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Literature / Godzilla

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Godzilla is a series of four young adult novels based on the franchise of the same name. The series was written by Marc Cerasini and published by Random House from 1996 to 1998.

It consists of four books, with a fifth written but unreleased (and further books that only made it to the planning stage):

  • Godzilla Returns (November 1996)
    • In 1998, years after Godzilla's original attack on Tokyo in 1954, the King of the Monsters resurfaces.
      • Monsters introduced: Godzilla.
  • Godzilla 2000 (November 1997)
    • A year after Godzilla's destructive rampage in Tokyo, America and the world are threatened with destruction when several new monsters surface and scientists detect a swarm of gigantic asteroids that could wipe out all life on Earth.
      • Monsters introduced: Kamacuras, King Ghidorah, Mothra, Rodan and Varan.
  • Godzilla At World's End (April 1998)
    • Nearly a year after the kaiju attacks on America, things take a turn for the worse when five new monsters suddenly appear from beneath Antarctica and begin wreaking havoc all over the world.
      • Monsters introduced: Anguirus, Battra, Biollante, Gigan, Hedorah, Manda and Megalon.
  • Godzilla Vs. the Robot Monsters (July 1998)
    • Three years after the most recent wave of monster attacks, America and Russia reveal a pair of giant robots designed to defend against further incursions, while a Mongolian warlord prepares to unleash his own monstrous cyborg.
      • Monsters introduced: Baragon, Fire Rodan, Mecha-King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla, MOGUERA.
  • Godzilla and the Lost Continent (planned for November 1998; unreleased)
    • The world is stunned when a new continent surfaces in the Pacific Ocean, one home to monsters old and new.
      • According to an interview with Marc Cerasini, the book would have introduced a Canon Immigrant monster as one of the major threats; however, Toho never got to approve or decline this version of the manuscript before Random House canceled the series.

