Andy and I are reading our way through Marvel's "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" Essentials Collection, and I thought it would be fun to chart our progress here. For more on this eclectic series, see G-FAN issues #53 and #54 which feature in-depth interviews with writer Doug Moench and artist Herb Trimpe and more analysis.
"The Coming" begins with Godzilla laying waste to the Alaskan Pipeline. S.H.I.E.L.D. (Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law Enforcement Division), commanded by agent "Dum Dum" Dugan, arrives to battle the rampaging creature. Meanwhile, Nick Fury is shuttling Dr. Yuriko Takiguchi, his assistant Tamara Hashioka, and his grandson Rob to a rendezvous with the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, as the doctor has plans for a secret anti-G weapon. S.H.I.E.L.D. zaps Godzilla with a laser cannon, which only succeeds in infuriating the monster, and soon he has destroyed both cannon and oil camp with his radioactive fire. Godzilla lumbers away as Dum Dum is introduced to Dr. Takiguchi and crew.
High Point: The flashback sequence that "explains" Godzilla's origins. The "Destruction of Japan" panel offers the most realistic Godzilla in the issue--tellingly, it is a view of Godzy's backside.
Low Point: A toss-up between Godzilla using the Alaskan Pipeline as a giant whip and S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Operation Mosquito, which is as effective (and silly) as it sounds.
"Hmmm" Moment: Godzilla's "birth year" is reported in flashback as 1956. Evidently this is based on the release of the Americanized "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" and not the original Japanese "Godzilla" which premiered in 1954.
Bottom Line: Godzilla gets off to a decent (if abrupt) start, as long as one accepts that this story takes place in the "Marvel universe."