Godzilla is one of the most iconic movie monsters of all time, with the best stories about the character often meshing the deep pathos of the monster’s symbolism with the destructive capabilities it displays. But sometimes, the leviathan just caused destruction no matter what was thrown at it — including Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Godzilla eleven came up against the Avengers in Godzilla: King of the Monsters #23-#24 by Doug Moench and Herb Trimpe, and Earth’s Mightiest weren’t able to even put a dent in the massive monster.
For a time in the Marvel Universe, a dangerous version of Godzilla roamed the world leaving nothing but destruction in its wake. A team of heroes from SHIELD known as the Godzilla Squad were assembled to contend with the creature and find a way to contain it without necessarily killing it. For a time, they believed that a possible fix had been found by exposing the creature to Pym Particles, briefly shrinking Godzilla to insect-size.
However, Godzilla’s unique radiation made the Pym Particles less effective, eventually resulting in Godzilla growing to human size. After being captured by the Fantastic Four, Reed Richards attempted to send it back to a prehistoric era where it could live peacefully.
But the radioactive elements forced Richards to return the creature to the present-day—and in the process fully undid the effects of the Pym Particles, restoring Godzilla to its natural titanic size. While the Godzilla Squad and the Fantastic Four tried to contain Godzilla, the Human Torch recruited the Avengers — at this point Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Yellowjacket, and Wasp — to help stop the rampage.
Everyone but Captain America and Scarlet Witch flew directly into the chaos, meaning to corral the creature. Godzilla proved to be incredibly tough however, with its atomic flames slowing down the likes of Thor and Iron Man with a single blast. Although Human Torch was immune from that attack, he was casually batted away by the monster.
Although Thor was able to give Godzilla pause with a powerful strike, it wasn’t enough to bring down the creature. Yellowjacket and Wasp end up doing the most direct damage to Godzilla by shrinking down and sneaking into the creature’s head, where they cause severe vertigo in the oversized reptile. Recognizing that Godzilla isn’t pure evil but rather an angry animal, the Avengers have little way of countering it or holding it at bay, with even Thor doubting their ability to bring it down. Ultimately, the Avengers are forced more into damage control, striving to save civilians caught in the chaos of the creature’s wake. Reaching the Empire State Building, it takes all of Thor’s immense strength to keep the building from toppling over, with the two providing to be near equals in terms of raw strength.
In the end, the only way to stop the creature isn’t with violence — instead, it’s the young Rob Takiguchi, who’d been traveling with the Godzilla Squad and had forged a bond with the creature who is able to actually get close enough to speak with Godzilla and convince him to leave humanity behind and return to the wild. Godzilla was such a threat, that not even the Avengers — with direct help from SHIELD and the Fantastic Four — were able to do much more than keep the creature at bay.
As opposed to other creatures the heroes have outright defeated or relocated, Godzilla forced the team to focus on just keeping New York in one piece, instead of trying to beat the kaiju. It’s a good reminder of just how dangerous Godzilla really can be — and how even the most powerful heroes can still find natural threats even they can’t easily counter.
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