The first and only original kaiju of IDW’s initial run of Godzilla comics, the Trilopods are an interesting bunch for sure. Insectoid creatures utilized by the Cryog aliens, they quickly proved quite a challenge for Godzilla and the rest of the Kaiju on Earth due to their unique abilities and sheer numbers. (Respect threads for the rest of the IDW/ROE versions of kaiju potentially coming eventually, no promises because skreeonking hell that would be an endeavor. I’m not gonna claim any future RTs either, if anyone wants to do other IDW kaiju respect threads I have no complaint.)
Let us begin with the basic form of the Trilopods before moving on to the more elaborate stuff.
Alphas and Betas
The initial form of the Trilopods is actually two entities, an Alpha and a Beta. The former is a relatively small creature that crawls low to the ground while the latter is the more traditional kaiju you are all likely familiar with.
The purpose of the Alphas is to latch onto another kaiju, absorb DNA, then get back to a Beta and merge with them to form a hybrid with the powers of the Kaiju affected. But before we explore that, let us see what the two can do without any boosts.
As can be seen above, Alphas are not exactly durable. One stomp from Godzilla is enough to kill one, and in a later panel he is able to easily bite down on another’s throat to kill it immediately. However, their mandibles are clearly quite impressive, being able to easily break through Godzilla’s skin.
As well, one is shown being able to puncture SpaceGodzilla’s shoulder crystal. IDW SpaceGodzilla’s crystals were shown to be able to withstand strikes from IDW Gigan while only at most losing a few shards (ROE Gigan is miles ahead of his FW counterpart despite their similar appearance, the fact that he actually fought and pressured SpaceGodzilla should prove that much).
The brawn of the unhybridized duo, the Betas are capable of holding their own in combat with other kaiju. As the first page used for the Alphas shows, one was capable of knocking Godzilla to the ground with a tackle.
It is also capable of keeping Godzilla pinned to the ground as the Alphas bite him and drain his energy. While yes, Godzilla had been battling Megaguirus before the Trilopods arrived, ROE Godzilla has shown immense endurance in the past. I doubt he was any more than slightly below full capability at this point.
They were also shown being able to restrain Baragon and Sanda without much difficulty (Sanda and Gaira working together in ROE were able to hold their own against Godzilla and make him retreat).
The Betas are durable enough to withstand Gaira slamming a molten boulder bigger than his own head into it, the motion lines suggesting that Gaira leapt a considerable distance before the strike.
Sanda and Gaira do swiftly overpower the one, ripping off one of its arms and impaling the Beta with it.
Their lackluster durability continues to be made apparent by Gorosaurus being able to easily rip one’s arm off with his jaws. And while the IDW depiction of Gorosaurus is certainly no slouch, the fact remains that it is clear that individual Trilopod Betas are glass cannons more than anything. They have the strength to contend with powerful foes, but not the durability. Which is why they typically Zerg Rush foes, relying on superior numbers while hoping for the Alphas to be able to do their part and initiate the hybridization.
When an Alpha has absorbed enough genetic material from a target, it will latch onto a Beta and initiate the fusion process.
As you can see, it is a very swift process, being almost instant. Now, I could explore in depth every single hybrid shown in the comic, but that would take entirely too long and would grow boring quickly. All that needs to be known in general is that the hybridized Trilopods were typically able to overwhelm the source of DNA rather swiftly, including SpaceGodzilla. But for more specifics that don’t drag on too long…
Though only a Megaguirus Trilopod is shown using this chest laser, it is not something exclusive to it. The presence of this red beam able to knock a battle weary Godzilla unconscious is suggested to be something available to all Trilopods given that Megaguirus never demonstrated an ability like this. (I know it was said before that Godzilla was likely practically at peak condition, however in this case he had both been pierced and drained by several Alphas and unleashed both a nuclear pulse and an Atomic Ray strong enough to decapitate a Beta, so I would assume he was not at full when this beam struck him).
Aside from this weapon, a Trilopod Hybrid has all of the abilities of whatever they absorbed DNA from, seemingly at the strength of the original. An assorted showcase of these stolen abilities, along with the Kaiju it was stolen from for ease of arrangement.
As well, Trilopods in numbers are very capable of working together, and do so to overwhelm and tear apart individual foes.
So, has their defense improved by taking on the DNA of others? It seems so, but the specifics are difficult.
Let us start with the SpaceGodzilla-Trilopod and what it was able to endure before dying.
A Corona Beam, being struck with a giant crystal by Godzilla, being caught in a blast larger than itself, another Corona Beam, and finally being destroyed by one of IDW Godzilla’s patented “beams that engulf the enemy”.
But of course the one that takes after SpaceGodzilla would be hardier than any other, so what about the rest?
As can be seen in that image and at the top of the one used for the Baragon Trilopod, they are capable of surviving beams. It clearly tears off chunks of their armor, but they are not instantly slain. Except for these two poor bastards.
