Writer: Doug Moench
Aritst: Herb Trimpe, Tom Sutton, Tony DeZuniga, Fred Kida, Dan Green, and Jim Mooney
Rating: Six of Ten Stars
Here's one entry in the "Essential" giant black-and-white reprint from Marvel that I've picked up is another one that doesn't really seem all that essential. It collects the 24 issues of "Godzilla, King of Monsters", dating from the late 1970s. It might not be an essential bit of comics story-telling, but it's a fun read.
The volume chronicles the adventures of Godzilla in the Marvel Universe. He emerges from the ocean off Alaska and fights a wide range of giant monsters and trashes several Amercian cities as he makes his way across the United States, until finally squaring off against the Avengers and the Fantastic Four in New York City. Every giant step of the, he is dogged by the Agents of SHIELD in their helicarrier, along with a a Japanese scientist and his grandson, Lttle Rob, who doesn't believe Godzilla is evil, and is constatly trying to convince others of that fact. He's also fights all manner of giant monsters and a cybernetic battle-machine nicknamed Red Ronin.
For those who are familiar with the broader Marvel Universe (or even parts of like, like SHIELD or the Fantastic Four) there are some major plot-holes here and there, but the wildness of Godzilla's adventures more or less make up fot those. (For example, he gets abducted by space aliens in one issue, and gets sent back in time to his "native place" in another.)
Nonetheless, the book is a fun enough read as brainless comics go. The material here will never make anyone's list of "The Greatest Comics EVer Published", but if you like Godzilla movies, I think you'll enjoy the material here. (For the record, when Godzilla trashes Salt Lake City, artist Herbe Trimbe actually drew the city skyline exactly as it appeared in the 70s! He even got the state capitol building in the place! On the downside, the writer and/or editor seemed to think SLC is in Nevada!) This series also has the benefit of being able to make Godzilla look like a genuine, giant radioactivity-breathing monster, as opposed to a guy in a rubber suit.