Aug 17, 2011

Godzilla vs The Essential

I've known Godzilla a long time. I was practically raised on Godzilla movies playing on Creature Features every Saturday morning as a child. I own every Godzilla movie ever made on DVD or VHS and in some cases both. As I type I am within spitting distance of three different Godzilla figures. I've read Marvel comics all my life. So why the hell have I never read Marvel's Godzilla: King of the Monsters? I have no idea either. Let's start reading.

With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound.

Twenty-four issues of giant city stomping lizard action; written by Doug Moench for all of it, drawn by Herb Trimpe for most of it, colored by I don't care because the Essential is only in black and white. The Essential cover, a reprint of the first issue cover, tells you everything you need to know about this comic. A city smashing, plane crushing, bridge thrashing fire spewing good time is ahead. However Godzilla's hip seems to be only a few stories high, the plane fits easily in his hand, and a huge bridge is like a corndog on a stick for big G. So right off the bat this comic doesn't give a crap about scale.

Inside the story cuts to the chase by having Godzilla--

Up from the depths, thirty stories high.

Coming. Yes coming. Coming up out of the ocean to attack Alaska after waking up in an iceberg. Godzilla just wanders about ripping up pipe lines and killing people off panel for most of the first issue. S.H.I.E.L.D. shows up to start shooting the overly large lizard. What does this accomplish? It introduces Dum Dum Dugan but mostly just makes Godzilla mad.

Godzilla: Dragon of Science!

Then Jimmy Woo calls Godzilla a Dragon of Science and that is awesome. Oh yeah I forgot to mention Jimmy Woo secret agent and head of the Atlas Foundation is in this comic. Dum Dum is a dick for not letting Jimmy bring his robot or talking gorilla along.

Not much happens in issue two. Some back story of Godzilla attacking Japan that is vague enough to imply the movies took place but doesn't specify any details or other monster names. Godzilla shows up in Seattle to show he is as tall as the Space Needle. 184 meters tall. From the first Godzilla movie until Terror of MechaGodzilla in 1975 Godzilla is only between 50 and 60 meters tall. Guess Godzilla took some steroids before showing up in America.

In issue three Godzilla finally fights someone. Who could this mighty foe be that it took 40 pages of build up before they meet? Well there's only one fair opponent for Godzilla to fight and that's another god: Hercules.

Stupid alarm. We were two panels away from a sex scene.

Hercules and the  Champions of Los Angeles to be more specific. I'd never heard of them before this issue; apparently the most fun god in the Marvel Universe, Iceman, somebody's Widow, and the worst X-Man ever, Angel, formed a super hero team. They fly to fight big G in their Champscraft. One of your team has wings why doesn't he just fly himself over to--

When Angel died, no angels cried.

Oh right Angel is useless. Hercules has to save his stupid winged butt from being squashed under the toes of supersaurus. But can he? Is even a god strong enough to stop 30,000 tons of massive megalosaur muscle bearing down on him?

Largest crotch shot anyone has ever seen.

Hell yeah. He's the Prince of Power. Of course this also makes Godzilla madder. In the ensuing city crushing chaos the Champions get in a jurisdictional pissing match with Dum Dum. And Hercules accidentally downs the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier by throwing a bridge at it. Oops. It's not his fault, Godzilla has really good reflexes for someone as tall as the Golden Gate Bridge.

Fifty four pages into this collection and Godzilla hasn't fought a single monster yet. He will get around to kicking some colossal kaiju keester.

When will then be now!?

Next time Dum Dum. Godzilla throws down with a gigantic foe next time.


  1. I love Herbe Trimpe's art in this. Whatever you might say about the changing size scales, Trimpe makes Godzilla feel BIG. He's huge, powerful and dangerous. And it's pretty awesome.

    --Andrew S.

  2. Trimpe draws Godzilla a little too much like the the one from the cartoon for my tastes. But yes, he instills a sense of titanic mass into Godzilla on the page.