THE SURFER’S ALLIES
The Watcher, known to Marvel Maniacs by his proper name, Uatu, comes from a race of beings who have dedicated their entire civilization to observing and recording all the great events in the universe. The births and death of stars, grand intergalactic conflicts, the creation of a new super-being…these are the kinds of events the Watcher attends.
The Watcher seems to have great power, but no one knows its true extent. This is because the primary rule of his race is, “No Involvement.” As a result, Uatu simply appears at various sites of great importance, absorbing all he sees, hears, and otherwise senses into his massive brain. Does he use teleportation to get there? Does he have some kind of transporter technology? What happens to the information after the Watcher gets it? No one can say.
The Watcher tries to stay unseen by those he observes, but sometimes he’s discovered. For the most part, those who know who he is keep their distance from him—usually because they have their hands full trying to deal with the situation at hand. Occasionally, someone will attack the Watcher, and his usual response is to gently repel them with a forcefield and vanish from harm’s way. Never has he been physically injured in any way.
Mentally, however, the Watcher suffers a great deal of anguish. Although he tries to be objective at all times, the plain truth is that he feels great empathy for all those he Watches. Constantly, the Watcher is torn between his oath of non-involvement and his desire to help those he sees as victims. Will he ever cross the line and come to the aid of a someone in great need? And if he does, what terrible price will the Watcher pay? One thing’s for certain: If either of these things ever happen, it will happen at the Silver Surfer’s side.
Infinity and Eternity
Infinity and Eternity are such basic beings that they actually precede the Big Bang and are part and parcel of the very nature of reality. In fact, they’re personifications of all space and all time.
Infinity is a woman. While she can appear as a human-sized creature, she really exists everywhere, because her entire reason for being is to control space and keep that element of reality intact.
Eternity is a man. While he too can appear human-sized, he really exists throughout all time, because his entire reason for being is to control time and keep that element of reality intact.
What this translate to in the universe of SILVER SURFER is that Infinity and Eternity have the job of keeping everything in the universe in balance, and to maintain the existence of the universe in the form in which we know it. When anything—or anyone—threatens to change this basic reality, or destroy it, Infinity and Eternity are immediately alerted, reacting as would anyone who’s been attacked, and we see them as injured beings.
Although on a kind of metaphysical level they’re all-encompassing, practically speaking Infinity and Eternity have no fighting power at all. Instead, they have to work through other agents, summoning the Silver Surfer and other heroes to help them save the universe. When such an occasion arises, speed obviously is of the essence, and the Surfer and his companions are transported to the necessary place and time by literally stepping into the bodies of these two beings.
Master Order and Lady Chaos
Master Order and Lady Chaos also precede the Big Bang, but unlike Infinity and Eternity, who exist in complete harmony with each other, Order and Chaos engage in eternal conflict.
In the SILVER SURFER universe, everything that happens is a direct result of that conflict. Some people are agents of Order, others of Chaos. Some act knowingly, others unknowingly. But the purpose of all actions is either to make things more orderly, more peaceful, and more manageable, or to make them more wild, more frenzied, and more violent.
Order by itself isn’t always good. Chaos by itself isn’t always evil. It’s the balance between those two that’s important in the cosmic scheme of things. Both Master Order and Lady Chaos are compelled by their very natures to always try to gain the upper hand. But both of these beings know that if one of them ever won their contest it would alter reality so much that Infinity and Eternity be mortally wounded—and the universe would cease to exist!
Still, their battle goes on, and when one gains the upper hand, that’s when Infinity or Eternity calls in the Silver Surfer, to right the wrong and make things even again.
Created eons ago, by the same Big Bang that created the universe, Galactus is a being of incalculable power. His body itself the size of the mother ship in INDEPENDENCE DAY, Galactus commands an enormous intergalactic spaceship, using technology so advanced no other being could ever even dream of it.
Although he can, quite simply, do almost anything by either mental, physical, or technological power, Galactus is “human” in the sense that he feels—with great reluctance—human emotions. Primary among these are pride and anger. In this Galactus is like the Greek god Zeus, who was always demanding homage and punishing those who refused to obey. Or like Jehovah in the Old Testament, who destroyed cities like Sodom and Gomorra because their citizens violated his laws, and who made the Israelites wander in the desert for forty years because they dared worship another god.
Unlike Zeus and Jehovah, however, Galactus has one major weakness. He can, literally, be starved to death. The only place he can get the energy he needs to survive is from the core of a planet that has produced and is still sustaining organic life. Because of this, Galactus is doomed to roam the universe in search of suitable sources.
In order to make the search easier, Galactus has employed various “heralds,” to act as scouts and notify him when a life-sustaining planet has been found. Although each of the heralds began life as a “normal” man or woman of his or her race and civilization, Galactus has given each “the power cosmic,” super powers that enable the herald to fly through space and fight off would-be attackers.
Galactus makes use of only one herald at a time, and none of the heralds stays on the job very long. This is because there is more to the job than simply finding new sources of energy. Although he would never speak of it, or admit it to himself, Galactus has a psychological need for companionship, and for validation of his greatness. He needs to have someone around who gives him the approval he craves. When a herald stops approving—or stops finding the right kind of world—Galactus no longer has any use for him. And when Galactus “terminates” an “employee” not only isn’t there any severance pay—the former herald often is lucky to be allowed to stay alive.
Like a shark endlessly trolling the sea, Galactus strikes at every target his herald can find. Using his technology, Galactus transfers the planet’s energy to himself and his ship. Often, the planet Galactus “consumes” is the home of intelligent life, but Galactus is never deterred. Throughout his long life, he has destroyed thousands of civilizations without even blinking an eye, giving the entire situation less thought than a human being on Earth would give stepping on an ant!
Gifted with boundless power, motivated by the primal need to survive, Galactus sees both the Kree and the Skrull as powerless upstarts. Not only does he have no interest in joining either side, he also has no compunctions about preying on them both. Truly a fantastic entity, he inspires awe and terror in all those who either encounter him or know of him. To the space-traveling civilizations of the universe in which the Silver Surfer soars, Galactus is the equivalent of an Earthly hurricane…a fearsome, unstoppable force of nature. And, like a hurricane, he’s something to be avoided at all costs.
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