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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Godzilla: Legends #5 Review

The Godzilla Legends are over. I'm very disappointed to see it go, as many other fans are. Destoroyah vs. Anguirus? Mechagodzilla vs. Hedorah?! Good stuff, such good stuff. I'm surprised this wasn't going to be an ongoing with different tales every issue. But ah well, so here we are today with Legends #5. Being the final Godzilla comic until May, I was expecting something good. After the bombastic and action-packed Legends #4, I was expecting something of a compelling story with this one. The result is a bit uneven.

Official description from IDW:

The final Legend is here! Does Godzilla have a weakness? The government wants to know, and in order to get the necessary data, tissue samples must be taken from the great beast. The only way to get these samples? TO CLIMB GODZILLA! Renowned, retired adventurer Bryson Allworth is called in. Is he up to the herculean task? When another monster shows up to tumble, the task is only gonna get tougher! Don't miss this special final issue to LEGENDS!

I've come to realize that the 'featuring' kaiju is not the 'starring' kaiju. Case in point here. Giant spider Kumonga appears, but Godzilla is the full focus. It's a bit of an interesting retrospective in this issue. The plot is a homage to the classic Dark Horse issue, Godzilla King of the Monsters #14. Pretty crazy in concept, eh? Climbing Godzilla after all. The main human character is an extreme adventurer in the form of Allworth. A fun focus, if a bit unrealistic at times. Some of the writing is really strong, it's as I said, at times a bit of a retrospective on Godzilla's character. Godzilla looks and appears to be his Heisei counterpart. In fact, it appears that all the majority of the Legends take place in the Heisei timeline. It was also great to see the underrated Kumonga in action. Ever since his brief one-page stint in Kingdom of Monsters. The portrayal was great, this spider needs more on page appearances in the future.

The art is a huge miss. Godzilla's first page appearance is borderline awful. I believe the art was trying to convey a sense of being retro, but it ultimately came out un-detailed and not very good. There are, however, some fantastic shots. Godzilla's head-shot at the end was utterly fantastic. The two covers this time around are, once again, fantastic. The main features a really well-drawn Kumonga while the second one features a very early version of Godzilla holding the legs of Kumonga. Of course, the best part was the fantastic, albeit short confrontation with Kumonga. It's interesting, I like how they pair up different incarnation against incarnation, it's fantasy matches in the making. The battle is nice and fluid, just needed to be longer. There's also some really interesting perspectives on Godzilla's destruction, you'll have to read the issue to understand.

Overall, not a bad issue of the Godzilla Legends. Not exactly a 'great' way to end it however. With a better lead character and better art, it could have been fantastic. Still, it's an interesting story. This is one issue I can even see non-fans enjoying. It's a bit of a retrospective on Godzilla's character, it's really interesting. Plus we get a pretty fantastic fight between Godzilla and Kumonga. I was disappointed at how little screen time the latter got, but it's something. I'm sad to see Legends go, I hope the next mini-series will surpass it.


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