Galactus’ iconic helmet actually makes him weaker

SEP 12, 2021

Galactus is one of the most iconic cosmic characters in the Marvel Universe. What most people don't know is that his helmet actually weakens him.

It's common knowledge that Galactus stands among the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe. Known for consuming planets, commanding heralds, and battling Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Galactus is one of the most recognizable Marvel villains. In February of 1996, an archival origin for Galactus was finalized and released to the public. The story revealed hidden secrets about Galactus' armor and how it affects his cosmic power levels.

According to 1996's Galactus The Origin by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Vince Coletta, and George Klein, Galactus was originally a humanoid being from the planet Taa named Galan. He traveled aboard a spacecraft to a cosmic cauldron that would become the Big Bang. After the eruption, Galan was the last of his crewmates and renamed himself Galactus. Before appearing how most fans know him, he became a flaming cloud of cosmic energy. Galactus' wrecked ship eventually crashed on the homeworld of Uatu the Watcher. When he met Galactus, Uatu was willing to break his oath never to interfere in the affairs of other races due to how powerful Galan had become.

After fleeing from Uatu, Galactus prepared for his new life in the Marvel Universe. He constructed a new helmet and suit to "help him regulate his awesome abilities." This stabilization meant Galactus was such an intangible and powerful being without his helmet that his energy could destroy things beyond his control. Galactus has removed his helmet in battles with other powerful Marvel characters before, and in all of them, he proved his strength by prevailing in every scenario.

In Jim Starlin and Al Milgrom's Thanos #5, Galactus was challenged by the Mad Titan. In the heat of battle, Thanos blasted Galactus so hard that his helmet flew off, prompting Galactus to destroy Thanos in a matter of seconds. Thanos begged for his life, and Galactus delivered one final blow in the form of an insult, telling him, "Thanos is plainly no more than a craven seeker of power... and beneath my contempt." Galactus stomped away nonchalantly while Thanos urged him to come back.

Hercules #4 (1982), written and drawn by Bob Layton, tells a funnier encounter with a helmet-less Galactus. Hercules managed to enter Galactus' massive starcraft, where they participated in a different form of battle. Hercules attempted to distract Galactus by sharing drinks with him. Galactus actually agreed to join him, so he removed his helmet and got comfortable. Having realized Hercules' ploy, Galactus found the distraction amusing. He spared Hercules but immediately teleported him away from the gigantic table.

Galactus' helmet may be the most iconic thing about him, but it's interesting to wonder if he even needs the helmet at all—especially in battles with other powerful beings. Galactus may remove his helmet again in the future, displaying just how powerful he really is.

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