Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Discuss: Galactus


david_b said...

Ah, the big G..

First off, to me, he should be one of those cosmic entities that should be used very, very sparringly ('less is more' concept..). More as a monolithic, ominous presence, to be feared in a galactic proportions.

That being said, after 45 years of him bumping into ol' planet Earth, various writers have given him some personality and have used him a bit too much. Space, issues I haven't read yet (and my workday..) won't allow a thorough examination of all his appearances, but I felt a low-point was FF#120-123, just not befitting his stature.

He was much better utilized later in #242-244, and of course, his 'grand arrival' way back in #48-50. His early Thor appearances (#160-162) were both majestic and frankly genius. Excellent backstory presented here, which was a clever idea on Marvel's part NOT to have his entire story in the pages of FF.

This concept provided readers a more heralded approach of epic porportions to span other stories in the Marvel Universe.

Anonymous said...

Yes, definitely agree with David that writers are real mixed-ability class when it comes to handling Galactus.

I haven’t read those Gabriel FF’s for years, but I thought they were well-received. Certainly, 48-50 had a wonderful sense of looming, impending, unstoppable doom. The Surfer had God-like powers and he was basically only Galactus’ restaurant critic. I also remember being very excited about him fighting the High Evolutionary circa ish 175 or so, but haven’t read that for, ho-hum, 30 years or so.

One thing I really like is the difference between the various heralds. Surfer, Gabriel, Firelord, Terrax, Frankie Ray. Was there a watery one? The Surfer, I guess. (Note to self: clue in the name there, Rich)

I’m probably going to get banned from the site for saying this, but I didn’t violently object to his treatment in the FF2 movie. OK....before you all start marching on my castle with your torches, have a think about it. If Galactus had rocked up at the end and he’d just been an above-average height bloke in a wing-nut hat and a curiously art deco wardrobe, it would not have played well on screen. I thought maybe they should have contrived a way to leave him out altogether, but if they were going to do it, I thought a big cloud of super-destructive nothingness was an OK way to go. And, if he’s actually something INSIDE the cloud, as I believe was discussed, then it leaves the real face of Galactus for a reveal in a (hopefully upcoming) Surfer movie.


OK... Igor ! Pull up the drawbridge....


Anthony said...

I love Galactus but I do agree with David B that he should be used sparingly. I may be in the minority but I like John Byrne's Galactus best. Perhaps part of that is due to the fact that I missed out on the early Galactus classics when they first came out. Part of that is also due to John's art and the way Galactus has been humanized a bit.
Some of my favorite Galactus appearances include:The Sphinx story arc in Fantastic Four 210-213. Fantastic Four 257 when he eats the Skrull home world. The unfinished Last Galactus Story in Epic when he finally consumes the earth albeit in a non canonical tale. Hercules Prince Of Power 4.
Annihilation mini series. I LOVED the way Galactus ends the war. Go forth, Surfer ...

Anthony said...

I totally agree with you Richard about Galactus in the second Fantastic Four movie. I was mad at first but when I heard the director talk about the reasons why, on the commentary track I believe, he cited the same reasons you give here. He didn't want to hamstring the director of any upcoming Silver Surfer movie. Like V'Ger there could be something inside the cloud. He did give us fan boys some silhouettes of Galactus to talk about later and Johnny at the end is as close as we will ever come on screen to a Super Skrull. ( He also references the Super Skrull in the commentary as well. ) I read somewhere Marvel owns the rights to the Skrulls but Fox owns the Super Skrull.

david_b said...

Interesting points on the 2nd FF movie, all. Other than the miscasting (liked Ioan Gruffudd, but Alba..? Please..) and my stubborn preference to set it back where it belongs in the Cold War early '60s, the movies were enjoyable.

If I had to re-CGI Galactus in the 2nd movie.., I would have started with the cloud, slow ominous music, then the faintly-emerging face (eyes, nose, mouth..) of the big G, totally Kirbysque, with a majestic, aloof expression.

Obviously the director was smart to use the 'Jaws/Alien' technique, barely seeing the villain at all, and hamstringing future usage.

As for heralds, perhaps it's me, but not one could surpass Norrin Radd.

