Comic books are filled with some of the most outrageous and unique creatures in fiction, and Marvel Comics has been able to amass quite a number of them throughout its run as a company. One of those species of creatures are the Celestials, powerful beings that are able to create entire galaxies and fill them with life, or be destroyed as easily and quickly. On the other hand, we also have Galactus, another God-like figure who is very similar in his actions. Is Galactus a Celestial?
Although there are a lot of similarities between both Celestials and Galactus, Galactus is not a Celestial. He is another separate entity that has its own function in the universe. The Celestials and Galactus have come into conflict many times, although both of them prefer to stay away from each other’s paths.
Who is Galactus?
Galactus is one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe, but he is also one of the most interesting characters in the roster. He was created by both Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, who together created some of the best comic book characters that belong to the company. However, it is very clear after knowing the backstory for the character that it was Kirby who had the most influence over the character.
Kirby was always fascinated with characters that were greater than life: gods, mythology, and creation myths. So, when the time came to create Galactus he looked back to the Bible for inspiration. The result was more than satisfactory. Soon after his introduction as a powerful enemy in The Fantastic Four comic, Galactus became immensely popular and began making cameos all over the Marvel Universe.
Galactus’ real name is Galan; an inhabitant of the planet Taa, the most advanced planet in the universe. Or to be more specific, the most advanced planet in the previous universe. In Marvel, the universe where the characters reside goes through a cycle of birth and destruction. The current version of the Marvel Universe is the 7th, but Galactus comes from the 6th iteration.
When Galactus and his people saw that the end of the universe was coming near, they made one last effort in order to stop the doom. Sadly, they failed, and the 6th universe was destroyed completely. It is at this moment, at the beginning of the 7th universe with the Big Bang, that Galactus appears, making him one of the oldest creatures in the universe, as he existed even before this universe was born. It is there, at the beginning, that Galan takes the mantle of Galactus, and with it, the role of being a balancing force in the universe.
Galactus is afflicted with an insatiable hunger for life force, and there’s no better source of life force than huge planets with lots of life. In a way, Galactus is a sort of predator, and just like a tiger in the jungle, he is at the top of the food chain. This doesn’t make Galactus a villain, but just a force of nature.
Later, he would develop the herald system, where he chooses beings from the universe and gives them part of his power, so they can search the universe for food. It is a simple thing that makes his life easier, but on a symbolic level, it is basically the same relationship that God has with the angels in the bible, as they serve as his messengers. Consider the Silver Surfer, for example. The most famous of heralds can also be connected to the most famous of angels, Lucifer, the fallen angel. Because, as Lucifer, the Silver Surfer, also reveals to his creator, it is very interesting stuff.
Although he has destroyed entire civilizations over the millennia, he is essential to the universe’s maintenance, and he balances out the forces of other cosmic entities like Eternity, Entropy, Death, and Infinity. He is indeed a god in the 7th universe, as his destructive habits allow for new civilizations to arise.
Why do the Celestials despise Galactus?
The Celestials work similarly to Galactus. They can create galaxies, and then they seed those galaxies with life that their species can use to create new celestials, killing all the life that was on the planet in the process. One of these events is depicted in the Eternals movie.
However, while the Celestials build and destroy their own food reserves in order to keep building their numbers, there is a risk that they could multiply endlessly. This is where Galactus comes into play.
Galactus is a force of balance, and sometimes, Galactus has been known to eat Celestials’ eggs, the seeds from which the Celestials are born. He does this as a way to keep their numbers in check, so there are never too many Celestials going around. This, of course, doesn’t sit well with the Celestials, and they have been known to clash with Galactus in combat. The result is battles of enormous scale, where Galactus has been fenced off many times, but many Celestials die in the process.
Normally, Galactus and the Celestials are not in conflict, but every once in a while, a clash might happen here and there. Celestials are beings of immense power, but Galactus is eternal and almost omnipotent. Let’s say a group of Celestials decide to fight Galactus after having a good meal. Let’s say the odds are not in the Celestials favor.
Thanks to the Eternals film, the Celestials have to make their debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and with Kevin Feige already confirming that a Fantastic Four movie is in development, Galactus must not be far behind. The cosmic side of the MCU is opening more and more with each movie, and there is a ton of good stuff they can still use to blow people’s minds. The only thing we can do is wait.
We’ll have to wait and see how the Eternals fit into the MCU’s long-term storytelling strategy. Will the Avengers fight with them? Will they even be defeated? There are many possibilities. If the Celestials become a menace to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then the character of Galactus could be used in the same way that has made him such an interesting character all these years. As a force of both good and evil. A force of nature.