This series provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Deviation: Nearly all the monsters (except for Godzilla himself, whose origins as a living dinosaur that mutated after exposure to an atomic bomb remain intact, and King Ghidorah, who remains a roaming space monster that initially comes to Earth within an asteroid) have different origins from movie canon. Apparently, Toho preferred this approach.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: In Godzilla Returns, people react in various ways to Godzilla's resurfacing in 1998. It's offhandedly mentioned that Greenpeace reacted by trying to have him declared an endangered species and given a protected status, completely ignoring the death toll caused by the creature during its first attack in 1954 and since its recent return.
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  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Nick Gordon, after having a presence in the first three books, isn't so much as mentioned in book 4, even by his old friend Brian Shimura. Robin Halliday is likewise completely absent from book 4 after being a major character in books 2 and 3.
  • Colony Drop: Godzilla 2000 features a swarm of asteroids, including three that are large enough that an impact by any one of them could mean The End of the World as We Know It. They're stopped while still far enough out in space... but one portion remains, still on course for Earth, though it's now small enough that supposedly, it'll burn up in the atmosphere. It turns out to be holding King Ghidorah.
  • Deadline News: In Godzilla Returns, INN reporter Max Hulse, with a few members of his crew, stay in Tokyo Tower and continue to report on Godzilla's attack on the city, even as the monster approaches them, calmly accepting their fate and dying when Godzilla destroys the tower. This doubles as a Call-Back to the original 1954 film, in which a group of Japanese reporters do essentially the same thing.
  • Distant Finale: The epilogue of Godzilla Vs. the Robot Monsters takes place a year after the final battle in Tokyo.
  • Emergency Authority: A little over ten months after the final battle in Godzilla 2000, only a little of the catastrophic destruction caused by Godzilla's trek across America and the attacks by Varan, the Kamacuras and King Ghidorah (Rodan did comparatively little damage and Mothra only appeared in New York during the final battle) has been fixed. It's gotten to the point where, thanks to the recovery process achieving so little and the country being in such bad shape, the President of the United States declares a continuing state of emergency that effectively puts the country under martial law and suspends the upcoming presidential election for at least three months. He's even sending lawyers out to warn news stations not to release reports that make the current administration's efforts look bad. After the Babel Event that cut off all communications is over with and elections are finally held, the civilian populace quickly votes the current crop of politicians out of office, with their bloated, inefficient government programs being removed as well.
  • Giant Flyer: Eleven of the eighteen monsters in the series (Battra, Fire Rodan, Gigan, Hedorah, Kamacuras, King Ghidorah, Mecha-King Ghidorah, MOGUERA, Mothra, Rodan and Varan) can fly under their own power. A twelfth (Mechagodzilla) requires the aid of the Garuda lifting aircraft, and a thirteenth (Megalon) is noted as having wings but is never actually seen flying. The airship Destiny Explorer, at 890 feet long, also qualifies.
  • Glass Cannon: Kamacuras, essentially. Its size makes it a clear threat, and it is capable of eating people and tearing apart anything in its way; but it can also be destroyed by jets and tanks fairly easily.
  • Handicapped Badass: Michael Sullivan, lead pilot of Mechagodzilla, is paralyzed from the waist down.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In trying to stop the reopening of the old coal mine (also home to a large uranium deposit) in Cheeachaw Valley, which could threaten their own plans to open a casino in the same valley, members of the Mob set off explosives at the mine and flood it. As a result, the monster Baragon is released, and later eats one of the mobsters and an associate.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Every book has them. Godzilla Returns has Brian Shimura as lead character and Nick Gordon as a supporting one, Godzilla 2000 has reporter Robin Halliday in a supporting role as she follows the story of Varan, while Nick and his crew report on the events of the climax. Both Nick and Robin are present during the main events of Godzilla At World's End, and Brian reports on the climax of Godzilla Vs. the Robot Monsters.
  • The Mafia: Members of the Mob appear in book 4, secretly backing the startup of a casino at the Little Blackfoot Reservation in Cheeachaw Valley, Montana. Unfortunately, their efforts to stop a rival project (the reopening of an old coal mine that's also the location of a large uranium deposit) end poorly for them.
  • Mistaken for Racist: Book 4 has Jack Strongbow, a Blackfoot brave with a strong dislike of Joel Mitchell, a white man working for the U.S. Department of the Interior. In one scene, his girlfriend, Theresa Rainbird, accuses him of hating Joel just for being white, completely ignoring the fact that Jack's best friend and almost brother Wayne is white, as are some other people he's friends with. For his part, Jack privately thinks that he has a whole host of reasons for disliking Joel, none of them related to race, but doesn't bother to voice any of them to Theresa because he knows that, in the mood she's in then, she won't listen.
  • Oblivious Astronomers: Subverted - two older astronomers discover the asteroid swarm months ahead of time, and a third, accidentally, is able to confirm their discovery, giving humanity more than enough time to figure out how to deal with the larger asteroids and then do so while they're still very, very far away.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Oswald Peaster, an elderly farmer in Kansas, thinks to himself at one point that "It's a bad thing when a father outlives his son.", once again lamenting his eldest child and only son's decision to join the army instead of taking over the family farm, a decision that had led to First Lieutenant Michael Oswald Peaster's death in Vietnam twenty-seven years before.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The only one able to pilot Mecha-King Ghidorah is Yisui, a young Mongolian girl (appearing about twelve when first introduced and sixteen when the main events take place four years later). Connecting with the monster's mind has some... extremely negative side-effects on her own mind.
  • Shock and Awe: Jack Strongbow uses lightning as a weapon against Baragon in book 4, and while it's not powerful enough to stop the monster (who's been mutated by exposure to uranium), it's key to the beast's final defeat: when Mechagodzilla zaps the creature with electricity, Baragon flees back underground to escape it and is buried in a cave-in caused by the robot's missiles. Played with by King Ghidorah and Megalon, whose energy attacks also resemble lightning bolts.
  • Slaying Mantis: Kamacuras is essentially an enormous preying mantis, capable of eating anything and anyone in its path. And there's a whole swarm of them. Fortunately, they're also fairly weak against tanks and jets, it's the sheer number of them that make them dangerous.
  • Sudden Name Change: Lori Angelo in Godzilla 2000 suddenly goes to Tori Angelo in Godzilla Vs. The Robot Monsters.
  • To Serve Man: The Kamacuras, Varan, Rodan (the mutant adult), Baragon and King Ghidorah (after his upgrade into Mecha-King Ghidorah) are all seen to eat humans over the course of the series. A digital version of Godzilla also swallows an aircraft (presumably piloted) in a video game in Godzilla 2000, but the real monster is never shown eating in-series (though it's known that he does have a stomach).
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Books 2 and 3 end in these, showing what the characters did in the aftermath of the final monster battles.