Yes, I love Galactus. We all love Galactus. That big purple anti-god from the universe before ours who comes to our planet hoping to devour it, hardly batting an eye for all the trillions of lives he’d extinguish by doing so. He’s the perfect metaphor for the absence of God. The cold nihilism of space. The idea that if there is something bigger than ourselves out there, a higher power, that we are merely his snack. He isn’t a savior, we are not his children. We are his livestock, if that. Or perhaps just the flies on his fruit. Maybe the sprinkles on his donut. Plus with that enormous purple costume he wears he’s one of the most visually iconic characters of the Marvel Age. His rectangular pupils glow wildly with a celestial apathy under that big, skyscraper of a helmet that he wears. The uncreator, the anti-god. You don’t get much cooler than that.
So that’s why a few weeks ago when I discovered several drawings of a character named Galacta on my Tumblr dashboard I was a little bit dumbfounded. This purple pixie, who looked like an anime Rule 63 Galactus, seemed simultaneously intriguing and lame as hell. On the one hand, I was amused at what seemed to be a fan-fic answer to Galactus’ lack of kinfolk and the question of what a female Galactus might actually look like.
On the other hand, I was indignant. Do these people not know who they’re satirizing? These fans, while talented, seem to be trying to ruin Galactus’ cold, stoic, singular majesty by giving him some annoying little teenybopper to wear his helmet and steal his schtick. What the hell is wrong with people? So I had to do some good ol’ fashion journalistic investigation and get to the bottom of what it was that I was actually looking at, which means opening a new tab and Googling the thing with the stuff.
What I found out, much to my surprise, was that Galacta was not a fan-fic character at all, but was actually a real character from the real Marvel universe. She is indeed the very purple, shiny, officially established daughter of the mighty Galactus as he exists today in the 616 Marvel U. According to Wikipedia, she was created by Adam Warren for the second issue of Marvel Assistant-Sized Spectacular, which was a two-issue series in 2009 that allowed different assistant editors at Marvel to try out their own original ideas, and was followed by a vote to see which idea was the most popular.
Galacta, of course, was the winner. She was then given her own digital mini-series in 2010, called Galacta: Daughter of Galactus, which was later collected in a one-shot. This blew me away. Galactus, one of my favorite characters ever, someone whom I revere even more so than the dread Cthulhu, has a daughter? For real? And she has her own comic? And it’s some kind of Marvel pseudo-manga that totally flew under the radar? I had to check it out for myself. So I did.
I was totally ready for this column, as a review of the Galacta mini-series, to be a harsh critique of this little comic. A snobby criticism from an elitist Galactus fanboy pointing and laughing at how childish it is to say that a dude in a big purple Witch Doctor costume who eats planets could EVER have done something as outlandish as to procreate. Either that or I guess I would’ve just said, hey, look at this silly comic I dug up. It’s kinda quirky. Who would’ve guessed Galactus is a dad? However, all of that totally went out the window when I actually sat down with the comic and discovered the unthinkable: this comic is good. Like, really good.
First of all, the art by Hector Sevilla Lujan is absolutely delicious. This guy kills it. His art leaps off the page and blasts off into the solar system in a way that keeps Galacta’s story perfectly, exquisitely rooted in science-fiction, which is important because that’s where Warren is going with this. Outward appearances and first impressions aside, this is not the story of an overly expressive anime tween with long legs and buggy eyes who talks at a mile a minute and chases boys and just happens to be wearing Galactus’ helmet. Warren sticks to a very hard sci-fi script while keeping the character light and personable.
The story establishes that Galacta has two hang-ups that pretty much dictate the daily course of her life, food issues and Daddy issues. Brilliant. What else would you want from a story about Galactus’ daughter? Her father is a cold, stoic, ruthless devourer of worlds and has deprived her of the attention and the affection that she’s always sought from him.
In addition to this, she’s inherited his awesome hunger, the hunger that has him spending time eternal moving from galaxy to galaxy seeking new planets to extinguish. She tries to direct this hunger toward extraterrestrial entities that are marooned on the planet and have become a danger to its inhabitants, but it isn’t easy. As she says early on while watching TV, every channel is the food channel for her.
To make matters worse, she’s just discovered such an extraterrestrial entity inside herself, a cosmic flatworm, which has taken up residence inside her “waveform matrix” and has ramped up her hunger to a dangerous degree. Her quest to nullify the hunger and ultimately rid herself of the tiny parasite takes her on a journey across the Marvel Universe, giving her brief interactions with characters like Thor and Wolverine before wrapping up with a charming twist ending that really wraps everything up with the nice proverbial bow on top while still allowing for a sequel.
I have to say, Warren knocks it out of the park with this one. The script here is just as delectable as Lujan’s images, with lines like “biomass, biomass everywhere, but not a kilocalorie to eat,” and “…I didn’t come here to have a mere monkey brainstorm for me.” Galacta is just as brilliant as her old man, and since much of the script is just her narrating via a quantum entanglement commline to Galactus or as simply tweets that she’s sending out, which work as narrative framing devices breaking up the different acts of the story, we get a lot of time to spend with her as a character, in her head, getting to know her. And I gotta say, I like what I see.
So there you go. We all love Galactus. He’s one of the greatest characters of the Lee-Kirby era of comics and he’s one of the coolest ideas that anyone’s ever put into a comic, hands down. But now we know his story doesn’t just end with him. He has a family. He is somebody’s father. And that person is actually pretty kick ass. She’s a strong, vibrant, quirky, highly intelligent female character, a hero at that, someone who only uses her powers for good, and she dresses like Galactus. I’m hooked now. I’m hungry for more Galacta, and I hope it won’t be long before Marvel gives us another taste.