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Local legends call him Rodan, the Fire Demon. „ 

Ilene Chen (Godzilla: King of the Monsters)

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Rodan (ラドン,   Radon?) of the MonsterVerse, also dubbed Titanus Rodan, is a giant flying reptilian daikaiju created by Legendary Pictures that first appeared in the 2019 film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

Name

Rodan's original name, 'Radon', is based on the name Pteranodon, the extinct flying reptile that Rodan is primarily based on. The spelling of Radon in Japanese also corresponds to the name of Ladon, a dragon-like monster represented in Greek Mythology.

Design

Appearance

This incarnation of Rodan has a larger wingspan compared to any of his previous incarnations. His physique overall bears a strong resemblance to a bird of prey. His head possesses a large, heavy beak lined with tooth-like spikes and a pair of horn-like spurs curl down from the back of his skull. He has a pair of ridge-like brows and beady, yellow eyes with circular pupils. He possesses large, digitigrade avian legs, with sickle-shaped hooked claws on each foot's three large toes, and a smaller near-vestigial toe at the back similar to tyrannosaurids. The shapes of Rodan's wings (which join his wing hinge directly to his tailbone in a bat-like manner, though his legs aren't attached to the wing membrane) along with his head give him a resemblance to traditional depictions of pterosaurs, while his tail is spade-shaped (similar to his 1956, Showa, and 2004 incarnations). He has a hand on each arm that is partly detached from the wing (similar to bats' thumbs), with two long fingers and a thumb which are each equipped with long claws.

Rodan's skin is burgundy-colored and possesses a texture similar to molten rock with bumps and ridges along his chest and back. The lower-edges of his wing membrane appear to be lined with heated, red-glowing cracks, making it appear as if Rodan's wings are smoldering or are oozing lava when he's in flight. His injury from Mothra's stinger indicates Rodan does not bleed and revealed his body has a bright-yellow internalized light underneath the opaque skin. Using his wings to balance himself, Rodan can both walk and stand upright when he's not in flight.

Portrayal

Rodan is portrayed through a mix of motion capture from Jason Liles and CGI.

Roar

Rodan's roaring vocalizations are akin to shrill, grating screams and are quite different from the roars of his previous incarnations. He's also capable of lower-pitched, more avian-sounding vocalizations.

The filmmakers recorded vocalizations of cranes[citation needed], owls, penguins, and vultures to implement them into Rodan's sounds.[2] Rodan also makes low, guttural clicks and growls that sound oddly similar to the MUTOs, albeit deeper in tone. Though, there are a few moments where Rodan's roar sounds roughly similar to his Showa roar.

Personality

Unlike Godzilla and Mothra; Rodan appears to be an overall neutral Titan, whose allegiance after Ghidorah's (separate) victories against him and Godzilla is to whichever Titan currently occupies the alpha position, regardless of said alpha's actions. Based on his presence at Washington DC pursuing the military, Rodan appeared to be particularly faithful to Ghidorah when the latter was alpha, and/or eager to slaughter the hostile humans. But in the aftermath of Ghidorah's death, Rodan was the first Titan out of Ghidorah's former-pack to bow to Godzilla after receiving a domineering snort from the latter.

Rodan is an intelligent and ferocious fighter in combat, shown by his use of aerial maneuvers when slaughtering the Raptor squadron near Isla de Mara and by him snapping his jaws in an attempt to crush Mothra's head in Boston. However, Rodan also appears to be overly aggressive to a point which overrides pragmatism; shown by how he opted to clash with Ghidorah upon flying into the latter's storm near the former's territory despite his opponent's superior size, ferocity and abilities, and by leaving his shoulder open to attack by Mothra's stinger in Boston.

Despite his aforementioned aggression in Washington DC; Rodan only attacked following his awakening as a direct result of a Raptor squadron firing at him when he was atop his home. Beforehand, upon noticing the large human settlement that had developed nearby during his dormancy, he was content to curiously observe without becoming hostile. Rodan's decimation of the nearby town with a sonic boom when he took flight indicates he is either indifferent towards humans at large, or that he'd deemed all humans his enemy in response to the Raptors' attack on him.

