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Kaiju smackdown: Experts decide Godzilla's 8 best tag team partners
To quote the poster from Justice League, "You can't save the world alone." And while in that case it was directed at Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Batman and some other characters who don't have solo movies, it also works for Godzilla. Even though he's hundreds of feet tall and can breath radioactive fire, he still needs a little help sometimes.
And this is when Godzilla calls on his tag team partners, friendly monsters that are usually down to help him tear apart a Gigan or a Megalon or a Ghidorah. And, as we've seen from prior movies and the trailers for the upcoming Godzilla: King of the Monsters, sometimes Godzilla can join forces with humans, even if he doesn't realize it's happening. But which of these partners is the best? And which monsters tend to drag Godzilla down? We're gonna decide that today.
But like Godzilla, I can't do it alone. I need my own tag team partners, and that's why I've called on kaiju experts Nate Ming, co-creator of the comic series Shaw City Strikers, and Grant, host of the Blade Licking Thieves podcast. They've proven themselves to be careful and considerate in all matters monster, and I trust with my life. But more importantly, I trust them with my opinions.
Godzilla's son, especially in his Showa era incarnation as a Winnie The Pooh-shaped newt, isn't very effective. He spent most of the late '60s getting the crap kicked out of him and waiting for his Dad to show up to handle everything. He could breathe little smoke rings (and Godzilla-esque radioactive fire if Godzilla stepped on his tail), but he was honestly more of a hassle than he was worth. And by the time the '70s rolled around, Godzilla had abandoned him as a partner entirely.
Nate: Literally, Bring Your Child to Work Day. Or more accurately, Let the Bartender Babysit Your Child During a Kaiju Barfight Day.
Grant: A very inconsistent tag team partner. He might not be as incompetent as most think, but he takes too much attention from big G to be effective.
Anguirus is the first monster that Godzilla ever fought, and throughout the '60s and '70s (until he had his jaws torn open by MechaGodzilla), he definitely won a few participation trophies. But Anguirus gets points taken away from him because he's not really one to turn the tides of battle. Don't get me wrong: Anguirus can be helpful, but he's too inconsistent. You don't want to charge into a fight with super-powered space titans and have to worry about bailing out Anguirus.
Nate: He's too old for this s**t... but it's hard to find somebody better to have watching your back. He's just gonna finish his drink before joining in the brawl.
Grant: Love the guy, but it's impossible not to think of him as something of a jobber. He'll always make for an entertaining match, but it's hard not to compare him to a certain flying rocket turtle and find him wanting.
06. The Humans
Humans — they're either the bane of Godzilla's existence or trying to help him nail a clutch victory. The good thing about humans is that they have little hands and can work on special technological devices that Godzilla's big, dumb fingers are too clumsy to grasp. However, they also do things like question whether Godzilla is good for the planet and whether they should destroy Godzilla, too. It's hard to know where you're at with humans.
Nate: Kaiju barfights aside, I'll just give you the three best humans:
Daisuke Serizawa: The original creator of the Oxygen Destroyer who not only brought the big guy down with him, but treated Godzilla as a threat and as an equal.
Miki Saegusa: Ride or die! Miki understands the big G like nobody else, because she's literally been in his head.
Douglas Gordon: If a human being could stand shoulder-to-shoulder (shoulder-to-foot?) with Godzilla and help fight the kaiju with his bare hands, it'd be Captain Douglas Gordon.
Grant: Hard to say, pretty variable talent pool, but seem to drag down whatever they're involved in. Pass.
05. Kumonga and Gorosaurus
Destroy All Monsters was originally meant to be the last Godzilla film, and it shows: Director Ishiro Honda and his fellow creators shoved nearly every monster from the previous films into it. Most notably, there are monsters that would never team up with Godzilla again: The giant former enemy spider, Kumonga, and the kickin' dinosaur Gorosaurus. They're helpful, but they mostly seem like one trick ponies. I imagine they spend their time sending Godzilla messages like "That was so fun when we threw King Ghidorah into the giant hole! We should def hang out again" and Godzilla is like "Yeah! We totally should!"