"Restaurant Critic..?"


Doug said...

Visually-speaking, where does Galactus rank among the King's character designs? In his complexity, he is the antithesis of the Surfer's sartorial simplicity...


david_b said...

Good question, Doug. I used to think ol' G was the pinnacle of Kirby's busy/geeky style, to the point of ridiculous, self-satirical campiness.

But as I mentioned before, it's his aloof smirk that pulls it off, arguably ranking as one of his greatest creations in shaping the Marvel Universe.

Doug said...

David --

That "face fixation" is a good point when referring to Kirby. How about a couple of his creations that were all about the face: Ego, and Arnim Zola? And let's not forget Quasimodo, before he had a body.


Anonymous said...

I read Kirby saying that his inspirations for them were Biblical, so Galactus was God-like in a very ostentatious, graven-idol, ornate statue kind of way and the Surfer, the fallen angel, was more...well, angelic.


Matthew Bradley said...

The sad thing is that I normally love Jessica Alba, and was a huge fan of hers on DARK ANGEL, but I must agree with david_b that she was utterly miscast as Sue Storm.

As for FF #120-123, even though the story couldn't touch #48-50, introducing the Surfer as they did, I'm never gonna turn my nose up at Buscema/Sinnott artwork. I also have fond memories of the High Evolutionary storyline from my Marvel heyday in the 1970s.

Speaking of Arnim Zola, the guy who played him in CAPTAIN AMERICA looked like Kirby had created him!

Doug said...

By the way, if any of our readers today are new around here (or even old and forgetful...), if you look at the list of comic book reviews down the left sidebar, you'll see that we've tossed a lot of love toward those FF Galactus stories. And if you head over to our old blog (Two Girls, A Guy, and Some Comics) you'll find reviews of FF #'s 48-50.


Lemnoc said...

Hey, the cover of FF 122 shows Galactus receiving an Oscar for his performance, so it couldn't have been that bad of a story...

...oh, that's the Surfer in his mitt.

david_b said...

Matthew, Doug, Richard:

Much agreed on all points. For a while I didn't think anyone loved Buscema/Sinnott-draw FF as much as I, so I totally agree on #120-123.

My lament was more in occasional 'less-than-cautious' introduction of vulnerabilities in Galactus, or any god-like presence for the sake of story-telling.

Obviously it's crucial for engaging stories pitting them against mankind, but over time, making those characters anthropomorthic (lending human attributes to non-human entities) lessens the very nature or alien mystique we all originally fell in love with.

Yes, you can say the same for back-stories (or origins) to a point, but that was my only beef on that story.

Matthew Bradley said...

I know Joltin' Joe's taken some heat here for inks that seemed at times to overpower the underlying pencils, but for my money, he was the best Marvel had, at least in my era (up to about '85), and I consider the Buscema/Sinnott team about as good as it got. Overly strong Sinnott inks are a risk I'm willing to take, especially when you look at how much he enhanced something like the Perlin/Sinnott run at the end of THE DEFENDERS.

Edo Bosnar said...

Can't add anything really intelligent to this conversation, except to say that I'm glad Galactus started wearing full-length leggings instead of traipsing around the universe and chomping on planets very likely wearing nothing under than kilt...

J.A. Morris said...

I agree with most of you, good character who shouldn't be used too much.

I like the Gabriel story okay because my introduction to it was a tabloid-sized reprint. Everything looked good in Marvel Treasury Edition reprints!

Karen said...

Matthew, 'my' FF was Buscema and Sinnott, and although he's a strong inker, I think Sinnott really did a great job on FF. Through Kirby, Romita, Buscema, Buckler, Perez (I may be forgetting a few) he provided a consistency to the book. I know Doug and I have jabbered about this before, possibly in one of our FF posts. And I think there's no denying that the FF artwork took a huge leap forward when Sinnott began regularly inking Kirby.


david_b said...

On a lighter note, I love seeing Galactus show up in the classic 'Heroes' video on Youtube..:

Seeing the cigarette-puffin' G walking in with Norrin (at 2:06)looking for moonpies breaks me up everytime.


baab said...

terry gilliam often shoots 'giant' scenes in his movies that work really well,see giant with a boat on his head in time bandits and the documentary about don quixote he shoots three giants and it all looks wonderful and easy to do......

