One of the few blockbusters to make it into cinemas so far this year is the epic Godzilla vs. Kong which has become one of the most successful films to come out during the pandemic. Naturally, Legendary Comics had released comics that build on the two monster titans’ solo outings which are collected together in Monsterverse Titanthology Vol. 1.
In Godzilla: Aftershock, the King of the Monsters becomes an endangered species as an ancient terror rises from the depths of the Earth that will test Godzilla like never before. A shadowy figure stalks Dr. Emma Russell as she travels the globe with a team of Monarch operatives to unearth clues of an ancient terror returning to threaten humanity, while Godzilla clashes in a rivalry as old as the Earth itself. In Skull Island: Birth of Kong, the secrets of Kong’s mythic origins are revealed as the cryptozoological adventurers of Monarch return to the birthplace of one of our world’s greatest wonders. As a journey of discovery becomes a desperate escape mission, a team of operatives fights to survive the hidden dangers of the island – and each other.
Legendary Comics have certainly committed themselves to building a mythology in the Monsterverse based on these two classic movie monsters. Both of these collected graphic novels build on the themes that have long been established in their previous films whilst bringing something fresh to the table. Kong’s in particular builds on his classic origins and shows how he was shaped into the creature he is today, including the rather harrowing death of his parents. Additionally, several characters from Kong: Skull Island make appearances with their backgrounds also delved into.
Aftershock is very much a traditional Godzilla story. Following on from the 2014 film, it introduces several of the monsters that appear in the subsequent Godzilla: King of Monsters and sees Godzilla spending a good portion of the comic battling with said monsters. We also see some development from the human characters and some scenes that tie the story to Kong: Skull Island. Writer Arvid Nelson has a thorough understanding of the mythology of both monsters and doesn’t waste this opportunity to build on it. The art is also top notch, with Zid and Drew Johnson bringing you the sort of epic action you’d expect from this franchise, but also delivering some surprisingly subtle scenes.
Anyone who enjoyed Godzilla vs. Kong will have a ton of fun with this collection and those looking for an introduction to the Monsterverse need look no further.
Monsterverse Titanthology Vol. 1 is out now from Legendary Comics (9781681160924, p/b, £16.99)
Or support your local bookstore.
Want regular updates and weekly reviews on the latest in graphic novels and manga? Follow us on Twitter @turnaroundcomix.