Too big for one medium, Godzilla has nearly as much history in the world of comic books as he does in the world of movies. In the late 70s, Marvel Comics integrated him into their universe alongside superheroes like Iron Man and Thor. In the late 80s, Dark Horse Comics provided a more serious take on the green goliath. And currently, his adventures can be read in the pages of various series and miniseries from IDW Publishing.

The IDW Godzilla comics are some of the best I’ve ever read. For one reason, the publisher has, for the first time in the United States, acquired the rights to other Toho monsters such as King Ghidorah, Mothra and Rodan. The latest issue of “Godzilla Half Century War” is spectacular! Read the following synopsis of the miniseries, and then enjoy some of the artist’s drawings with our own biographies of its cast of characters.

“Introducing a new and exciting look at Godzilla’s reign of destruction, courtesy of Orc Stain creator James Stokoe! The year is 1954 and Lieutenant Ota Murakami is on hand when Godzilla makes first landfall in Japan. Along with his pal Kentaro, Ota makes a desperate gamble to save lives… and in the process begins an obsession with the King of the Monsters that lasts fifty years!”

BATTRA

First appearance: 

Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (1992)

Aka:

Black Mothra, Battle Mothra

Origin:

Over 12,000 years ago, there was an advanced human civilization. They lived in harmony with the living Earth until they offended it by creating a device to control the climate. So the Earth’s life force created Battra to defend the planet.

EBIRAH

First appearance:

Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (1966)

Aka:

Hedorah, Giant Condor (Condra)

Origin:

On Letchi Island, a terrorist group called the Red Bamboo controlled Ebirah, using him to destroy any ship that came too close to their base of operations. When a group of people stranded on the island discovered Godzilla sleeping in a cave, they woke him so that he could fight and defeat the giant crustacean.

 

HEDORAH

First appearance:

Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (1966)

Aka: 

Hedorah, Giant Condor (Condra)

Origin: 

On Letchi Island, a terrorist group called the Red Bamboo controlled Ebirah, using him to destroy any ship that came too close to their base of operations. When a group of people stranded on the island discovered Godzilla sleeping in a cave, they woke him so that he could fight and defeat the giant crustacean.

 

MEGALON

First appearance:

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Origin:

Megalon is the god of an undersea civilization called Seatopia. Heavily affected by nuclear testing on the surface world, Seatopia unleashes Megalon to destroy the world.

 

 

MOTHRA

First appearance: 

Mothra (1961)

Aka: 

The Thing

Origin: 

Mothra is depicted in various stages of her life cycle: a gigantic egg, a massive brown larva, a silk-spun cocoon and, finally, a gigantic moth-like creature with colorful wings. Kind and benevolent, Mothra has nonetheless defeated Godzilla more than any of the other monsters.

 

RODAN

First appearance: 

Rodan (1956)

Aka: 

Radon, Monster Zero-Two

Origin: 

Rodan hatched from a giant underground egg in the side of a mountain. Feeding on a swarm of ancient bugs released by miners, Rodan reached full size in a matter of days, growing horns on the back of his head and spikes on his chest.

Ranked by level of awesomeness:

Godzilla – 5 (out of 5) Duh!

Mothra – 4.5 (out of 5) Sounds crazy, but just watch Godzilla vs. Mothra (1964)

Rodan – 4 (out of 5) Not all the monsters get their own movies!

Battra –3.5 (out of 5) Like a mirror universe Mothra.

Ebirah – 3 (out of 5) A giant shrimp? Isn’t that an oxymoron?

Hedorah – 2.5 (out of 5) Too environmentally-conscious; lighten up!

Megalon – 2 (out of 5) Worst Godzilla foe ever?