GODZILLA #6-8 (1978): 1st Red Ronin


I was wondering when Dum Dum would be fired from SHIELD. He’s been hunting Godzilla, and so far the giant lizard has destroyed a national landmark and three cities. And a helicarrier. But now, he gets serious. You can tell because there’s blueprints.

Red Ronin is not made by SHIELD though.

It’s a Japanese giant robot, similar to the Shogun Warriors that were, frankly, some of the best made toys in the world at the time. They were heavy–actual metal–and pretty expensive. Then later of course plastic took over and the quality went way down. And some kid choked on one of the little plastic missles, so none of us got to play with them any more.

The blueprints debut in issue #6, but we don’t see the actual giant Godzilla-fighting robot until issue #7, which is after Dum Dum captures Godzilla. And he escapes. Off-screen and practically immediately. This would have been better if it had taken a little more time, but I’m guessing the creators wanted to rush to the Ronin fight.

And it’s a great battle that stretches across two issues and is full of full-page/spread shots. Some great art by Herb Trimpe.

And it ends with Red Ronin pointing Godzilla back into the water. The robot’s creators have empathy for Godzilla and want to teach him to live with humans, not destroy their cities.

A remarkably complex story given the target age range, and very well done. I keep being impressed by this book.

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