Although primarily associated with the Fantastic Four, Galactus is one of the most important characters in the whole Marvel Universe, being an essential figure in the upkeep of the whole fictional universe. He is known as the devourer of planets but is – interestingly enough – not always an antagonist, as he’s taken on different roles in the history of the Marvel Universe. In today’s article, we are going to talk about Galactus’ (im)mortality & what happens when he dies.
Galactus will never succumb to old age due to his unique origin
If you are wondering whether Galactus can die via aging, the answer to that question is no. Up to this point, Galactus is far older than this incarnation of the Universe, and the current eighth incarnation of the Universe is far older than your average human life span, or superhero lifespan for that matter.
Planet Taa faced extinction due to the influence of Black Winter, an entity that eventually consumes everything in its path. Galactus was supposed to find the answer to the inevitable collapse of the sixth incarnation of the Universe, but he failed. Instead of saving his Universe, he proposed a radical plan for all Taa’an survivors to board a spaceship and commit suicide by traveling to the center of the destruction itself.
They did exactly that, and while all of his people died, Galactus was the only one to survive. Now, this is where the problem happens as his origin story was retconned numerous times. Former Galactus’ origin story stated that Galan was transformed into Galactus by Sentience of Cosmos, while the newer origin story states that he was transformed into World Eater by Black Winter itself to serve as its Herald.
In any case, Galactus is far older than the current universe and will likely outlive the current universe. He will be ready to perform important tasks in the next Universe to come.
There are no biological limits to how long Galactus can live, and if there was, it’s most likely that he would be able to circumvent this with his Power Cosmic.
Galactus can still die…
Now that we’ve cleared that up, Galactus is not subject to the passing of time, this doesn’t mean that he can’t die. Galactus has died at least ten times by now in canon and non-canon storylines. His most recent death came at the hands of Thor.
Soon after Black Winter sets its sights on Earth, Galactus finds his way to Thor and employs him as his herald. To defeat the Black Winter, Thor needs to feed Galactus several energy-rich planets to sustain the power levels needed to fight the entity. The plan was going well until Galactus, in a rush, consumed the planet before Thor managed to evacuate it on time. Thor was enraged and promised that he would kill Galactus as soon as Black Winter was dealt with.
The moment came sooner when Black Winter revealed that Galactus wasn’t exactly honest with Thor about who the entity was. Black Winter revealed that Galactus was its herald, and the only reason he wants to get rid of it is so he doesn’t have to serve as its herald. This enraged Thor further, and using his combined Asgardian powers with Power Cosmic, he struck a lethal blow to Galactus and killed him later, using his body as a bomb with which he killed the Black Winter.
Galactus also famously died at the hands of Silver Surfer via complete depowerment, and Thanos managed to banish him by using the Infinity Stones during the famous ‘Infinity Gauntlet’ storyline.
Based on Galactus’ canon deaths, we can come to the conclusion that Galactus can die via the following means: depowerment, godlike levels of damage by willing himself to death, and powerful weapons such as Ultimate Nullifier and Infinity Stones.
Formerly, Galactus was also capable of dying if you starve him. He constantly craved planets and their biomass in order to sustain his processes and access to Power Cosmic. If Galactus didn’t feed often, he was subject to dying of starvation, but this is currently not the case since Galactus no longer craves planets. He instead craves Knowledge.
What happens when Galactus dies?
When Galactus dies, he gets resurrected again or wills himself back to life. Galactus is simply too important and too powerful to just die. When Uatu the Watcher and Silver Surfer wanted to kill Galactus while he was “relatively” harmless and still incubating, they were warned that doing so would ruin the balance of the Universe.
The exact reason why Galactus is needed was never exactly made clear, but it’s likely that he keeps the Universe from turning into Cancerverse and keeps the population of Celestials in check by devouring planets. Now that he devours knowledge, who knows what will happen.
In any case, all of Galactus’ canon deaths so far led to his resurrection. He is mostly resurrected by Franklin Richards, but following his latest death, he was indirectly resurrected by Destroyer when the latter reanimated Galactus’ corpse.
In any case, even when dead, Galactus doesn’t stay dead for long. The worst-case scenario is, when Galactus dies, and if there is no one around to resurrect him, he is capable of willing himself back to life.
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