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Villain Overview

Rodan is a major character in the Godzilla series. He appears as the main antagonist in the 1956 film Rodan, and a major antagonist in the 2004 film Godzilla: Final Wars.

He was portrayed by the late Haruo Nakajima in the 1956 film, and Naoko Kamio in the 2004 film.

History

Showa Series

Rodan

Two Rodans, a male and a female, both implied to be mates, were awakened by mining operations in Kitamatsu along with a swarm of prehistoric insects called Meganulons. One of the creatures hatched from an egg located inside an underground cavern and proceeded to devour several Meganulons before flying out of the cavern. Rodan performed an elusive airborne prowl across various Pacific countries such as China, the Philippines, and Ckinawa before finally revealing itself from the foot of Mount Aso. The Japanese air force quickly sent a pursue squad after Rodan, leading to the middle of Fukuoka. During the dogfight, a fighter jet crashed into Rodan's wing, neutralizing its ability to fly at supersonic speeds, although this does not stop Rodan from laying waste to the city. A second Rodan appears and escorts the other to safety, ending the rampage. As the two monsters prepare to hibernate by returning to their nest in Mount Aso, Japan's defense force performs a last-ditch effort to defeat the Rodans by bombarding the active volcano, triggering an eruption. As the two monsters attempt to escape, one is incapacitated by the lava and falls in the flow, burning to death. The second Rodan flew down to its dying companion, incinerating itself, leaving both Rodans to burn away in the molten rock.

Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster

Rodan was resurrected by accumulated volcanic gas under Mount Aso. He broke out of the crust of the volcano and started fighting Godzilla. When Mothra asked Godzilla and Rodan to assist her in fighting King Ghidorah, both of them refuse her offer. The Shobijin translated that Rodan argued that it does not matter to him if the human race perishes, to which Godzilla agreed and stated that they have always had trouble with men and men hate them. Mothra gave up convincing the two to help her out, and resolved to fight King Ghidorah alone. Rodan and Godzilla, suddenly feeling sympathetic for Mothra after watching King Ghidorah overwhelm her, came to her aid as she requested. Rodan carried Mothra and allowed her to shoot silk at Ghidorah as Godzilla grabbed Ghidorah from behind and held him so he could become cocooned in the silk. Ghidorah was overwhelmed by the combined force of the three kaiju and flew back to space. Godzilla and Rodan then watched Mothra and the Shobijin swim back to Infant Island.

Invasion of Astro-Monster

Rodan appeared again with Godzilla in Invasion of Astro-Monster, where they were both transported to Planet X. They battled King Ghidorah before being mind-controlled by the Xiliens and sent to destroy Earth's cities. When the mind control was broken by the A-Cycle Light Ray Gun, Rodan and Godzilla battled King Ghidorah again, ending with them falling into the ocean and King Ghidorah retreating to space.

Destroy All Monsters

In Destroy All Monsters, Rodan was again controlled by aliens, the Kilaaks, to attack Moscow. The mind control was eventually broken and the monsters fought King Ghidorah. After King Ghidorah was defeated, Rodan was set on fire by a rogue Fire Dragon, but he recovered, and is later shown with the other monsters to be peacefully inhabiting Monsterland.

Godzilla vs. Megalon

Godzilla, Rodan, and Anguirus were resting on Monster Island when a Nuclear Bomb is tested nearby, creating a massive fissure and a massive earthquake which crippled both the island and the capital city of Seatopia under the ocean close by. As Godzilla escapes, Rodan tries to fly away, but Anguirus falls on him and both of the Kaiju fall into the growing chasm. This act of destruction by the humans was the last straw for the Seatopian people, who commanded Megalon to attack the humans for their perceived crimes.

