Rodan (ラドン?) is a giant Radonpteranodon kaiju created by Toho that first appeared in the 1956 Toho film, Rodan, and made his first appearance alongside Godzilla in the 1964 Godzilla film, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster.
The Japanese name of Rodan, "Radon," is a contraction of "pteranodon" and may also have been chosen to suggest radiation. The spelling of Radon in Japanese also corresponds to the name of Ladon, the dragon-like monster represented in Greek Mythology. In the United States, the monster's name was changed to and trademarked as "Rodan" by Toho, which in katakana, is written as ロダン (Rodan). This was done to avoid resemblance with "radon", a noble gas discovered in 1898, for the American release of Rodan.
Rodan resembles a large pterosaur that walks upright on two legs. Rodan generally has either brown or burgundy skin with a spiky chest and two horns on the back of his head.
The ShodaiRado (初代ラド?) design featured a large but slim body, enormous wings, and a large jagged-head. This Rodan's face was different from any of the later designs, as he had a menacing, angry expression on his face.
Also, his beak was broader, more jagged and actually bared teeth inside its mouth. On top of its head were jagged horns. Rodan also had large eyebrows which covered its eyes. It is unknown if this Rodan had pupils, but some models of the design sport distinctive pupils, making it a possibility.
The SanDaikajiuRado (三大怪獣ラド?) design was used in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster and Invasion of Astro-Monster. The SanDaikaijuRado suit looks very similar to its predecessor, but with significant differences. Alterations from Rodan's previous traits include more rounded wings with short claws, a longer neck, a smaller and thinner beak, and large expressive eyes in contrast to the pitch black eyes of ShodaiRado. The suit is also called the DaisensoRado (大戦争ラド?) in Invasion of Astro-Monster.
The SoshingekiRado (総進撃ラド?) was used in Destroy All Monsters. Though similar in appearance to its predecessors, SoshingekiRado has slightly longer horns. The wings appear to be longer and more pteranodon-like, and the beak is longer and pointed downwards. The face of this particular Rodan also appears to have a droopy-like look to it.
Rodan's roar sounds like a mix between bird screeches and jets. Rodan's roar starts off like a shrieking, similar to birds. The roar then gets much deeper, and more screechy. His roar then ends in a long exhale. Rodan's roar was reused for many of the kaiju, such as the Heisei King Ghidorah and Battra.
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 one another. 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. 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.
Every one of Rodan's Toho interpretations have had largely consistent origins, always portrayed as a species of Pteranodon that survived the K-Pg extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous period and was enhanced by nuclear radiation. The means in which he was exposed to radiation has varied in each of his appearances, however.
In the Showa series, there were originally two Rodans, a male and a female, whose eggs laid dormant deep underground on the island of Kyushu. Kept alive by radiation deposits in the surrounding soil, the eggs were eventually unearthed by miners from the nearby village of Kitamatsu and subsequently hatched. In Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, a third Rodan emerged from the same volcano where the previous two perished, though it is never specified if this individual was an offspring or one of the original two who had managed to survive.
In 1956's Rodan, there were two Rodans, a male and a female, both implied to be mates. They 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 Okinawa before finally revealing itself after it emerged from the foot of Mount Aso. As word spread of the monster's existence, no time was wasted, as the Japanese air force pursued the threat, leading directly to the city of Fukuoka. Following a fierce aerial dogfight, a fighter jet crashed into Rodan's wing, injuring the beast and neutralizing its ability to fly at supersonic speeds, although this does not stop Rodan from laying waste to the city. Soon enough, a second Rodan appears to escort 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, burning to death. The second Rodan flew down to its dying companion, incinerating itself, leaving both Rodans to burn away in the molten rock.
Rodan went on to cross over into the Godzilla series. Whether another Rodan entirely, or a survivor from 1956, perhaps the baby who hatched from an egg, this Rodan was resurrected by accumulated volcanic gas under Mount Aso, appearing in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster in 1964 when 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 the humans asked the Shobijin to translate the conservation between the monsters. 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, much to the humans' dismay, knowing that the larva wouldn't stand a chance. Rodan and Godzilla, suddenly feeling sympathetic for Mothra after watching King Ghidorah attack her, came to help her out as she had requested. Rodan helped get Mothra to ride him and shoot silk at Ghidorah as Godzilla grabbed Ghidorah from behind and held him still 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. In this film, Rodan is portrayed as being about as tall as Godzilla with a wingspan a little wider than he is tall, while later installments portrayed Rodan as significantly smaller than Godzilla.
