The monster is BACK on the silver screen (and HBO Max this week). This will surely push collectors to take a closer look at his key issues. While most buyers will aim for Marvel’s Godzilla #1, there are other appearances that should be on your list.
Love it or hate it, Godzilla Vs. Kong has taken the world by storm. It’s seen added attention from the movie’s debut in theaters and Time-Warner’s streaming platform. Thus, it will inevitably lead fans to this beast’s key issues.
Traditionally, the top issue has been Godzilla #1 from 1977, but the “King of the Monsters” has a storied history in the comic book realm. Take a look at some other keys that are worth your time to watch.
LIFE WITH ARCHIE #41
There is debate on whether or not this counts as Godzilla’s first comic appearance in the United States. In 1965’s Life With Archie #41, there is a parody of a Godzilla movie entitled “Monster Melee,” which is clearly meant to portray Godzilla. Being satire, does it count as the true first appearance?
Wherever you fall in this debate, this is a Silver Age comic that hardcore fans will want to add to their sets. Being part of an Archie comic just makes it that much more ‘60s.
Although technically, Godzilla vs Megalon could be considered an advertisement, the promotional four-page comic given away at movie theaters in 1976 could be viewed as the first Godzilla comic in the United States. This is just an awesome collectible to have, especially if you were part of that movie audience in the ’70s.
Outside of the first issue, there are other comics from the “King of the Monsters” and his Marvel run that are worth collecting. In the third issue, we have the beast pitted against his first Marvel superheroes as the Champions tried to bring down the giant lizard.
The Champions had only recently gotten a series of their own around this time, so Marvel was likely trying a cross-promotion to boost sales for both titles. One of the memorable panels from the comic saw Hercules actually lift Godzilla in epic Hulk fashion. Show off.
After confronting the Champions, Godzilla would tangle with Marvel’s elite 20 issues later. This time, he would square off with the Avengers in issue #23 before more heroes joined the battle in the following comic, including Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four. Around this time, Marvel was using plenty of monster-mashups with its characters after they returned to the world of horror stories. The superheroes had faced Dracula and Frankenstein, and Godzilla was just another monster to add to the crossover list.
This is one of the weirder comics in the ‘Zilla lore. That’s really saying something, considering we are talking about a giant dinosaur-ish monster who breathes nuclear fire and sometimes does a running dropkick.
Originally beginning in a Nike commercial, Godzilla vs Barkley was meant as a promotion for the Nike brand after the popular television ad earned worldwide attention. If you are a fan, this is just odd enough that you need it for your collection.
After the three-movie franchise, it is obvious that the world still loves Godzilla. There is no doubt that we will continue to see him on the screen and in comics going forward. His key issues will always be popular buys.