Iron Man #193 – The Choice and the Challenge! (April 1985)
Writer – Denny O’Neil
Penciler – Luke McDonnell
Editor – Mark Gruenwald
Hey, it’s true, March of Godzilla 2013 continues past the cancellation of the Marvel Godzilla series (due to increased Godzilla licensing costs from Toho, not because of low sales!) and Godzilla shows up in issues of Iron Man 6 years later, strangely mutated and not referred to as Godzilla by any character on screen. But we all know who he is. Dr. Demonicus returns as well, he actually was running around the Shogun Warriors comic series and had a whole new batch of monsters from there. None of them (nor his original monsters) are around here, and the only monster fighting is between Godzilla and several West Coast Avengers. But read on for this strange continuing chapter in the life of Godzilla…
West Coast Avenger Tigra (that would be the chick who is a tiger that wears a black bikini all the time because of course she does) is flying a Quinjet when a mysterious green giant monster mutant swats her craft, damaging it and she’s forced to make an emergency landing. That mutant is strangely familiar…
Iron Man is recovering from his alcoholism and blames his Iron Man suit for part of it (the whole feeling invincible thing that made him push boundaries even more) so he doesn’t want his suit back from Rhodes. Rhodes also has his own problems, and wants a break from the Avengers. So Stark dons his old silver suit and delivers this message to Hawkeye and Mockingbird, though he does it in a dumb way that wastes three pages.
Dr. Demonicus is back! And he also has a bunch of goons, though they’ve changed their costumes and look more like purple rejects from Hydra than his old goofy tokusatsu goons. We learned he’s captured and mutated Godzilla, just because he can! What a dick! Also he can’t refer to Godzilla by name, because of copyright stuff. There is even a reference to Shogun Warriors #14, where Dr. Demonicus was last seen.
Hawkeye and Mockingbird go to try to save Tigra (after Stark refuses to help because of all his doubts. Stark finally decides he’ll go help and flies to where Tigra’s distress call came from. Tigra wanders around the island meeting natives who are stereotypical straw hut dwellers that don’t speak English nor have any technology/radios.
Hawkeye and Mockingbird get attacked by missiles, the shock waves damage their Quinjet and it lands in the water. They’re soon rescued by Tony Stark. Meanwhile, Dr. Demonicus sics Godzilla on the village and Tigra, who starts doing gymnastics against the big green dinosaur.
She’s no match, and Godzilla grabs her. But Hawkeye, Mockingbird, and Stark arrive and join the battle. Godzilla gets an exploding arrow to the mouth – which just gives him bad breath. Stark decides the best way to help is to pick up Godzilla using his suit and fly far far away. So far he doesn’t even finish flying there by the end of the comic. Hawkeye, Mockingbird, and Tigra catch Dr. Demonicus’s two goons, but the bad doctor himself escapes to his undersea fortress.
What will happen? Will Godzilla get healed? Is Godzilla now evil, or just mind controlled? My theory is he isn’t evil, his swatting of the Quinjet (that damaged it just enough to force it to land) was his way of getting help. We’ll see something in Iron Man #196 that makes Godzilla look like a conspiratorial mastermind. You never want to see your favorite monster being controlled by evil, so let’s all root for Dr. Demonicus to get his! We got some more Iron Man appearances to go, as March of Godzilla 2013 continues beyond the obvious endpoint!