Godzilla was once a dinosaur known as a Godzillasaurus, who somehow survived the extinction of the dinosaurs and dwelt on Lagos Island, where he once saved a Japanese platoon in WWII in 1944. Ten years later after the death of the creature, H-Bomb testing started to increase, and when the H-Bomb hit Lagos Island, the dinosaur mutated into the creature known as Godzilla. It became far larger, stronger, and more powerful, and gained a radioactive atomic ray; the monster was unstoppable--or so it was thought. When a device called the oxygen destroyer killed the original Godzilla, a new Godzilla was born, who was even bigger and stronger, with a more powerful atomic ray, minor regeneration abilities, and thicker skin.
Powers and Abilities
His trademark attack is his "Atomic Ray," which is capable of devastating roughly one quarter of Tokyo in a single blast. A not so well known ability is to project a field of nuclear energy from his body, which is called a nuclear pulse. He uses the nuclear pulse ability in the movies Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991), Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992), Godzilla vs. Mecha-Godzilla II (1993), Godzilla 2000: Millenium (1999), and Godzilla: Final Wars (2004). Godzilla's body not only generates radiation, but it absorbs radiation as well. Increased amounts of radiation are capable of boosting Godzilla's already overwhelming power.
In Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974), Godzilla even turned himself into a giant electro magnet and attracted Mecha-Godzilla to his body, after which Godzilla was able to eventually tear Mecha-Godzilla's head off. When charged with extra radiation, Godzilla's ray will become red and, occasionally, have a spiral around it; this spiral ray is much more powerful than the normal ray, and can even hit objects in space (as seen in Godzilla: Final Wars). Godzilla's regenerative abilities are only matched by that of the alien monster Orga, who was unable to regenerate after Godzilla used his nuclear pulse in Orga's mouth. Godzilla is immune to most of all conventional weaponry due to his thick and durable hide, though M.A.S.E.R. weapons consistently are able to hurt him. When overloaded with radiation all of Godzilla's abilities increase a hundred-fold. However when his temperature reaches 1200 degrees Celsius, he will melt down, causing the atmosphere of the planet to heat up, and then explode, vaporizing everything we know. The effects can be lessened by freezing him but they will still do unbelievable amounts of damage to his surroundings. He can also can defy the laws of physics by sliding on his tail without gaining the slightest bit of momentum. He has enough strength to send the 35,000 ton spider Kumonga sailing into outer space with ease. When hit with electricity Godzilla becomes stronger, in most cases. There is no limit to how much stronger he can get through this, as he has used this only once in battle against King Ghidorah, in the film GMK (2001). He has also used this ability to absorb lightning to bring himself back to life in the film The Return of Godzilla (1984). In all cases of Godzilla utilizing any form of energy, his spines will flicker or glow.
Friends and Foes
Godzilla's foes include his arch-nemesis, King Ghidorah; Mechagodzilla; King Kong, Mothra; Gigan; Space Godzilla; Zilla (also called G.I.N.O, or Godzilla In Name Only--in other words, the 1998 American Godzilla); the Avengers; Orga; Titanosaurus; Kumonga; Kamakuras; Baragon; Battra; Destroyah; and Monster-X who, when defeated, transforms into the mighty and powerful Kaiser Ghidorah.
His allies are his sons Minilla (Showa series) and Godzilla Junior (Heisei series); Mothra; Rodan; Anguirus; King Caesar; Gorosaurus; Baragon; Varan; Manda; Kumonga; human psychic Miki Saegusa; and Captain Gordon of the Gotengo. Godzilla has also "fought" Charles Barkley once, in the form of a basketball game, though the two have not since battled.
Godzilla had his own comic book series in the 1970's.
Godzilla battled three superhero teams like The Champions (Hercules, Black Widow, Iceman, and Angel), the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers (Thor, the Vision, Iron Man, Yellowjacket, and the Wasp).
When he fought the Avengers, he flicked Thor away like a mere insect, exhibiting an amazing degree of invulnerability.
Godzilla teamed up with Devil Dinosaur, Moon Boy, and Red Ronin. Godzilla's main enemy was apparently mad scientist Doctor Demonicus.
