On April 6th, Legendary Comics will release Kingdom Kong and Godzilla Dominion, two standalone graphic novels that offer a window into the events that ultimately led to Godzilla vs. Kong. Comics have always been a wonderful way for fans to get more out of the franchises they love and it’s exciting to see Legendary Comics carry on this tradition with such quality content.
I was provided free ARCs of Kingdom Kong and Godzilla Dominion for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.
Starting with Godzilla Dominion (pre-order link), it is a wonderful piece of work that will convince any doubters that this medium is a perfect fit for the great green monsters. I have been a lifelong reader of Godzilla comics from his 90s days with Dark Horse comics (recommend) to his days with IDW (highly recommend) and Dominion is by far one of the best Zilla comics I have read since the Half Century War (run out and get this right now!).
Godzilla Dominion succeeds because it dares to do what the films never seem to have the stomach to do: take the boring humans out of the picture and concentrate exclusively on the monsters. What remains feels like an epic nature documentary about gigantic monsters with a dramatic almost biblical sounding narrator, a sort of monster David Attenborough, expounding on the mighty deeds of Godzilla as we watch him tear his way through his kingdom. I know Hollywood will never bless me with an atmospheric, Planet Earth-type production of Godzilla, so I am grateful to writer Greg Keyes for making this the next best thing. Drew Edward Johnson’s artistic style works well with Keyes’ story, utilizing heavy black inking, and dynamic splash pages to constantly emphasize the massive size of these beasts.
As for Kingdom Kong (pre-order link), it is also a fine piece of work, but in some ways, it fails to utilize the medium of comics in the way Dominion does. The humans are very much at the forefront of this story and anyone who has seen a monster movie knows that the human story can often be the most tricky aspect of such narratives to get right.
The central drama involving a fighter pilot dealing with the demons of her past falls a little flat. In addition, the more photorealistic approach this comic uses doesn’t always quite land, but all that aside I must say that the monster designs Marie Anello has dreamed up, particularly that of the antlered ghost tiger in the first few pages, are undeniably badass.
This prequel really shines in the way that it connects to the events of Godzilla vs. Kong (do read my review). It incorporates various characters from previous Monsterverse films like Dr. Houston Brooks from Kong: Skull Island and also introduces new faces like Ilene Andrews and the mysterious Jia who both play key roles in Godzilla vs. Kong. In addition, many questions about the Skull Island natives and the film’s hollow earth plot line are also helpfully illuminated.
Both of these comics in tandem with the film itself make for a truly exciting and cohesive multimedia event that is not to be missed by monster fans.
Make sure to visit Legendary Comics for more titles.
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Author: Seth Troyer
Seth is a Columbus Ohio based writer, musician and filmmaker. He earned his BA for communications and creative writing at the University Of Akron. He has written for Dread Central, the Maddwolf film site, and has contributed to various writing anthologies such as Between The Lines, and Purpled Palm Press.
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