Their resistance to blunt force trauma is either inconsistent or Godzilla’s tail is just that strong. I’d personally lean the latter given how it happens twice. As there are two instances of a Hybrid Trilopod being instantly killed by a swing of Godzilla’s tail. (The first one had also gotten its foot blasted by an Atomic Ray, but that doesn’t magically make its neck weaker)
The punches of other kaiju are not enough to instantly pop their heads at least, at most only releasing a slight splatter of blood. Another Godzilla-based Trilopod is able to hold its own against Jet Jaguar in melee and take what is implied to be several of his punches over the course of the battle and is rather fine. (ROE Jet Jaguar is miles ahead of his movie counterpart, to make that clear).
However, there is one thing that even hybrid Trilopods are very clearly weak against, and it is yet again, piercing and tearing. I will let the following pages speak for themselves, and even though these kaiju are all significantly more impressive than their movie counterparts, it doesn’t not make the Hybrid Trilopods glass cannons at the end of the day, at least to this specific method of damage.
There’s a reason there’s a lot of Trilopods. Because individually, their durability does them no favors.
But, we are not done yet, for there is one last thing to cover here. There is a specific Trilopod with a name and a very important role, and while she does not absorb the life essence of others to gain their powers, Magita makes up for that with one very important thing.
Being an absolute unit.
The final foe of Rulers of Earth, Magita is the colossal source of the Trilopods, their “queen” so to speak. Magita is an incredibly powerful kaiju, mainly due to her massive size. All of the Kaiju captured by the Trilopods and stored in their colossal hive are intended to eventually be devoured by Magita herself. After the army of Trilopods were overwhelmed by all the kaiju of Monster Island, Magita was released from the hive to destroy them.
There are no official stats for Magita, however we do have author statements that correlate well with what we see. According to the comic’s artist Matt Frank, Magita is 500 meters tall. This would line up with how tall she is compared to the rest of the Kaiju present. Chris Mowry, one of the chief writers of the comic, has stated she is 8 times the size of Biollante, which height-wise would make her 960 meters tall, but it seems much more likely he was just referring to her size in general, not height alone. Magita has no official weight either, though given her colossal size she should be significantly heavier than just about any other Godzilla kaiju except perhaps SpaceGodzilla’s flying form.
As befitting a kaiju that could eat most of Godzilla’s pals in one bite, Magita possesses immense strength. She was able to casually send King Caesar flying with a strike from her arm (and seemingly knock Zilla over in the process despite not directly striking him), and hurl Anguirus and Zilla away with the flick of one foot. King Caesar is not shown battling her again after this, which would imply he was too injured to get up and rejoin the fight.
This is admittedly the extent of her strength that we see, but it’s clear that she would have eventually slain all the Kaiju present had the fight not been cut drastically short, given that very casual attacks were enough to overpower them. It could be reasonably assumed that a more difficult opponent and/or more time passing in a battle would prompt more aggressive attacks from her, especially given how she had just been awakened from hibernation. Perhaps this is going too far into personal opinion, but given how she was going to eat them anyway while they were unconscious, I don’t think her devouring them in combat is too far out of the realm of possibility...
As those two pages demonstrate, Magita is incredibly durable and has high endurance. Anguirus’ Thunderball just bounces off to no effect, Godzilla’s Atomic Ray (which has previously torn clean through other kaiju or done significant damage otherwise) strikes an unarmored portion of Magita’s body and appears to damage the exterior and not much else, and there is a clear implication that the efforts of the over a dozen kaiju present are doing nothing worthwhile. On the topic of endurance, Rodan is able to fly clean through Magita’s body after entering the wound Godzilla blasted open, and the Trilopod Queen barely reacts. This would suggest that killing Magita requires significant damage to her beyond the targeting of a few vital points.
This is the Cryog Mothership crashing directly into Magita’s underbelly, causing an explosion that appears to be of a similar size to herself. Despite being at the epicenter of such a colossal blast, and seemingly being knocked over, she is back on her feet in a matter of moments.
Magita finally meets her end when Godzilla unlocks a powered up state, the exact specifics not stated though it can be assumed to be some sort of last resort ability of his. He unleashes a Red Spiral Ray directly into Magita’s face, which leaves a smoking burn and not much else, before finally entering Magita’s mouth. First he blasts the floor of her mouth, melting the inside, before unleashing a supercharged Nuclear Pulse that obliterates her body, leaving only charred remains.
Despite their relative fragility and their queen’s lack of kills, the Trilopods are a force to be reckoned with in all regards. From their surprising strength and tactical abilities, to the power to absorb the abilities of foes and utilize them without error, the Trilopods are deadly predators who given the right opportunity can overwhelm and destroy many foes. And Magita is a colossus who the vast majority of kaiju would be unable to do anything against as they are tossed around, crushed, and mangled.