Who Is American Kaiju in Marvel & How Strong Is He Compared to Other Marvel Characters?

We’ve seen countless versions of characters taking some experimental serum to become powerful. Some were tried and controlled, like Captain America with the Super-Soldier Serum. Others, however, were completely out of control, like the American Kaiju. So, who is American Kaiju, and how strong is he compared to other Marvel characters?

Todd Ziller, aka American Kaiju, was a US Army Corporal who became a test subject in an experiment that tried to recreate the Super-Soldier Serum. The parts of the formula they didn’t know were filled with other transformative substances, causing Ziller to become the colossal, Godzilla-like beast.

In fact, his name, Todd Ziller, might actually be a play of words hinting at ‘Godzilla.’ The difference is this one has an American flag on its forehead, and instead of going ‘ROAR,’ the American Kaiju goes ‘YUUU-ESSS-AYYY’. Without further ado, here’s all there is to know about the American Kaiju, his origins, and overall power compared to other Marvel characters.

Who is American Kaiju?

American Kaiju is the name of a huge reptile-like creature resembling Godzilla that first appeared in Avengers Vol. 6 #0 in October 2015. The character’s real name is Todd Ziller, and he got the alias American Kaiju in New Avengers Vol. 4 #9. So, who is American Kaiju, exactly?

Todd Ziller was a US Army Corporal with a highly patriotic personality. Ziller was also known as a man of few words but ready to do anything for his country. When Project: Troubleshooter commenced, Todd Ziller was willingly a test subject in the matter.

The project was the latest US division for human weapon development, trying to recreate the Super-Soldier Serum once created by Abraham Erskine. However, if it were easy to recreate the formula, everyone would do it.

So, the scientists in the project decided to fill in the unknown gaps in their formula with other transformative substances. Due to the strange mixture of Gamma radiation, the Connors Formula, Pym Particles, and the Mutant Growth Hormone, nobody knew exactly what the Serum would do to a human being. That is until they tested it on Todd Ziller.

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Becoming American Kaiju

After taking the Serum, Todd Ziller turned into a colossal, reptile-like creature closely resembling Godzilla (hence, the name Todd Ziller; kudos to the writers). He had an American flag on his forehead and absolutely astounding powers in terms of brute strength, stamina, and durability. They dubbed Ziller’s new look the American Kaiju afterward.

The American Kaiju was first unleashed in New Avengers Vol. 4 #8 when Avengers Idea Mechanics attempted to rescue Rick jones from S.H.I.E.L.D.’s custody. The American Kaiju attacked the Avengers Island with full force, and the Avenger Five fought the beast not to defeat it but to buy enough time so that the Island could be evacuated.

Upon realizing that some of his powers were Gamma-oriented, the Avengers Five managed to use one of their Gamma reactors to drain Todd Ziller of his powers, reverting him back to human form.

He then turned to the evil, mad scientist Victor Vandoom to perfect the Serum he ingested by using traces of it from his body. Vandoom succeeded in it but requested a favor in return – fight Deadpool and Red Hulk. 

The fight commenced at the Castle Kruger and was a close match before Red Hulk somehow managed to slam the beast into the Castle Kruger, which ultimately knocked the American Kaiju down and reverted him to his human form. After that, in U.S. Avengers #4, Todd Ziller was arrested and taken into custody.

The symbiote invasion of Knull

In King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes #2, the American Kaiju showcased just how powerful he is. Ziller was unleashed to fight Knull’s Symbiote Dragons, which he was able to do comfortably, purging them one by one – although, as Godzilla would, he caused an insane amount of property damage to the town.

After the flying beasts were defeated, an antidote was injected into the American Kaiju, reverting him back into Todd Ziller and having him apprehended once again.

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How powerful is American Kaiju?

Hearing all that, it’s easy to figure out that the American Kaiju is an incredibly powerful character from Marvel comics. His body turns into a giant, building-sized reptile resembling Godzilla, along with huge teeth and claws. Not only that – American Kaiju is insanely strong and durable enough to take the hardest hits.

It seems that Todd Ziller has several characters’ powers mixed into one, although it’s unclear if he has them to their fullest extent. That being said, the American Kaiju is kind of an amalgam between the Lizard, Hank Pym in giant-sized mode, the Hulk at mid-level strength (or the Abomination, if you will), etc. His strength and durability are incredible, and he can easily go up against some of the toughest opponents you can imagine.

Perhaps we haven’t seen enough from the Kaiju to determine his power levels and strength to a tee, but there are some clear indicators that he isn’t just another mid-level threat.

How strong is American Kaiju compared to other Marvel characters?

Do you remember I mentioned Knull’s symbiote invasion in this article before? Well, it’s the best, most accurate indicator that’ll allow us to determine how powerful the American Kaiju actually is. So, the reason why Todd Ziller was unleashed at that moment was that somebody had to take care of the symbiote dragons that Knull released.

For those of you who are unaware, symbiote dragons are actually a superior version of the species, much more powerful than common symbiotes, with the ability to fly and the immunity to common symbiote weaknesses, such as ultrasonic sounds or fire.

That means the American Kaiju was powerful enough not only to defeat a symbiote but to defeat several advanced, flying symbiotes single-handedly. It’s hard to even determine which characters could do so, but it’s clear that not many heroes out there could do the same.

The reason why American Kaiju is so strong is the mixture of ingredients he received through the serum. You have Gamma Radiation (the Hulk), Pym Particles (Ant-Man), Mutant Growth Hormone (X-Men), and more.

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Now, he was defeated by the Red Hulk, so I wouldn’t put American Kaiju in the same ballpark as the Hulk, especially because there’s an antidote that reverts him back to human form almost instantly, and he’s quite useless as a human against more serious threats. American Kaiju is more in that ‘Abomination’ power level.

He’s much, much more powerful than Hawkeye or Black Widow (who isn’t right?), and even Captain America – the guy most famous for the Super-Soldier Serum.

I don’t think American Kaiju could defeat Iron Man, though, simply because Tony Stark is way too intelligent, nor would he stand a chance against Thor, one of the most powerful superheroes in Marvel comics.

That being said, defeating several advanced flying Symbiote Dragons at the same time has to account for something – not many characters could accomplish that. Hence, American Kaiju is probably somewhere between Captain America and the Hulk in terms of power or strength.

  • Luka is an amateur filmmaker, screenwriter, cinematography, and trivia enthusiast. High fantasy and fiction are his primary interest, especially Tolkien's Middle-earth universe, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and Marvel Universe.