Saturday, April 22, 2006


Comic Art

To my mind, there is no more visually stunning villain in the history of comics than Galactus. Much of that is due to the fact that he was born in the mind of the master - Jack Kirby. He is so indelibly Kirbyesque that no one can draw him with out making him look like Kirby drew him, which means he always looks really, really good.

He is one of the more interesting villains because he is somewhat morally ambiguous. He is the most heinous of actors in our universe - he eats whole planets - killing every living thing upon them.

But that said, he has no choice. He is galactic in scope and cast more as a force of nature than someone purposefully bad. He must eat planets to survive and he must survive, if he does not, the universe as we know it will cease to exist. Interesting concept, isn't it? Evil as necessary.

I could wax eloquent for hours about that idea, but this is supposed to be about fun. Anyway, they are beginning to show signs of messing with that basic concept, as the very concept of evil is vanishing from the collective consiousness, Galactus is becoming more a poor guy with an eating disorder than someone who is somehow heroically evil, but it is not so far over the edge yet.

His origin is also fascinating. It was untold for years, but when the theories of the oscillating universe began to show up in cosmology, they decided to come up with one. Galactus is the remnant of the universe that existed just before this one.

Most people are familiar with the idea that our universe is constantly expanding, but you may or may not know that if the total mass of the universe is found to be beyond a certain threshold, it is projected that it will stretch to a point then collapse back into a singularity and that it has been doing that for time eternal. In this legend, all life existing at the end of the last universe decided it would not go quietly and willed itself into a single being - a being of immense power - Galactus himself, the only thing ever to survive a universal collapse.

Cool origin, huh?

He is a fan fav - a very fav. That frankly is why he has moved form simply evil to soemwhat morally ambiguous. As is usually the case, when a baddie really catches on, he needs to become a little sympathetic to give the fans something to hang onto.

Why did he catch on so? Well, he is enigmatic which always seems to draw people - like Boba Fett. His immense power is another draw.

But I think it is his look that draws me. He is just darn good looking for a comic character, and like most of the really good looking characters in comics, he owes it all to Jack Kirby, the master of comic art.

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