Wednesday, June 14, 2017

When Tweets Galacta!

A comics dealer once mentioned to me that his young daughter had somehow developed the impression that Galactus was the neatest, most likable character ever, a friendly alien who just happened to eat planets for food. Fortunately, at her age, he wasn't about to shatter her innocent illusion of her big friend with the actual truth of his feared existence, to say nothing of the countless lives that he'd taken as a result of his foraging. Yet I couldn't help think of how delighted she must have been at seeing that image of her friend finally being realized, and in a most unexpected form:

Though a concept that readers might have responded to with:

Yet before we gather the villagers along with our torches and pitchforks and beat an angry path to the company's W. 50th Street headquarters in New York City, let's take a closer look at the story of "Galacta," a mostly harmless bit of fluff that's all in good fun and doesn't take itself too seriously, in addition to being a very decent creative effort by writer Adam Warren and artist Hector Lujan. Naturally the one question you're probably eager to have answered right away is: "What th..? Galactus fathered a child with someone? Galactus??" That question indeed has an answer--but before we start speculating about if and when Galactus hooked up and with whom, we should first get to know his daughter. Yes, his daughter--that much we can confirm right now.

And Galacta is indeed her father's daughter, in the sense that she unfortunately has her father's massive, almost overwhelming cravings for sustenance--but the similarities stop there. Galacta, astonishingly, chooses to reside on Earth, as well as to protect it from threats that we humans would be powerless to resist or, in some cases, to even detect. She is a young girl who will appeal to any reader her age as well as more than a few parents of teenagers who have their own language and who seem to be hard-wired to interface with social media from birth--a girl who keeps her father at arm's length yet communicates with him in order to emphasize her independence.

And so we learn how Galacta feeds to survive, if not sate herself to the extent her father does. Yet we also discover that her constant cravings for food are due to a foreign body within her that is stimulating her hunger pangs and becomes a cause for concern.

Helpless to extract the parasite on her own, Galacta clearly could use the perspective of her father, though without wanting to admit it in so many words. In the meantime, she goes about her business, acting as a remarkable protector of Earth on levels that only the Sentry and perhaps Dr. Strange could approach, though to Galacta such threats are neutralized with almost unperturbed ease.

Galacta's dedication to helping the humans is the only question mark of Warren's story, given how low in regard she holds the human species--something not all that surprising as the progeny of a universal entity such as Galactus, but not really lining up with her commitment to our safety. Mostly likely she helps us to the extent she does in order to spite her father, who, as she notes, has repeatedly failed to make a meal of the Earth; plus, there would have been little sense to Warren giving us a female Galactus who, like him, couldn't really become a sympathetic character for the reader, much less someone who appealed to human sensibilities in the way that Galacta does. How adroitly, for instance, she interacts with the Fantastic Four when she seeks out their help with her problem, but not quite for the reason they think--using them merely as a means to an end.

As a character unto herself, Galacta works--yet humans, even those such as Reed Richards, seem little more than an afterthought to her, puzzles to be examined at her leisure.

And so the plan is now to seek out the Ultimate Nullifier, the only device capable of removing the parasite from a being such as Galacta. Once she locates the device, she hesitates, fearing that she won't survive the attempt--and at that moment, when she's out of options, her father finally appears in order to give his aid. And we learn not only the circumstances of Galacta's conception, but also the truth behind the organism she sought to destroy.

Which is where Warren's story ends, leaving the jaw-dropping implications for us to ponder. If that little post of Galacta's didn't manage to break the Internet, I don't think anything will.

Since we haven't seen any evidence of Galactus's, uh, grandchild, we can probably safely regard Warren's 2010 series as a one-shot, which it comes across as anyway. Each issue consists of around 9 pages and makes for a quick and quite disarming reading experience.


George Chambers said...

Since this story trivialises not only the Marvel heroes in general, but one of the greatest Fantastic Four stories of all time, I'm happy to file it away as "not canon."

Unknown said...

I'm happy to file it away as 'yet another badly drawn attempt to appease SJW's who don't buy comics anyway' FAILURE.

With a subcategory of 'failed non Japanese attempt at Manga'.