- NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Rodan from the MonsterVerse. The mainstream version can be found here: Rodan.
|“||Mark Russell: You got a catchy name for this one?
Ilene Chen: Local legends call it Rodan, the Fire Demon.
|~ Ilene Chen describing Rodan.|
Rodan, also dubbed Titanus Rodan or the Fire Demon, is the secondary antagonist in the 2019 MonsterVerse film Godzilla: King of the Monsters, having first appeared in a cave painting in the previous film Kong: Skull Island.
He is a destructive pterosaur-like kaiju capable of mass destruction and sometimes being seen as a god of destruction. He is also the former lieutenant of Ghidorah and later Godzilla, thus also the archenemy of Mothra.
He is portrayed by Jason Liles, who also played King Ghidorah's middle head in the same film.
Kong: Skull Island
In 1973, after the discovery of Kong on Skull Island by James Conrad and Mason Weaver, Rodan appeared as a cameo on a cave painting during a brief slide show.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Rodan first appears when the eco-terrorist Alan Jonah uses the ORCA to awaken Rodan from the volcano El Nido del Domonio (meaning "The Demon's Nest") on the Mexican island of Isla de Mara, where he has been hibernating in pyrostasis for millennia. Once Rodan is out of the volcano, he at first curiously observes the modern town at the foot of his nest. However, Monarch has pilots fire at Rodan, which immediately provokes Rodan into taking flight after them in response to their challenge and attempting to kill them, while Monarch tries to lure Rodan into Ghidorah's approaching superstorm so that Rodan and Ghidorah will kill each other.
Rodan systematically destroys all of Monarch's jets with relative ease and closes in on the Argo as they enter Ghidorah's storm, only for Rodan to immediately pull back in fright when he notices Ghidorah ahead through the storm. Despite his initial reaction, once the Argo flees through the storm from Ghidorah, Rodan and Ghidorah charge at each other and battle. While Rodan manages to last about a minute and gets a few hits in (such as tackling Ghidorah in mid-air), Ghidorah easily defeats Rodan by restraining his wings with two heads then blasting him with his middle head's Gravity Beam at point-blank range, causing Rodan to fall in the ocean. Rodan apparently avoids being caught in the Oxygen Destroyer's blast when it hits Godzilla and Ghidorah and near-fatally cripples Godzilla. Afterwards, Ghidorah flies to Rodan's volcano in order to use its geothermal energy to regenerate, and subsequently declares his new dominance over all the Earth's Titans with Godzilla out of the picture, calling out to and awakening the hibernating Titans around the world. Rodan flies to Ghidorah and becomes his minion, showing his loyalty by bowing to Ghidorah.
Rodan and the rest of Ghidorah's minions go on a lengthy massacre throughout the world on Ghidorah's orders. Rodan specifically remains by Ghidorah's side, accompanying the three-headed monster to Washington D.C., and aiding Ghidorah in annihilating the military fleet's assault on Ghidorah in the city's freshly-scorched and flooded ruins. When the ORCA apparently disrupts Ghidorah's global control of the Titans, Rodan alone apparently remains loyal to Ghidorah, implicitly due to his close proximity to the alien monster.
In Boston, as Godzilla and Mothra fight Ghidorah, Rodan arrives and attacks Mothra, keeping her from intervening on Godzilla's behalf in Godzilla and Ghidorah's fight for kingship. The two battle each other, with Rodan gaining the upper hand. He then pins Mothra to a building, but before he could finish her off, Mothra impales Rodan through the shoulder with her stinger; leaving Rodan to fall to the ground, writhing in pain, and effectively taking him out of the fight.
At the end of the film, after Ghidorah is vaporized by Godzilla, Rodan reappears just as the other Titans that were formerly under Ghidorah's control converge on the nuked ruins of Boston. He seems to react challengingly to Godzilla, but once the latter shoots a threatening snort at Rodan, he shows his loyalty by being the first Titan to bow to Godzilla as the new reigning alpha.
News clips during the credits reveal Rodan made a nest in a volcano north of Fiji, attracting thousands of spectators. This implies that he is no longer a threat to humans.
Godzilla Dominion and Godzilla vs. Kong
Rodan isn't seen or mentioned in Godzilla vs. Kong save in the opening credits sequence, which lists him and other Titans as "Defeated". The novelization and the prequel comic Godzilla Dominion reveal that Rodan and all other Titans outside of Skull Island have returned to hibernation per Godzilla's command.
