I got this beautiful commission from Marvel artist, Mitch Breitweiser at the Salt Lake Comic Con last September. Feel free to be jealous.
So you want to read the Galactus Trilogy (the first Galactus story arc from 1966) but you’re not sure how to get your hands on it? Well here are a few options…
1. The original issues - You could buy the original issues of Fantastic Four #48-50, but your looking at spending at least $250 for reader copies.
2. Marvel’s Greatest Comics #35-37 - In 1972, they reprinted the trilogy in the pages of Marvel’s Greatest Comics issues 35-37. You should be able to collect all three of those issues for around $20 +shipping on eBay. Plus that cover for issue 36 is awesome.
3. Fantastic Four Omnibus #2 - A more economic choice might be to get the second Fantastic Four Omnibus – a 7.5 x 11 inch oversized hardcover that collects Fantastic Four issues 21-60 and Annual 2-4. This collection should cost around $60 – $80 new. It’s on Amazon today for $65.
4. Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four #5 - Maybe you want something a little smaller? Well you could always get a copy of Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four volume 5. It collects Fantastic Four issues 42-50. It is out of print, but you should be able to find it in hard or softcover for around $20 – $35. Here is a link to it on Amazon.
5. Essential Fantastic Four #3 - Marvel Essential collections are black and white preprints on newsprint paper. The Essential Fantastic Four Volume 3 collects Fantastic Four issues 41-63 and Annual 3 & 4. You can usually find this paperback collection for around $5 (used) to $15 (new). Here is a link to it on Amazon.
6. Silver Surfer: The Coming of Galactus - In 1992 Marvel published a trade paperback called Silver Surfer: The Coming of Galactus that collects just the original trilogy. You usually find that on eBay for less than $10 plus shipping.
7. Fantastic Four Treasury Edition #2 - The last collection I know of that reprints the Galactus Trilogy is is Marvel Treasury Edition #2. Which was published in 1974 and is 10 x 13.5 inches. I just found out about this over-sized comic that collects Fantastic Four issues 6, 11, and 48-50. I love this huge format and it still has that old-timey coloring and paper look to it. You should be able to find this on eBay for around $10 – $40 (depending on quality)
Before he became a herald of Galactus, Terrax was an alien warlord called Tyros on a moon called Birj. Galactus chose a powerful and cruel tyrant to be his new herald because he did not want another herald with a conscience like his last three. In Fantastic Four #211 (Terrax’ first appearance), the Devourer of Worlds explains: “Always before my heralds have been men of morality! And thus their moral natures have forced them to betray Galactus who they served! …You who know what it means to conquer and rule will not be swayed by the beings Galactus must destroy.” And so Galactus gives his new herald the Power Cosmic and a new name: Terrax The Tamer.
Terrax relished his new power and continued in his ruthless and selfish ways. He would often conquer and destroy a planet’s population before he even summoned his master. Although he wasn’t moral, he was rebellious and self-serving, which led to problems between Galactus and his new herald. After a battle on earth, Galactus finally stripped Terrax of his Power Cosmic in Fantastic Four #259, but he continued to appear in comics for years after that.
POWERS AND WEAPON:
- Terrax already had a natural telekinetic ability to manipulate rock and earth, before he became a herald of Galactus. Once he did receive the Power Cosmic, those earth manipulation powers were augmented at least a hundredfold.
- In addition to giving him super human strength, speed, stamina, and the ability to fly, Galactus also granted him a flexible rock-like shell that covered his body making him impervious to the temperatures and pressures in outer space.
- Terrax wields a cosmic axe that can emanate waves of destructive force and project force fields.
Here is a French reprint of Fantastic Four comics I got off eBay. The issue (issue 99/100) reprints three Fantastic Four comics in black and white on newsprint, including issue 210 from the In Search of Galactus storyline.
Above is the French cover of FF #99/100 next to the original cover of issue 210. Below is a panel from both the original English version and the French reprint.
In July 1997, Marvel had an event called Flashback Month where most of their books went back in time and told a story that took place before around the time of their origin story. In Flashback Silver Surfer -1 (minus 1), written by J.M. DeMatteis, Stan Lee is the narrator and he tells us a story about when he was a younger man and he was abducted by little grey aliens. While aboard the alien ship and shortly before being returned to earth, he met a woman who had also been abducted, a nurse named Henrietta Rose. The story then follows the Silver Surfer who is told by his master Galactus to investigate a mysterious “energy surge” out in space.
