Captain America has been an inspirational symbol for many people over the years. Heroes have modeled themselves after him. Villains have given him respect. Even gods like Thor have followed Steve Rogers into battle against overwhelming odds. Strangely enough, Captain America once inspired even the planet devourer Galactus – a cosmic being supposedly beyond good or evil – to concoct a plan that would finally stop his endless hunger and prevent him from being The Devourer of Worlds. While this sounds like an admirable goal, Galactus’ plan did not have the best interests of Captain America or the Marvel Universe in mind…
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The story actually has its roots in Last Hero Standing, a comic book miniseries set in the MC2 Universe. In this alternate future, many mainstream Marvel heroes have aged and retired, leaving the new, younger generation to pick up the slack. This led to the creation of a new team of Avengers (who had their adventures in the comic book A-Next). In addition to new versions of Iron Man and the Juggernaut, the team roster also included Spider-Girl, the daughter of Spider-Man, and American Dream, a woman related to Sharon and Peggy Carter.
How Captain America Became A Star
Although it seemed as if most of the heroes’ predecessors had left the game, the truth was that some like Thor and Captain America were still very active – just not in the same dimension. Steve Rogers, it turned out, had chosen to remain in a despotic alternate dimension where Doctor Doom had conquered the world. Older, but still very active thanks to the Super Soldier Serum still in his blood, Cap met MC2’s Avengers when they temporarily visited the alternate world and helped him take down some threats.
Dividing his time between the two worlds, Captain America soon revealed that his body was now showing some serious signs of wear. Still unwilling to just retire, Cap maintained his physique with regular workouts and got a chance to see some major action with old friends Thor and Hulk when Loki returned to brainwash many of the heroes into becoming dark versions of themselves. In the final battle, Cap faced off against Loki, but was struck down in battle. In his final moments, Cap asked everyone to not be sad but to be glad that they won their battle… and to be prepared to fight the monsters yet to come.
Unwilling to let his friend simply fade away, Thor rushed to his side and combined Captain America’s soul with the power of his enchanted hammer Mjolnir. Then, using an Asgardian spell reserved only for the greatest of warriors, he channeled that energy into the heavens where it birthed a new star – one in the shape of Captain America’s shield – where it could inspire new generations of heroes forever.
How Galactus Found Inspiration in Captain America’s Star
Thor may have intended to honor Captain America and give others a source of heroic inspiration by transforming Cap into a star, but in the sequel to Last Hero Standing, readers learned Captain America’s star provided a very different sort of inspiration to the planet eater Galactus. In Last Planet Standing, the heroes discover the Devourer of Worlds is moving against powerful realms and systems including Asgard and the Shi’ar Empire – but he isn’t eating these worlds.
Instead, with the help of his new herald Dominas the Wavemaster, Galactus is converting the worlds to energy and storing them within his ship. Why? Apparently, after discovering the newly-created Captain America star, Galactus is convinced the star holds the key to ending his hunger for planets and allowing him to evolve to the next level. While this sounds ideal, Galactus continues sacrificing world after world in order to get the life energies he needs for this task. Galactus’ task requires far more than just planets, however, as his herald Dominas also secures powerful artifacts such as the Asgardian Odinsword, along with powerful beings like the Grandmaster and Thor himself.
Naturally, Galactus’ efforts encounter much resistance, not only from the Asgardians and Earth’s heroes, but the cosmic beings themselves who fear what Galactus is trying to attempt. Unfortunately, Galactus cannot be so easily stopped and manages to collect all the items he needs before heading to the planet where he’ll begin his ascension – Earth. There, Galactus finally reveals his plan – by focusing all the life energies of multiple worlds along with the power of his trapped cosmic beings into the new Captain America star, he can start a new Big Bang that will let him evolve to a new form. Unfortunately, this also means the destruction of the current universe and everyone in existence.
How Galactus Evolved into his Final Form
As Galactus prepares for his grand plan in the middle of Central Park, he triggers massive earthquakes that devastates the planet. The heroes manage to help others survive, but their efforts are useless against the demigod. Help continues to come, however, from the Devourer’s original herald – the Silver Surfer. After facing Dominas in battle, the Surfer absorbs his counterpart’s power and goes to face Galactus.
However, even this power doesn’t let the Surfer take down his old master until he gets some help from an unexpected source. New heroes Spider-Girl, American Dream, and Stinger shrink down and sneak onto Galactus’ ship where they manage to sabotage his devices and cause him to draw energy from Captain America’s star instead of firing energy at it. Suddenly overwhelmed by the influx of energies, Galactus becomes critically injured, but before death can claim him, the Surfer rises to his defense and surrounds them both in a cocoon of cosmic energy.
In the process, the Silver Surfer and Galactus combine to form a new being, one who wields a new form of the Power Cosmic – the Power Essential. Now driven to repair the damage with its new abilities, the nameless being erases all the destruction Galactus caused the Earth and then goes off to repeat this task on other worlds (presumably the ones Galactus had previously destroyed).
While not the ending Galactus had in mind, the final act of Last Planet Standing did manage to evolve the Planet Eater into something far different than what he was before. No longer a destroyer of planets, the new Galactus/Silver Surfer only serves to build new worlds, something Captain America would likely approve of.
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