Ok I know MANY of you have been waiting on the return of this series, and what better way to kick off a relaunch than with Godzilla right? I remember enjoying this comic so much as a kid and I was delighted to find the whole series collected in the Marvel Essential trades. Ever since I got this I knew my beloved Marvel Godzilla would end up being revamped. Its taken a couple of years to get here but a recent Godzilla commish I did made me planted the seed for this and this weekend I ended up NEEDING to draw this. It was literally a compulsion. Once I started I just couldn't stop. Well on to the design description.
In some ways I think of this as less of a revamp than an updating of the Marvel version of the King. Nothing against Herb Trimp who not only did Godzilla but also another favorite licenced series from the 70s, The Shogun Warriors, but his work can be simple. Nothing wrong with this mind you, a lot of the greats have a simplified, blocky art style. Frank Miller, John Romita Jr, and Jack Kirby to name a few. But I wanted to pump more detail and realism into the design while remaining completely faithful to Trimp's rather stylized Godzilla.
I dont know why Americans do this, but we always make Godzilla green. From Poster art, to comics, toys and more we until 2014 almost universally make the Big G green, so yeah this version had to be green. The only variation in this would be some cover colorists making Marvel's Godzilla's back spines a darker green. I prefered this to the single shade of green slapped over the behemoth in the pages of said comics. Speaking of spines, Trimp's Godzilla only has one dominate row of fins bordered by scutes traveling from his head to his tail. Another key feature was his large head, rather puny arms, pebbled skin, burning red eyes and rotund belly.
So observing these traits I did some posing with some of my SH Monsterarts Godzillas (if you dont know what these are Google them now!), the Rebirth and Legendary figures working best for this. The base design came mostly from G 2014 and then I started detailing the skin using reference from that as well as Zilla 1999, and the Indominus Rex. For the fins I did a mashup between Heisei Goji and Zilla (its in the detailing but not crazy visible in the final image, maybe I'll post the inks alone). Drawing all those scales took a whole day alone...why do I do that to myself? I always liked the burning red eyes on this Godzilla and for that I went to the poster art for the 1999 Godzilla (Zilla). The poster art had this incredible Godzilla eye which looked like a sun in his eye, real nuclear fire. But this wasn't used for the actual monster, instead he he was given a luminous golden eye. Just another way that film disappointed me. But I took that old image and put it in my monster and colored it to match. One thing I couldn't do was give Godzilla that bulging belly or puny arms. The Legendary G base worked well without looking silly but I did make my model thinner with a more pronounced chest, large shoulders and better hands. The 2014 Goji hands always come across as kinda small and weak for me (as do his teeth).
I think that's everything, jeez this got rather long winded and I understand if you don't read this but I rather hope you will.