Godzilla Legends #1
Story By Matt Frank & Jeff Prezenkowski
Script by Jeff Prezenkowski
Art by Matt Frank
Colors by Josh Perez, Peter Doherty (Cover A)
Letters by Chris Mowry
Covers by Art Adams (A), Bob Eggleton (B), Matt Frank (C)
Release Date: November 16, 2011
Cover Price: $3.99
If I could only give one piece of advice about Godzilla Legends #1, it would be to turn off any preconceived notions of a deeply thought-provoking book. Matt Frank and Jeff Prezenkowski have crafted a great monster book in Godzilla Legends #1; in just one issue they manage to tell a completely self-contained story all while packing it full of Kaiju mayhem. If you wanted something that left you pondering the intricacies of human existence you may want to look elsewhere; however, if you are in the market for giant lizards and space monsters crushing cities while locked in combat, then Godzilla Legends #1 is the book for you.
Godzilla Legends #1 introduces us with a classic Godzilla favorite, Anguirus, the small but tough underdog in the Godzilla universe. Anguirus is summoned by a scientist in an attempt to awaken the mythical Kaiju Alpha a.k.a Godzilla. All this monster summoning is in the name of protecting the city from Destoroyah who is currently using buildings as punching bags. Instead of Godzilla the scientists and military summon Anguirus who is known for his tenacity even in the face of impossible odds. In a blur of textbook action dialogue and urban destruction Anguirus and Destoroyah face off in Kaiju combat. This is the point at which Godzilla Legends #1 both began and ended for me.
Prezenkowski and Frank choreograph monster battles wonderfully and that’s really all this book needed in my opinion, colossal monsters fighting each other as helpless mortals flee in terror below them. The book begins to suffer when the creative teams attempts to inject the story with themes about underdogs and never giving up even when the chips are stacked against you. Call me old-fashioned but when you are writing a comic with monsters named Anguirus and Destoroyah you can leave all heavy handed themes out of it. Prezenkowski and Frank should have just done with this content what it does best, pit two all-powerful monsters against each other and let the sparks fly.
Matt Frank does a superb job of filling every page and panel with all the chaos and destruction that these monsters can conjure. Destruction fills every corner of this comic and Frank makes sure that you feel like you are knee deep in the mayhem. He manages to capture the scope of each battle so the fact that these Kaiju are kicking over skyscrapers is not lost on the reader. The monsters of Godzilla Legends #1 are also wonderfully illustrated in great detail. The human element of Godzilla Legends #1 were not as strong, characters seemed generic and more like caricatures of themselves, the rugged scientist is unshaven and disheveled while the Army colonel is scarred and dark featured. These one-sided character designs didn’t bother me much simply because I do not pick up a Godzilla comic expecting to love the human character illustrations, I pick it up for the giant monsters, of course.
I went into Godzilla Legends #1 with basically no expectations, I only wanted to see two giant mutant lizards rampage through a city and that’s exactly what I got. If you can look past the cheesy dialogue and misguided attempts at putting deep themes in a Godzilla comic then Godzilla Legends #1 delivers as a one-stop monster on monster battle royale that’s a good deal of fun.