Godzilla Legends #3 pretty much demands that I start taking the IDW "Legends" timeline (as I'm calling it) seriously. Why? Cuz Miki. Yeah yeah Mugal was in it too and he's still an alien but whatever. Miki's the real star of the show. No, not Titanosaurus, Miki. Go figure.
Anwyas, here's the thing. The MOST LIKELY course of action that's going to happen is the Legendary movie GINO 2 will end up being... well, GINO 2. There's little I've heard that will save it at this juncture, and what I have is unsourced rumors. As well, the original out-the-door date of sometime this year looks like a lot of bullshit, and current dates have it set as late as 2014. That's a the 60th anniversary. Currently the longest Godzilla has gone between movies is 9 years, between 1975 and 1984. Waiting from the 50th to 60th anniversary will not only break a record, it will mean that, if the legendary thing IS GINO 2, and there's a very good chance it will be, then that means Toho will have missed an anniversary. That, or they rush one out the door just to have it done. Either way, that will be the day Godzilla dies. Hence my sudden fascination with Guilala.
...and the comics. Godzilla will have to take the walk of shame off his movie monster throne and go somewhere else. Oh, he's not going anywhere, he's Toho's biggest baby. But where will he go to? These IDW comics were my guess, and now after the early Kingdom of Monsters, Gangsters and Goliaths, and this new Legends series, I've made a good bet. There is of course, the inevitable Godzilla/Transformers crossover. This MUST happen. It isn't negotiable.
...why is Godzilla green?
Ok, so it's important. But if it's on the same level as the films, Godzilla's primary medium, we need to talk about continuity.
The Kingdom of Monsters continuity hasn't really extended beyond it's pages yet. We know that the Tunguska event is somehow connected with Rodan and KG has been up in the Himalayas for a long time. That's all there is to that. As for the books themselves, they work out a little something like this:
1-5 or so take place within a few weeks, maybe a month of each other
6 takes place long enough after that to have built Mechagodzilla
the rest take place a few months afterwards, when the U.S. government moves underground
All in all, I'd say the earlier stuff (up until issue six or maybe including it) take place in 2011 while the rest occurs in 2012.
So that's that.
Gangsters and Goliaths take place in a different continuity, and we aren't given any explicit background about it either. And it's clearly not the showa timeline, since it features a G-Force made Mechagodzilla, and a King Ghidorah that's still alive. I'm assuming, of course, the book takes place in 2011.
Just to make things waaaaaay more complicated than they need to be, the writers felt it necessary to include a whole shitload of monsters that don't add anything to the plot. Anguirus, Rodan, Battra, Kumonga, and Titanosaurus appear in the comic in bit roles for no fucking reason. Honestly, Mechagodzilla didn't really even need to be there. Which is a shame because minus the clusterfucked cast of kaiju G&G just screams mid-60's Godzilla movie in the best of ways. It's a lot like Dogora, actually, which is one of my favorite movies ever.
Oh yeah, Battra and King Ghidorah on Monster Island... because that makes sense @___@
So, before getting into the legends stuff, let's break down what G&G shows us:
Godzilla: Clearly alive. Absolutely no reason to assume it's junior. Probably the second, Lagos Godzilla. We have no idea of his previous actions, only that he exists now and isn't particularly seen as the 1970's superhero.
Mothra: The fairies are called "Elias" mostly, but say they go by many names, which serves to lend a bit of "everything counts" attitude to the comic, which we'll get into more with Legends. NO IDEA what generation of Mothra this is, only that it's fully grown already.
Rodan: Nothing known. Showa look to it. Lives on Monster Island. Roughly the same size as Godzilla.
Anguirus: Same as Rodan, only not QUITE the same same as Godzilla (this will be important later).
Kumonga: Same as Anguirus.
Titanosaurus: Same as Kumonga, except, from what I can tell, about Godzilla's size ala Rodan.
Battra: Only seen in Larva form, doesn't seem to give a damn about Mothra or anything else, so it's not safe to assume this resembles the Heisei Battra in any way, shape, or form. Furthermore, whereas the Heisei Battra Larva stood nearly as tall as Godzilla (despite him being 90 meters LONG, not tall =/ ), this one seems quite small. It just acts like all the other useless monsters in the comic.
