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Rodan. The Fire Demon.
~ Ilene Chen describing Rodan.

Rodan, also dubbed Titanus Rodan or the Fire Demon, is a former major antagonist of the MonsterVerse, serving as a cave painting in the 2017 film Kong: Skull Island and the former secondary antagonist of the 2019 film Godzilla: King of the Monsters. 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 subordinate of Ghidorah and later Godzilla.

He is portrayed by Jason Liles, who also played George in Rampage.

Biography

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 a device known as the Orca to awaken Rodan from a Mexican volcano where he has been resting for many years. Once Rodan is out of the volcano, he simply sits atop and doesn't attack anybody. However, Monarch has pilots attack Rodan so that he will come closer to Ghidorah, planning that they would kill each other. Rodan then flies off his volcano to destroy the Argo. Rodan chases after the Argo, destroying all of the jets in the process. Rodan enters the storm and battles Ghidorah While Rodan manages to last about a minute 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 causing Rodan to fall in the ocean. Ghidorah flies to Rodan's volcano in order to absorb energy, in which 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.

In Boston, as Godzilla and Mothra fight Ghidorah, Rodan arrives and attacks Mothra. The two battle each other, and Rodan gains the upper hand and is going to win, but Mothra impales Rodan through the shoulder with her stinger, supposedly killing him. However, Rodan somehow survived, although he is severely wounded. He returns at the end of the film when Godzilla has been crowned king of the monsters after killing Ghidorah, and although he seems as if he'll challenge Godzilla he decides to become a minion to him now, showing his loyalty by bowing to Godzilla (being the first to bow in front of Godzilla) along with the other Titans.

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

Between the five years after Godzilla becomes the new alpha Titan, Rodan and all other Titans excluding Godzilla and Kong have stopped their activity, making Monarch label Rodan's status as "Defeated". The prequel comic later revealed that Godzilla has him and other Titans return into dormancy after the alpha Titan senses Ghidorah is still alive.

Personality

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.

Like the other Titans, Rodan has an honorable side to him, in which he follows the strongest among the Titans, believing that the one who is the most powerful is the alpha. This is seen when he bowed down to Godzilla, after he had defeated Ghidorah, who had usurped the title from him.

It's possible Rodan was never truly evil as he just looked the civilians out of curiosity when he was woken up, and he didn't attack or kill anyone until the jets attacked him first, him killing the civilians seemed to be unintentional. He did try to defeat Ghidorah and only served him, as he was defeated in fair combat and thought Godzilla was dead.

Physical appearance

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.

His 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

Powers

  • Pterosaur Titan Physiology: As a Titan in resemblance to a pterosaur, Rodan is incredibly powerful, possessing several physical and supernatural attributes.
    • Advanced Strength: Rodan is 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 surviving a slash from her raptorial forelimbs, and was also able to survive 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 and was fast enough to keep up with and outfly military fighter jets and the Argo. Rodan is also quick enough to intercept Mothra when she was in the middle of a dive.
    • Advanced Stamina: Rodan's stamina enables him to exert himself at peak capacity for very lengthy periods of time without tiring at all, never needing to stop or even slow down during his aerial battles with Ghidorah and Mothra. Even when he is flying, Rodan does not even seem to have any obvious signs of fatigue.
    • Advanced Agility: Rodan can outmaneuver fighter jets, and his comparatively smaller size when compared to Ghidorah seemingly helps make him a more agile flyer. Rodan is seen destroying several fighter jets pursuing him by rolling while in flight and smashing them with his wings.
    • Shockwaves: Rodan produces 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 monster's wingspan is vast enough to level cities with this technique.
    • Flight: Due to Rodan's wings; he can fly at high speeds and at high altitudes; due to having a skeletal structure similar to that of a Pteranodon. When Rodan is flying at his top speed; his wings generate cyclonic drift streams that can level entire cities instantly by literally ripping structures out of the ground and into the air.
  • 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.

Abilities

  • Advanced Combatant: Rodan can use 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 such as bald eagles, red-tailed hawks and peregrine falcons, which use their beaks and talons in combat.
  • Sharp Talons: Like all pterosaurs and birds, Rodan possesses razor-sharp talons that are capable of cutting through most materials.
  • Sharp Beak: Like all pterosaurs and birds, Rodan possesses a razor-sharp beak that can be used as a formidable weapon.

Weaknesses

  • Limited Durability: Although Rodan is incredibly durable, he does have his limits; for example, Mothra's stinger is able to penetrate his incredibly durable body and cause him a considerable amount of pain.

Relationships

Ghidorah

Rodan and Ghidorah were initally 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 and spared him. After Ghidorah seemingly defeated Godzilla and became the Alpha Titan, Rodan bowed to Ghidorah and became his right-hand man, seeing Ghidorah as the Alpha Titan. Rodan and Ghidorah teamed up to cause destruction in Washington D.C. Rodan even saved Ghidorah fom Mothra during the final battle in Boston as Mothra was attacking him.

Godzilla

Despite Rodan serving Ghidorah in the final battle, Rodan and Godzilla never directly attack each other. After Godzilla killed Ghidorah, Rodan arrives and was going to fight Godzilla. However, Godzilla glares at Rodan in which he was forced to bow down to Godzilla, now seeing him as the new alpha Titan. Godzilla forgives Rodan in which Rodan now serves as Godzilla's loyal subordinate.

Mothra

Rodan and Mothra are hostile towards each other. Rodan attacks Mothra during the final battle and the two engage in a fight. Rodan severely injures Mothra and nearly kills her, but Mothra incapacitates him with her stinger. It's unknown if Mothra simply stabbed him in the chest, just to try and kill him or if she stabbed him right in the shoulder and not the heart because she didn't want to kill him. Regardless, Mothra stinging Rodan does not kill him even though Mothra does not try to kill Rodan after he falls on the ground while she goes over to Godzilla to support him.

See also

Trivia

  • 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, followed 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.

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