Arhaven Spotlight: The Return of Gorgo

Arhaven Spotlight: The Return of Gorgo

I will be seeing Godzilla Minus One this weekend if it freaking kills me. Which it may, and I don’t care.

I. Will. Do. This. Thing.

In the meantime, we will be looking in on the Kaiju movie that never was: The Return of Gorgo.

Here’s what I had to say about the OG Gorgo.

For some peculiar reason, Godzilla is only popular in Japan and America. Other countries are aware of him but they never took the interest in him that America did.

Japan is one of those countries the US has a special relationship with, it pretty much began with Commodore Perry. It was a relationship that definitely had some love/hate vibes going on. We had a huge war with them, and a prolonged occupation afterward. Godzilla is frequently viewed as a metaphorical stand-in for America, hell, he was hatched on Bikini Atoll in 1955 which technically made him an American by birth. When relations with America are bad he is pounding Tokyo to rubble, when they are good… Well he’s still pounding Tokyo but it’s kind of a side effect while he takes out the really bad monster.

Consequently, it’s not surprising that an American film company eventually tried to make one of their own. Japan was looked at as a location but I suspect Toho was able to block them. France and Australia were both considered but rejected. Finally, the UK was selected as the location for Gorgo.

I haven’t bothered to check, I already know the Albion Godzilla came into existence because MGM had money stuck there and they could only spend it on a new production.

Regardless, Gorgo had the same director as the Beast From 20,000 Fathoms but did not have Ray Harryhausen, they went with a guy in a rubber suit, making this officially a Kaiju movie. Because I have no other standards for that.

Gorgo didn’t do badly at the box office but all of the strange hoops that Americans had to jump through to film in Britain killed any chance for a sequel. Nonetheless, Gorgo did pretty well in its corner of pop culture. Unless you count some of the sillier episodes of Doctor Who, Gorgo remains the sole Kaiju of the Sceptered Isle.

Here’s the thing. The comic book was selling pretty well. And let’s face facts, the lack of an actual sequel motion picture is no kind of impediment to comics. The late and much lamented Charleton Comics didn’t see any reason to cancel the series and so they did not.

They also didn’t see any reason to set a Kaiju story in Europe in again. I admit it’s impossible to separate Godzilla from Japan but let us face facts. Gorgo was obviously an American import and the MacMillan government probably wouldn’t have him to immigrate into the UK on protectionist grounds.

No, Gorgo was created by Americans who were ripping off Japan. And Americans don’t care about London being destroyed unless you live in south Boston. No, Americans want to see New York City destroyed.

However, that meant finding a foreign enemy on this side of the Atlantic who has a vested interest in that project.

You will see a strong resemblance to a well known political figure but don’t be fooled.

It’s not meant to be not Justin Trudeau,

I realize a few of you saying: Wait a minute, they were using a bathysphere a couple of panels ago and now they can just swim up to Gorgo and Son using Cousteau-era diving gear?

Good question. Here’s the answer:

Stop. Being. That. Guy.

Comic book science is in play. Just shut up and accept it from here on out.

Will the vile and ethically indeterminate Dr. Vazlo survive?

Can the Prime Minister of Canada’s Dad get his oversized pet from a critically endangered species?

Shall Gorgo get to rampage through London again or will he be stuck ravaging the unfashionable western side of the Atlantic?

Find out in…

RETURN OF GORGO – The is 960’s classic “big monster” movie Gorgo becomes a comic book with scripts by the prolific Joe Gill and amazing art by Spider-Man creator Steve Ditko. Episodes 1-8 now available as of December 1st.

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