Origins

Within a Monarch containment facility atop the active Isla de Mara volcano, a mysterious Titan lies in pyrostasis within the restless magma. The legends speak of it as the "Fire Demon" or "The One Born of Fire", but a simpler name echoes through the ancient temples of volcanically active regions: "Rodan".

A volcanic internal combustion system of magma flows throughout a body covered in rock-like scales that act as geothermal armor. While much larger in size, Rodan has a skeletal structure similar to that of a Pteranodon - one of the earliest vertebrates known to have developed the power of flight. Just as Kong is the king of the primates, Rodan may have once been the king of the skies.

Because of the extreme temperatures within this particular containment facility, current lab equipment can't function properly. As a result, thermal heat signatures on the creature are impossible to collect, and Monarch detection crews conducted cardiograms via aerial satellite for life sign detection and verification. Much like the volcano that incubates it, Rodan is alive but dormant.

Rodan's wings are wrapped around its body in stasis, but our cryptos estimate a wingspan big enough to create a sonic thunderclap capable of leveling entire cities as it flies overhead. RF-Capture scans reveal that Rodan's skin is not made of rock, but does have an outer dermis of sharp volcanic sediment collected from centuries of dormancy. Sci-ops theorizes the vulcanized appearance of its skin may be an evolutionary trait developed as a form of camouflage against mountains or large rock formations. Truly, a Titan forged in fire.
„ 

— Cryptid Profile[1]

The MonsterVerse Rodan is a member of a prehistoric superspecies known as Titanus Rodan who have existed for over millions of years, co-evolving alongside other giant monsters like Godzilla and the Titans.

One member of the species was born at the volcano of Isla de Mara, Mexico after his parents nested there[3]; his birthplace also became his home and resting place, entering a centuries-long period of hibernation inside the volcano, which led to the individual developing an outer-dermis of volcanic rock as a protective skin to adapt to the environment[2][4]. In 1991, Monarch became aware of Rodan's presence inside the volcano and began construction of a containment facility above the volcano's mouth[5].

History

80px-Spoiler.png SPOILER WARNING: This section may contain major plot and/or ending details. Proceed at your own discretion.

Kong: Skull Island

In 1971, Houston Brooks and San Lin briefed James Conrad and Mason Weaver on multiple other monsters who once ruled the world alongside Kong. This included Rodan, along with Godzilla, Mothra, and Ghidorah, who were all shown to the two via classified Monarch cave paintings.

1991

Under the guise of "environmental research", a Monarch team established a quarantine zone around the dormant volcano on Isla de Mara. Over the years, the zone grew from a small scientific outpost into a full containment facility around the mouth of the volcano, which is then dubbed Monarch Outpost 56.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Godzilla King of the Monsters - Official Trailer 1 - 00024
In Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Rodan is lying dormant in a Monarch facility located in a volcano until Emma Russell and the rest of Alan Jonah's eco-terrorist group deactivate the containment grid and use the ORCA to awaken him, causing the volcano to erupt. Monarch fighter jets attack Rodan in an attempt to lure him to Monster Zero. Rodan gives chase and levels a nearby city with the sonic waves caused by the flapping of his wings.
Rodan chases the Argo jet and the Air Force
Rodan destroys the majority of the squadron, save for the USS Argo, which leads him to Monster Zero. The two Titans briefly battle in the middle of the storm created by Monster Zero, with the three-headed dragon gaining the upper hand and sending Rodan plummeting into the sea. Rodan escapes the area before the Oxygen Destroyer is detonated and is seen bowing to Monster Zero (now dubbed Ghidorah by Monarch) while he is perched atop the Isla de Mara volcano, acknowledging the new Titan as the alpha.

Rodan accompanies Ghidorah as he builds a roost in Washington DC, where he engages with Monarch in another aerial dogfight. When Madison Russell activates the ORCA in Boston, attracting the attention of Ghidorah, Rodan follows his alpha.

Rodan intercepts Mothra

In Boston, Rodan engages Mothra in battle, where she is pinned to a building. As Rodan attempts to kill Mothra, she stabs him through the left shoulder, incapacitating him for the duration of the battle between Godzilla and Ghidorah. After Godzilla kills Ghidorah, Rodan and the other Titans acknowledge Godzilla as their new alpha by bowing down to him.

