With IDW’s revival of their now successful Godzilla series, many fans were quick to remember Marvel Comics own Godzilla run during the 70’s. Marvel was long thought to be the first American publisher to acquire the legendary TOHO kaiju and compile his adventures into stories Godzilla fans would still talk about to this day. However, it would be a four-page comic, given out as a promotional item through Cinema Shares International during the United States 1976 release of Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), that would be the first US comic starring Godzilla.
Cinema Shares was excited to share this news publicly, and along with an interesting press kit, buttons, and a poster (which mimicked the 1976 King Kong movie from Paramount), the comic is by far what made the biggest splash among movie goers, thus becoming a rare find for Godzilla fans and comic book collectors.
R.J. Wilson wrote the simple comic, with an artist using the pen name “Swiftspear.” It had no cover and was printed on newspaper stock, a common occurrence for comics among that time. Due to the fickle nature of newspaper stock, and the number of years since it’s original release, it is extremely rare to find a good copy today. A quick search shows one for $5,499.99, and another at $74.95.
The promotional comic had errors on the names of characters, as Gigan was called “Borodan”, and Jet Jaguar called “Robotman.” Megalon was introduced as a “colossal, hell-spawned misanthropoid”.
The story is quirky and very reflective of what one would expect from the 70’s. Check it out for yourself below: