♦ Tripwire’s contributing writer Scott Braden gives us his latest in his series of features on comic stories or series that never happened. This week it’s the turn of Tom McWeeney’s WildC.A.T.S vs Godzilla …
Tom McWeeney’s WildC.A.T.S vs Godzilla
Lost Tales: What was the Bollinger 933G satellite and Project Godsend, and how did they factor into your limited series?
Tom McWeeney: The Bollinger satellite was basically a Godzilla Killer. It was a nuclear weapon created by the world’s superpowers to once and for all end Godzilla. The idea was to have this weapon in space that was locked on Godzilla 24/seven, 365, and just waiting, waiting for him to show himself in a thinly populated area. Then it would take “the shot.” Kind of like an orbiting sniper called Project Godsend. I didn’t want to skirt around the fact that Godzilla was the world’s biggest mass murderer and that the world was kind of fed up. WildCATs leader Jacob Marlowe helped design it and sits on a small board of people tasked with deciding when to use it. This is all kept secret from the rest of the team and revealed later.
LT: At the beginning of this two-issue epic, you have Godzilla disappear off of the various nations’ tracking systems, only to reappear later and become possessed by the WildCATs’ archenemies, the Daemonites. How could a Daemonite possess something as mighty as Godzilla?
TM: Well, no, single normal Daemonite could possess Godzilla, that’s for sure, but I wanted to introduce a kind of Daemonite Satanic cult. These guys would have been like the Sith of the Daemonites, dabbling in a kind of ancient dark magic. Godzilla wasn’t going to get possessed by just one, but hundreds, their souls all merged together. There’s a scene in the second issue where the Daemonite is forced from Godzilla’s body and it was going to be a kind of Kaiju-sized, Lovecraftian Daemonite. Nothing like what they usually look like.
LT: How do the WildCATs come face-to-face with the King of the Monsters?
TM: The team gets some intel on the Satanic cult that leads them to their church, which is hidden in a series of vast caverns under the desert floor in Nevada. They go to investigate and show up during the possession ceremony. Godzilla is there, unconscious which is why he has suddenly disappeared in the opening, he’s been Kaiju-napped! Don’t ask me how. I didn’t have enough space to delve into the particulars, but I just assumed once the reader saw the dark magic of the cult they’d be like “OK, they could do this.” The WildCATs show up but are a bit too late. The Daemonite/Godzilla emerges, very Toho-like, from the Nevada desert!
The WildCATs know this isn’t good so Maul, almost on reflex, begins to grow to confront Godzilla. But the bigger he gets, the less intelligent he gets so by the time he reaches Godzilla-sized, he’s pretty much King Kong. They begin to fight but there’s an internal struggle going on inside Godzilla, with the Damonites so, the possessed Godzilla is not his usual self. Maul has a decided advantage and takes it to Godzilla, really kicking the crap out of him.
LT: The United States Military stands ready to launch nuclear missiles against Godzilla. What stops them from pushing the nuke button . . . or do they even try?
TM: They do take the shot. A writer friend of mine once said the trouble with nuclear weapons in a story is that the reader knows it will never go off, because once it does, it becomes a different story from there on out. I knew from the outset that I wanted the Bollinger to fire at some point in my story. I didn’t want it to be a McGuffin. Marlowe tries to stop it and buy Maul some time to hopefully take Godzilla down himself, but in the end even he realizes this is the world’s best hope to finally destroy Godzilla — even if Maul goes down as well. Spartan is, of course, furious with Marlowe.
LT: Project Godsend becomes Operation Godspeed at the end of issue one. What does this entail?
TM: The Bollinger satellite locks onto Godzilla and fires. It launches a single, powerful nuclear bullet of sorts. The missile wouldn’t just strike Godzilla, it would penetrate him and obliterate him. The blast would also kill Maul as well.
LT: Spartan flies up to protect his comrade-in-arms Maul and, in turn, Godzilla? With the possible end of the world at stake, what led him to make this momentous decision?
TM: Spartan, is a bit like Captain America, in that his loyalties to his teammates and friends will supersede all else. He’s seeing Maul winning the fight at this stage, so he assumes everyone is jumping the gun and that his friend is going to die a grisly death. I also wanted to have Spartan see Marlowe in a different light. I always thought Spartan/Marlowe was a lot like Scott Summers/Professor X, and I wanted Spartan to have that moment where he realizes that “daddy is not all good.”
LT: You kill Spartan in the middle of this limited series. How and why do you bring him back?
TM: This would have been far from the first time Spartan was killed in a WildCATs story. They used to do it all the time; too often in my opinion. It made it hard to feel anything about the character during a battle. They were able to do this because Spartan is a robot with a human consciousness downloaded into it, so if he is “killed” they just make another one.
LT: How would you have ended this limited series? How would it have left off?
TM: Well, Spartan flies up and detonates the missile and saves his friend from nuclear destruction, but inadvertently, flips the advantage between Maul and Godzilla. The missile detonates above them both and Godzilla’s body instantly absorbs the fallout. This poisons the Daemoite inside him and forces it out. It is weakened and blistered and a very pissed Godzilla kills it immediately. But now Godzilla is his old self and Maul is screwed.
The story from here on in would focus on the WildCATs trying to save Maul from Godzilla. I can’t recall the details but it involved Void and Spartan linking with the Bollinger satellite and using it to “reconnect” with Maul’s super-primitive brain, triggering him to shrink back to normal size, before Godzilla can kill him.
LT: Why did your “Lost Tale” never see the light of day?
TM: Toho was a tough nut with anything involving Godzilla back then. The story I heard was that they never wanted their star to share the spotlight with another star. There was a rumor that they’d even turned down a Superman/Godzilla crossover. So, basically, WildStorm and Dark Horse both liked the story, but Toho was like “no.” John Nee, the President of WildStorm at the time, made an effort to push it through, even going so far as to call someone he knew at Toho directly, but they wouldn’t budge.
LT: Was there any art and script produced for this proposed two-issue series, or was it only left at the proposal stage?
TM: It never made it to the art stage. I wrote a four-page outline for the two issue mini-series, just enough so that both WildStorm and Dark Horse understood the gist of the story. That was as far as it got.
LT: Besides the release of the long-awaited Battle Chasers collection, what other projects of yours are you currently working on or tied to?
TM: I have some stuff brewing, but nothing I can talk about yet.
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