WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Godzilla: Aftershock, by Arvid Nelson, Drew Edward Nelson, Allen Passalaqua, Jeremy Colwell, John Roshell, Jimmy Betancourt and Sarah Jacobs, on sale now.
With just one Godzilla movie and a King Kong solo flick under its belt, Legendary's MonsterVerse is still relatively new. That's why, outside of the few scenes where Godzilla doused the MUTOs with his atomic breath in 2014, it's easy to understand why the studio is keeping much of the behemoth's evolution close to its chest, especially when you factor in Godzilla vs. Kong is still to come next year.
However, in Godzilla: Aftershock, we get the the lizard unleashing a brand-new power in a menacing manner as part of a last-ditch attempt to avoid death. What's more, it seems to be the first step of a power-up he'll be using in Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
This prequel comic focuses on Godzilla traversing the globe, hunting the new MUTO Prime kanji known as the Jinshin-Mushi. This is the creature destined to tangle with Godzilla's entire species, and with a new one having resurfaced following the events of the 2014 movie where Godzilla killed its fellow kind, the surviving Prime wants revenge.
Just like the previous MUTOs, the Prime feeds off of nuclear energy and heads to Montana to eat a nuclear silo, both as fuel for the impending Godzilla fight, and to implant its own offspring into the lizard's body upon murdering it. And so, at the Montana base, despite Monarch's attempt to intervene, both monsters fight to the death to finish this eternal vendetta.
Godzilla takes a severe beating, with the Prime's pincers one of the few things on Earth that can puncture its hide. The game-changer comes when the Prime ends up emitting a sonic burst in the heat of battle, shattering Godzilla's dorsal fins and causing the heroic kaiju immense pain. Apparently, these fins help to generate, or at least guide Godzilla's atomic blast from within, and so, the Jinshin-Mushi appears to have gotten the ultimate upper-hand.
That is, until Godzilla improvises, lifting the Prime onto its back and blasting an atomic pulse from its body. This stuns the Prime, damaging it badly, and as it lays on the ground, Godzilla stamps down and crushes its skull in a most brutal finale. From Godzilla's glowing body, we can see that while it's a power-move, this body blast does take a severe toll on him.
Having taken a licking, he trudges back off into the sea to recover, leaving Monarch wondering how much more can he take when other kaiju come knocking. Interestingly enough, this seems to be the evolution into the "Burning Godzilla" form we've seen in the trailers, where instead of atomic blue, the Titan appears to be going nuclear red. Clearly, Godzilla actually is glowing red here, so it seems he'll be using this move against Ghidorah or Rodan.
It's also worth noting his dorsal fins are bigger in the sequel, so they appear to have regrown since this particular fight, and are now a bit more geared towards defense. After all, if his body has evolved, these fins would likely be stronger in order to withstand any potential MUTO Prime screams in the future. Either way, it's pretty cool to see Godzilla unhinged like this for a bit, showcasing his powers differently while reminding us just why he's king.
Directed by Michael Dougherty, Godzilla: King of the Monsters stars Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Thomas Middleditch, Charles Dance, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Aisha Hinds and Zhang Ziyi. The film opens Friday nationwide.