When the Surfer finds the source of the surge, he finds that it is the ship of the little grey aliens who were experimenting on Henrietta (or maybe Henrietta herself was the source – that wasn’t clear). He then helps rescue the woman and sends her back to earth.
This issue was not the best. The art by Ron Garney (pencils) and Bob Wiacek (inks) was beautiful and reminiscent of Moebius, but the story didn’t make a lot of sense – it was supposed to be told from Stan Lee’s memory, but the majority of the events took place outside of what Stan witnessed in the story. Most of all it seemed like an origin story for Henrietta Rose who went on to appear in four other issues of Silver Surfer that year. Galactus is in it for about 4 pages, but as I said, the best part of this book was the art.
Cataclysm is a large crossover event that took place in the Ultimate Universe in 2014, following the events of the 2013 series, Hunger, where Galactus and the Gah Lak Tus swarm attack the Ultimate Earth. The continuity wasn’t great between the books, but here is the reading order as it best makes sense to me…
Cataclysm: Spider-Man 1
Cataclysm: The Ultimates’ Last Stand 1
Cataclysm: X-Men 1-3
Cataclysm: The Utlimates 1-3
Cataclysm: Spider-Man 2-3
Cataclysm: The Ultimates’ Last Stand 2-5
Cataclysm .1 bridges the gap between the Hunger series and Cataclysm. It tells what happens when Ultimate Vision, a robot created to warn planets of the threat of Gah Lak Tus, finds out that Galactus is headed towards the earth.
Cataclysm: X-Men could easily be skipped in the over-all story of Cataclysm. The X-Men see Galactus and escape to a pocket dimension but are followed by a ton of Gah Lak Tus drones. The three issues are basically the X-Men fighting the Gah Lak Tus drones in that pocket dimension with some help from Rick Jones (Captain Marvel).
Cataclysm: Ultimates could also be skipped over in my opinion. The Ultimates are in Belarus when they discover that there’s a cult who worships the Gah Lak Tus swarm that has brainwashed the entire population into attacking the Ultimates. Not only that, but the swarm is also infecting the people like a virus and taking control of anyone it comes in contact with, including the Hulk.
Cataclysm: Spider-Man – When Galactus lands on earth, one of the first things that happens is Galactus completely destroys New Jersey and starts setting up his equipment to consume the planet. The people in New York. Much of New York is also damaged and the people are looting and panicking. Thhis three issue series follows Ultimate Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Cloak & Dagger, Spider-Woman, and other heroes as they try to protect and save the people in the midst of the chaos that Galactus is causing.
Cataclysm: The Ultimates’ Last Stand is the core story of this event. Galactus is causing destruction and chaos all over New York. After trying their best at fighting him with force, they soon retreat to come up with a strategy. Spider-Man teams up with Reed Richards (who is a villain in the Ultimate Universe) to cross over into the regular Marvel Universe to get intel on Galactus. Once they return, the heroes do their best to once again stop the Devourer of Worlds. The X-Men, The Ultimates, the rest of the heroes and even Reed Richards all pitch in together to fight this threat they cannot even fully comprehend. But is it enough? Does anyone survive? You should read it to find out.
Cataclysm isn’t a great crossover event. Most of what happened in the books felt like filler to me. But the story that took place in the five issues of Ultimates’ Last Stand was a fun read. If you are a completist like me, you’ll want to get them all (even if for the Galactus book covers alone), but if you are just interested in reading the story, then just read the Last Stand issues which are written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Mark Bagley.
This last summer Marvel put out a magazine celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Marvel Universe. Among other things, it ranks the 75 greatest Marvel comics of all time. On that list were a several issues and story lines in which Galactus played a major roll. Including…
#71. Fantastic Four #262: The Trial of Reed Richards
#23. The Galactus Trilogy
I am sure you won’t be surprised to hear me say that I think the ranking is a bit low for the Galactus Trilogy. I think it deserves to be in the top 5 or at least the top 10.
Also in the magazine was this Lego ad featuring the big guy…
I know Galactus shows up in the recent Marvel Lego game, but oh man, I wish they would put out a Galactus Lego set.
This Galactus connect-the-dots appeared in Astonishing Spider-Man Marvel Treasury Edition #18 (1974) which reprinted several old Spider-Man stories in a large format with additional games like this one. The crazy thing about this is it refers to him as GALACTICUS – which is what people who who are not familiar with Galactus always call him when they are talking to me. Not sure if this was an accident (in the vein of Bob Banner) or if they were just trying to be silly.
Here are scans from four different reprints of the first appearance of Galactus, each one features a different coloring job…
TOP LEFT: This scan is taken from the Marvel Masterworks collection of the first appearance of Galactus. The red and green coloring represent the way he was originally colored back in Fantastic Four #48 in 1966.
TOP RIGHT: This scan is taken from the 1992 collection entitled Silver Surfer: The Coming of Galactus which reprinted the trilogy with an updated recoloring job. Notice his arms remain bare, but the costume has the “correct” colors (even though the pinks and blues are reversed).
BOTTOM LEFT: This scan is from the Marvel Treasury reprint of the Galactus Trilogy in 1974. Not sure why they went with grey and purple here.
BOTTOM RIGHT: I am not sure the source of this scan, but it appears to be a more recent digital coloring job that has him colored the way he has been for most of the history of the character – including his arms being covered. If you know what reprint collection this came from, please let me know. Thanks.
This is the second card in the 2008 Fantastic Four Archives series that features Galactus (See the first one HERE). This card features the first Jack Kirby drawing of Galactus from Fantastic Four #48…
And here is one I bought on eBay that is supposedly signed by inker, Joe Sinnott. I don’t know if it’s authentic or not.
In Ultimate FF #5, the Ultimate Spider-Ham describes the world he came from to the FF – including a duck version of Doctor Doom, a rabbit Hulk and his world’s most recent threat: Galacypus, a platypus devourer of worlds…
Galactypus doesn’t play a major role in the story and only appears on it’s cover and one internal page.
Here is the Galactus trading card from the Marvel Fleer Retro set that came out last year.
This isn’t the first card to list his height as 28 feet, 9 inches. But I have no idea where they get that number from. Especially since he can change his own height at will and often has appeared taller that sky scrapers.
In 1969 (just 3 years after the introduction of Galactus in Fantastic Four #48), German rock band The Can released their debut album “Monster Movie” with a cover that features a faceless figure that is clearly based on Galactus. The artwork is credited on the album cover to Wandry’s Studio in Hamburg and does not mention anything about Marvel or Galactus.
The album was reissued in 2014 by Spoon Records, which is how I stumbled upon it in the record store last night. It looks nice in a record frame and you should be able to pick up the reissue for around $20 at your local record store.
After having already added the 15 inch 2007 Galactus Heroclix and the12 inch 2012 Galactus Heroclix figures to my collection, I assumed this year’s Zombie Galactus would be around the same size. But it turns out this convention exclusive figure is only 7.5 inches tall. Still, it is a nice little figure – not as nice of a sculpt as the previous Heroclix versions, but decent.
If you can make it to a comic convention this year, you should be able to pick this up for $50 (which again, I think is a steep price for this size) or you should be able to find one on the secondary market for around $80.
I got an email from a reader named Jonathan who won a contest where the prize was two customized minion figures of his choice. Since he has good taste, he chose Galactus and the Silver Surfer and here they are…
For more photos of these figures and to commission minions of your own from the artist, Viet, follow THIS LINK.
Earlier this summer Marvel put out a series of one-shot first issues called Marvel 100th Anniversary. Each book picks up in the middle of the books as they would be in 2061 (at Marvel’s 100th anniversary). There’s a brief back story page explaining some of what we’ve missed with these characters, but a lot of it goes unexplained and you have to just accept that you’ve missed 40+ years and do your best to catch up.
In the Guardians of the Galaxy issue, the future Guardians take on Silver Galactus. The introduction page explains: “The Living Tribunal granted the Silver Surfer a single moment of godhood, bestowing the cosmic hero with a glimpse of omnipotence. Craving such power, Galactus reabsorbed the Silver Surfer, becoming Silver Galactus., a being with a greater hunger than ever before.”
The Guardian’s former team member Vance Astro is serving as the herald of the planet devourer and along with an army of Punisher robots, it helping Galactus tap into Knowhere’s central nervous system which will apparently “grant him access to all worlds in all universes in all realities”.
You’ll have to read this issue, written by Andy Lanning and Ron Marz, and drawn by Gustavo Duarte to find out which hero shows up at the end to save the day.
This isn’t the first time the idea of a Silver Galactus has been explored (you can also see something similar in 2006’s Last Planet Standing), but it’s a fun little story and is definitely worth checking out.
In 2013 the Disney XD series Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes was replaced by the Avengers Assemble animated series, but it seemed to keep the continuity of the previous show. So in the episode Guardians and Space Knights, when Galactus comes to earth, this is a second time the Avengers have faced the devourer of worlds and they have a plan in place to protect the earth. But before they can follow through on that plan, Iron Man approaches Galactus, they have a discussion, and then they both disappear.
