Galactus is one of the most notable villains of Marvel Comics. The cosmic being is endlessly hungry and tries to stave it by devouring many planets and systems across the universe (currently knowledge). Of course, he cannot work alone and find “his food” by himself, so he appoints Heralds to scout worlds – the first and most notable is Silver Surfer. Norrin Radd sacrificed his freedom to save his homeworld Zenn-La, and became Galactus’ herald, traveling across the universe to find suitable worlds for his master to devour. Of course, despite being “free” in a sense, Silver Surfer isn’t happy and feels guilty picking up worlds for destruction, and in one comic book story, the Herald actually managed to kill Galactus in Marvel Comics. So, how did Silver Surfer kill Galactus?
In the ‘Galactus the Devourer’ comic book story from 1999, Silver Surfer actively worked against Galactus to finally stop killing trillions of lives across the galaxy. Galactus becomes endlessly hungry, and the cosmos is in danger. Silver Surfer decides to go against his master and lets him starve. Weakened Galactus is later killed by Earth’s superheroes and Silver Surfer by world-ship’s weapon, and the Devouver reveals that Galactus expected Silver Surfer to kill him since he thought that Norrin Radd was the most noble and “pure” being he ever encountered, hence why he chose him as his Herald.
Galactus had many Heralds, but Silver Surfer was the most significant and the one that was most suitable to kill the Devourer of the Worlds. This short story kind of showcases that Galactus knew and respected his herald more than we knew and that Silver Surfer was always supposed to be on the side of the good. Let’s delve into this topic more.
Silver Surfer was Galactus’ second herald
One of the most fascinating dynamics in Marvel Comics is the one between Galactus and Silver Surfer. Their “symbiotic” relationship is interesting since it’s fundamentally beneficial to both of them, yet a huge burden they cannot eliminate.
Silver Surfer’s origin story starts as a member of the long-living and technologically superior humanoid race that resided in Zenn-La, formerly Norrin Radd. Norrin was essentially part of the perfect society that didn’t have crime, hunger, poverty and etc. However, Norrin’s life wasn’t as perfect as his planet’s society since his mother eventually killed herself due to depression, while his father urged him to become as best he could be.
The huge expectation toll on Norrin actually cost his ambitious father, Jartran, his life while the youngster continued living his “normal” reality. However, despite eventually finding love in Shalla-Bal, Norrin grew restless and sought more challenges and knowledge outside of his perfect planet.
Of course, the perfect life and idyllic circumstances were endangered when an alien spacecraft easily destroyed Zenn-La’s weak defense system, which proved to be Galactus, a cosmic being that consumes the energy found in planets to sate his hunger.
To keep his people and homeworld alive, Norrin Radd offers himself to become Galacuts’ herald and help seek the worlds across the galaxy for the being to eat. Galactus then transforms Norrin into a silver being with cosmic powers and is essentially a superpowered Silver Surfer.
Since then, Silver Surfer has helped the world-eater with the potential “food,” and their relationship was beneficial in both ways. Why? Although Norrin always felt bad and was mostly guilt driven for choosing worlds for his master to destroy, the now-empowered cosmic being can finally be free – Norrin’s biggest wish was to explore the universe and be free from his strict utopian way of life.
When it comes to Galactus, his story starts in the sixth cosmos of the Multiverse, as the humanoid from the planet Taa, formerly known as Galan. This old origin story has been updated in the last ten years.
Nevertheless, we see young Galan living in a very advanced society that is dedicated to science, but the end has come – the sixth cosmos is soon no more due to the cosmic entity that consumes universes, Black Winter.
Galan is the only person left alive when he meets the Sentience of the Cosmos, who merges his essence with the Taalan and births Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds – he survives the creation of the new multiverse.
After Seventh Cosmos was created, Galactus goes on to feed himself from planets all over the galaxy but realizes that he is more hungry and unable to find the resources by himself, prompting him to seek help – the beings known as heralds.
Interestingly enough, Norrin Radd wasn’t the first herald of Galactus, but “only” second – before Silver Surfer, a being that was Galactus’ first was the Fallen One. The first herald served Galactus briefly until he quickly turned against the World Devourer, who eventually imprisoned him.
Silver Surfer is next, and the two create a special bond – not in a positive way, but their relationship benefits both characters.
Galactus and Silver Surfer became one of the biggest threats to the universe, and the notable family of superheroes, the Fantastic Four, stayed in their way of more destruction. However, it seems that the guilt that burdened Silver Surfer really bothered the herald, and we saw him turning against his master multiple times in Marvel Comics – in most stories, the change of heart and Silver Surfer helping the Fantastic Four turned Galactus away for Earth.
One time that Silver Surfer turned against Galactus saw the death of the World Devourer.
How did Silver Surfer kill Galactus?
One could argue that Galactus isn’t a villain of Marvel Comics but a necessary evil that keeps the universe balanced by removing “spare” parts and making way for “new things” to develop. This is true, but when the cosmic being arrives at your homeworld and wants to eat it, you will try to stop them in any way possible.
This is where the Fantastic Four and Earth’s superheroes arrive. Galactus decides to devour a small planet in the Sol system called Earth, which holds countless energy, but Silver Surfer turns on his master.
Reed Richards acts and threatens the cosmic being with the alien device called the Ultimate Nullifier, a weapon created by the Watcher Emnu to stop the invading race Prosilicans from invading planets across the universe. When deployed, Ultimate Nullifier destroyed the whole Prosilican race and the nine-tenths of the whole universe, making it one of the most powerful weapons ever.
Galactus is scared of it and decides to spare the planet, but not before trapping Silver Surfer on Earth. This is one of the first instances when Silver Surfer turns against his master, but there is another time when the herald’s rebellion killed the Devourer of the Worlds.
In the comic book story titled ‘Galactus the Devourer,’ the Devourer of the Worlds is in a hard place – he is more hungry than ever. Galactus recruits a new herald, the notorious Red Shift.
After helping Earth’s heroes to stop Red Shift from destroying everything, Galactus is ultimately defeated by the “good old switcheroo.” Silver Surfer turns against his former master and purposely works behind Galactus’ back to starve him to death – and he succeeds. But not before blasting him with a huge weapon from “World Ship,” which finally puts Galactus down.
The speech at the end is what makes this comic book quite interesting – Galactus confesses that he chose Silver Surfer as his herald to eventually kill him because he foresaw his death “so many eons ago.”
As he fades away, Galactus tells Norrin he was knowledgeable and powerful enough to eventually destroy him, which is poetic, and vows that his end is “only the beginning, and there is much more…”
Of course, Galactus is eventually revived in Marvel Comics, but his death is symbolic because it establishes that Silver Surfer is a hero in some way and the herald that the World Devourer respected the most.
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