Monday, December 28, 2015
We've seen licensed titles like Star Trek here before, books based on properties that could be relaunched any number of times--and not just in comics. I've long since lost track of how many times Godzilla has had his own comic book, but here's one of the earliest: from 1979, Godzilla #24, "And Lo, A Child Shall Lead Them" Written by Doug Moench, pencils by Herb Trimpe, inks by Dan Green.
Over the course of his two-year run, Godzilla had fought various giant mega-monsters, the colossal mecha Red Ronin, the forces of S.H.I.E.L.D. led by Dum Dum Dugan, gotten shrunk by Pym particles, traveled in time to meet Devil Dinosaur, and only recently returned to the present and his normal size. So it's somewhat understandable that Big G is going to town on New York City, with the Fantastic Four and Avengers trying to minimize the damage and stop the rampage. The collected heroes are reluctant to kill Godzilla, although Thor wonders if the monster won't force the issue, as he fights to keep Godzilla from toppling the Empire State Building!
Young Rob Takiguchi, grandson of the inventor of Red Ronin, and playing the young boy role so prevalent in Godzilla (or Gamera!) movies; convinces Godzilla to leave. Although heartbroken to see his "friend" go, Rob turns a full-blown disaster into a mere skirmish. Spidey makes a brief appearance before the end, managing to get at least one pic for Jolly Jonah Jameson.
Not unlike other licensed titles like ROM or Master of Kung-Fu or the Micronauts, even with the license lapsing, some characters would still find a home in the Marvel Universe. Red Ronin is probably best known for his appearance in Avengers #198-199. The monster-making villain Dr. Demonicus would go on to another licensed book written by Doug Moench, Shogun Warriors, before facing Iron Man and the West Coast Avengers. In fact, it's implied that Demonicus captured and mutated Godzilla into an almost-unrecognizable form, that may still be kicking around the Marvel Universe to this day...!