But they never will.
Nate: So now that you're imagining this kaiju tussle as a rough-and-tumble bar fight, just imagine that in addition to the people actually involved in the fight, a bunch of the people who were just at the bar to chill join in and start beating on the bad guys too. That's what Destroy All Monsters' big team-up fight is like.
Grant: Gorosaurus: A jobber, but can put over monsters like nobody else in the business. You want him on the other tag team, not on yours.
Kumonga: A jobber too, but whereas Gorosaurus was killed by King Kong in one of the most iconic moments in daikaiju cinema, Kumonga can be taken out with a mason jar and a newspaper.
Toho obviously had enough faith in Rodan to give him his own movie, so he's worth something. And with Rodan, you know your team has some name value. Rodan can also do a lot with his very limited skill set: In the monster world, simply being able to fly around really fast is quite advantageous, as most of your enemies will be left just clawing pathetically in the air at you. So unless your team has projectile weapons, Rodan will absolutely embarrass you.
Nate: Y'know the hypothetical kaiju bar fight I've been describing here? Rodan started it, and he also gets knocked out first.
Grant: Absolutely a terrific tag team partner. Part of the draw is the spectacle, and Rodan is a literal high flyer with a terrific roar. He'll get that pop from the crowd.
03. King Caesar
King Caesar doesn't have the track record that some of the other monsters on this list have. In fact, in his last appearance in the film Final Wars, he didn't do very well. But, in his big tag team showing (in Godzilla vs The Cosmic Monster), King Caesar excelled, very quickly adapting to Godzilla's style and showing that he can be an amazing partner as long as you trust that the dog god that just burst out of a mountain is someone that you can trust.
Nate: What a bro. King Caesar is — at first — the guy trying to talk down mean-faced bikers King Ghidorah and Gigan and maybe Hedorah. However, when diplomacy fails, he helps bring the pain as hard as anyone else.
Grant: Hard to go wrong with one of the best legitimate fighters in the daikaiju roster. Flexibility, hand to hand skills, and absorption eyes make for a threat on any tag team.
02. Jet Jaguar
I know. The friendly robot man that was described with "His face looks like Jack Nicholson" on Mystery Science Theater 3000 doesn't seem like it would be better than any of the monsters that I've put on this list. But if Jet Jaguar was just a failure of a cyborg that showed up in Godzilla vs Megalon to embarrass itself and then disappear forever, it wouldn't have had such staying power in the minds of fans. Jet Jaguar can take a lickin' and keep on ticking (literally) and, for me, deserves a spot on this list due to its sheer enthusiasm.
Nate: In my headcanon where he showed up in more movies, Jet Jaguar is a combination of My Hero Academia's All Might and the version of Aquaman from the Batman: Brave and the Bold cartoon. He's all smiles and will never let his chum Godzilla fight alone!
Grant: Inarguably one of the best tag team partners in and out of the ring. He's got a great theme, he's got a great gimmick, and he can cut a promo like nobody else. Top contender for sure.
Mothra rarely agrees with Godzilla's tactics. In fact, in Mothra's first appearance (after her solo Mothra film), she had one of the most heated matches with the Big G in the franchise's history. And when Godzilla is able to topple the giant moth, her larvae cover him in webbing and hand him an embarrassing defeat. Afterward, Godzilla, pretty humbled by this, either treated Mothra as a partner or would fight Mothra halfheartedly. Overall, Mothra is Godzilla's best tag team partner because she's got a big skill set and she provides the kind of level-headed logic that a giant atomic reptile needs.
Nate: She's the friend who's holding Godzilla back at the bar, initially shouting "He's not worth it, you're on probation!" before sighing and letting him beat the other guy up. Also she might join in that brawl and get knocked out doing something really awesome.
Grant: Highly technical, very competent in and outside the ring. Brings a lot of versatility in attack modes and huge ring presence with the Mothra Twins working the crowd.