Trilopod

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Trilopod
Beta Trilopod in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth
Alpha Trilopod in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth
Alternate names Toriropoddo, Hunters
Species Power-absorbing alien creatures
Height ~70 meters (Beta)[1]
Forms Trilopod Alpha, Trilopod Beta,
"new powers" forms, Magita
Allies Cryogs
Enemies Godzilla, Megaguirus, SpaceGodzilla, Gorosaurus, Kumonga, Sanda, Gaira, Rodan, Baragon, Battra, King Caesar, Jet Jaguar, Mechagodzilla, MOGUERA, Gezora, Manda, Kamoebas, Titanosaurus, Anguirus, Varan, Kamacuras, Zilla
First appearance Latest appearance
Godzilla: Rulers
of Earth
#19
Godzilla: Rulers
of Earth
#25

The Trilopods (トリロポッド,   Toriropoddo) are a species of power-absorbing alien creatures which first appeared in issue #19 of the IDW comic series Godzilla: Rulers of Earth. They are the first completely new major monsters to appear in any of IDW's Godzilla comic series.

The ultimate biological weapon of the Cryog aliens, the Trilopods were deployed to Earth by the Cryog Emperor Karkaro after Rhizon's failure to conquer the planet himself. The vicious creatures proved more than a match for Earth's kaiju, stealing their powers and gradually trapping them within a colossal hive in Los Angeles. The Trilopods managed to even bring down Godzilla himself, but Zilla, Jet Jaguar, and the Counter-Kaiju Reaction Forces' Mechagodzilla and MOGUERA arrived in the city to begin a counterattack against the alien invaders. Soon after, King Caesar freed the kaiju trapped within the hive, allowing all of Earth's kaiju to band together for a final battle with the Trilopods. After the Earth monsters proved victorious, Karkaro released the massive Trilopod queen Magita in a last-ditch effort to seize victory, but Godzilla called upon all of his power to destroy her and save the Earth once and for all.

Name

The "trilo" part of "Trilopod" comes from trilobite, a class of extinct prehistoric arthropods, while "pod" might come from "arthropod," and by itself is a suffix that means "feet" and is commonly used to describe creatures with multiple "feet." The smaller quadrupedal Trilopod which steals monsters' powers is called Trilopod Alpha, while the larger bipedal Trilopod with which it fuses is called Trilopod Beta. Scripts for Godzilla: Rulers of Earth issues gave the transformed Trilopods portmanteau names like "Triloguirus" and "Spacetrilozilla," though legal issues prevented them from being used in the comic.[2]

Development

Toho's mandate against killing off any of its kaiju inspired Godzilla: Rulers of Earth co-authors Chris Mowry and Matt Frank to create an original monster army which could take part in more decisive battles for the comic's final story arc. Mowry's initial idea was to have an alien "Monster Zoo Menagerie" invade Earth, while Frank suggested a single, uniform species of antagonists to streamline the design process and prevent the duo from needing to design an entire series of one-off creatures.[3] The design and abilities of the Trilopods were inspired by the Xenomorphs from the Alien franchise, the Invid from the anime series Genesis Climber MOSPEADA, and trilobites. Recurring series artist Jeff Zornow also contributed to the design process.

Design

The Trilopods' general physical appearance is much like real arthropods. The Trilopods have a trilobite-like shell, pedipalps lined with sharp teeth and radial mouths resembling those of Anomalocaris, and sharp arm-like scythes with red spheres.

Whilst all "base" Trilopods share common features, the Beta Trilopods are taller than their Alpha counterparts and stand upright, mostly so that they can fight other kaiju using their massive scythes.

In addition, the Trilopods' appearances are altered when they absorb power from other monsters, such as gaining wings from Battra, Rodan, or Megaguirus, a crown and crystals from SpaceGodzilla, etc.

Origins

The Trilopods were created by the Cryog. Trilopod co-creater Matt Frank has suggested that Orga served as something of a prototype for the Trilopods, with the latter becoming a more refined weapon for the Cryog to use than the unstable Orga.[4] Frank has also suggested the Trilopods were originally an alien species that were altered using Orga's DNA.[5]

Comics

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #17

After coming into contact with two mysterious and unconscious twin girls, Lucy Casprell experienced a terrifying psychic vision of an apocalyptic future in which Godzilla, King Caesar, and Mothra’s larvae were fending off a full-scale invasion of Earth by Cryog forces, seeing a glimpse of the Trilopods in the process.

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #19

While Godzilla and Megaguirus battled in Machu Picchu, Peru, Cryog Emperor Karkaro deployed a hunting pod to their location, with the impact of the pod's arrival knocking both kaiju to the ground. As the two monsters recovered, they found themselves face-to-face with several Trilopods.

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #20

Godzilla engaged the Trilopods first by swatting one with his tail while a multi-legged Alpha Trilopod pounced onto Megaguirus and bit into her, draining her blood. Godzilla tried to fight the creatures off as they swarmed him and bit into his legs, but was overwhelmed and pinned down by a bipedal Beta Trilopod, who promptly restrained him. Several Alpha Trilopods bit down on Godzilla and began to drain his blood, while one that attacked Megaguirus crawled onto another Beta Trilopod and merged with it, causing it to grow physical characteristics of Megaguirus, such as her wings, claws, and additional legs. Godzilla fired off a nuclear pulse to free himself before incinerating even more of the Alpha Trilopods with his atomic breath, even killing one by biting its neck. After Godzilla threw a Trilopod carcass at Megaguirus as she was attempting to flee the scene, the Trilopod that absorbed Megaguirus's powers proceeded to blast Godzilla with a powerful laser beam before grabbing him and carrying him off into the sky.

Cryog Emperor Karkaro, pleased with the result of the Trilopods' attack, dispatched numerous Trilopod hunting pods to Earth, including several to the Monster Islands. Meanwhile, another group of Trilopods successfully dragged SpaceGodzilla down to Earth in Los Angeles, where they managed to absorb his powers as well to create a SpaceGodzilla-Trilopod hybrid. Just then, the Megaguirus-Trilopod arrived and dropped Godzilla down in the same area, where it and the other Trilopods surrounded both Godzilla and SpaceGodzilla.

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #21

On the Monster Islands, the Trilopods were quick to capture many resident kaiju, including Baragon, Kumonga, and Rodan. As a Beta Trilopod prepared to make Sanda their next victim, Gaira rushed to his brother's aid and smashed a rock over the Trilopod's head. As the Gargantuas fought, the islands were evacuated, during which Counter-Kaiju Reaction Forces members Steven Woods and Chavez witnessed Trilopods with the characteristics of Rodan and Baragon bringing the monsters into their hunting pods. As the Kumonga-Trilopod hybrid attacked the Gargantuas, Battra came under attack by another that took on his characteristics. Battra's psychic twins, Minette and Mallory, proceeded to destroy the creature's head with their powers to free Battra, though the other Monster Island residents would fall to the alien invaders.

In Los Angeles, Godzilla and SpaceGodzilla were quickly overwhelmed by the SpaceGodzilla-Trilopod hybrid, who used its psychic powers to levitate and slam both kaiju into each other. The military attempted to intervene, only for the Megaguirus-Trilopod to destroy the squadron of fighter jets. Godzilla was soon able to land a hit on the SpaceGodzilla-Trilopod with his atomic ray, allowing SpaceGodzilla to attack it with his Corona Beam before Godzilla smashed a crystal over its head. The Megaguirus-Trilopod defended its fellow hybrid and attacked SpaceGodzilla until Godzilla caught it and killed it with his atomic breath. Just as the tide had turned in their favor, the SpaceGodzilla-Trilopod used its powers to trap its opponents within a massive crystal prison.

In the Australian outback, the ancient kaiju Gorosaurus emerged after being awoken by the alien invaders and dispatched several of them with his jaws and kangaroo kicks.

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #22

Gorosaurus continued to attack the Trilopods before being overcome by them and finally knocked down. An Alpha Trilopod then drew his blood and combined with a Beta Trilopod to form a Gorosaurus-Trilopod hybrid. The hybrid quickly defeated the saurian kaiju before dragging his unconscious body back to its hunting pod.

Elsewhere, Godzilla and SpaceGodzilla realized they were outmatched and were forced to begin working together. The duo managed to break free from their crystal prison by firing their respective beams at the same time; SpaceGodzilla then unleashed his full fury on his doppelgänger. Before the hybrid could retaliate, Godzilla inadvertently saved him and destroyed the SpaceGodzilla-Trilopod with his atomic breath. After SpaceGodzilla retreated back into space and Godzilla collapsed from exhaustion, the Cryog dispatched the massive Trilopod hive to touch down in the city beside Godzilla's body. Too tired to fight back, Godzilla remained motionless as three Beta Trilopods emerged from the hive, absorbed his blood, and took on his characteristics to create three separate Godzilla-Trilopod hybrids.

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #23

An Alpha Trilopod attacks the Monster Islands Research Team

As Lucy Casprell and her team located and awakened King Caesar in Okinawa, another Trilopod hunting pod was dispatched to harvest his blood. Lucy and her team were briefly menaced by an Alpha Trilopod until King Caesar ripped it apart with ease to save them. The guardian monster proceeded to allow himself to be captured by a Beta Trilopod and taken into its hunting pod, as he knew it would bring him to where he needed to go - the Trilopod hive.

Outside of the Trilopod hive, the Godzilla-Trilopods circled Godzilla's unconscious body, but the King of the Monsters remained motionless.

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #24

The Counter-Kaiju Reaction Forces mounted a massive assault against the Trilopods while numerous hunting pods containing Earth's kaiju reconvened with the hive one by one. After two of the Godzilla-Trilopod hybrids departed to wreak havoc in the city, Godzilla finally regained consciousness and caught the remaining hybrid by surprise with his atomic breath and dispatched it with a tail whip. Steven Woods and his forces were caught in the sights of another one of the Godzilla-Trilopods, though their weapons failed to stop the hybrid. Fortunately, before it could devour them, Jet Jaguar appeared and saved them in the nick of time. As Jet Jaguar pummeled the Trilopod into submission, Steven and his troops escaped with their lives. Just as Godzilla faced down another of his doppelgangers, Emperor Karkaro had the hive unleash the various hybrids inside. When the smoke cleared, Godzilla found himself surrounded by Trilopods with the characteristics of nearly all of Earth's kaiju.

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #25

The Anguirus-Trilopod was the first to attack Godzilla, biting into his leg as the other hybrids knocked him down. By this time, the hunting pod containing King Caesar had finally reconvened with the hive, where King Caesar killed a Beta Trilopod upon emerging. As King Caesar set about freeing Earth's kaiju, Godzilla was overwhelmed by the hybrid army outside, who attacked him relentlessly before he could get a hit in. Fortunately, the Counter-Kaiju Reaction Forces' reinforcements finally arrived, which included Mechagodzilla and MOGUERA alongside a great fleet of fighter jets. Upon landing, the mechs defended the King of the Monsters before the trio set about attacking the Trilopods with every weapon they had to offer, allowing them to briefly gain the upper hand. Mechagodzilla froze and destroyed the Baragon-Trilopod before being overcome, while MOGUERA was similarly overrun by the Titanosaurus-Trilopod hybrid.

Elsewhere, Jet Jaguar soon found himself struggling against the Godzilla-Trilopod hybrid until Zilla emerged from the ocean to help, using the scutes on his back to gore the Trilopod hybrid and kill it. After killing several of the hybrids, Godzilla noticed that the mechs sustained heavy damage in the fight and were unable to assist further, at which point he roared as loudly as he could in a rallying cry for assistance from any of his fellow kaiju. Fortunately, King Caesar had managed to free all of the captive kaiju and quickly led the Earth's monsters out of the hive into battle to aid Godzilla. Together, Godzilla and the Earth monsters finally turned the tide of battle in their favor against their alien doppelgangers. Baragon burned the Kumonga-Trilopod while Kumonga ensnared the Anguirus-Trilopod in his webbing. Zilla killed the Titanosaurus-Trilopod as King Caesar tore the Rodan-Trilopod to pieces. One by one, the Trilopods fell, and soon the kaiju of Earth successfully killed every last one of the hybrids. Unfortunately, the Trilopod threat was far from over. While the rogue Gigan was attacking Emperor Karkaro's ship under Cryog commander Rhizon's orders, Emperor Karkaro released a last-ditch effort to destroy Godzilla and Earth's kaiju - a giant Trilopod called Magita.

After Magita, the last of the Trilopods, was exterminated for good, the weakened Godzilla returned to the ocean where he was followed by his fellow kaiju before they dispersed around the globe to live in peace.

Abilities

Power absorption

This ability is a two-stage process involving both the Alpha and Beta Trilopods. First, an Alpha must pierce the skin of a target kaiju with its pedipalps to absorb its energy, then climb onto the back of a Beta and merge with it. The resulting creature will have both the powers and physical characteristics of the target kaiju. This includes energy attacks like Godzilla's atomic heat ray, melee techniques like Gorosaurus' kangaroo kick, and more elaborate abilities like SpaceGodzilla's telekinesis and crystal generation.

The Trilopods can evidently only copy the abilities of organic kaiju, as they never attempt to copy the robots Jet Jaguar, Mechagodzilla, or MOGUERA, nor the statue-like King Caesar.

Laser Cannons

Concept art notes reveal that the "rib-tubes" on the Trilopods' chests are capable of firing lasers. Within the series itself, however, this weapon goes unused.

Gallery

Concept art

Scans

Alternate forms

Trivia

  • The Trilopods can be seen as an organic counterpart to the Cryogs' purely mechanical Mechagodzilla units, lacking the machines' firepower but being capable of executing more sophisticated strategies.
  • The Godzilla-Trilopods each have a different dorsal fin design. One possesses the fins of the Godzilla design featured in the comic, another possesses the fins of the Showa Godzilla, and the last has the fins of the Monsterverse Godzilla.
  • Trilopod hybrids bearing the characteristics of Manda and Gezora are seen in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #25, though Manda and Gezora themselves are absent when the rest of Earth’s kaiju are freed from the Trilopod hive, and do not partake in the final battle in any capacity. They are the only two monsters not seen interacting with the Trilopods in any way despite evidently having fought them off-screen.
  • Two variant covers by Jeff Zornow depict multiple Battra-Trilopod hybrids. Within the comic itself, however, only one Battra-Trilopod is formed, and it is immediately killed by Minette and Mallory.
  • In Lucy Casprell's vision and on several variant covers, Mothra's larvae are seen battling the Trilopods, though they never actually interact with them in the series itself.

References

This is a list of references for Trilopod. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. Frank, Matt (20 January 2015). "They're around 70 meters, or at least a bit shorter than 100 meters (the scale most of our monsters are at)". Tumblr.
  2. Frank, Matt (30 January 2015). "The smaller variety are called Alphas, the larger called Betas - those are just the nicknames in the script, but they could serve as official names. We call them names like "Triloguirus" and "Trilowhatever" in the script, but we can't call them that in the actual comic for legal reasons". Tumblr.
  3. Mirjahangir, Chris. "Interview: Matt Frank and Chris Mowry". Toho Kingdom. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  4. Frank, Matt (26 January 2015). "I ROE Are the Trilopods and orga linked in someway? like Orga is an old and unstable weapon for the cryog and the Trilopods are a refined replacement for the task that Orga would be used for". Tumblr.
  5. Frank, Matt (20 February 2017). "My thought is that they were a species native to another planet that the Cryog altered with Orga's DNA". Tumblr.

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