Sunday, May 21, 2017

Galactus - Gods And Monsters!

The saga of Galactus, which to this point had almost exclusively been told within the pages of the Fantastic Four, switches over to the pages of Jack "King"Kirby's other opus, The Mighty Thor. At this point in the storytelling it seems clear that Kirby is telling the stories he wants to tell and getting into the saga of Galactus allows him to flesh out the World Eater within a context which will support such cosmic doings.

Thor is contacted by Tana Nile of the Colonizers of Rigel and goes with her to confront a threat to Ego, the sentient planet. Galactus has discovered Ego and despite the almost godly power of the living planet he plans to consume him to fulfill his insatiable hunger. Meanwhile the Recorder is dispatched from Asgard and finds common cause with Thor as they travel together from Rigel to the scene of the galactic conflict.

Ego and Galactus battle it out, each using the enormous power at their respective commands. The Recorder and Thor are lucky to survive the conflict as they deal with the refugees called the Wanderers, a weary race who have long traveled through space after Galactus destroyed their world.

Eventually Thor is able to use their technology combined with his own Uru hammer to create a force which so threatens Galactus that the Demi-God withdraws to preserve himself. Ego is spared and offers the Wanderers a new home.

The Recorder returns to the Colonizers of Rigel and Thor returns to Asgard, but there Odin is not done with Galactus.

He uses his great powers to reveal a devastated world and the desperate souls who attempt to protect it in its final moments as in the space above a cube opens and Galactus is revealed to the universe for the first time.

This glimpse into the origin of the World Eater is shown to empower Thor's mission to again confront Galactus, but that confrontation is forestalled when a threat to Sif on Earth is discovered. After some battles with the Greek god Pluto and the awesome Him, Thor will once again seek out Galactus to learn the rest of the story.

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  1. Galactus had made his first cameo in Thor not much earlier, with an extra page Kirby had left over from FF. He used to often assemble impromptu scenes from his extra footage, as if he were just drawing one big comic. It was pretty fortuitous if it suggested this opportunity. Even at this stage, Galactus seemed over-used, but the build-up in these issues is awesome, with a last look at the cosmic entities Kirby had populated Thor with over the years. The idea of Galactus challenging Ego was an absolute inspiration. The origin, though, was eventually botched, cut apart, with chunks discarded and redrawn to near incoherence. Spare pages showed up in the Marvelmania portfolio, and there's some coverage in the Jack Kirby Collector about what Kirby's original sequences might've been. It reminds me of that Ditko Spider-Man story where Stan had no idea that Steve was foreshadowing the Master Planner story and wrote Doc Ock's minions as the henchmen for a small-time cat burgler. In both cases it seems to have been poor communication (or maybe alienation) in the midst of a mad production schedule.

    1. I'll have to dig that JKC issue out and read up on it. It was at this stage that Kirby was just handing in pages I think and the communication was pretty much nonexistent.

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