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. The two monsters again fought King Ghidorah when the mind control was broken by the A-Cycle Light Ray Gun.
In Destroy All Monsters, Rodan was again controlled by aliens, the Kilaaks, to attack Moscow. Again the mind control was 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. Rodan would only appear again in the Showa series through stock footage in Godzilla vs. Gigan, Godzilla vs. Megalon, and Terror of Mechagodzilla.
While Rodan only appears through stock footage, his small role in the film is somewhat significant. Rodan and Anguirus are 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. Rodan tries to escape, 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.
Atomic heat ray
It can be noted that in Godzilla: Domination!, Rodan also sports an "atomic heat ray" which in fact, resembles a fireball rather than an actual ray.
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.
Rodan's most noticeable trait is his flying speed, which has allowed him to effortlessly outmaneuver and outrun supersonic jets at speeds of up to Mach 1.5 (1,150.9 mph). Aside from his impressive speed and agility, Rodan possesses a variety of special abilities. He is capable of creating destructive shockwaves when flying, which he has used to demolish major cities such as Tokyo and Moscow. In addition, Rodan can cause powerful winds while on the ground by simply flapping his wings.
In the first film, Rodan was seen emitting a gaslike breath to ignite and explode a tank lorry.
In the Gameboy Advance video game Godzilla: Domination!, Rodan can release a radioactive mist from specialized glands located in his torso area for two seconds, which, if it connects, can score up to three hits against the opponent.
Uranium heat beam
Rodan could emit a blast of wind from his mouth in his first appearance, but this ability has never been used again.
In the 2014 Godzilla video game, Rodan had the ability to emit energy shockwaves from his wings simply by flapping them.
Rodan is one of the monsters encountered in the game.
Rodan is in the SNES game as a goalie for the Godzilla Team.
Rodan was playable in both the Nintendo Game Cube and the Xbox versions.
Rodan appeared within the game Godzilla: Domination!.
Rodan re-appears in the sequel again with the same design in both of the games for PlayStation 2 and Xbox.
Rodan appears in Godzilla Unleashed: Double Smash as one of the flyers.
|“||A monster hatched from the spontaneously-mutated egg of a Pteranodon that lay dormant at the foot of Mt. Aso. First debuting in the film "Rodan" (1956), Rodan was branded as one of Toho's major three giant monsters along with Godzilla and Mothra, but it only made its second appearance in "Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster" 8 years later (1964). It boasts combat abilities rivaling those of Godzilla, flapping its wings to create powerful gusts of wind and lift its enemy high into the sky before dropping it to the ground. In its duel with the space monster King Ghidorah, it demonstrated its proficiency in combat by charging in the air with Mothra on its back spraying silk from the skies. In cooperation with Godzilla, it became a savior of the earth.
The version in "Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla 2" (1993) took the form of a descendant of a pteranodon that hatched and mutated from its egg after lying in a dormant state since the Mesozoic era on the Island of Adonoa in the Bering Sea. Stimulated by the wavelengths of ancient lotus japonicus plants that were amplified by a chorus of girls from the ESP Research Institute, it spit heat rays and mutated into "Fire Rodan".
The Rodan in "Godzilla: Final Wars" (2004) was controlled by the Xiliens, invading New York and wreaking mass destruction. It also took down the Earth Defense Force (EDF)'s airship "Rumbling", subsequently attacking Godzilla at the foot of Mt. Fuji along with King Caesar and Anguirus, but it found itself in an ambush instead.
— Rodan Kaiju Guide bio
Rodan appears exclusively in the PlayStation 4 version of the 2014 Godzilla video game as a playable monster. He is based on his 1956 appearance from Rodan. Rodan has the ability to fly around the map far faster than the other flying monsters in the game, and can produce powerful sonic booms by clapping his wings together.
|Square||One tap: Peck|
Two taps: Peck
Three taps: Multi-Peck
Roar + Tap: Swooping Shockwave
Tap (Mid-Air): Land
|Triangle||Tap: Kick Up|
Tap (Mid-Air): Double Kick
|Circle||Tap: Wing Shockwave|
Roar + Tap: Sonic Ram
Tap (Mid-Air): Wing Shockwave
|R2||Tap: Area Shockwave|
Rodan appeared in his many incarnations within the game Godzilla: Kaiju Collection.
In this manga, Rodan appears under the control of Doctor Oniyama, flying across Tokyo and dropping large bombs from his talons. He later attacks Godzilla while he is out at sea and carries him off, only to get slammed into the ground and get his wing torn off by Godzilla. One of his extra bombs was later used by Godzilla as a weapon to kill Anguirus.
In Godzilla: Ongoing #4, Rodan battles Titanosaurus in Tokyo. Though Titanosaurus is captured after the battle, Rodan escapes. In issue #10, Rodan and Anguirus battle Gigan in Hong Kong. In issue #13, Rodan appears in New York and plays an integral role in helping Godzilla defeat Keizer Ghidorah.
Rodan appeared in the Godzilla: Rulers of Earth comic series, suddenly attacking Varan and fighting him in a military base. Rodan kept to the air, but the spikes on Varan's back shredded Rodan's wing, forcing him to retreat. Rodan was later seen in a flashback explaining the natural order of monsters, sleeping in a hillside cave. He is also seen on the mural in Infant Island's cave among other flying kaiju. Rodan was later transferred to the Monster Islands, his wing healed, and lived in peace there until the Trilopods attacked. Rodan fell, had his DNA copied by a Trilopod, and was taken to the Trilopod hive along with the other residents of the islands. Much later, King Caesar rampaged through the Trilopod hive, freeing the imprisoned Earth monsters, and Rodan flew to Los Angeles to assist Godzilla in battle. Rodan managed to kill the Anguirus-Trilopod, and fought against Magita, though he was easily swatted aside by the massive Trilopod. After the battle, Rodan, along with the other kaiju, followed Godzilla out to sea.
A demonic version of Rodan appeared in the second issue of the IDW mini-series Godzilla in Hell, where he confronted Godzilla in a city in Hell. The demon Rodan charged at Godzilla and dodged his atomic ray. The demon Rodan then soared into the clouds to try a sneak attack on Godzilla, but Godzilla defeated the demon by slamming his tail into him, causing him to crash into the doomed cities of Hell.
Several small Rodans appear in the first issue of Godzilla: Oblivion, where they live in an extra-dimensional version of Earth. One of them rose up from a pile of rubble and killed a soldier with his heat beam. He was then confronted by Kiryu, who easily overwhelmed the Rodan until more of his kind showed up and gained the upper hand. Two Rodans were then seen fighting two Mothra larvae when the human team decided to head back to their own dimension.
In other languages
- Russian: Родан
- Chinese: 拉顿(Lā Dùn)
- Rodan, Gyaos, and Chandora all resemble bat-like creatures with large wings, although Rodan is more bird-like.
- Rodan is one of a select few monsters to appear in all three series of Godzilla films, along with Mothra, King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla, Godzilla's son, and Godzilla himself. Rodan is also confirmed to be appearing in the MonsterVerse along with Mothra and King Ghidorah.
- Rodan, like his kaiju cohorts, has appeared in external media outside of the movies and series' he's featured in.
- Along with a few other kaiju, Rodan appeared in a occasion in Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump series.
- In the anime Fairy Tail, during the Edolas arc, dragon-like creatures known as Legions have Rodan's roar.
List of appearances
- Rodan (First appearance)
- Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster
- Invasion of Astro-Monster
- Destroy All Monsters
- All Monsters Attack (Mentioned)
- Godzilla vs. Gigan (Stock Footage)
- Godzilla vs. Megalon (Stock Footage)
- Terror of Mechagodzilla (Stock Footage)
- Bye-Bye Jupiter (Stock Footage)
- Godzilla Island
- Godzilla (Gameboy)
- Battle Soccer
- Circus Caper (Cameo)
- Rodan (NES) (Unmade)
- Godzilla, King of the Monsters (Gameboy)
- Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters
- Godzilla (Arcade) (Cameo)
- Godzilla: Giant Monster March
- Godzilla: Battle Legends
- Godzilla: Archipelago Shock
- Godzilla: Heart-Pounding Monster Island!!
- Godzilla: Trading Battle
- Godzilla Generations
- Godzilla: Domination!
- Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee
- Godzilla: Save the Earth
- CR Godzilla 3S-T Battle
- Godzilla: Unleashed (Wii and PlayStation 2)
- Godzilla Unleashed: Double Smash
- CR Godzilla: Descent of the Destruction God
- Godzilla: Kaiju Collection
- Godzilla (2014 video game)
- Godzilla, King of the Monsters
- Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters
- Godzilla: Legends
- Godzilla: The Half-Century War
- Godzilla: Ongoing
- Godzilla: Rulers of Earth
- Godzilla in Hell
- Godzilla: Oblivion