Sunday, April 6, 2014

Godzilla, King of the Monsters #1

"He's mean and green and leaves an imprint on the scene!" were the words that were used to announce Marvel Comics' new Godzilla series.  As a long time superhero, Godzilla and Marvel Comics fan, I was really excited by this news.  I did of course hope that all of the monsters he fought would be in the comics (which was not the case, explained in a letters' column about, oh, issue #5 or so) but having him fight Marvel superheroes?  That would also be very cool.  Other than that, I really had no idea what to expect from the series.

The wait to get this first issue seemed interminable, but I finally found it (only one comic book store in Boulder at that time, and for a kid, it might have well have been on Mars).  I I must have read it and re-read it about 30 times in one day.  The letters' page had the standard "this is what we'll be doing" sort of thing, which promised a great deal of fun.  It also had a cool drawing of Godzilla and the Hulk (done by the late Dave Cockrum) which sadly,  never materialized.  I can understand why, since you couldn't have either character lose.

The art was by Herb Trimpe, with the story by Doug Moench.  Godzilla shows up in Alaska and pretty much destroys the small town.  S.H.I.E.L.D. shows up, with a team led by Dum Dum Dugan.  At the time, I had no idea who these people were, since they weren't superheroes.  The real Nick Fury also made a cameo, and we were introduced to the other characters from Japan, including the standard kid.  It's odd, in the original series of movies there are only three movies with kids in prominent roles.

I was pretty pleased with the issue and the portrayal of Godzilla.  He  looked a little different, but you knew who it was.  I had high hopes for the series- so much so that I wrote my first Letter of Comment to Marvel.  I felt it would get printed for sure.

It didn't, and I never wrote them again, though I started a letter regarding the Mega-monsters story line (which is something I'll relate later this month).

I know a lot of current fans don't like this incarnation, since it wasn't super realistic and serious, but for a Godzilla starved fan in the mid to late 70s getting a monthly dose of your favorite monster was great.

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