I wanted Galactus showing his complete disregard and his bare legs to the human race,and of course it would have to be nullified by the watcher......I am of a certain age where I cry when iconic snippets appear in the soopah hero moovees........

This ruined what was for me ,quite a stylish movie,and I dont care about excuses,It was lazy!

i am only commenting on the ff movie here.

I adored the first appearance by the big G when I was a kid. yes ,used sparingly he has majesty,but if he turned up every week he would just be a pest.

I also love the minimate figure of Galactus(I have kids!)bigger than the rest and just wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Just for the Hell of it, I think I’ll try to defend Jessica Alba in FF (.....wish me luck).

OK, there’s no real defence, but I can think of 4 strikes in her favour. One is that Sue was always meant to be a babe...hence Subby and various other people falling at her feet. If she’d been played by Rosie O’Donnell, this would not have been possible. Although we would all have heaved a sigh of relief when she turned invisible. And, preferably, inaudible.

Likewise, she was always supposed to have a big age gap vs Reed, so if she’d been well into her 30’s he’d have to have been ancient.

Thirdly, is the old stand-by ...’it could have been worse’. Given that they were always going to choose someone young, high profile & pretty, it could have been Kate Hudson, Katherine Heigl, or someone stupidly young like Megan Fox or Anne Hathaway.

Last point: who would you actually want to play her? Someone with at least a bit of gravitas, surely? But who? Nicole Kidman? Sandra Bullock? Personally, my choices would have been Jennifer Garner or Jennifer Connolly, but they’ve both been in other super hero movies.


david_b said...

Actually, to add comment regarding Sue Richards (not to steal the thread..), I always imagined her more like a young Laura Dern (around the time of the first Jurassic Park).

Obviously NOT to stir the ire of those sensitive to more-mature actresses losing out to those younger, but Ms. Dern would have been too old to play Sue by the time the first film was out.

I pictured a stern, yet lovely woman, similar to the Mego figure, perhaps more feminine and lilt, wide-eyed yet determined.

But if you add whether to play her as the damsel-in-distress as Kirby had her early on, or more assertive is questionable.

Doug said...

Interesting comments on Sue. Tomorrow is our second installment of "Stepbrothers", with FF #25 -- by that time Sue had the forcefield. See what you think of our comments in regard to the increase in her powers.


Anonymous said...

Hi David – looks like you called it on ‘threadjacking’. Doug has stepped in to keep us on topic. But this is too much fun.

You’re right of course that choosing the actress to play Sue depends on whether you mean the Kirby professional hostage Sue or the Byrne ass-kicking Sue. Given the century, I would say only option B is on the table. And rightly so. I always thought she was the most powerful member of the FF, given that she has the ability not just to make herself invisible, but also other objects and people, make the invisible visible and project forcefields, which let’s face it, is a pretty cool power. If I remember rightly it was she who brought the Hulk down by asphyxiating him. Dirty pool of course, but needs must when big green fists are trashing your architecture.

By the way, if you happen to know any women who match that fantastic description of yours, I’m definitely interested.

Some more ideas: Elizabeth Banks is the right age and has the look, but too cutesy? Is Ali Larter too young? Don’t hate me for saying it, but Elisha Cuthbert has exactly the right look for a young Sue, and let’s face it, if we DID decide to go professional hostage, she’d probably bring her own handcuffs and masking tape.

Byrne-era, older, wiser, ass-kicking, but still beautiful...well, Sienna Miller springs to mind. But that might just be because she springs to mind when I’m not thinking about anything else.


Doug said...

Richard --

Not sure what you mean by "stepped in" or "on topic", as I added a comment to the Sue Storm conversation. It seems to me like there's been a very organic flow to this conversation. Nothing to be paranoid about.


david_b said...

Nope, no paranoia.., just wish to respect and nurture the original intent of today's delightful subject at hand.

I STILL have to track down one of those Marvel Universe Galactus figures for my office, to stand him next to my Walmart exclusive Goliath and the Fantasticar.

For no other reason than the joy of saying his name outloud when someone asks...

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