I Had That! #42: Godzilla, King of the Monsters

I didn’t really start reading comics until my teens. Unlike a lot of my peers, I didn’t grow up with Superman or Spider-Man comics. I had very few comics as a kid, mostly due to lack of interest. The Time Saver on the corner where I bought candy and
stuff had a spinner rack, and I sometimes looked it over, but for the most part I was unmoved. Even the Star Wars comic lost my interest once it went beyond the movie, which is very odd. I don’t know why comics didn’t grab me.

One notable exception was Marvel’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Basing a comic around a giant radioactive lizard who regularly destroys real estate and doesn’t talk is an odd choice, to say the least. Placing it in their usual universe is somehow even odder.

As I’ve said before, I fancied myself a bit of a Godzilla fan, even though I didn’t have the patience to really sit through the movies when giant monsters weren’t on-screen. I guess the comics were a chance to get my giant monster fix without having to deal too much with non-monsters.

Since this was before the direct market, the only way to get these was to bike up to Time Saver and hope I hadn’t missed anything. That wasn’t always the case, and there were definitely holes in my collection. Still, the ones I had I read over and over, and I believe I still have some of those ragged issues stored away.

For me, the decision to set the book in the Marvel Universe proper was a detriment. Having SHIELD go after the beast with their absurd technology was fine, but when actual superheroes walked in, I lost interest. Towards the end of the run, as sales waned (and Godzilla neared New York) Marvel brought in the Avengers and the Fantastic Four and that didn’t seem to bring in superhero fans and it seriously turned me off. But since the arc of the book has Big G traveling across America from west to east, the bulk of it is superhero-free. And there are some surprisingly touching and human stories among the monster rampage, such as the story that takes place in Nevada. But there are also some just plain fun slugfests with a giant Bigfoot, Red Ronin the robot, and Devil Dinosaur. The three-part story where Godzilla fights giant alien monsters on the Moon was one of my favorites.

I eventually completed the run as an adult, but I haven’t revisited it recently. As much as I loved this, I never picked up the later Dark Horse Godzilla comics, nor did I pick up Marvel’s Shogun Warriors book.

When did I get it? Marvel’s run lasted from 1977-1979 and I bought them fairly regularly until the end.

Do I still have it? Yep, plus the black-and-white omnibus Marvel released, though I would rather read them in color of course.

This entry was posted in Comics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.