Galactus In Animation - A Retrospective
Part One -
Season two came with much change, all of it for the better. The whole show was given a swift kick up the ass with everything being improved upon Ė writing, direction, staging, casting, animation, tone Ė you name it, season two did it better. None were more evident than Mighty Galactus, however. The devourer of worlds made his return in To Battle The Living Planet as Thor called for The Fantastic Fourís help to fight Ego as numerous natural disaster sweep over Earth. They soon realise Ego is the cause of the calamities and despite their best efforts they canít stop him -after some amusing scenes in the Baxter building and some cameos from The Avengers, of course. Loved the cameos in this show, and this episode was among the best of them. Ben even gets a great line.
Invisible Woman: The bridge! If we can only get there in time!
The Thing: Come on Susie! To Benjamin J Grim, ďifĒ is just a four letter word!
After Ego whopped guest star, The Mighty Thor, the five of them return to Ego and Mr. Fantastic recognizes some of the devices propelling Ego towards Earth and deems that only Galactus could have designed them. The propellers managed to resist one of Benís haymakers and even Thorís enchanted hammer whose name I wonít even attempt to spell correctly and announces they will need the giantís help to stop the planet. He had been monitoring the giantís location in case he should he ever attempt to return to Earth. They arrive at his big dome thingy (did they ever give it a name?) and plea for his help.
Galactus explains that Ego tried to destroy the galaxy which Galactus calls home and they fought but were too evenly matched, forcing him to attach the thrusters to Ego and exiling him.
Galactus agrees to help, but only on the condition that Richards release his embargo from Earth allowing him to feed from it on a later date. Realizing that he has no choice, he accepts the terms, saving the planet from Ego. The combined power of Thorís hammer and Galactusí power cosmic eventually kill Ego as Galactus reveals in his victory over Reed, with Richards all too aware heís essentially doomed it the next time Galactus beckons.
The unquestioned highlight of the series marks Galactusí return as Terrax arrives in Manhattan. And after a throwdown with the four, including a sweet scene in which The Thing sends him flying through 5 different buildings. He rises Manhatten above the clouds and blackmails the four into fighting his former master as only they have managed to defeat him in the past.
Upon arriving in his dome, they are greeted by a severely weakened Galactus who informs them of how Terrax The Tamer came to be his new herald after The Silver Surfer disappointedly showed signs of morals. So he sought someone who not only didnít have any of these irritating feelings, but also had utter contempt for the lives of those around him. Terrax initially reveled in his new found powers, only to grow weary of playing servant and then struck against Galactus, leading him to feed on a planet brewing with anti-life, poisoning him.
Having no desire to incur the wrath of Galactus again, the four didnít attempt to harm him. Terrax realised that no battle was commencing inside, and decided he could finish Galactus off himself, unaware that Galactus was feeding off the presence of his power cosmic. He then regained some of his strength and killed Terrax. He obviously didnít crush him as this is a childrenís cartoon, but he threw him towards the city and turned him into giant worms and they disappeared. So yeah, heís dead, but Galactus didnít kill him.
He then announces that he is too weakened to continue searching for the necessary energy and must feed upon Earth, despite Sueís pleas. They again attempt to oppose Galactus but realize that ďeven weakened, Galactus is infinitely more than a match of usĒ.
Then, the superhero smackdown begins as Thor turns up to help slay the giant and deliver those awesome speeches as only he can. Itís a shame we didnít get to see more of this version of Thor Ė I greatly enjoyed both of his appearances in this show and the follow up over in The Incredible Hulk. Thereís something of a Thor revival going on over in the comic books now, but with JMS at the helm, Iím certain it will suck but still sell well. The guest stars donít stop there as Ghost Rider appears and delivers the penance stare to the giant and them promptly pisses off. For a two minute appearance, it whooped ass!
Reed then announces the obvious - Galactus is dying. Using Thorís enchanted hammer, they manage to sustain his life support and Frankie volunteers to become his new herald to search out for the uninhabited planets which he may feed upon. Galactus thanks Richards for his help and departs, stating that he willing renews his vow to spare Earth and now would dare call Richards his friend.
Beside from a small cameo from Nova and Galactus in the seriesí finale, that would be the last we saw of Galactus until The Silver Surfer was given his own show in a new continuity in 1999.
Having used all their big names in animation by 1999, Marvel started dipping into some of their more obscure characters to develop as new animated shows. Daredevil was considered before the network executives passed on it because heís a blind lawyer; Ghost Rider wasnít picked up by UPN and Spider-Man had undergone a drastic revamp for animation with horrific results. FOX did however; pick up The Silver Surfer with little fan fare. The show has mixed results to this day with some stating that itís an interesting, physiological heavy cartoon and otherís think itís a pretty tedious affair. I admit to not being a massive fan of The Surfer and thereís something a little off about the show to me.
The pacing is unusually slow for a cartoon and the show is simply big in the head. I admit to not being too fond of the majority of science fiction either Ė I tend to enjoy stories and characters which are basically extraordinary things happening to ordinary people Ė a dude flying around space on a surf board doesnít really appeal to me and this cartoon didnít really do anything to change my mind.
Galactus is obviously a central character in the series, him being the one that granted Norin Rad with the power cosmic to change him into The Silver Surfer and save his planet. Galactus notes that he has never feed as well as he has since he made The Surfer his herald but refuses to answer The Surferís questions about his past, which was robbed from him when he endowed him with his new powers.
The visuals behind Galactus are impressive. He was created entirely in 3D and the computer generated images really helped emphasize the impressive scale and scope of the character. It did rely on repeated sequences a little too often but it did look pretty good for its time. It was certainly a lot better than the CG used in the Spider-Man and Iron Man cartoons that aired a few years earlier. The casting isnít as good as Tony Jay but James Blendick did a pretty good job. It was a little distracting to hear him use the exact same voice he does for Apocalypse but I donít really have any complaints about him.
I never really got into the show, but they did an adequate job with Galactus. Heís not as good as his Fantastic Four season two counter part but heís much, much better than season oneís depiction. He's considered by many to be the highlight of the show but, to be blunt, it doesn't really sound like too difficult a task.
Galactus hasnít been mentioned in any of the loglines for Fantastic Four: Worldís Greatest Heroes loglines, so one can only assume he is under some kind of embargo due to Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer.
I was hoping theyíd use Galactus in the sequel as heís my favourite FF villain behind Dr. Doom and I was thoroughly impressed with the CG scenes he was featured in on the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance video game Ė I remember watching that and thinking that the creative team behind the movie are going to have to try really hard to top that. Then I remembered that it was the same crew from the original Fantastic Four movie and pretty much everyone of them did a terrible job.
The fact weíve yet to even see Galactus in any form is disturbing. Thereís also the terrible rumour that Galactus has now been made into a cloud.
Whoever had that idea should be fired. From a cannon.
The futureís really isnít looking too bright for the devourer of worlds right nowÖ