Rodan Intimidation Roar (screenshot)

News clippings during the credits reveal that Rodan has flown to and made a nest in a volcano north of Fiji, and his presence has attracted thousands of spectators.

Abilities

Bio-volcanic nature

Rodan possesses an internal volcanic combustion system; causing him to radiate heat, the temperature of which can reach up to 1200°C.[1] As a result, Rodan's external body temperature is life-threateningly hot upon close contact, to the point that he was able to use it during his skirmish with Mothra to slowly burn the latter to near-death. When Rodan was stabbed by Mothra, a small amount of fire was seen erupting from the wound.

Cyclonic drift streams

Rodan's massive wings are powerful enough to create a devastating sonic thunderclap beneath his flight, powerful enough to instantly decimate buildings and throw vehicles, debris, and people straight to the air with tornado-like force.

Durability

Due to his armor and size, Rodan can completely shrug off bullets from rifles, and he's unfazed by close contact with volcanic lava. He can even survive baring the full force of Ghidorah's gravity beams (though he was still knocked down). Despite his high body temperature and affinity for heat, he even recovered seemingly on his own from falling inert into the ocean. Even an open wound from being impaled through the shoulder by Mothra's stinger was something Rodan seemed to be able to shrug off once he'd recovered.

Flight

Rodan has a skeletal structure similar to that of a Pteranodon and thus is capable of fast, long-distance flight.

Speed and agility

Rodan is fast enough to keep up with and outfly military fighter jets and the USS Argo, and to intercept Mothra when she was in the middle of a dive. He is capable of acrobatic aerial maneuvers which made him a devastating foe who swiftly decimated and eradicated the aforementioned Raptor squad.

Strength and combat

Barrel Roll

Rodan uses his beak and talons as his primary weapons, which can easily crush fighter jets. He used his wings to knock off the Raptors he was attacking. Rodan is also strong enough to last a significant length of time grappling in the sky with Mothra and Ghidorah.

Volcano-agrikinesis

The novelization reveals that Rodan can make volcanoes erupt by simply flying over them.

Weaknesses

Mothra's stinger

Mothra's abdominal stinger can pierce through Rodan's armor and body at close range. Though Rodan recovered from the blow after several minutes, the impalement was devastating enough to ultimately take him out of the fight in the meantime, leaving him to fall to and writhe on the ground.

Trivia

  • The MonsterVerse Rodan is somewhat smaller than his previous incarnations. However, the height may be a matter of posture, as this incarnation is often somewhat forward-bent.
  • This is the first incarnation of Rodan with a wider wingspan than that of Mothra within the same continuity.
  • Much like the MonsterVerse Ghidorah, the MonsterVerse Rodan is the first incarnation of the character to take on a quadrupedal stance by using his wings as forelimbs, although he is only seen doing so when crawling from his volcano when newly-awakened.
  • According to Michael Dougherty:
    • Among the film's four main Titans, Rodan was intended to represent the element Fire[6], and the Tarot card the Fool.[3]
    • In a scrapped concept, the interior of Outpost 56 was intended to be a Fire Demon temple with Mayan-esque architecture dedicated to Rodan.[7]
    • The production team looked at dozens of different kinds of birds of prey - hawks, vultures, and eagles - for reference when designing Rodan.[8] He was initially designed with calcified feathers, which were abandoned.[9]
  • Like Ghidorah, elements of Rodan's design bare a resemblance to Smaug in the live-action Hobbit film trilogy, such as his colors, the red-glowing cracks in his body, his legs, and notably the three-fingered hands on his wings.
  • As seen on the Monarch Sciences website, Monarch Outpost 56, where Rodan was contained, homages 1956; the year when Rodan was released.
  • The toothed beak and extremely developed wings of this incarnation of Rodan are somewhat similar to those of Pelagornis sandersi, one of the largest known flying birds.

List of appearances

Films

Novels

References

MonsterVerse
Cast and characters
Film-based kaiju
Godzilla kaiju
King Kong kaiju
Mothra kaiju
Gamera kaiju
Other kaiju
Scrapped kaiju

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