Monsters Attack! No. 4

by Armand Vaquer

A recent posting by Stan Hyde at Facebook Monsterland prompted this recollection.

Following Terror of Mechagodzilla in 1975, Toho Co., Ltd. put Godzilla on a long hiatus. During those years, all was quiet on the Godzilla front. Then, out of the blue, Toho released Godzilla in 1984 (renamed Return of Godzilla and released here (heavily edited) with Raymond Burr reprising his Steve Martin character as Godzilla 1985).

The movie, although well-done in its original Japanese form, received a lukewarm response here. The movie was a direct sequel to the original 1954 Godzilla and ignored all of the prior sequels. Then, following that movie, Godzilla disappeared again, at least as far as the United States was concerned. 

In Japan, Toho finally decided to produce a sequel to the 1984 movie, based on a story-writing contest, in 1989. The result was Godzilla vs. Biollante. Unfortunately, not too many people in the U.S. were aware of this movie and it received no stateside theatrical release. It seemed that Godzilla was gone again.

However, the following year, Monsters Attack! (no. 4) was published. The cover date was September 1990, The magazine featured Godzilla on the cover by John Severin.

The magazine contained an article on Godzilla that recapped his cinematic career and featured the first word (and images) about Godzilla vs Biollante that many U.S. fans received. It was the first time I was made of aware of the movie. To me, in seeing those images, this was the best-designed Godzilla suit in a long time.

I remember buying Monsters Attack! at a local comic book shop and bringing it along to read on a camping vacation to Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park in the summer of 1990. I still have the issue (somewhere around here).

Today, Monsters Attack! no. 4 is a much sought-after Godzilla collectible for being one of the first (if not the first) source of information Americans received about Godzilla vs. Biollante. It ranks up there with Famous Monsters of Filmland issue 114, the special 100-page all-Japanese monsters issue, as a collectible.

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