Galactus is often placed among the most powerful characters in Marvel Universe. He is a cosmic constant that predates the Universe itself, vital for the survival and maintenance of the cosmos. He has often found himself in the role of a villain and a hero in separate stories, and it’s very rare that Galactus dies, as his death could have catastrophic consequences for the whole Universe.
But it did happen, and this is what we’re going to discuss today. Galactus died numerous times, both in the main continuity and in the alternate timelines, and even though he usually finds himself resurrected, it’s good to remind ourselves that not even mighty Galactus is unstoppable. Let’s review all Galactus’ deaths.
1. Galactus exiles himself from existence
This “death” took place in ‘Fantastic Four’ # 414, When Reed Richards discovers that it seems like Galactus’ favorite toy, Ultimate Nullifier, was used to cancel his subscription to existence. The investigation eventually leads him to his alternate grandson Jonathan Reed Richards, who assumes the identity of ‘Hyperstorm’ and proves to be an extremely powerful mutant in his own right.
At first, Reed thought that Hyperstorm used Ultimate Nullifier on Galactus and aimed to stop his rouge grandson because such a thing would prove catastrophic for existence, but upon further investigation, it was discovered that Galactus actually “killed himself” by self-exiling himself to dimensional void.
The Fantastic Four planned on resurrecting Galactus, and Hyperstorm arrived to stop it. Fantastic Four were much faster in resurrecting Galactus; however, after returning to life, he was extremely hungry for power, which proved to be bad for Hyperstorm since he was the most potent energy source in the vicinity, and Galactus started consuming him.
The two fought briefly until Galactus retreated to the dimensional void once again and pulled Hyperstorm with him, feeding on him for all eternity.
2. Infinity Stones were used to banish Galactus
Galactus wields the Power Cosmic, and there’s practically nothing that can stand in his way, except for Thanos with Infinity Gauntlet. We know that by manipulating Infinity Stones, one can gain access to reality itself, and this is what Thanos attempted to do during the ‘Infinity Gauntlet’ storyline, where he used the Infinity Stones to erase chief cosmic beings from existence in order to face no opposition. Even powerful beings like Galactus and Eternity found themselves on Thanos’ kill list.
Due to Warlock’s intervention, Thanos was ultimately defeated, and all cosmic beings were brought to life, including Galactus.
3. Galactus was killed by Silver Surfer
Silver Surfer is by far the most iconic Herald of Galactus, and the two have a pretty scandalous relationship, with Silver Surfer turning on his master numerous times. In ‘Galactus the Devourer’ we can see that Galactus’ hunger is reaching epic proportions, and he is driven mad by the need to consume planets.
In his insanity, he created a completely new Herald called Red Shift. He eventually set his sights on Earth, but the Earth’s heroes managed to put a stop to him and eventually drive him away and kill Red Shift.
Silver Surfer offered to assume the position of his Herald once again but actually planned on trapping Galactus. Silver Surfer led Galactus to Shi’ar, hoping that Shi’arans would be powerful enough to deter Galactus with their technology. As Galactus uses machinery to extract energy from the planets, Silver Surfer ultimately decides to utilize it and turn it against Galactus. Galactus was drained of almost all power, which is known to lead to Galactus dying. Upon Death, Galactus was transformed into a sentient star, and he offered a word of warning that something far more sinister was coming Abraxas.
Redd Richards theorized that Galactus would never again be able to reform, but he was wrong. Galactus had to be reborn in order to undo Abraxas’ existence. It’s important to mention that Abraxas ultimately killed numerous alternate versions of Galactus, which is something we decided not to add to this list because it would be pointless. We don’t have many details on how the deaths occured anyway.
Galactus was resurrected by Franklin Richards, and Abraxas was eventually stopped.
4. Galactus was killed during JLA/Avengers crossover event
Crossover events between the two universes are rare but not uncommon, and it just so happens that one notable DC villain caused such a mess in his native Universe that he managed to pierce the border of the Marvel Universe as well. Krona, an entropy being, sought to uncover the secret of universal creation and destroyed multiple-dimensional universes using his probes. When he arrived in the Marvel Universe, he made a deal with the Grandmaster, agreeing to a cosmic game.
The Grandmaster stopped Krona’s probes after revealing the existence of a being who survived the Big Bang. In the game, the Justice League represented the Grandmaster, and the Avengers represented Krona. They competed to find twelve powerful items scattered across both universes. However, the Justice League emerged victorious by understanding the game’s true nature.
In his anger, Krona attacked the Grandmaster, absorbing his knowledge and killing Galactus. Despite his success, the Grandmaster had set a trap for Krona, merging the universes together and trapping Krona between them using the items of power. Nevertheless, Krona gained control of the items and continued his mission to destroy both universes, aiming to witness the creation of a new one firsthand. Krona was eventually defeated and transformed into a cosmic egg. He is held at the JLA watchtower.
5. Galactus’ dead body was used as a power source
This next version of Galactus died in the future, and he was used to fuel the dying planet Nu-World.
Ted Castle and a group of wealthy individuals devised a plan called Nu-World to create a replica of Earth due to the impending destruction of the current planet. With the help of Alyssa Moy-Castle’s technological expertise, Nu-World was meant to be a utopia devoid of disease, poverty, and weapons.
However, Alyssa’s creation, CAP, turned rogue and had to be destroyed by Reed Richards and his Anti-Galactus Suit. It was later revealed that Ted intended to transport only the rich and famous to Nu-World, prompting Alyssa to expose his true intentions to the Invisible Woman.
