Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday - The Coming Of Galactus!

It's Good Friday and the Easter season is well and fully underway. To celebrate (in a weird comic book kind of way) I want to spend the next three holy days in a mild but nonetheless wanton act of sacrilege and look at one of the greatest comic book yarns in the history of the medium - The Galactus Trilogy.

Hey, it makes at least as much sense as the dang Easter Bunny! Let's get started.

The saga begins in Fantastic Four #48 and the Earth will by the end of the issue feel well and properly doomed. But first a few loose threads need to be tied up.

The FF had been investigating the mystery of the Inhumans and the villainous Maximus the Mad had just activated his Atmo-Gun as this issue begins in an effort to destroy all human life that the Inhumans might inherit the Earth. But his scheme fails and when confronted by Black Bolt and the others of the Royal Family, he activates the Negative Zone which forms a steel-like dome around the entirety of Attilan, the city of the Inhumans. The FF barely escape, dragging the lovesick Human Torch with them as he is torn from the arms of his new love Crystal.

The scene shifts to the Andromeda Galaxy where the Skrulls desperately try to hide themselves from the gaze of the mysterious Silver Surfer by blacking out all of Homeworld. 

The Fab 4 then head home but soon enough find that all is not right with the world as they approach the friendly confines of New York City air space. There seems for a time to be two suns, and then the entire sky seems ablaze with a vast sea of flame. The Human Torch investigates but ends up being attacked by New Yorkers who douse him with a firehose in a fit of panic imagine he must the cause of this bizarre activity. The Thing drops down off the FF sky cycle to save his comrade from toughs who look to do him harm. The duo head to the Baxter Building as the panic continues.

Again the scene changes as the enigmatic Silver Surfer again appears, this time on the outskirts of Earth's Solar System itself.

Some time has passed and the FF wonder why Reed has kept himself in his lab with only impatient words for Sue and others who seek to talk to him. She demands answers and when she enters finds Reed being visited by the Watcher, the powerful cosmic figure who stands back and records the happenings in this sector or space and time. He has broken his vow of non-inteference because of the threat of the Galactus for whom the Silver Surfer is a harbinger. Meanwhile Ben and Johnny see a mysterious ocean of massive rocks swimming in the sky.

To that end he first attempted to hid the Earth with a wall of flame and when that proved to problematic shifted to a cascading ocean of stones. But the Surfer finds his way to Earth regardless and has he enters the atmosphere he is confronted by the Human Torch who finds the Surfer is able elude him easily. Landing atop the Baxter Building the Surfer signals his master Galactus as the Thing knocks the utterly silent figure off the building. But the team do not find him and the Watcher reveals that the threat has shifted and they should no longer concern themselves with the Herald.

The mighty spherical ship of Galactus enters the Earth's atmosphere and mighty machinery begins to operate as the terrible and terrifying entity reveals himself to Earthmen for the first time.

Galactus walks the Earth and he immediately ordains that the whole of the Earth itself will be destroyed so that he might find the energy he needs to survive.

The awesome Galactus speaks. The Fantastic Four look on helplessly. 

Bam! That's a great comic book story -- full of action, drama, pace and exotic powerful events and brand new fascinating characters. The Inhumans, the Skrulls, the Watcher, the Silver Surfer, Galactus, and the Fab 4 to boot, all in a single regular-sized comic and not a single moment of feeling cramped or overwrought. Beautiful!

The whole world under threat from a celestial being who appears by all reports to be at once implacable and without pity for creatures deemed beneath him in every way. It's a grand spectacle, and the arrival of the Silver Surfer in this debut is full of mystery as he says nary a word while proceeds with is deadly mission for his awesome master. 

More to come tomorrow on Black Saturday!

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  1. The Surfer may have said nary a word initially - he certainly made up for it later!

    1. That's true. He did become rather a talker in his own comic, and he was always talking to himself.

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  2. I remember walking back from Reiger's Ice Cream in Erie where I bought this off the spinner rack. It was like people nowadays walking and texting on the cell phones..completely lost in the was as if someone has hit my brain it was jarringly fantastic, pun intended. Perhaps the best comic ever.

    1. A great comic no doubt, filled with rich evocative images and ideas.

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