Saturday, April 21, 2012



NEW YORK – SHIELD's Deputy Director, Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan, has been implicated in the controversy over liability for property damage caused by Godzilla's 1998 rampage through New York City.

Damage Control, a Manhattan-based construction company, is set to begin restoration, but there is much contention about who should get stuck with the repair bill.  The damaged buildings are covered by Extraordinary Activity Assurance policies, which most New Yorkers know simply as Superhero Insurance.  But the McDuffie Insurance Company is not willing to cover Godzilla’s swath of destruction, insisting that the ongoing threat posed by the monster is entirely the fault of SHIELD.

Decades ago, when Godzilla first arrived on American shores, SHIELD was charged with the responsibility of capturing or destroying him.
Above: Godzilla as he appeared in the 70s, when he destroyed the Alaskan Pipeline, the Hoover Dam, and the city of Las Vegas before being released on his own recognizance by SHIELD agent  “Dum Dum” Dugan.
Officer Dugan was placed in command of SHIELD’s Godzilla Squad, but after pursuing the creature for months as part of an operation that cost taxpayers billions of dollars, he allowed Godzilla to escape into the Atlantic Ocean.

Some time after that, Godzilla was captured by Doctor Demonicus, an international terrorist most infamous for using giant monsters to attack oil tankers during the energy crisis of the 1970s. By exposing Godzilla to the Lifestone, a radioactive meteor Demonicus used to mutate animals into monsters, the terrorist was able to mutate Godzilla into a form that was smaller, weaker, and easier to control.

Demonicus used Godzilla to attack SHIELD's Avengers Initiative. Billionaire playboy Tony Stark was able to free the monster from Demonicus' control with the Stark Industries Iron Man Armor, but allowed it to escape again.

McDuffie Insurance now claims that Godzilla’s recent attack on New York, which was apparently motivated by spawning instincts, was a direct result of the government’s failure to deal with the hazard posed by the radioactive monster in the first place. They further speculate that the majority of the damage done to the city was caused by the military’s botched attacks on the beast, rather than by Godzilla himself.

Above: Godzilla, mutated by Demonicus to the point of unrecognizability, is seen here dryhumping a New York skyscraper. Damage was done, but who’s responsible?  

Top executives at the insurance company allege that classified SHIELD documents reveal the agency’s attempts to cover up the debacle and to reward Dugan with a promotion to Deputy Director. 

New York property owners are not interested in McDuffie's conspiracy theories. Nor have they been swayed by the insurance company's claim that the "Acts of God" exclusionary clause in their policies is actually an abbreviation for "Acts of Godzilla."

According to insurance claim estimators who are familiar with Extraordinary Activity Assurance policies, Godzilla's Manhattan Island hopping was the most expensive monster attack on New York City since those carried out by the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man in 1984 and King Kong in 1976. 

“What is this, Monster Mecca?” asked one exasperated property owner. “Does every super-sized creature on the planet have to make a pilgrimage here before they die?”

 A-Team Repels Giant Lizard

When the armed forces were unable to stop Godzilla’s assault on NYC, the situation looked bleak until the monster made a critical error. It stepped on the A-Team van.

A crack commando unit sent to prison in 1972 by a military court for a crime they didn't commit, the members of the A-Team -- John "Hannibal" Smith, Templeton "Faceman" Peck, B.A. "Bad Attitude" Baracus, and H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock -- promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Because they were still wanted by the government, they were forced to survive for years as soldiers of fortune. When someone had a problem, and no one else could help, and assuming they could find them, they were encouraged to hire the A-Team.

Pardoned in 1987 in return for completing a series of missions for the U.S. government, the A-Team has continued to help the poor and downtrodden ever since. They were in New York on a much-needed vacation when B.A.'s beloved van was crushed by Godzilla.

Stranded downtown, and trapped by debris in a paint & body shop, the A-Team hastily assembled a giant robot from spare auto parts.

The robot drove Godzilla back out to sea, and by the time the roads leading into and out of the city were re-opened, Baracus had his van in peak condition again.

B.A. immediately received a job offer from Stark International, which he agreed to take as long as company business would never require him to fly.

Under the control of H.M. Murdock, “MechaGodzilla” has gone on to become the reigning “Battlebots” champion.

Their commanding officer, retired Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith, attributed their victory over Godzilla to his years of experience playing the B-movie monster Aquamaniac. "It really helped me get inside his head," he claims.

As Godzilla disappeared into the distance, Hannibal was quoted as saying, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

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Notes: This one is from the archives -- a story I wrote in 2002 about the (fictional) return of the Marvel Universe version of Godzilla. For those who are unaware, Marvel Comics published a Godzilla comic from 1977 to 1979, allowing him to crush, crumble, and chomp his way across the Marvel Universe until he finally made it to New York where the Avengers evicted him for good (probably because Marvel lost the license from Toho). After that, any time they wanted Godzilla to appear in the comics (since he was now a part of continuity), they had to use his "mutated" appearance, and not have anyone call him by name, but rather "imply" that it was Godzilla.

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