Godzilla #1 (Marvel)


Rating: 3/5 – Godzilla, Smack Dab in the Marvel Universe!
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

With the release and popularity of Godzilla at the movies, those looking for further adventures of the Japanese monster have plenty of comics to feed that fix. IDW is currently holding the Godzilla license, but before IDW had the rights, Dark Horse and Marvel had their time with the legendary monster. In 1977 Marvel acquired the rights to Godzilla and created a series around him that lasted twenty-four issues. Editor Archie Goodwin in the first issue’s letter page describes a time during the early 1970’s where then editor-in-chief Roy Thomas tried to get the publishing rights, but had ultimately failed. Years later, their constant effort and stubborn pushing by Stan Lee finally got them the rights.

This first issue tells the tale of Godzilla emerging from the frozen waters of Alaska as they drill for oil. As Godzilla is awakened, panic ensues and none other than S.H.I.E.L.D. is called in for the rescue. Marvel chose to put the creature right into the existing Marvel Universe so we get to see Dum-Dum Dugan and Nick Fury as they attempt to halt the creature’s destruction. The action is pretty straight forward and except for a few scenes starring the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents , the story isn’t all that compelling. Godzilla is cast as a typical monster without much intelligence and writer Doug Moench doesn’t deviate from that formula in this first issue. Not only that, but you’d think S.H.I.E.L.D. would have some weapons/tools that would stop this monster considering the many, MANY Marvel Monsters that have plagued the Marvel U. prior.

As far as the looks of Godzilla, that’s handled by Herb Trimpe. Unfortunately, his Godzilla tends to look tame at times as his proportions change quite a bit during the story. One panel he’s towering over the oil field, the next he’s as tall as a communication tower. Where Trimpe’s art really shines though is in his splash pages. The opening page of Godzilla emerging from the water, as well as a splash of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents departing from a heli-carrier are top notch. The art serves the story well and Trimpe’s work is solid even though Godzilla doesn’t always look as menacing as he should. It will interesting to see how Godzilla interacts with the Marvel Universe throughout this series, but as far as first issues go, this one may not particularly entice you to read more.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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