Greetings from the Odinson,
Fantastic Four #1 launched the Marvel Age of comics, and over the course of the next 102 issues Stan Lee and Jack Kirby orchestrated and constructed what would become known as the Marvel Universe. Like true masters of their craft, they were maestros of a grand symphony whose operatic performances yielded not only Marvel’s First Family but the Kree, the Skrulls, the Inhumans, the Black Panther, the Silver Surfer, Doctor Doom, and so much more!
Their 102 issue magnum opus of science fiction, adventure, and heart climaxed with the 3-part epic “The Coming of Galactus!” In this tale the FF and the fans are introduced to the cosmic force of nature known as the Devourer of Worlds! Galactus is a primordial titan that was born out in the heart of the Big Bang. He is a being of unimaginable cosmic power that roams the endless void in search of planets to consume. However, Galactus is not evil, nor is he good, Galactus is just Galactus. He is easily one of the most dangerous adversaries in any realm of fiction.
Over the course of Marvel History the Fantastic Four and Galactus have been connected together and produced many, many great sci-fi stories including the aforementioned The Coming of Galactus as well as Shall Earth Endure?, The Trial of Reed Richards, World Eater, Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars, Cataclysm, and many, many more. Marvel is celebrating these fantastic tales with the release of Fantastic Four: Behold Galactus, a Monster-Sized hardcover collection featuring some of the best FF/Galactus stories ever told.
The Fantastic Four and Galactus go together like peas and carrots, that cannot be denied, but the Odinson thought he’d share a list of his favorite stories featuring the Devourer of Worlds, but not Marvel’s First Family.
The Odinson’s Top 10 Galactus Tales (that don’t feature the Fantastic Four)
10 – “Not Just another Galactus Story!” – In the far future, the Son of Zeus has been exiled from Mount Olympus and now wanders the stars in search of high adventure. One of these adventures brings him into conflict with the Devourer of Worlds. When Galactus sets his sites on a planet, Hercules takes it upon himself to stop him. Hercules is, without a doubt, one of the mightiest heroes in history, but next to a cosmic titan like Galactus even the Lion of Olympus can be found wanting. This does not deter Hercules from trying and he even punches the Big G right in the face.
This tale is significant because Galactus, moved by the little demigod’s tenaciousness, reframes from devouring the planet below and sits to have a conversation with Hercules. Here, we see something for the very first time in the history of comics, and to the best of my knowledge not since. Galactus actually removes his helmet and laughs.
9 – “Galactus on Galador!” – After centuries of fighting a never-ending war across the stars, ROM the greatest of the Spaceknights has finally returned home to shining Galador. However, the Devourer of Worlds has also arrived. Striking a deal with Galactus, the Spaceknights lead him to the homeworld of their enemies, the evil Dire Wraiths. But we learn for the first time that even Galactus can know fear! After the harrowing battle is done, the valiant ROM learns that the price for saving Galador from the hunger of Galactus is to never be able to see his homeworld again. The price of victory is high.
8 – “Confronting One’s Maker!” – As a force of nature Galactus is not consumed by guilt over the countless lives he has taken over the course of countless millennia of consuming entire worlds. The Silver Surfer however is a noble being and for centuries he acted as Herald of Galactus, leading the Devourer to untold hundreds of worlds signaling their destruction. This is the story that answers the question of how a being as noble, pure, and good as Norrin Radd could possibly live with himself after such deeds. It is a powerful poignant moment to behold as Galactus pulls back the shroud he himself placed over his former Herald’s mind to protect him from the sea of bloody guilt those memories hold.
7 – “The Last Galactus Story!” – John Byrne constructs a beautiful science fiction tale set millions of years into an alternate distant future where life around the cosmos suddenly just disappears. As Galactus and his faithful Herald, Nova, investigate, not only does Galactus finally get to consume planet Earth, the most sought after morsel of his existence, but the cosmic mystery takes him further than even he has gone before.