Rodan is extremely aggressive when threatened, as he was seen destroying jets and other aircraft that fly near him as well as devouring a pilot that had ejected himself from his cockpits, after they attack him. He also seems to smirk deviously when observing a jet flying away from him before performing a barrel-roll that massacres the jets.
Rodan also doesn't seem to care in the slightest that when he takes flight from his volcano after awakening, the sonic boom from his wings devastates the human-filled town that has formed on his island. All that having been said, it's worth noting that as vicious as Rodan is in combat, he only began acting aggressively towards humans after Monarch fired on him first, and before then he just looked at the town that had formed during his dormancy out of seeming curiosity.
Like the other Titans, Rodan follows the strongest among the Titans, believing that the one who is the most powerful is the alpha. This means that he unfortunately submits to Ghidorah when Godzilla is seemingly killed, but he submits to Godzilla once the latter takes back his kingship. Rodan seems to particularly lean towards serving Ghidorah, as he remains on Ghidorah's side during the battle between him and Godzilla in Boston.
It's ambiguous whether Rodan is a truly malevolent Titan who enjoys causing destruction, or is merely hot-blooded and acts out of territorialism and self-preservation when provoked and when Ghidorah becomes the reigning alpha.
Like Rodan's previous incarnations, he resembles a giant pterosaur with a large beak, two horns protruding from the back of his head and huge wings with molten rock trailing off their edges. The lower-edges of Rodan's wing membranes appear to be lined with heated, red-glowing cracks, assuming if his wings are smoldering or are oozing lava when he is in flight. Rodan can also walk like a pterosaur by using these wings as front limbs. Each of his forelimbs has two fingers and an opposable thumb. Rows of spikes adorn his chest, and his tail is large, flat, and fan-shaped.
Rodan's body is a burgundy red color, while his serrated beak is black lined with tooth-like spikes. Rodan has feet that are more like that of a tyrannosaurid or the talons of a bird of prey like an eagle or hawk, having a vestigial claw and a spike on his ankle. The way he stands on his legs greatly resembles the stance of modern birds. Rodan also possesses a texture similar to molten rock with bumps and ridges along his chest and back. His injury from Mothra's stinger indicates Rodan does not actually bleed and revealed that his body has a bright-yellow internalized light underneath the opaque skin.
Powers and Abilities
- Pterosaur Titan Physiology: As a Titan in resemblance to a pterosaur, Rodan is incredibly powerful, possessing several physical and supernatural attributes.
- Advanced Strength: Although not necessarily strong compared to other Titans, Rodan is still strong enough to last a significant length of time grappling in the sky with Mothra and Ghidorah.
- Advanced Durability: Rodan has an extreme tolerance to heat and magma, having hibernated inside a volcano for at least several decades. It is explained that this is an adaptation which the individual evolved to be able to live in his volcanic home. Rodan is also completely immune to conventional weaponry such as gunfire or missile strikes since a layer of volcanic rock acts as armor plating for his body. During his fight with Mothra in Boston, Rodan is capable of withstanding a slash from her raptorial forelimbs, and was also able to withstand being completely impaled by her stinger which incapacitated him before he recovered virtually unharmed, despite having a gaping wound in his chest.
- Advanced Speed: Rodan can fly at supersonic speeds as he was fast enough to keep up with and outfly military fighter jets and the Argo. He is also quick enough to intercept Mothra when she was in the middle of a dive ready to deliver the killing blow on Ghidorah.
- Advanced Stamina: Rodan's musculature is considerably efficient. His virtually inexhaustible stamina enables him to exert himself at peak capacity for an undefined period of time, allowing him to fight against Ghidorah and Mothra without tiring at all. Even when he is flying, Rodan does not even seem to have any obvious signs of fatigue.
- Advanced Endurance: Rodan's endurance is shown to be high, capable of enduring attacks from Ghidorah and Mothra and able to fight with all his might while ignoring the pain.
- Advanced Agility: Rodan can outmaneuver fighter jets, and his comparatively smaller size when compared to Ghidorah seemingly helps make him a more agile flyer. When in the midst of several fighter jets, he was able to perform an aileron roll maneuver to smash them with his wings.
