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.
Iron Man #196 – (No title) (July 1985)
Writer – Denny O’Neil
Penciler – Rich Buckler
Editor – Mark Gruenwald
We skipped Iron Man #195 because Big G was a no-show. I’m sure exciting things happened. Or not. Jim Rhodes was talking with an Indian spirit guide or some nonsense last issue to cure his migranes. That continues as we start this exciting entry. He left his Iron Man armor behind in the mystical dimension you go to when you get Indian spirit guides to cure your migraines, and now he can’t go back to get it, because you can only go to that dimension once.
Hey, I don’t write this stuff! I just write about this stuff.
Yada yada, the armor somehow has formed up and is seeking something out. Expect something weird to happen.
Godzilla returns to Dr. Demonicus’s base with a mouthful of Stark’s old Iron Man armor that Stark ditched in issue 194. Dr. Demonicus pauses his work on making more mutant monsters to bring about Pax Demonicus in order to play around with the armor for revenge. Someone needs to learn to complete his projects before he begins new ones!
Because the wayward Rhodes Iron Man armor has returned to this plane of existence and is causing trouble, Stark grabs a bunch of parts of spare costumes from the Wes Coast Avengers’ closet and suits up to go investigate. Dr. Demonicus tracks him down and attacks wearing the old Iron Mas costume, but the alternate plane Iron Man suit joins with Stark and soon Demonicus is defeated and will be spending some time in the slammer.
And that’s the end of March of Godzilla 2013, once again I’d like to thank…
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!
Godzilla #4 – Godzilla versus Batragon! (November 1977)
Writer – Doug Moench
Penciler – Tom Sutton
Editor – Archie Goodwin
March of Godzilla 2013 continues plowing through issues of Marvel Comics’ Godzilla, because that’s what you expect from a movie review site! This time, Godzilla actually fights a monster, and not in one-panel flashback form! And it’s not one of those “man is the real monster” cop outs, though new villain Dr. Demonicus is certainly a real monster. If you need to get a quick catch-up on who is who in the Marvel Godzilla U, drop on by our splash page. Now let’s get this party started!
A monster named Batragon attacks a random oil tanker off the Pacific Northwest. The action attracts Godzilla, who immediately attacks the new monster because that’s what Godzilla does. Batragon is what his name suggests, a combination of bat and dragon.
Meanwhile, a new oil tanker driven by masked goons shows up to siphon off the oil out of the first damaged oil tanker. The masked goons mention their boss Demonicus, and how he created Batragon and other monsters to help them rob oil so their criminal empire doesn’t suffer from the gas shortage that America is going through. These costumed goons look straight out of Japanese tokusatsu shows!
Batragon flies into its volcano home on an Aleutian island, where a few other monsters are, and more of the masked goons and their leader, Demonicus.
The monsters live on a lifestone that is a radioactive meteor at the bottom of a volcano, and Batragon is using it to heal now. The other three monsters aren’t named until the next issue, but they are: Ghilaron, Lepirax, and Centipor. More on them next issue.
Dr. Demonicus’s men are using Eskimo slaves to build a flying craft out of the meteor rock so they can fly the creatures around the world without them needing to return to the volcano to recharge. The Eskimos are not too happy with being slaves, so the bad guys gun a few down!
Dr. Demonicus looks like he got his uniform from a drawing a drunk person did of Killink. The teeth of the skull section droop down and make him look like he was left out in the rain and his skull paint went runny. During these issues, Demonicus’s men are dressed in costumes that look similar to his, but when he appears again in Iron Man, they will be less similar and more like a generic Hydra costume. Perhaps he had to scale back his costume budget after Godzilla trashes everything…
The cruelty of man against his fellow man, Godzilla sees all. And attacks Dr. Demonicus’s men! Go Godzilla! Godzilla blows up the meteor metal smelting machine. Then he attacks the monster lair where the four monsters are charging. Dr. Demonicus has a shield defending the monsters (that also acts as a cage keeping them in), but Batragon crashes through the shield it and attacks Godzilla!
But Godzilla kicks his butt! Batragon is now gone, because he’s dead.
Then SHIELD attacks, having noticed the action, but they attack Godzilla as they are unaware there is a volcano full of monsters.
Dr. Demonicus decides to not unleash the rest of the monsters until the two sides destroy each other….
TO BE CONTINUED!!!