The tale was told in 1984 in nine parts split out over the course of Epic Illustrated #26-34. However, before the tenth and final chapter could be seen, Epic Illustrated was canceled. To this day, the end of this story has never been seen. The only way to know the end of the tale is to go to John Byrne’s official website and read what he had in store for the end, and the Odinson cannot recommend that enough because the ending would have been amazing. It is a truly delicious commentary on the cosmic cycle of all things – Life, Death, and Rebirth.
6 – “The Last Days of Midgard!” – In yet another distant possible future, thousands of years in the future, Galactus has returned to Earth to finally consume the planet that has so long eluded him. However, even though Earth is a barren wasteland it still has one protector left alive – King Thor. Empowered with the Odinforce a wizened old Thor calls forth his mighty hammer and faces off with the Devourer of Worlds in a battle so epic that our mere mortal senses can barely comprehend the event!
5 – Nova – Richard Rider the Man Called Nova has become an interstellar champion of justice. When a world is targeted for consumption by Galactus, Nova desperately tries to find the denizens of this world enough time to evacuate before the planet’s destruction. This brings him into direct conflict with the Herald of Galactus, the Silver Surfer. Empowered with the Xandarian Worldmind, Nova is no push over, but one blink from the Surfer puts Nova’s place in the cosmos into stark perspective. Great drama for the tale is drawn from Galactus himself who looms huge in the background like a giant unyielding, inevitable doom that is creeping closer and closer. It’s nail-biting, fast-paced adventure.
3 – “The Galactus Seed!” – Asgard goes to war with Galactus! The cosmic artifact, the Galactus Seed, has fallen into the hands of the Aesir. The Devourer wants the seed. As these two cosmic forces collide, not only are we treated to an impressive showdown between mighty Thor and the Silver Surfer, but we bear witness to a truly epic faceoff between Odin the All-Father and Galactus! This clash of titans shows just how high Odin ranks in the hierarchy of power in the marvel Universe. The Odinson can count on one hand the times Odin has shown his full potential for power – vs. the Celestials, vs. Surtur, vs. Thanos and the Silver Surfer at the same time, and now vs. Galactus. Matt Fraction and Olivier Coipel deliver a tale well worth the price of admission.
2 – “And now…Galactus!” – Yet another cosmic showdown, this time featuring Galactus vs. Ego the Living Planet and the mighty Thor is caught in the middle of these two waring titans. But, what sets this Galactus tale apart from all others that have come before is this is the story that reveals the cosmic origins of the Devourer of Worlds!
2 – “The Coming of the Keeper!” – We just witnessed the beginning of the story of Galactus, this tale set in the future of the Marvel Universe, reveals the end. The hunger of Galactus has grown out of control and not even the Guardians of the Galaxy can stop him. Enter: the Silver Surfer. Even more so than the Fantastic Four, the Silver Surfer and Galactus are tied together in the annals of Marvel History. So, it only makes sense that they would be tied together at the end. Norrin Radd at this point has come into possession of the Nega-Bands, the same instruments that gave Captain Marvel his cosmic powers, and added their power to his own Power Cosmic making the Surfer the equal of his former master. But, instead of Galactus and Silver Surfer destroying each other they become symbiotic. Norrin Radd’s new found level of cosmic power is able to feed and permanently sustain the hunger that resides within Galactus. Thus, the Surfer finds a new role in the cosmos and countless lives will now be saved as a result.
1 – “The Hunger!” – In arguably the greatest Marvel/DC crossover in history, worlds collide as Modern Master John Byrne takes two of Jack Kirby’s greatest creations and smashes them together in a clash of titans for the ages. The Devourer of Worlds has arrived on the dark, forbidding world of Apokolips. Not only do we get to see the unparalleled might of the Silver Surfer challenged by Orion of the New Gods, but we get to see a mind-blowing showdown between Galactus and Darkseid!
He is power incarnate. He is the Devourer of Worlds. Behold Galactus.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell