Star Date: 1977

What do you get when Marvel and Toho are mixed together?  A trippy journey akin to eating giant hallucinatory mushrooms, that's what!  Bizarre LSD Toho monsters from test tubes and space, mixed with the Marvel satirical superhero wit, and a large dose of Mel Brooks type humor and pop references.  For instance:

The Thing/Ben Grim while battling sharks in a large tank: "Sheesh, somebody oughtta tell these stinkers that sharks are outta date...the new thing is flyin' saucers and Pillsbury Doughboys."

When Godzilla's little friend, Rob, runs away from the supervision of Hugh Howards (heh, heh), Mr. Howards says: "When Dum-Dum finds out about this he'll have my tail looking like a spruced goose."

Ha-ha, hee-hee.

Anyway, our story starts out with The King of All Monsters, Godzilla, breaking out of an iceberg in Alaska.  SHIELD is called in, with the white Nick Fury at the helm.  Fury assigns Dum-Dum Dugan to manage the Big G problem.  G-experts are brought in from Japan: Dr. Yuriko Takiguchi, his assistant, Ms. Tamara Hashioka, and his grandson, lil' Robert (Rob) Takiguchi.  Rob loves Godzilla and doesn't want him killed or hurt, of course.  'Zilla tramples Seattle and then moves on to San Francisco, where he grapples with a superhero team know as The Champions.  Hercules, a member of the team, actually topples Godzilla!  That's pretty amazing in the Marvel and Toho universes!  It's like an ant lifting and toppling a 2M (6' 5"), 136K (300 pound) linebacker!  During the scuffle, SHIELD's helicarrier is totaled, so they get a new one--which is notably a forerunner of the "modern" one used in "The Avengers" movie.  

Now that we've had a healthy serving of the Marvel universe, it's Toho's turn!  Enter the racist evildoer, Dr. Demonicus.  First off, the monsters the good doctor creates are really trippy.  Anyway, Demonicus has a personal row with Dugan's second in command, Gabe Jones.  Gabe bursts through Demonicus' window and the old white man freaks out.  Demonicus screams, "FREEZE, BLACK MAN!"  Gabe retorts, "Forgive me for dropping in like this.  Hope it doesn't spoil the neighborhood."  (Not bad for 1977.)  Demonicus has also enslaved the local Innu.  Gabe gives the Doc a good thrashing, and Godzilla fries the three beasts with relative ease.  'Zilla also happens to save Dum-Dum's life during the craziness of the battle--therefore creating a chronic moral dilemma for Dugan and his team.

Meanwhile, Stark's company builds the new, colossal helicarrier, and also realizes Dr. Takiguchi's design of a giant shogun robot warrior, Red Ronin, ultimately to be commandeered by lil' Rob Takiguchi!

Godzilla starts travelling southeast.  He squashes Las Vegas, and battles both Red Ronin (although Red Ronin is actually trying to help Godzilla) and a giant bigfoot known as Yetrigar, in the Grand Canyon.  It's quite a scuffle; Godzilla ends up flattening Yetrigar like a pancake under a mountain of rock, but not before he singes his fur but good.  Rob/Red Ronin is saddened by Yetrigar's demise, because he felt the monster was just frightened and confused by the events.  Oh, well.

Then The King is suddenly beamed into space by the citizens of planet Beta.  Godzilla battles three bizarre looking gargantuan mutants, created by the enemies of planet Beta--planet Megan.  Beta wants to end the ongoing war but Megan not only doesn't want the war to end, but they also want to expand their territories , starting with Earth!  So, 'Zilla not only ends up saving our world but Beta, as well!  Godzilla is HERO!  By the way, these space dinosaurs are freaky.  One has a head that looks like two dinner plates with teeth.  There's also a vacuum beast that's all lips and teeth.  And yet another monstrosity is part snail, rhino, and sporting a hawk’s beak!



What then?  Another turn on a dime, of course!  While wandering the some valleys in the U.S.A.'s southwest, the big guy gets wrapped up in a cowboys cattle rustling scheme.  Truth and justice prevail and the King even prevents a murder in the process.  It's like a bungee cord ride, folks.  Now for some of the cowboy dialog:

Hal: Mr. Hawks... do you think that monster has a brain?

Mr. Hawks: I dunno, but one thing's for sure--he [Godzilla] flushed out the varmints, located my missing cattle, saved my ranch, and stopped a murderer.  Only thing he didn't do is save the schoolmarm from a fate worse than death.  If he don't got a brain, he sure is good at wingin' it.

Hal: Uh, I hate to say it, Mr. Hawks. but I just can't resist...

Mr. Hawks: Go on--spit it out, Hal.

Hal: Uh... well, who was that masked lizard?

(Yuck-yuck-tickle-tickle.)

And then things get weird.

SHIELD ends up gassing Godzilla with a special shrinking concoction developed by Henry Pym.  The big guy then shrinks to about 30 cm (1 foot).  Then a professor dipstick trips and drops Mini-Me Godzilla into the East River!  Anyway, the big guy battles with a large sewer rat, and ends up radioactively fricasseeing the filthy furry rodent--with a thorough description of the damp, disease-ridden smoke stench, ta-boot!  HA-HA!  Pym's shrink cocktail begins to wear off--of course!  First to man size, then to dinosaur height, and then...  You get the picture.  Anyway, on his journey of growth he clashes with New York muggers, The Fantastic Four/Fab Four, and sharks.  Reed/Mr. Fantastic, of the Fab Four, figures out a way to send Godzilla back to his original prehistoric time.  Unfortunately, he decides to use a time machine confiscated from Dr. Doom to achieve the time-bending task!  And as every schoolchild knows, villain tech is buggy with a capital B.  They go ahead and use Doom's time gadget, sending the big guy back in time.  Godzilla then finds himself squaring off against a violent caveman tribe and Marvel's Devil Dinosaur, which had a run around the same time Godzilla came out.  Devil Dino really got around the comic book universe--REALLY!  He battled The Hulk, Spider-Man, AND--Batman!







Well, Doom's time travel toy crashes--of course!  Hence, 'Zilla is sent back to the future and appears in Times Square--at full size!  Enter, The Avengers.  The Fab 4 is still hangin' around too.  Throw in J. Jonah Jameson, and you've got one monumental mess.  After Manhattan is reduced to a smoldering heap of concrete and plastic, Spiderman (Peter Parker) snaps a photo of Godzilla heading out to the open sea--which saddens lil' Rob to no end, of course.





And so, like all Godzilla tales, and comic books in general, this story closes on a melancholy note.

The only gripe I have with this book is that it's not in color, and it's also shoddily constructed.  The cardboard cover came off and I had to re-glue it, which wasn't that much of a problem.  This format no doubt lowers the price for the consumer substantially.  However, I would've paid the extra bucks for a quality, hardbound color copy.  So, I think they should've offered both.  Keep in mind, I'm no expert when it comes to the book business; I'm just stating my druthers.

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