The rest of the Avengers follow the tracking beacon that Tony’s suit is making and they end up lightyears away only to find that the beacon has lead them to a new planet that Galactus is about to devour. They soon meet up with the Guardians of the Galaxy who are helping the inhabitants of that planet escape into outer space. The two teams join forces to fight the herald of Galactus who we find out is actually a power cosmic imbued Iron Man, who had agreed to be the herald in exchange for saving the earth.
The Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy work together to fight off the Iron Herald before they learn that Tony had actually lead Galactus to this particular planet because the power cosmic allowed him to know that the planet had an unstable uranium core that would overload Galactus’ machines. By the time Galactus figures out what has happened, he is too late and the planet blows up, leaving the would devourer floating alone out in space.
This episode is much better than Galactus’ first appearance in Avengers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and it was fun to see Tony Stark become the herald of Galactus. I also really liked the huge complex machine Galactus used to drain the planet’s energy. If you are interested in watching this episode, you can buy it on iTunes or Amazon, or (although I don’t know how long this will stay up) you can watch it HERE on Youtube.
In the season two finally of Disney XD’s Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Galactus comes to earth, preceded by four of his heralds, which we find out later are “not alive” but are “energy constructs” that each one control a different element: Terrax The Tamer (earth), Air-Walker (air), Firelord (fire), and Stardust (water). The heralds begin assembling huge mechanized towers at different points on the planet to assist their master in devouring our planet.
Upon discovering what’s happening, the Avengers are assembled. They taking down the heralds, and destroy the towers, which Galactus immediately rebuilds with the wave of his hand and begins using them to drain the earth of its energy.
Mr Fantastic and Iron Man theorize that if Galactus came to earth by way of a worm hole, perhaps they can reopen the wormhole to send him away. There’s a lot of heroes blasting Galactus with power rays and electricity and Galactus is ultimately sucked up into a portal Iron Man made, which sends the devourer of worlds off to the Negative Zone.
Most cartoons tell Galactus stories in 2-part episodes, so I was disappointed when this story all took place inside one 22 minute episode. That didn’t leave time for much more than a little exposition and a lot of blasting of power rays. In fact, Galactus never even said a word. Just fight, fight, blast into a worm hole. I was actually a little surprised at how little I liked this episode. But if you’re interested in checking it out, it is available on Nextflix streaming – it’s season 2, episode 26, entitled “Avengers Assemble!“.
Jonathan Hickman is a great writer, but his work is very complex, so there’s no way I’ll be able to accurately explain on this post all that is happening in his current run of New Avengers. But let’s just say the earth is in danger of colliding with the earth from an alternate universe and the only way to save our earth is to destroy the other one first. And this keeps happening, so every time they figure out a way to prevent this event (something they call the “incursion”) from happening, it’s just a matter of time before we’re all in danger of it happening again.
Anyway so in New Avengers #4, there is about to be another incursion, so the Avengers transport to the surface of the other earth in hopes of finding that universe’s infinity gems and saving our planet. But when they get there, what they find is that that earth is about to be consumed by Galactus. Shortly after discovering that, they are confronted by Galactus’ herald from that universe, Terrax. Terrax informs them that he is aware of the incursion, and that is why Galactus is about to destroy the earth – because that earth colliding with ours is what is threatening all of the different universes. The Avengers and Terrax do battle with the herald ultimately being captured and brought to our earth, with the hope that he can eventually help them solve this incursion problem once and for all.
This issue doesn’t play a major part in the storyline and Galactus is mostly just in the background, but the issue is called World Eater and has Galactus on the cover, still I always enjoy seeing Galactus devour the earth, even if it’s in another universe. And another interesting thing in this story is the fact that this other universe’s Terrax is different from our universe’s Terrax – he’s still ruthless, but this Terrax seems much smarter and even refers to himself as “Terrax The Truly Enlightened“. Oh and the art by Steve Epting is pretty great…
These are Galactus Lamincards from 2008. I cannot figure out what Lamincards are, but I believe they are some kind of Pokemon-or-Heroclix-like game. Every website that comes up when I search for them are in different languages. I got these two off eBay from Germany. One is on a metallic gold background and the other is a clear plastic.
I had always heard about the Marvel UK reprints of Marvel comics, but I hadn’t seen one until I recently found this copy of Thor/X-Men #24 on eBay…
The Marvel UK was an imprint of Marvel comics that reprinted classic Marvel issues and published them weekly. This issue from 1983 reprints the first half of Thor 226 (1974) and the first half of X-Men 24 (1966). Marvel UK reprints came in magazine format (8.25 x 11 inches) with some interior pages printed in full color, some in black and white, and some in two-color (black and blue).
