Godzilla’s been known to tango with an oversized simian or two over the course of his career, as King Kong is arguably one of the King of the Monsters’ most formative adversaries. Unfortunately, Kong’s rights are not controlled by Toho, so even if they wanted to license him out, they couldn’t. That hasn’t stopped a host of imitators, but today we’re going to take a quick look at two of the least developed: a couple nameless great gorillas who effectively photobombed their way into Godzilla comics history.
King Kong references in Dark Horse’s Godzilla run go back to the very first issue, when the insectoid monster Inagos hatches to the a chant that should be familiar to Kong fans…as if Kong and Mothra didn’t have enough in common already, now they share an expy!
Yeah, as great as the Dark Horse run is, it’s a valid criticism that several of the antagonists resemble off-brand versions of iconic Japanese kaiju, including Inagos, as well as the sky monster Soran, the giant turtle Kamerus, and the stone samurai Gekidojin. Many of these come together during one scene of Alex Cox (Repo Man, Sid and Nancy)’s four-issue “Lost in Time” storyline, where the time-traveling maniac Elmer Mason proposes a full Destroy All Monster-style invasion. Dead center in one panel is a giant, sabretoothed ape, never mentioned before or since. Due to the nature of the story, this creature could be from literally anywhere in the timeline (foreshadowing?), but considering that the rest of the menagerie on the page had tussled with Godzilla recently, I think we’re just meant to assume it was a previous enemy from somewhere off-panel.
Now let’s flash forward to the 2014 Godzilla‘s tie-in prequel comic Godzilla Awakening, in which there’s a sequence with a museum chocked full of unusual giant organisms. This gives a hint at a richer backstory behind all of MONARCH’s machinations, but a case on the upper left, housing an enormous primate, really set the fandom’s speculation abuzz: “What if they’d visited Skull Island in the past? Ha-ha-ha…imagine if Legendary would ever go there…..”