Galactus’ Ultimate Weapon Is Finally Explained in a Huge Change in Marvel Lore

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Warning: Contains Fantastic Four #44 spoilers!

The greatest enemy of the Fantastic Four, Galactus, is afraid of only one weapon in the universe, and until recently this weapon was shrouded in mystery. But the truth about the Ultimate Nullifier is finally revealed in Fantastic Four #44, and the origin of the device shocks Marvel fans with its simplicity and absolute cruelty. The weapon was never intended for deterrence—it was designed for immediate use by non-interfering Guardians of all people with devastating consequences.

The weapon was first revealed on the pages of The Fantastic Four #48-50, also known as the Galactus Trilogy. When the aforementioned World Eater arrived on Earth, Watu the Watcher memorably decided to break his oath of non-interference by sending a Human Torch to Galactus’ ship, Taa II. On board, Johnny Storm found and took away the Absolute Nullifier, a tiny but frighteningly powerful weapon from which Galactus instantly recoiled. The Earth was saved, and the Absolute Nullifier was never used… but where did this destructive weapon come from and who created it?

By topic: The final form of Galactus is more terrifying than he has ever been before

In Fantastic Four #44, written by Dan Slott with art by Andrea Di Vito, Davidai Tinto and Rachel Stott, the true nature of the Absolute Nullifier is revealed during the event “The War of Reckoning of the Fantastic Four”. Countless millennia ago, the Observers waged a terrible war with the pro-Silicans, which is now called Payback. When the victory of Reckoning was almost close, an Observer named Enmu used the combined knowledge of his species to create an Absolute Nullifier, and subsequently applied it. Nine-tenths of the universe was instantly destroyed, and countless trillions of beings perished. The history of the weapon was hidden, and only a few beings in the universe knew its true nature.

One of these creatures was, apparently, Galactus himself. In Fantastic Four #50, after Reed Richards brandishes a weapon, he warns, “Your weak mind can’t understand its power! You have the means to destroy the galaxy… devastate the universe!” Obviously, Galactus was telling the truth. It was previously said that this weapon was an aspect of Galactus himself. While technically this may still be true, it was the creation of the Observer Enmu and Enmu’s decision to use him; in this regard, he is responsible for a much greater number of deaths than Galactus or even Thanos.

The true nature of the Ultimate Nullifier’s inner workings is still a mystery, but the purpose of this weapon is now completely clear; it was used to destroy nine-tenths of the universe and put an end to a fierce war with Payback. Peace-loving Observers, seeing the devastation they caused with their power, retreated from the universe and vowed never to interfere in the affairs of “lower” beings again. The greatest enemy of the Fantastic Four was right to fear the Absolute Nullifier, but Galactus was also afraid of the Observers: the greatest mass murderers in Marvel history.