Fabled among American Godzilla fans was a four-page comic book given out at theaters in 1976 in advance of Cinema Shares releasing GODZILLA VS MEGALON to US theaters. I recently uncovered scans of this rare artifact, and now present them here for my fellow movie fans.
Interestingly, while almost universally hailed as the worst Godzilla film of the 20th Century, GODZILLA VS MEGALON remains one of the most successful films of the franchise! The film played to big box office on both sides of the Pacific, and in multiple cuts here in the States. The film was an even bigger success when it debuted on American television (famously MC'd by John Belushi wearing a Godzilla suit -and having the run time trimmed way down to fit an hour slot)! It managed to slip into public domain afterward, making it one of the most visible Godzilla films by being released on VHS under multiple labels.
|International One Sheet|
I remember well a time when you were sure to run across two Godzilla adventures at the video store, no matter where you were in the country. You could count on finding a few copies of GODZILLA 1985 and GODZILLA VS MEGALON. The film later ran on Mystery Science Theater 3000, and was briefly released to DVD in this form. However, Toho managed to recover the American rights to the film and the MST release had to be pulled. The few copies that are still floating around are high dollar items now. Toho subsequently offered a TV package which included a pristine widescope print of this film which would periodically turn up on The Sci-Fi Channel back when it was worth watching.
Godzilla wouldn't break into American comics with a regular title until 1977, a year which saw Toho going crazy with licensing deals to make American Godzilla products. Thus, two years after his film career had ended (in Japan, the later films would be imported throughout the 70's) for the first time, Godzilla began a regular series with the Marvel Comics Group. These four pages, though, may be the Big Blue Dinosaur's American comic book debut! (I'm allowing that there may have been similar products in Japan, but they would have been unseen by American eyes. This would have been a truly special thing to have!)