With the hype around embarking on a new MCU adventure with The Falcon And The Winter Soldier as well as the anticipation of an epic kaiju brawl in Godzilla vs Kong at the end of this month, we’re reminded about the awesomeness that is American Kaiju!
Can we just say how epic it is that, in the canon Marvel-616 Universe, there’s a Godzilla-esque super-soldier with an American flag on its gigantic body, which roars “YUUU ESSSSS AAYYY”?
Let us explain.
American Kaiju debuted in Avengers (Vol. 6) #0, the prelude to New Avengers, by Al Ewing and Gerand Sandoval. Mutant hero Sunspot had purchased A.I.M., rebranded it as “Avengers Idea Mechanics,” became its leader, fired the evil scientists, and repurposed the organization for good.
The US Government, unhappy with all this, created Project: Troubleshooter in response. The project was helmed by General Robert L. Maverick – essentially a more whacked out version of long-time Hulk enemy General Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross. Project: Troubleshooter is tasked to recreate the original Captain America super-soldier serum, which they do by hacking together ingredients like the Mutant Growth Hormone, gamma radiation, Pym Particles and even Dr. Curt Conners’ Lizard formula.
Enter Corporal Todd Ziller (a play on the name Godzilla, perhaps?).
Little is known about Corporal Ziller’s backstory but it’s clear that he’s really, really, REALLY dedicated to ‘Murica (F*** yeah!)! He is injected with Project: Troubleshooter’s version of a super-soldier serum and becomes the 30-story-tall lizard known as American Kaiju!
During the “Avengers: Standoff” crossover, American Kaiju is deployed against A.I.M. but the New Avengers respond with Avenger-5… a giant kaiju-busting mecha! In a scene that is probably Marvel’s answer to Pacific Rim, Ultraman and the Power Rangers combined, the two giants battle ferociously. As expected American Kaiju is almost victorious over Avengers-5 until the mecha vents its gamma-powered core against, which neutralizes the giant lizard’s gamma enhancement and reverts Corporal Ziller back to human form. He’s then exfiltrated by General Maverick and Project: Troubleshooter.
We don’t hear from American Kaiju again until a year later when the New Avengers had already become the U.S.Avengers and A.I.M is now “American Intelligence Mechanics” (‘Murica… f*** yeah!). Corporal Ziller resurfaces in Lichtenbad, where he assisted mad scientist Victor Vandoom (with an A) to perfect his monster serum using the lingering traces of the formula in his body. Corporal Ziller is jonesing for the Kaiju serum because he wants to be big and tough again… and also because he wants to have a tail once more!
General Maverick, now the U.S.Avengers’ Red Hulk, battles his creation and hurls him through Vandoom’s castle, knocking him down and reverting him to human form. Corporal Ziller is subsequently arrested.
American Kaiju was most recently seen in King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes #2 last month when he was released to battled Knull’s symbiote dragon army. Hilariously, American Kaiju is shown squeezing one of the dragons to death with its giant clawed-hands and causing massive destruction, all the while grunting “Yewwwww! Essss! Aaaayyy!!”
We’ve certainly not seen the last of the awesome American Kaiju!