King Ghidorah: Not particularly safe to assume it's like the Showa version. It's certainly not dead like the showa version. We DO know that KG attacked Tokyo 20 years before the events of the comic. Assuming G&G takes place in 2011, that makes it 1991, the year Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah came out, but not the year it took place. So assuming that movie is canon to this comic isn't safe either.
Mechagodzilla: It's pretty much exactly the same as the Kingdom Mechagodzilla, that is to say, the heisei Mechagodzilla but with a built-in Garuda. So, it's like Super Mechagodzilla... without needing to combine. Notable in that it was once used as an anti-Godzilla weapon, but apparently it worked like crap, and even though the thing works perfectly fine, no one at G-Force thinks to use it even when there are 6 kaiju loose in Tokyo. So, i'm thinking it's pretty much EXACTLY like the Kingdom Mechagodzilla, because as the thing was fully operational, I don't see what else could be done to make piloting a perfectly fine super-mecha so taboo.
Monster Island: It exists. Monsters that live here do so of their own volition and with only Mothra's stern nagging to keep the peace. There is no government involvement, so DAM definitely never happened. No Gabara is visible, so it's probably not just the dream world. :P
The Legends mini-series does something a little different: every issue is a completely new almost-the-same continuity. Both G&G and Legends have clearly taken an attitude about the timelines that states "everything happened but not really I guess." Because of this, I'm choosing to synchronize all the Legends issues not only with each other, but with G&G as well. Why? I just told you: because everything counts until it doesn't, and nothing says it doesn't yet.
Go back to the Showa or Millennium timeline parts if you're confused about this seemingly anti-logic. But the basics behind the timeline of Legends and G&G seems to be, simply, this:
Assume everything from all the sources happened until we show you something contradictory. Don't worry about which Mechagodzilla exists in this timeline... we'll tell you when it's important. Also, both of them do, so that's not even an issue.
Not pictured: every other monster IDW can currently protray.
So let's go through the Legends one by one (there's three so far) and see what we can find out about this nebulous, fan-wank universe.
Anguirus: This is interesting... Anguirus is shown being completely dwarfed by Destroyah... and slightly smaller than the King himself. It appears that Anguirus is retaining his 60m height, which makes him half the size of Destroyah and a little more than half the size of Godzilla. Also, this is important, we're told that Anguirus has lost every battle he's ever fought, and moreover, we're SHOWN three of the battles. The first being a run-in with "kaiju alpha," Godzilla, in what appears to be Gyakushu-Goji form. It's clear what Matt's trying to say here. We also see Anguirus getting bloodied by Gigan and dropped by King Ghidorah. DAM didn't happen, but stock footage from that fight did appear in Godzilla vs. Gigan, so it's very close to counting. We also see Anguirus do his rolling thunder attack, something he never did in the showa days.
Destroyah: Same size, only seen in it's final form. Declared second only to Kaiju-Alpha in power (this is Godzilla, by the way). Assuming the events of the first movie took place, it still means that there is prior knowledge of Destroyah, meaning either it survived it's first appearance or this is a SECOND Destroyah. However, the events of Godzilla vs. Destroyah can't have happened because "kaiju-alpha" is referred to as both the 1955 creature and the current Godzilla... so Godzilla didn't die, and that REALLY isn't Junior.
Godzilla: It's becoming clear that at some point Godzilla must have increased in size. Also, with Godzilla exuding such an aura of fear, he was clearly not a super hero in the 70's. So, how did Godzilla vs. Gigan play out in this universe? Anguirus couldn't even team up with Godzilla, because the humans in this story are surprised Godzilla didn't attack him. And these guys are professional monster-fighters, they'd have a record of Godzilla and Anguirus teaming up, and they DO know about Anguirus's battles with Gigan and King Ghidorah. I'm thinking maybe Anguirus got trashed up a bit when the initial signal tape played, and then was unconscious by the time Godzilla got there. In the late 70's, a russian nuclear sub is sunk by Godzilla, and he reaches his current, heisei-scaled size. Something like that.
