The Thing #31 – Devil Dinosaur: The movie! (January 1986)
Writer – Mike Carlin
Penciler – Ron Wilson
Editor – Mark Gruenwald
Godzilla made one last official appearance in Marvel comics canon before disappearing into the ether. There have been several Godzilla-like creatures that will be discussed below, but as far as I can tell, they’ve never been officially counted as Godzilla. So let us tackle The Thing #31. The Thing is among the first comic books I ever bought. I bought two of those “comic book 3-packs”, one containing 3 issues of The Transformers and one with 3 issues of The Thing. While The Transformers became the series I would get every month and subscribed, The Thing became a series I would get in the quarter bins at comic shops, but it was still a good read (hence my buying them.) I was never that into the Fantastic Four, because Spiderman ruled all, but I often had extra money for cheap comics that would be good. Several images here are take from the Marvel Chronology’s entry of The Thing #31.
Ben Grimm (aka The Thing) goes to visit his friend, stuntwoman Sharon Ventura, who is working on a movie about Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaur. Ben likes Sharon because she reminds him of a lost love, Tarianna. Sharon Ventura would eventually become Ms. Marvel, be a hero for a bit, be a villain for a bit, and then get replaced by a Skrull. Welcome to Marvel continuity!
Ben arrives and starts attacking Devil Dinosaur, because he doesn’t realize it’s a robot! But he’s not the only one to make the mistake, as out of the sea arises the reason we’re writing this entry: Godzilla!
Yes, he’s actually called Godzilla! Looks like someone forgot or thought that The Thing would be too under the radar for Toho’s lawyers.. .Godzilla has escaped from captured jerkoff Dr. Demonicus, thanks to Godzilla’s cunning plan of distracting the evil Dr. with Iron Man’s suit so he could get captured, at which point Godzilla probably just wandered out of the undersea headquarters. Or maybe SHIELD got off their lazy duffs and raided the compound and Godzilla got set loose that way.
Godzilla #22 – The Devil and the Dinosaur! (May 1979)
Writer – Doug Moench
Penciler – Herb Trimpe
Editor – Archie Goodwin
Trapped in the past, Godzilla and his new pals Moon-Boy and Devil Dinosaur prepare to fight evil dudes who are evil. The Lizard-Warriors attack along with their pack of dinosaurs. The pack feature more Chargers, Triceratops, Sauropods, Pteradons, a mohawked Theropod, what looks like a badly drawn Gallimimus. There is an awesome two-page spread of all the dinosaur fighting. Godzilla, Moon Boy, and Devil Dinosaur are outnumbered hundreds to three, so they decide to run.
Back in modern day 1979, the SHIELD squad discuss what to do now that they are all out of a job. Ben Grimm and Reed Richards notice radiation coming from the time machine! Dang it, Reed, why you got to mess up history like that?
Godzilla and Devil Dinosaur will make a stand while Moon Boy tries a new trick, and talks to the Hag who controls the Region of the Pits. Hey, the name of the character is Hag, I’m not just calling this crazy old cave lady a bad name! Hag is in charge of a land that has a bunch of pits on it, so the plan is to cover the pits with grass and lure the enemy Lizard-Warriors onto it. You might think that the bad guys must be awfully stupid if all of them fall into the pits, and you are correct! Goodbye morons!
The time machine will soon explode and yank Godzilla back to our time…like a yo-yo. Does this make any sense? Of course it doesn’t! Just go along with it, please. Reed and crew figure they must get the time machine to an open area. Forget central park, let’s take it to Times Square! I’m beginning to think these characters get off on putting the public in danger…
The radiation in the area with the pits combines with the radiation in Godzilla and the radiation from the time machine to make the radiation storm that restores Godzilla to his proper size and transports him back to our time, 1979!
This issue is pretty much just an excuse for Godzilla to punch dinosaurs for most of the length. And how!
Next month: Two issues left, so time for Godzilla to fight the Avengers! But will Sam Jackson show up after the credits to offer him a job???
Godzilla #21 – The Doom Trip! (April 1979)
Writer – Doug Moench
Penciler – Herb Trimpe
Editor – Archie Goodwin
D-D-D-D-Doom Trip!!! And we don’t mean the video game Doom, though a BFG might come in handy in case of Godzilla attacks. When last we left Big G, he and the Fantastic Four were duking it out in a museum, and The Thing had just knocked Godzilla into a shark tank.
The sharks do nothing, especially not to The Thing, who also drops in the tank. Mr. Fantastic wraps around and smothers Godzilla until he’s unconscious. Which is sort of disgusting when you think about it, and also sort of creepy.
They tie Godzilla to the Fantasiticar and fly him to the Baxter Building. Mr. Fantastic’s big idea is to use Dr. Doom’s time machine and send Godzilla back to the past where he belongs – 900 million years in the past to the Mesozoic age!
This is totally wrong! The Mesozoic Age was 252 to 66 million years ago! Reed Richards should know that 900 million years ago was the Tonian Period of the Neoproterozoic Era! The Tonian Era featured unicellular bacteria and fungi, but also had multicellular algae. So basically Godzilla will be very bored. Luckily Reed Richards is as bad at programming the time machine as he is at knowing about ancient geological eras of Earth, and luckily does dump Godzilla during the Mesozoic Age. I can only credit Dr. Doom having an idiot-proof time machine control console.
Godzilla likes it!
But the Lizard-Warriors (mean cave dudes) are on the march, trying to conquer Flame Valley with their Beasts of Strife. They send two purple tyrannosaurids called Chargers to attack Big G, just because they’re mean. Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaur hear the commotion and go investigate. Moon Boy sees Godzilla use his atomic breath and declares him a demon, and sends Devil Dinosaur to fight him. even though he just saw Godzilla fight his common enemy.
Godzilla and Devil Dinosaur battle and fight, but then the Lizard-Warriors invade, and Moon Boy convinces Devil Dinosaur to make peace and attack the real villains. Way to be several pages behind, Moon Boy, but at least you got it right in the end. Godzilla goes along with this because Moon Boy is similar to Rob, which means that any young boy can convince Godzilla to do all sorts of stuff. And here we thought it was Gamera that was friend to all children.
As the invaders close in, we to be continued!
Next month will have lots and lots of dinosaur fights! It’s like you’re three and playing with your toys again, but in drawn on comic strips form!