Gabriel Lan was a captain of the Xandarian explorer-ship the “Way-Opener”, who’s mission was to seek out and establish peaceful relationships with neighboring alien civilizations. Lan previously distinguished himself in the
Xandar's military, the Nova Corps, and welcomed his appointment to an exploration ship since he was filled with the wanderlust and love of open space. He became best friends with Pyreus Kril.
Returning from his seven-year tour of duty, Lan neared his home solar system when a spherical craft of an unidentified nature approached. A teleport beam took him from the bridge of the Way-Opener and brought him aboard the spherical ship into the presence of the world-devourer Galactus. Galactus announced that he was looking for a new herald to replace the defective Silver Surfer, and having scanned Lan's mind, deemed him an appropriate candidate. Hearing Galactus's offer of vast power and unlimited travel, Lan readily accepted and was transformed by a tiny fraction of Galactus's cosmic might into the Air-Walker, second of Galactus's great heralds.
Voluntarily putting all thoughts of his previous life behind; the Air-Walker served Galactus faithfully for years, seeking out new worlds to suit his master's appetite. He came to befriend Galactus, and would pass long hours listening to Galactus's tales of the wonders and mysteries of the universe.
One day after Lan found a new world for Galactus to drain and while returning to Galactus ship to tell him of it, the Air-Walker saw a fleet of warships in battle formation approaching. The ships contained members of the Ovoids, a highly advanced civilization, who feared Galactus presence so close to their star system. The Air-Walker launched an attack on the Ovoid fleet and was struck down by Ovoidian weaponry designed to slay Galactus himself. Because Galactus was so weak from hunger, he was unable to retaliate with full force and decided to retreat from that space sector. His power still at a low ebb, Galactus could not afford to give up any of his personal energy to resuscitate the dying spark of life in his faithful herald.
However, once his energies were renewed, Galactus transferred the consciousness of his herald, who laid down his life for him, to a perfect robotic replica. The android Air-Walker was sent to Earth so that Galactus could claim his former herald as his own once again. Air-Walker was destroyed by the Silver Surfer. Firelord buried his friend on an asteroid.
When the threat of Morg reached Firelord's attention, all the former heralds of Galactus banded together to stop him. Galactus had cloaked his ship from all his former heralds, making him impossible to find. Firelord knew who could find him, Air-Walker. He had been built with a homing device capable of tracking the ship. Firelord always thought it sacrilegious to resurrect Air-Walker, but they were desperate. They used their power to recharge his cosmic batteries. When first resurrected, he attacked Firelord along with the Silver Surfer and Nova. His brain could only recognize that he was in battle, as he was at the time of his 'death'. He almost killed Firelord, but came to and recognized his old friend. Firelord promised to help him regain his memories and asked for his help against Morg.
They battled Morg and Air-Walker was severely damaged in the battle. When it was finished, Morg was dead and Galactus without a herald. Firelord and Air-Walker volunteered to be his temporary heralds and try their best to guide him away from populated planets. Firelord also used Galactus' technology to help repair Air-Walker. They continued to serve Galactus but he secretly resurrected Morg. When Morg returned to Galactus, he destroyed Air Walker's body and killed him. But the Silver Surfer arranged for Galactus to revive him although his body was beyond repair . His consciousness was downloaded into the main frame of Galactus' Ship where he can now help to guide the ship to uninhabited worlds. He becomes one with the ship and knows all that goes on inside of it.
When a meeting between Tyrant and Galactus was inevitable, Morg formed a plan to help save his master and asked Air-Walker for his assistance. At first, Air-Walker did not wish to help him, for he was searching for the Ultimate Nullifier. But when Morg threatened to deactivate and thus kill him he agreed. Air-Walker told Morg where to find the device. Morg eventually used the device on Tyrant, but the power overcame Morg. It's power unleashed, it destroyed Galactus' ship along with Air-Walker.
Air-Walker somehow resurfaced, once again in his android body during the events of Annihilation. He could do nothing as the Annihilation Wave destroyed Xandar. He was hunted by the Seekers led by Ravenous, a group designed to capture all former Heralds of Galactus. They were disappointed to learn that he was an android. The Silver Surfer arrived and rescued Air-Walker from his fate. The Surfer took Air-Walker far from the Seekers and learned that he was being hunted as well. Once again, Air-Walker died and the Surfer left him behind.
Powers and Abilities
The original Air-Walker possessed the vast cosmic power that Galactus granted to all of his heralds upon their initiation. His body was restructured to be a living battery of cosmic energy. The Air-Walker could utilize cosmic power for a variety of effects: heat, concussive force, magnetism, electricity, etc. Unlike most of the other heralds the Air-Walker utilized this cosmic energy without an accompanying visible manifestation (such as Firelord's "cosmic flame"). The Air-Walker could also use cosmic energy to rearrange molecules, although he never became as adept at it as the Silver Surfer.
The cosmic energy augmented his strength, endurance, and durability. At maximum exertion, the Air-Walker could match the strength of the Thing. He could use his cosmic power to peak capacity for several Earth months without resting before fatigue or the need to dream began to impair his function. His skin was treated to be immune to virtually all the conventional rigors of space. It took a force greater than the cosmic force invested in his creation by Galactus to kill him. Air-Walker did not need to eat or breathe since he absorbed life maintaining cosmic energies through his cells.
The Air-Walker could fly through space at hyper light velocities. While moving through planetary atmospheres, he would curtail his speed so as not to cause catastrophic side effects. The Air-Walker did not employ such conveyances as the Silver Surfer’s surfboard or Firelord's baton in order to travel; he apparently traveled and navigated by his own power.
The Android Air-Walker has all the same powers as the original Air-Walker along with the ability to locate Galactus's ship and self repair.
Height : 6' 1"
Weight : 210 lbs.
Eyes : Blue
Hair : White
In the Heroes Reborn world, Air-Walker is one of five heralds of Galactus. He remains the hidden herald from Earth's heroes. Air-Walker is not noticed when he places one of Galactus' energy converting capacitors on the Earth. Galactus is able to consume and destroy the planet. Doctor Doom travels into the past to try to stop this from happening.
Next, Gabriel is used against the Fantastic Four, where he and the other heralds are able to kill them off. Galactus succeeds once again and Doom goes back another 24 hours. After another unsuccessful attempt, Earth is finally saved from Galactus when the Silver Surfer betrays his master.
The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (2010) Air-Walker appears alongside 3 other Heralds of Galactus in this 2010 produced animated television series. The episode is Avengers Assemble and marks the end of season two of the series as well as the series overall final episode. Galactus has come to Earth and brought his Heralds Air-Walker, Firelord, Stardust, and Terrax to aid in constructing devices on Earth that would allow Galactus to devour the planets anti matter energies. Groups of Avengers must fight off each Herald. Captain America, Quake, War Machine, Spider-man and Iron Fist must face off against Terrax, Antman, Hulk, Invisible Woman, and Black Panther must face off against Firelord, Thor, Black Widow and Vision, face off against Air-Walker, Wolverine, Johnny Storm, Wasp and the Thing must face off against Stardust.