Gigan: Matt is trying to tell us we should acknowledge GvsG as more or less canon. Hence, Gigan is a Nebula M Cyborg kaiju who kicked the shit out of Anguirus, but couldn't handle Godzilla. Did Zone Fighter finally kill him in this timeline? I wouldn't think so.
King Ghidorah: So, now we know that, at least in some capacity, King Ghidorah enacted his role in GvsG in this timeline. This makes him the showa iteration, but also softens him a bit. See, the original showa KG was a super terro-beast that was too powerful for even the Garogans to handle. Here, as we assume the super-hero shenanigans of the 70's didn't happen, and KG didn't die in 1999, we have a confused, lonely space monster moving from world to world destroying for no reason but not particularly enjoying his life. Once he comes to earth, he tends to stay here. Sure, he may have been chased off once or twice, but we know he lives on Monster Island now, and is content to live there, even if maybe Mothra has to tell him what-for every once in a while.
Normally, it would be hard to tell just from the shape of the teeth... but those sure do look like fangs to me. but maybe I'm dead wrong, either way the homage is obvious.
So far, the Legends series has been telling us that a vast assortment of random, applicable movies count, but each time they drastically change the story and mix up the elements so that the end result, the story we're seeing in the comic, is both referential and a fresh new take. I'm totally digging the shit out of it. Moving on:
Here we only see Rodan and a baby Rodan. This time he looks like the Heisei one, but there's no reason to believe he's a different creature or a different size.
We know that the egg was found 2 years before the rest of the events of the comic. We see the baby Rodan hatch at the end, and the adult fly it back to Monster Island with it (and that kid as well). There isn't much to go on about when the story takes place here...
So, if you want an explanation about why the G&G Rodan is showa-based and this one is heisei-based, you could say that the baby Rodan in this comic is the adult in G&G. But, of course, there's no real need to do that. Each of these are effectively stand alone stories, and I don't really expect the art to match up 100%.
Basically, though, we do know there are two Rodans. So either the baby in this one IS the adult in G&G and the previous adult died, or this comic happened in 2011 or so and the baby is still too young to go out and knock over buildings. OR it happened AFTER G&G. It would need to be 2 years later though, so 2013 at the earliest.
This is the weakest of the three so far and it has the least amount of impact. So it's not much of a big deal.
And now we get to...
Miki: She says she's fought off Godzilla SUCCESSFULLY before. Now, maybe she's exaggerating her "victory" in Godzilla vs. Biollante, but then again, maybe she's not. Furthermore, despite us already knowing Destroyah is a known entity in this timeline and did NOT kill Godzilla (we are shown this again in a referential panel in this issue, lest you think I'm implying something that isn't there), but Miki's main plot in GvsD is that she begins losing her powers and connection to Godzilla and Junior. Here, she's totes on her game. What's more, she's an adult. We can say that an altered version of her battle with Godzilla happened where she won in 1989, and this is present day, given her current age. Why so long to act on the fact that supers exist in Godzilla's world? Well, considering that there wasn't a serious institute until the 1990's in the heisei timeline while there was already an espionage branch of ESPies in 1974 in showa times, this isn't really a question that I feel deserves an answer.
Mugal: The plot of TOM if unfolding NOW, so obviously this guy has no past in the timeline.
Titanosaurus: No origin or anything given, I LOVE him in this comic. You really get to see him, just... freak the fuck out. He really is just a peaceful dinosaur. If only those darn monkeys would leave him and Tristan alone. :c
Mechagodzilla: See what I mean? There's three Mechagodzilla's now. Two of them are alien. Maybe that means continuity with G&G is broken? Pffft, whatever. As much as we want to see it, remember using Mechagodzilla in this timeline is taboo for nebulous reasons, so the G-Force and alien Mechagodzilla's wont even meet up anyways.
I could put this together in an actual timeline, but for right now i'm tired. Other than the actual timeline we have... the Dark Horse comics and the video games to cover, as well as the Mothra Series (which is important because it includes, obviously, Mothra, but also Fairy Mothra and King Ghidorah, and was a source of a lot of "pfft, yeah right"s about word of god regarding the heisei timeline before GFW happened).
See you then?
Prolly will, actually.