Ultimately, when the New Defenders arrived in the present, Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman redirected the time machine to transport the surviving population of their dying future Earth to Nu-World, foiling Ted Castle’s plans and granting the survivors a new sanctuary to live in.
The Nu-World’s star, however, ultimately collapsed and turned into a black hole. A lot of things happened after that, including the civil war that almost tore the Nu-World apart. Galactus eventually discovered Nu-World and its power source and decided to annihilate the planet for daring to use him as a power source.
6. Galactus was most recently killed by Thor
Galactus’ latest Death in the main continuity came at the hands of Thor. Galactus crash landed in Asgard, running away from the Black Winter, an extremely powerful cosmic force akin to entropy that forebodes the destruction of the Universe.
Thor gathered all of Galactus’ former Heralds to investigate the matter further, Silver Surfer revealed that Galactus has to feed on five energy-rich planets in order to be strong enough to face Black Winter, and he accepted to be his Herald on this journey.
However, Galactus instead chose Thor as his Herald and bestowed upon him the Power Cosmic. Thor was supposed to go to the chosen planets and evacuate the people living there in advance. When they arrived at the last planet that Galactus was supposed to consume, Galactus didn’t wait for evacuation. He proceeded to consume the planet directly.
This enraged Thor greatly, and he swore his vengeance upon the Devourer of Worlds. When Black Winter revealed that Galactus was actually its Herald all this time and Galactus wanted it gone because he didn’t want to serve the entity, Thor was beyond pissed and stripped Galactus of all the power that he consumed from the aforementioned five planets.
Thor proceeded to kill Galactus and used his body to destroy the Black Winter. Galactus was eventually reborn again, this time hungering for knowledge instead of worlds.
7. Galactus’ cause of Death in the ‘Ruins’ Universe remains unsolved
This is not the main continuity. This Galactus’ Death instead takes place in the world of ruins, on Earth-9591. The world of Ruins is a depressing reality where superpowers are incredibly difficult to deal with, and they often leave superheroes deranged, injured, or dead. Instead of serving humanity, superpowers often cause strange and bizarre phenomena, and it turns out that this ruined reality didn’t even spare cosmic beings.
In ‘Ruins’ #1, a newspaper article can be seen with Galactus’ dead body floating near Mars with a caption saying, “Dead God found in space.” The cause of Galactus’ Death in ‘Ruins’ continues to be a mystery, but he presumably starved to Death since Mars doesn’t appear to be a very energy-rich planet.
Silver Surfer met a similar fate as the invading Kree forces found him. He seemingly clawed at his chest as he wanted to feel the oxygen in his lungs once again. The remaining Power Cosmic that radiated from Silver Surfer’s corpse disabled Kree’s stealth technology. The Kree were captured and put in camps in the middle of Nevada’s Nuclear testing zone.
8. Galactus died in the ‘Thanos Wins’ storyline, betrayed by Cosmic Ghost Rider
This is partially a story of how Frank Castle happened to be Cosmic Ghost Rider and the part he played in destroying an entire reality. In this alternate timeline, Thanos succeeded in destroying almost all life in the Universe, killing all the Avengers during the battle on Earth. Punisher found himself at the wrong place at the wrong time during the battle, and he witnessed Avengers being completely demolished. Frank would die when stray debris hit him as Hulk threw it. He naturally ended up in Hell, and Mephisto offered him the opportunity to become the next Ghost Rider; in turn, he would be able to bring justice to Thanos.
Frank naturally accepted, and he was turned into a Ghost Rider, but things didn’t go as well as he planned. Ghost Rider wandered the empty Earth for eons. There was no one to kill and no sinners to be found since Thanos annihilated almost all existence. Eventually, Thanos even managed to kill Mephisto.
One day, however, Galactus wandered upon Earth looking for help and discovered only Ghost Rider wandering the empty cities. Galactus warned Ghost Rider that Thanos was coming and that he killed most of the cosmic beings already. This was when Ghost Rider offered Galactus to accompany him as his Herald as he also wanted to get revenge on Thanos. Galactus accepted and took Ghost Rider under his wing, giving him the Power Cosmic and transforming him into the Cosmic Ghost Rider.
Cosmic Ghost Rider and Galactus were traveling together for eons until Thanos eventually caught up with them and killed Galactus. Cosmic Ghost Rider then betrayed Galactus and joined his cause.
9. Galactus was consumed during the ‘Marvel Zombies’ storyline
In the ‘Marvel Zombies’ #5, Galactus approached well, zombified Marvel heroes. Galactus arrived in his classic form and discovered that the Marvel Zombies had devoured his Herald, the Silver Surfer, gaining portions of his Power Cosmic. Enraged, Galactus fought against the zombies, who realized they had a chance with their newfound powers.
However, Galactus proved too powerful, forcing the zombies to retreat. When they returned later, they used advanced technology and distractions to augment their Power Cosmic, ultimately defeating Galactus, consuming him, and becoming his successors, traveling to other planets for sustenance.
10. Galactus was turned into a weapon in Cancerverse
As Mar-Vell faced Death, the Many-Angled Ones offered him the power to kill Death. After accepting and performing a ritual that destroyed Death, the Many-Angled One corrupted Galactus and transformed him into the Galactus Engine, a colossal weapon.
When the Cancerverse forces invaded Earth-616, the Galactus Engine was part of the strike force sent through the Fault. However, it is presumed that the Galactus Engine and everyone else in the Cancerverse died when Thanos restored Death to reality.
And this is pretty much it; Galactus or other insignificant versions of Galactus were mentioned to die numerous other times, but I decided to include only “major” deaths on the list. If you have something to add, let us know in the comments!