- Longevity: Rodan has lived for millennia seemingly without aging or weakening, thus he still retains the physical appearance of a pterosaur in his prime.
- Self-Sustenance: As a Titan, Rodan does not need to either eat or even sleep.
- Accelerated Healing Factor: Rodan was able to heal from his injuries after his match with Mothra, though he still had an open wound in his chest after being impaled by her stinger.
- Shockwaves: Rodan is capable of producing destructive shockwaves, described by Monarch as "cyclonic drift streams", while flying at his top speeds which can flatten buildings he passes over and launch debris such as vehicles and people into the air. Monarch scientists speculate the Titan's wingspan is vast enough to level cities with this technique.
- Flight: Rodan is able to use his huge wings to fly through the air at high speeds and at high altitudes due to having a skeletal structure similar to that of a Pteranodon.
- Magma System: Rodan has an internal combustion system of magma that flows throughout his body. His hot temperatures allow him to survive the temperature of his volcano and at one point in his feud with Mothra, he sets her and the building on fire.
- Volcano-agrokinesis: According to the King of the Monsters novelization, Rodan is able to cause volcanos to erupt when he flies over them, and he does this when he's under Ghidorah's command.
- Advanced Combatant: Rodan mainly uses his beak and talons in combat against other Titans, such as Ghidorah and Mothra. Despite resembling a pterosaur, his combat style is very similar to that of birds of prey, which use their beaks and talons in combat.
- Sharp Talons: Like all pterosaurs and birds, Rodan possesses razor-sharp talons that are capable of slashing through materials.
- Sharp Beak: Like all pterosaurs and birds, Rodan possesses a razor-sharp beak that can be used as a formidable weapon and capable of inflicting cutting, impaling or crushing damage to other Titans.
- Limited Durability: Although Rodan is incredibly durable, he does have his limits; for example, Mothra's stinger is able to penetrate through his incredibly durable body and cause him a considerable amount of pain, which incapacitated Rodan, long enough for Godzilla to take down Ghidorah.
Rodan and Ghidorah were initially enemies.
When Rodan woke up from his volcano and encountered Ghidorah, the two engaged in battle. Ghidorah won and blasted Rodan into the ocean, though he didn't kill Rodan beyond that. After Ghidorah seemingly defeated Godzilla and became the Alpha Titan, Rodan bowed to Ghidorah and became his right-hand man. Whilst the other Titans around the world caused global destruction on every continent, Rodan personally accompanied Ghidorah where he went, first to Washington D.C. to destroy the city and the military fleet sent against Ghidorah.
Rodan remained loyal to Ghidorah even when the ORCA disrupted Ghidorah's global Titan control, possibly because Rodan was physically so near the three-headed alien Titan and in Boston, he acted on Ghidorah's behalf to keep Mothra out of Ghidorah and Godzilla's fight so she couldn't help Godzilla overwhelm Ghidorah.
Despite Rodan serving Ghidorah in the final battle, Rodan and Godzilla never directly attack each other.
After Godzilla kills Ghidorah, Rodan appears to react to Godzilla's presence in a challenging manner, but once Godzilla shoots Rodan down with a glare and a snort, Rodan becomes the first Titan to bow to Godzilla as the new alpha.
During the final battle, Rodan attacks Mothra and engages in a vicious fight with her to keep her from intervening in Godzilla and Ghidorah's fight. Rodan seems to want to kill Mothra when he attempts to bite at her head after pinning her, whilst Mothra injures him to the point he can't fight further by impaling him through the shoulder with her stinger.
- Rodan on the Heroes Wiki.
- This is the first incarnation of Rodan to appear in an American-made film.
- The MonsterVerse Rodan is somewhat smaller than his previous incarnations. However, the height of this incarnation may be a matter of posture whether or not to be forward‐bent.
- This Rodan is the first of his incarnations with a wider wingspan than that of Mothra within the same continuity.
- Rodan is the second villain in MonsterVerse to be redeemed, preceded by Emma Russell.
- Much like the MonsterVerse King Ghidorah, the MonsterVerse Rodan is the first incarnation of the character capable of taking on a quadrupedal stance by using his wings as forelimbs.
- Originally, Rodan was gone to team up with Godzilla and Mothra to take down Ghidorah.