KING GHIDORAH (SHOWA)
Aliases: Monster Zero, The Thousand Year Dragon, The King of Terror
Height: 100 Meters (328 Feet)
Wingspan: 150 Meters (492 Feet)
Mass: 30,000 Tons (66138.7 lbs.)
Premiered in: Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster
In the Showa era of Godzilla films, King Ghidorah’s origins are never fully explained with crystal clarity but the one thing that is made abundantly clear in every appearance he’s made. He is a killer, a truer force of destruction and death than even the likes of Godzilla at the Monster King’s absolute worst (bar one particular rendition). King Ghidorah is a planet killer, a destroyer of worlds and an ender of life across the galaxy.
Prior to his appearance on Earth, he is credited for wiping out the Martian civilization in the span of an Earth month. Though not outright stated it is hinted in various other media, and shown outright in one incarnation, that King Ghidorah may be the force that wiped out the dinosaurs at the end of the cretaceous period.
The debate of whether King Ghidorah possesses the same degree of sentience that Godzilla and other kaiju have previously displayed, in the King of Terror’s premiere film no less, is debatable due to one particularly interesting quirk of King Ghidorah’s appearances. For the most part, King Ghidorah has been under the control of an alien species seeking to wipe human life from the planet.
To be fair though, similar methods were used and had easily worked on Earth kaiju as well but the fact remains that King Ghidorah has predominately been a slave to an alien races’ bidding in most of his attacks on Earth.
However, that does not forgive the Golden Monarch his crimes for though he may be commanded to attack and lay waste to Earth and all that stand in his way, King Ghidorah still acts to his own will. He focuses on the weakest of opponents first, taking enjoyment in tearing down their best efforts of attacking him before moving on to the larger threats. If he happens to be paired with an “ally” kaiju, most commonly the cyborg Gigan, King Ghidorah stands back and enjoys the show before adding his own efforts to the fray. Heck, if that ally should happen to strike him, by purpose or by accident, King Ghidorah will enact vengeance swiftly and viciously.
King Ghidorah’s abilities include flying at Mach 3, which is roughly 2,283 miles per hour, though this is recorded only in Earth’s atmosphere so his top speed in the emptiness of space is currently unknown. On that note, King Ghidorah is also capable of surviving and traveling through space either by direct flight via his wings or by encasing himself in a meteoric “cocoon” and traveling through the stars while asleep and gathering energies from solar radiation.
King Ghidorah’s signature ability however is his lightning-bolt shaped “gravity beams.” According to the aptly named Superpowers Wiki, gravity beam emission is the ability to project beams of gravity capable of repelling objects, opponents, and attacks. It can also be used to attract enemies into the beams and bring them closer for greater gravity-infused impacts. King Ghidorah however specializes in utilizing his gravity beams to pulverize large areas with destructive concussive force.
King Ghidorah is commonly labeled as being Godzilla’s chief antagonist though it can be argued as to how big a threat he posses whence compared to other foes. In my own opinion, yes King Ghidorah is most certainly deserving of the title of being Godzilla’s number one villain if only for his tenacity and frequency in combating the Monster King at every opportunity but as to being the strongest… Out of the various incarnations, I can’t honestly label any version of King Ghidorah as being that big a threat against Godzilla, at least whence compared to such monstrosities like Destroyah or Orga.
One other notable aspect of King Ghidorah’s character is that he is, in his heart of hearts, something of a coward when it comes to fighting to the death. In every fight he’s been in, King Ghidorah has fled back towards space with his metaphorical tails between his legs each time save for one. A fight that by all rights, King Ghidorah should not have fought alone and yet he did so not because he was forced to by his then current controllers but because frankly… He wanted to kill Godzilla and any other kaiju that dared to stand in King Ghidorah’s way, that dared to think themselves his equal or his better…
In that final battle, King Ghidorah would show them, and the world, why his name bears the title of king.