A pteranodon mutated due to the horrors of the atomic age, Rodan emerged from a coal mine, where it began to feed on prodigious arthropods called the Meganulons. Once the young reptile had fed, it soared into the sky. Slicing the air at supersonic speeds, the aerial monster annihilated a jet fighter and proceeded to soar across the globe, sparking unprecedented reports of UFOs across two continents. The beast eventually returned to Japan, where it gained an appetite and quickly feasts on a newly wed couple followed by a heard of cattle.
Meanwhile, another Rodan is discovered, while the Self Defense Force scramble to meet the threat. Their first assault involves a squadron of F86F Saber jets that attack the airborne fiends in the sky, but fails to defeat either menace. One monster lands in an urban area, where the JSDF unleash its full arsenal of tanks and missile launchers, but to no avail. Suddenly, the second Rodan appears, and the two titans take their leave for their home in Mt. Aso. A desperate plan of action is soon concocted: controlled eruption! The JSDF deploy Honest John Missile Launchers which pound the volcanic mountain and cause an eruption. The molten rock sets one of the monsters ablaze, as its mate joins its fallen ally in its dying moments.
Eventually Rodan, possibly a child or one of the Rodans from 1956 that survived, emerges from the volcano some eight years later. The winged terror first battles Godzilla, who had recently awoken, across Japan in a series of stand still fights. While in the middle of a skirmish, the pair are interrupted by Mothra, who uses her webbing to halt the two from fighting temporarily. The three monsters initiate in a long discussion, as the small larva desperately tries to convince the two to focus on a much more dangerous foe: King Ghidorah. Mothra's plea falls on deaf ears, however, as both Rodan and Godzilla desire to continue their fight. Having failed her mission, the benevolent insect leaves the two monsters to do battle with the space demon alone. However, shortly after engaging with Ghidorah, both Rodan and Godzilla, having a change of heart, arrive on the scene to aid the small Larva. Together, the three combatants claim victory over the space monster, who is sent into a hasty retreat back to space.
Later, Rodan is summoned by the duplicitous Xilien race from the remote Planet X. Along with his now ally Godzilla, they engaged in heated combat with King Ghidorah on alien soil. The dynamic duo prevailed, and shortly thereafter, the Xiliens revealed their true intentions when they forced the monsters to attack Earth along with King Ghidorah, whom they controlled all along. When the control over these monsters was broken through the use of the A-Cycle Light Ray; Rodan once again joined his ally and repelled King Ghidorah, who returned into the cold void of space.
In the year 1999, Rodan is found peacefully living with his fellow Earth monsters on Monsterland. Eventually, another terrible alien race, calling themselves the Kilaakian, took control of the island and all of its inhabitants. Rodan was the first to attack under the control of his new masters, and renders Moscow a ruined city. Some time thereafter, Rodan joined forces with Godzilla, Manda, and Mothra in the annihilation of Tokyo... but luckily, humankind was becoming wise to the secrets of the Kilaakian. Using the Moonlight SY-3, the JSDF destroyed the transmitter on the moon and effectively severed the mind control. Humankind, now controlling the monsters, sent Rodan to fight against King Ghidorah, who is brutally murdered in the subsequent battle. Though it appeared as though the greatest foe was conquered, the Fire Dragon, a conflagrant UFO, arrived and engaged Rodan in battle. Though Rodan failed to repel the craft, the Moonlight SY-3 extinguished this final obstacle, and the monster was returned to his island home to live out the rest of his days in peace.
On the relatively peaceful Adonoa Island in the Bering Sea, careless radioactive waste dumps took place. Nobody seemed to care as the island's vegetation and animal life slowly died out. However, two ominously large eggs began to absorb the radiation and grow abnormally. These eggs belonged to a small population of ancient reptiles. The first to hatch was a young Pterosaur. The little creature fed on what little food it could find on the barren island, constantly protecting its unhatched "brother." The Pterosaur grew larger and larger from the radioactivity, until finally it had become the enormous creature Rodan. As a first act, the mighty flying monster attacked a group of people who had come to investigate its home island. The humans had disturbed the other egg, and the unborn baby inside had called out to Rodan and, unknowingly, the only other member of its species. Rodan terrorized the camp, finally resting on a mountain to watch the humans flee. However, victory was not his. The cold waters of the Bering Sea flashed and boiled, and suddenly, a mighty beam of devastation struck Rodan's perch, nearly hitting the pterosaur himself. Rodan flew into the air as Godzilla rose from the sea. Rodan bombarded Godzilla with terrible winds, but the monster king strode ashore to claim the egg that had called out to him. Godzilla and Rodan battled horrendously while the humans loaded the egg into a Helicopter and began to escape. Rodan had tried his best, but Godzilla had proven too strong for the flying reptile. Rodan fell, near death, to the ground as Godzilla left, slowly following the promise of one of his own.
In Japan, samples of some plants found surrounding the surviving egg reveal a kind of psychic music. When played, the egg finally hatches, and instead of a baby pterosaur, it is revealed that Rodan's "brother" was, in reality, a Godzillasaur. After Godzilla battles with Mechagodzilla, this music is sung by a small group of psychic children from the ESP Research Institute at the UNGCC. Baby Godzilla is given a sudden power boost, and tries to break loose from his cage. However, he wasn't the only one to benefit from the plant's ancient music.
Meanwhile on Adonoa Island, amongst the fallen boulders and tattered remains of small mountains, a creature called out weakly. Rodan opened his eyes as he felt himself growing stronger. He took flight and cried out once more as he became Fire Rodan, ready to claim back what was his.
Yet another pawn in the Xiliens' plans, Rodan was unleashed during the aliens' primary global assault. New York City was the terrible pterosaur's destination, and the flying horror easily annihilated everything in its path with its destructive sonic booms. The Earth Defense Force was quick to respond to the threat, as they soon released their aerial war-machine, The Rumbling, to fend off the invader. The battle was fierce, but Rodan dodged every category of ammunition that the advanced aircraft could muster. When the war-machine was about to meet a calamitous end at the hand of this beast, Rodan was summoned back to the Xiliens, for they wanted the Earth to believe that they had saved the world from this flying menace.
The Xiliens were deceitful, however, and it turned out that they were in truth seeking to dominate the planet. When this plan was uncovered, Rodan was set loose yet again on New York City. The Rumbling returned for a rematch, but this round saw the quick and merciless destruction of the craft. With no opposition left, the crimson creature continued its awful assault.
When Godzilla was released from his Antarctic tomb, Rodan, Anguirus, and King Caesar were summoned to attack the monster at Mt. Fuji. Godzilla slammed his tail into Anguirus, sending the spiked reptile soaring into the sky. Anguirus collided with Rodan, and the latter quickly fell to the Earth below. Rodan was knocked unconscious on impact. Its allies, Anguirus and King Caesar, also felt the full force of Godzilla’s onslaught, as both were rendered unconscious. Godzilla let out a roar proclaiming his success, as he continued his long voyage toward Tokyo.