- the blue and purple armor -- is merely a vessel to contain the Power Cosmic.
8 HIS ARMOR LIMITS HIS POWER
Now, you might think that the armor Galactus is clad in gives him an extra defensive edge in battle. You’d be wrong. That armor isn’t for the safety of Galactus, but rather for everything else around him. The Power Cosmic is insanely powerful. So powerful, that if not contained, it has the potential to cause some serious damage across the universe.
Making armor to protect the universe from himself is a pretty heroic move for someone we usually see as a villain. It further proves that Galactus is one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe. Thank the One-Above-All that the armour stays intact, or the Marvel Universe as we know it might get swallowed up.
7 HE MERGED WITH BRANIAC
What’s better than one villain? Two villains. And what’s better than two villains? Fusing those two villains together in a Marvel/DC multiverse mashup. Starting in the ‘90s, Amalgam Comics acted as the special liaison between Marvel & DC. They were the publishers for all comics that merged the two universes together, which resulted in some mashups like Iron Lantern and of course, Galactiac.
The coalescence of Galactus and Braniac results in a cosmic supervillain that is equal parts world eater and intergalactic scientific empiricist. Galactiac travels to planets and drains them of their energy to sustain himself. But he doesn’t destroy the planet -- he merely shrinks and preserves it so he can study it in the future.
6 HE HAS IMMENSE TELEPATHIC & TELEKINETIC POWERS
It’s clear that Galactus is ripe with superpowers. So ripe in fact, that we often forget about some of the lesser talked about abilities he has. Consuming the life force of entire planets has a tendency to overshadow his other abilities, like his firm mastery of telepathy and telekinesis. For example, he keeps in contact with his heralds via telepathy.
Furthermore, he uses his telepathy to alter the minds of others. When turning Norin Radd into the Silver Surfer, he erases his memories and emotions so he can be a more powerful herald. Galactus also has telekinetic powers that would put earth bound users like Jean Grey and Doctor Strange to shame. Just another cherry on top of the already overpowered cosmic sundae.
5 HE ATE THE INFINITY GEMS
Galactus has a problem. He’s always hungry. He has a ceaseless appetite, which is especially dangerous when his only form of sustenance is sentient life. We know what it’s like to feel really hungry. Now amplify that to a cosmic scale and imagine it never-ending. Galactus has had enough of his rumbling tummy and decides to do something about it.
That something, is assembling and ingesting the Infinity Gems in Thanos #4. However, he was manipulated into making this decision and subsequently releases the vastly powerful entity, Hunger. Hunger is the multiverse equivalent of Galactus who feeds on realities instead of planets. Luckily, Galactus manages to thwart him. The down side? He’s still hungry.
4 HE'S A SWARM OF DRONES IN THE ULTIMATE UNIVERSE
The Ultimate Universe has given birth to some exciting interpretations of our favorite heroes and villains like the cannabilistic Hulk. The Ultimate Universe version of Galactus isn’t a being of pure energy contained within armor. He is composed of a swarm of thousands of purple, red-eyed drones. He’s not any less destructive though. His circuits go haywire and the drones are released to wreck havoc throughout the cosmos.
This version of Galactus consumes worlds in an even more terrifying way than the original. Instead of just consuming the life force of planets, he first sends out a broadcast via his drones that drive sentient life beings insane. Only after everyone’s brains are nice and fried does he move in to drain the planet’s life energy.
3 HE’S PERPETUALLY AND ETERNALLY HUNGRY
It says it right there in the moniker: Devourer of Worlds. Galactus is more than hungry -- he’s hangry. Perpetually and eternally hangry for the life force of sentient beings. It’s not enough for him to devour a planet. He needs one that is teeming with sentient life forms. It is the energy of life that sustains him and he is constantly driven to consume more.
In fact, the purpose of his heralds is to seek out planets full of sentient life forms that are fitting for Galactus to consume. Galactus himself has stated his displeasure with his constant hunger. However, it’s either drain the life energies of billions of sentient beings or wither away into nothingness. Our guess is Galactus is going to keep eating.
2 HE WAS IRONICALLY EATEN ALIVE BY MARVEL ZOMBIES
Karma is a cold, cruel mistress. For a character that spends all of his time ingesting entire worlds (and of course all the living things that go with it) it’s only fitting Galactus meets his end by being eaten himself. What goes around comes around, and what comes around for Galactus is a horde of cosmic energy hungry zombies.
In the 2005 limited series, Marvel Zombies, almost the entire Earth, and its super powered inhabitants, succumb to a deadly zombie virus. In an attempt to contain the outbreak, Galactus tries to devour the energy of Earth. What he actually succeeds in doing is offering himself as a delicious, power cosmic imbued snack for the likes of zombie Hulk and zombie Spider-Man.
1 HE IS THE SOLE SURVIVOR OF ANOTHER UNIVERSE
Galactus hails from a dimension that existed before the Big Bang. He is one of the only people who seems to notice that their universe is coming to an end. The Big Crunch is leaking radiation all over the universe and the planet Taa is in the line of fire. Galan, with a few survivors, flies into the Big Crunch in an attempt to either escape or die a pretty epic death.
The result, is Galan being trapped in a Cosmic Egg for billions of years as the sole survivor of Taa. He is reborn as Galactus, World Eater. Not only is he the sole survivor of his planet, but he’s the only known being from his dimension to have survived the creation of ours.