The Tie-Ins That Bind: Essential Godzilla by Doug Moench and Herb Trimpe

Time to hit on a big one. With today’s return of Godzilla to the big screen it’s time to shed light on the king. And I’m not lacking for options. The Marc Cerasini novels from the 90s have a fanbase. The IDW comics do too. There’s a Dark Horse run I could cover. But in the end there’s only one anyone truly cares about: the 1970s Marvel Comics series.

From 1977-1979, Marvel published a 24 issue comic series. In that time they published a number of licensed books such as Star Trek and Star Wars so Godzilla fit in great. Hell at one point they published a 2001 series. Doing a series that followed the King of the Monsters made sense.

What didn’t? Setting it in the Marvel Universe. Which they did. Godzilla is actually a major character in the universe who they’ve had to sidestep or alter in order to reference. Characters like Red Ronin and Doctor Daemonicus who started here have actually endured for years.

So this is definitely kind of an interesting book. It’s a damned great one too. The book follows Godzilla on a long, strange odyssey. He battles SHIELD in California. He fights monsters created for the book. He fights cowboys. He gets shrunk by Hank Pym and fights a rat. He goes back in time to fight Devil Dinosaur. Then, at the end, he fights the Fantastic Four and The Avengers.

Since this is a crossover book essentially, it’s not shocking it’s weighted way more on one side than the other. The oddity is that it’s far more a 70s Marvel book than a Godzilla book. This has the staccato rhythms of books like the 70s Avengers or the unbearable Master of Kung Fu. There’s so much drawn from Marvel history too with Agent Jimmy Woo getting as much screen time as Godzilla.

But it works. For one thing, it’s a very good 70s Marvel. The art, largely by Herb Trimpe, looks great in the b&w edition I have. Godzilla himself shines. I also liked the idea of SHIELD’s outliers having to deal with a threat since Godzilla targeted areas other than New York. And I love that Woo got the focus, making this a great prequel for Agents of Atlas.

And these are fun. That’s what really counts. These are big, silly, funny giant monster mash stories. It’s a blast to see Godzilla vs cowboys. It’s really a thrill to see him fight THE AVENGERS. You’ll have a great time with these.

The series was republished in 2006 and quickly went out of print. It’s still out there on eBay and Amazon. At 20-35, well worth it! Seek this out.

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