Other Godzilla Comics
Other Godzilla comics were also made. After Marvel's series had long finished, Dark Horse Comics decided to start a Godzilla comic book series, based on the Heisei Godzilla. In 1987, Dark Horse Comics published Godzilla: King Of Monsters! One Shot Special, which was based on Godzilla (1984) rather than the american version. Dark Horse continued to publish Godzilla Comics for the next 12 years, from one shots, to miniseries, etc. Each comic had Godzilla square off against another monster. Dark Horse Comics also published a one shot black and white Godzilla comic (1994). Toy maker Trendmasters published a mini-comic also titled Godzilla: King Of Monsters, based on story elements in their toy series. In 2010 IDW obtained the rights to produce Godzilla comics, and they started with the ongoing Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters and the miniseries Godzilla: Gangsters and Goliaths. They are also currently publishing the series Godzilla Legends, which focuses on the various monsters he battles.
Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters
For further information: Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters
Godzilla rises from the sea and destroys a beach in Japan before causing further destruction while heading further inland. The airforce launches a full scale assault before firing a nuclear warhead at Godzilla. Godzilla is able to absorb the attack and unleashes it back onto the city. In a desperate move, a man straps himself with explosives and leaps off a building into Godzilla's face, who continues his march of destruction without flinching. At the same time Rodan and Anguirus have also appeared around the world.
Though, he tends to only attack if attacked first, (excluding the film GMK in which he is destroying the country unprovoked) Godzilla has attacked Tokyo, Osaka, Sydney, New Guinea, Tokai, New York City, Moscow, Paris, London, San Fransisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and many other cities. However, when he attacked Tokai and Osaka, it was often for a power plant to "feed" his body's radioactive energy generator. Godzilla's earliest attacks were in a rage against Japan due to their activities in World War 2.
Godzilla has appeared in over 28 "Toho" movies since 1954. The first Godzilla film was a deep, metaphorical piece showing the horrors of nuclear war, but in most Godzilla films Godzilla usually fights other monsters such as Rodan, Mothra, and even King Kong. There was even an American Godzilla movie, which the fans despised (and still do to this day). A new American Godzilla reboot is set to be released for 2012 from Legendary pictures, with its director admitting to being a huge fan of the original 1954 film.
Lest anyone forget, the orginal English speaking version of the 1950's classic starred American actor Raymond Burr of Perry Mason fame. The title of the film was "Godzilla King of the Monsters".
Godzilla has appeared in 23 video games, many of which are old. The most recent ones are "Godzilla Save The Earth" (2004) and "Godzilla Unleashed" (2007). "Godzilla Unleashed" features most of Godzilla's friends and foes, and also features new monsters that were made for the game. These two games are the most successful Godzilla games, though most reviews tend not to be kind depending on the system.
Incarnations and Personality
Showa Godzilla (1954-1975)
The Showa Godzilla was originally seen as a destrucitve, unstoppable, evil creature who destroyed and killed innocent people. When Godzilla took a much lighter and warmer tone after this and the second film, he was later seen as a light-hearted, child-friendly monster. The Showa Series ended with Terror Of Mechagodzilla in 1975, and Godzilla was not seen for another 9 years.
Heisei Godzilla (1985-1995)
When Heisei Godzilla appeared in 1984, he stood at a towering 80 metres, and was later increased to 100 metres. Godzilla (1984), or The Return of Godzilla, was a direct sequel to the original 1954 film and ignored all previous events. The Heisei Godzilla had a mixed personality, as he rarely spared people, though he did kill them. He did protect Japan against other monsters, but still fought them. The Heisei Godzilla died in Godzilla vs Destroyah (1995), where he absorbed too much radiation and nearly went into a meltdown.
Millenium Godzilla (2000-2004)
There have been several different incarnations of the Millenium Godzilla, and most of them were direct sequels to the original Godzilla movie. The Millenium Godzilla was much meaner and did not spare people, making him closer to the original version. The only exception was in 2004's Godzilla: Final Wars, who spared humans; it was also suggested that this version of Godzilla was bigger and stronger than any other Godzilla.