Stormbreaker: The Saga of Beta Ray Bill is a 6 part mini-series from 2005, that tells the story of Beta Ray Bill’s home planet being destroyed by Galactus.
We see the events leading up to the attack, with his people (the Korbinites) seeing Galactus coming and mistaking him as Ashta – their religion’s ancient God of destruction. In preparation for the coming of Ashta, they create a machine that allows them to upload the consciousness of each of their citizens to something called the Meta-Orb, in hopes that one day their souls will be able to be downloaded into new bodies.
The arrival of Galactus and the destruction of their planet happens pretty quickly and then we are shown the events that follow the destruction, with the Stardust, the current herald of Galactus, hunting down any Korbinites who escaped. There is a big clash between Beta Ray Bill, who is trying to protect the Meta-Orb and Stardust, who is trying to protect Galactus’ honor by leaving no survivors.
I didn’t love this series. It had some great art and I did like the new herald, Stardust. But the battle after the destruction bored me and the the ending to this series was jarring and unsatisfying. I guess it was setting up the character of Beta Ray Bill and leading into Bill’s revenge story that came out a couple years later and was much better. But the one part of the story I enjoyed the most was where it shows Galactus as the Korbinite’s see him – as their own God of destruction…
This of course refers to the way John Byrne described Galactus’ appearance in the 1980s. He said Galactus appears differently to every being who looks upon him… “each mind that views him struggles as best it can to perceive that unguessable force as an image it can comprehend.” And as far as I can tell, this is the first time that idea was explored in this way. I thought it was pretty cool to see.
“The Last Days of Midgard” is a 6 part storyline in Thor: God Of Thunder issues 19-24. The story in these issues takes place in two different time periods. The first part of the story is in the present day, where Thor is battling with a large corporation whose polluting factories are threatening to destroy the world. The second part of the story takes place in the far future, where an old man version of Thor, known as King Thor, has brought his grown grand daughters to visit Earth – now a barren, lifeless planet that Thor hints he was unable to protect when he was younger. Shortly after King Thor arrives, old Galactus shows up to devour what is left of the planet.
King Thor knows the Earth in that state is hardly worth fighting for, but he decides to confront Galactus for old time’s sake. First, he tries to talk with with the Devourer of Worlds in hopes of convincing him to eat another planet, and this is where we find out what each of these old Gods intentions are with the wasteland of a planet…
THOR: The Earth is already half dead. Why would you want to eat a world such as this?
GALACTUS: Why would you want to defend it?
THOR: Because it’s saved my life more times than I can count and I haven’t saved it nearly enough.
GALACTUS: It has defied me more times than I can count. And no matter it’s current condition, I assure you, the taste of it shall be sweet. I have travelled the cosmos for billions of eaons and ended more worlds than there are to count. Among all those planets only one. Only this tiny, unspectacular speck of mud ever dared to deny my right to destroy it. This wretched arrogant earth… that imagined itself so precious, so supremely important. Look at it now. Look what man hath made of the meagerness he was given. Not so very precious after all, it would seem. They never are.
When Galactus refuses to relent, the God of Thunder attacks Galactus and they battle the way only Gods can. At one point Galactus punches King Thor through the Earth and into the moon which crumbles with the impact. Thor then hits Galactus so hard that it knocks out one of his front teeth. Thor’s grand daughters join the fight and eventually Thor takes off and returns with All Black The Necrosword (a sword for killing Gods that was being used by Gorr The God Butcher earlier in this series). The God of Thunder finally defeats Galactus by plunging All Black into his face. Nearly dead, Galactus escapes to the planet Mars to satisfy his hunger. While devouring Mars, he realizes that All Black the Necrosword is still inside of him and the book ends as the he and the sword become one and so is born the “Butcher of Worlds.”
This is a great story, but that comes as no surprise since it is written by Jason Aaron and beautifully drawn by Esad Ribic, artist of Silver Surfer: Requiem. Since this book came out this year (2014), it should be easy to get ahold of the single issues at your local comic store or on-line.
In 1977, The Mighty Marvel Superheroes’ Cookbook was published, which included the “recipe” for Galactus’ He-Man Pancakes…
When I heard about this, I thought “well I need to buy that and make some of those pancakes”, but then it turns out that book is going for way more than I am willing to pay on eBay – and the “recipe” sounds absolutely disgusting.
And here’s the cover of the cookbook…