Godzilla vs. Charles Barkley

Dark Horse held the Godzilla comics license for about 12 years, but they didn't do much with it. They reprinted a Japanese Godzilla manga several times, published a few specials and art galleries, and had him fight Ultraman lookalike Hero Zero from their America's Best Comics line. The great beast eventually got a 16-issue series in which he time traveled and sank the Titanic, among other things. His most memorable Dark Horse project is still Godzilla vs. Barkley one-shot special, a comic book adaptation of a Nike commercial, if you can believe it:

Mike Baron and "Alan Smithee" had the unenviable(?) task of writing the book (it's drawn by Jeff Butler and Keith Aiken), and they did the only thing they could: They drank the Kool-Aid. This is one nutty Godzilla comic.

See, there's this kid Matthew who idolizes basketball star Charles Barkley, but isn't allowed across bodyguard lines to meet him during a commercial shoot on a Malibu beach. To console him, his grandfather gives the magic silver dollar his granddad once gave him. Just then, Godzilla attacks the shore, and Matthew races to Barkley because, clearly, he's the only one who can defeat the King of the Monsters!
Barley's a bit of a weather cock in this. He fires his staff for not believing the kid, then refuses to fight Godzilla unless the kid beats him in a one-on-one game despite the monster starting to munch on L.A. in the background. They flip the silver dollar to see who starts with the ball, and it lands on its side! When Barkley picks it up...
...he grows to 300 feet! So now he HAS to fight Godzilla. Also, get interviewed by a helicopter-riding reporter called Janet Planet. (Why would I make any of this up?)
What we don't know is that Godzilla is a sucker for a game of hoops. He just can't resist them! Barkley lures him to an air force base where they use a space shuttle scaffold as a basket.
After a couple fouls like the one above, Godzilla gets a little angry and unleashes his radioactive breath on the ball!
Well, I can't blame him, but it's no excuse for bad sportsmanship. Barkley gives up a good talking-to and walks off with him to Utah, gets him some Nikes and sets him up with a practice hoop so he can train for the eventual rematch. No really.
That's right, "Godzilla got busy."

I'd call this the worst use of Godzilla in any medium, but I've seen All Monsters Attack. Or is it the BEST?


Toby'c said...

I highly recommend the Atop the Fourth Wall review of this comic.

Siskoid said...

Here's the link: http://atopfourthwall.blogspot.ca/2009/01/godzilla-vs-barkley.html

Randal said...

Alan Smithee? Seriously?

Siskoid said...

In other words, someone disowned the project.

Jayunderscorezero said...

I've *just* realised that this commercial/comic was no doubt the inspiration for a level in Elite Beat Agents where a small boy asks a baseball star to defeat a giant lava monster that's attacking a theme park. Now that game makes (slightly) more sense!

Siskoid said...



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