- Gojira (AKA Godzilla King of the Monsters)-1954 Monsters: Godzilla
- Godzilla Raids Again (AKA Gigantis the Fire Monster) -1955 Monsters: Godzilla, Anguirus
- Godzilla vs. King Kong-1962 Monsters: Godzilla, King Kong
- Mothra vs. Godzilla (AKA Godzilla vs. the Thing)-1964 Monsters: Godzilla, Mothra
- Ghidorah, the three headed monster-1964 Monsters: Godzilla, Ghidorah, Rodan
- Invasion of the Astro Monster (AKA Godzilla vs Monster Zero)-1965 Monsters: Godzilla, Ghidorah, Rodan,Mothra
- Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (AKA Ebirah Terror of the Deep)-1966 Monsters: Godzilla, Mothra, Ebirah, Giant condor
- Son of Godzilla-1967 Monsters: Godzilla, Minilla,Kumonga,Kamcuras
- Destroy All Monsters -1968 MonstersGodzilla, Ghidorah, Rodan,Anguirus, Minilla, Rodan,Gorosauraus,Varan,Kumonga,Kamcuras, mothra
- All Monsters Attack (AKA Godzilla's Revenge)-1969 Monsters: Godzilla, Minilla,Gabara,Kumonga,Kamcuras,Manda
- Godzilla vs. Hedorah (AKA Godzilla vs the Smog Monster)-1971 Monsters: Godzilla,Hedorah
- Godzilla vs. Gigan (AKA Godzilla on Monster Island)-1972 Monsters: Godzilla,Anguirus,Gigan, Ghidorah
- Godzilla vs Megalon-1973 Monsters: Godzilla,Megalon,Jet Jaguar,Gigan
- Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla (AKA Godzilla vs theCosmic Monster -1974 Monsters:Godzilla, MechaGodzilla,Anguirus,King Ceasar
- Terror of MechaGodzilla-1975 Monsters: Godzilla, MechaGodzilla,Titanosauraus
- Return of Godzilla-1984 Monsters: Godzilla
- Godzilla vs Biollante-1989 Monsters: Godzilla, Biollante
- Godzilla vs King Ghidorah-1991 Monsters: Godzilla, Ghidorah, mecha-ghidorah
- Godzilla vs Mothra (AKA Godzilla & Mothra Battle for Earth)-1992 Monsters: Godzilla, Mothra,Battra
- Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II-1993 Monsters: Godzilla, MechaGodzilla, Baby Godzilla, rodan
- Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla- 1994 Monsters: Godzilla,Space Godzilla, Godzilla Jr, MOGERA
- Godzilla vs. Destroyah- 1995 Monsters: Godzilla,Destroyah, Godzilla Jr
- Godzilla- 1998 Monsters: Godzilla
- Godzilla 2000-1999 Monsters: Godzilla,Orga
- Godzilla vs. Megaguirus-2000 Monsters: Godzilla,Megaguirus
- Godzilla,Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack-2001 Monsters: Godzilla, Mothra, Ghidorah,Baragon
- Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla-2002 Monsters: Godzilla, Kiryu, giant turtle monster
- Godzilla Tokyo SOS-2003 Monsters: Godzilla, Kiryu, Mothra, Kameba (giant turtle found dead)
- Godzilla Final Wars-2004Monsters: Godzilla, Rodan, Minilla, Monster X,Hedorah,Ebirah, Ghidorah,Kumonga,Manda, Mothra,Gigan,Kamacuras,King Ceasar,Anguirus, Zilla, Varan (stock footage), Giara (stock footage), Baragon (stock footage), Gezora (stock footage), Titananosaurus (stock footage), Mechagodzilla (stock footage), Megaguirus (stock footage)
Godzilla's first animated appearance was in 1978, in a series was co-produced by both a Japanese company and America's Hanna-Barbera studios. Godzilla's atomic ray was replaced by regular fire breath, and was given heat vision. Godzilla took a light hearted, gentle tone, as the series follows a group of scientists studying Godzilla. Godzilla, as usual, was seen as the hero of the day. Godzilla also had a son named Godzooki, who had the ability to fly. Godzilla's roars and grunts were done by actor Ted Cassidy (best known as Lurch on The Addams Family).
Godzilla: The Animated Series (1998-2000)
This Godzilla series was a sequel to Godzilla (1998), and it follows the son from the American remake, as he battles monsters in New York City. The series followed a group of scientists, led by Matthew Broderick's character of Niko Tatopoulus (voiced by Ian Ziering). This Godzilla had his trademark atomic breath (in green) and had feats similar to the Japanese Godzilla. Many fans who hated the American remake praised this series for being faithful to the original Japanese Godzilla.