COVER STORIES for 01/07/2006
COVER STORIES INSTALLMENT #35
Welcome to this 35th edition of "Cover Stories," in which I look at a number of comics covers with a common theme!
Well, not this time... because every fourth column or so... it'll be time for...
As you may recall from about four weeks back, when you see that additional heading, we're delving into comics that don't exist in our world, so don't look for them in your copy of Overstreet, don't even think about searching for 'em on eBay! They don't exist!
But I'll talk about them as if they do! So strap yourselves in as I set the Kurtzberg Alternative Reality Device, and let's take a look at the remaining four Godzilla comics that were never made - continuing the series from a number of columns ago!
This issue in the Gold Key series is a bit closer to what we've come to expect from Gold Key... note the text, definitely not from a poster!
The majority of the cover art came from what was apparently planned to be a full-color movie poster, but which wasn't used then (it was later used on a video release cover, though!). Note also the insets of scenes from the movie! We'll see more of these in subsequent issues.
The same artist seems to be handling this issue as did the previous one, and the familiarity with the monsters Godzilla, Rodan and Ghidorah (spelled as "Ghidra" in the book, as was the "official" spelling at the time for the US) definitely shows.
This issue in the Gold Key line must have caused at least some confusion... for some reason, neither Dell nor Gold Key did an adaptation of Godzilla Vs. The Thing, which introduced Mothra into Godzilla's universe (although she first appeared in her own movie). Of course, there weren't any explanations given for Mothra other than what was in the original movie!
One has to wonder if the writer and artist of this issue were a bit resentful at the idea of having to do a story in which, let's face it, Godzilla fights a giant crab! There are a few puns made in the captions (rather weak ones at that -- such as "Ebirah gets crabby about Godzilla's attack!" and the like -- and we thought "Suffering Shad!" was lame! Also Ebihrah's name was spelled inconsistently through the book... sometimes with the extra h, sometimes without -- apparently it took some time before the American name of the giant crab was finalized).
OK, personally, I think this was the best-looking of Gold Key's Godzilla Movie Special Covers. They must've been lucky to get such a good still from the movie, showing not only Godzilla and Minya, but also some of the Gimantises! Also note how Godzilla's breath actually works with the logo, which definitely pops out! And strangely enough, they didn't cover any of the photo with superfluous copy!
This, sadly, was the last issue in Gold Key's line of Godzilla comics... the following movie in the series, "Godzilla's Revenge", was a very childish film, which used a lot of footage from previous films in the series. I suppose if they had done an issue with "Godzilla's Revenge," they could have reused the art from previous issues!
Anyway, the series definitely ended on a bang with this, probably the ultimate of the original Godzilla series, with all the monsters (not that you can readily identify Godzilla on this cover, although Ghidrah is very prominent there, as is Angillus)!
The artist on this issue really knocked themselves out, too! The action is even more slam-bang than in the movie! Whoever worked on it must've been having a heck of a good time with it! Looking over the pages, though, one suspects that the artist had some help with the inks, as the inking style varies from page to page, and sometimes even panel to panel! It's entirely possible that Gold Key had been ready to cancel this line even sooner, but decided at the last minute to go through with it.
Like I said, they took a pass on "Godzilla's Revenge," which would've been the next movie in the series, and apparently Toho was mad enough with them that there were no more Godzilla comics until Marvel picked up the license in the mid-1970s or so.
Now, let's hit the "reset" switch on the Kurtzberg Alternative Reality Device, and return back to our home reality again as I wrap up this week's column.
Join me next time for another installment of "Cover Stories," and in the meantime, you can check out my blog at http://waffyjon.blogspot.com for other musings and ramblings by me, or email me at !