Heisei Series

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II

Rodan returned in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, where he sought to protect Baby Godzilla, whose egg was in Rodan's nest. Godzilla finds the egg in Rodan's nest and takes interest, causing Rodan to attack Godzilla, but was defeated. After being left for dead by Godzilla following the fight, Rodan was revived by the psychic song of an ancient plant that had covered the eggs. He absorbed the nuclear energy from Godzilla and transformed into Fire Rodan, and he took off to save his surrogate brother. He caught the capsule that was carrying the baby, and flew it off towards a city. He was attacked by the Garuda and then by Mechagodzilla, who made him fly into a building. Godzilla was defeated and paralyzed by Super Mechagodzilla, and Fire Rodan acted to save the life of his surrogate brother, and flew on top of Godzilla's body. He gave his life force and melted into Godzilla, healing his damaged second brain and giving him the power of the Spiral Beam, allowing Godzilla to defeat and destroy Super Mechagodzilla and adopt Baby Godzilla.

Millennium Series

Godzilla: Final Wars

Rodan was mind controlled as a pawn of the Xiliens, and used alongside the other brainwashed monsters to destroy the world, with Rodan invading New York City. The Rumbling was sent to stop Rodan before he was beamed away by the Xiliens, made to look like they eliminated the monsters. When the humans found out their plan, the Xiliens released the monsters around the world again. The Rumbling retried battling Rodan, but was destroyed. When Godzilla was released, the Xiliens beamed down Rodan, Angurius, and King Caesar to stop him, only for Godzilla to defeat all three monsters into an unconscious state.

MonsterVerse

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Main article: Rodan (MonsterVerse)

Personality

In the original Rodan, the two Rodans are depicted as horrific and dangerous creatures who, despite their destructive nature, care deeply for each other and are unwilling to live without the other. In Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Rodan displays a great deal of personality, openly mocking Godzilla when the latter is covered in Mothra's silk, and shakes his head in an irritated fashion after Godzilla's atomic breath has no effect on him. According to the translation of the monsters' conversation by the Shobijin, Rodan agrees with Godzilla's sentiment that he only hates humans because they hate him. Rodan claims he has no obligation to protect human beings and prefers to continue his pointless fight with Godzilla. However, upon seeing Mothra bravely take on King Ghidorah by herself, Rodan joins with Godzilla to battle the extraterrestrial creature. In subsequent films in the Showa series, Rodan is seen as a loyal ally of Godzilla who assists him and the other Earth monsters in fighting off King Ghidorah.

In Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, Rodan sees BabyGodzilla as his brother and will go to great lengths to protect him, nearly being killed by both Godzilla and Mechagodzilla. After seeing that BabyGodzilla is a Godzillasaurus and not a pteranodon like him, Rodan willingly sacrifices himself to save Godzilla from Mechagodzilla so he can raise BabyGodzilla.

Power and Abilities

Supersonic Flight

Rodan's most noticeable trait is his flying speed, which has allowed him to effortlessly outmaneuver and outrun supersonic jets. Aside from his impressive speed and agility, Rodan possesses a variety of special abilities. 

Shockwaves

Rodan is capable of creating destructive shockwaves when flying, which he has used to demolish major cities.

Gusts

Rodan can create powerful gusts of winds while on the air or in the ground by flapping his wings deliberately.

Melee attacks

Rodan also uses his beak and talons effectively in battle (as shown in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, where his beak was powerful enough to crush boulders), and his wings, despite their delicate appearance, are quite durable. Rodan can lift creatures several times his weight, for instance, Godzilla. Rodan also usually has spikes on his head and chest, which he may use in battle.

Wind Breath

In Rodan's first appearance, the two Rodans could fire jets of compressed air from their mouths, capable of demolishing buildings and sending military vehicles flying. This ability has not been seen since Rodan's debut.

Uranium Heat Beam

Rodan, as Fire Rodan, develops the ability to emit a radioactive heat beam from his mouth called the uranium heat beam, following exposure to Godzilla and radioactive waste on Adonoa Island.

Revitalization

In the Kodansha Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II manga adaptation, Fire Rodan can absorb any nearby small animals such as birds, and fish, among others, into his body in order to restore his health and vitality.

Resistance

Rodan was one of the few monsters not affected by Godzilla's atomic breath. In Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Godzilla uses his breath against Rodan several times but Rodan seemed unaffected by it at all, only shaking his head in an annoyed manner. Rodan also shrugged off King Ghidorah's gravity beams in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster and Invasion of Astro-Monster. He was struck several times on his wings but showed no pain or reaction.\

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