Story: Bob Eggleton
Art: Bob Eggleton
Letterer: Chris Mowry
What They Say:
Godzilla descends further into the pit! Godzilla navigates a city that can never be destroyed as demonic versions of his greatest foes wait for the perfect moment to strike!
Content: (Please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Released fairly recently in August of 2015, Godzilla in Hell #2 is the second issue in a newer series of Godzilla comics. The big G has had many comics over the years, but none done quite the same way this one is done. This is on an odd specimen of a comic in that there’s no real dialogue to speak of. The only dialogue in the issue comes in the form of a narrator following Godzilla and narrating events as if reading an old tale. The book stands out for a reason one may not have considered at first, but certainly caught me eye. The art style of this book is done in what the creators said was inspiration from classical painters, prominently John Martin, Gustave Dore, and J.M.W. Turner. The idea of using classical paintings as inspiration for the art in this book is fantastic, and it is seen easily in lots of scenes.
The first of the standout scenes is where Godzilla (who is based on the Millennium Godzilla first seen in Godzilla 2000) is first confronted by the demon possessed Rodan. It is an awe-inspiring two-page spread of Godzilla standing in front of a city in the middle of the Hellscape, and on the far right side, Rodan is swooping down to confront him. It is an amazingly created scene, reminiscent of the old art depicted scenes of the gods or the Titans. On top of that, the narrator describes Rodan in a way that makes me think of Dante when he says, “Lost, possessed effigies of great kaiju…The Demon Rodan… With his great wings, once a monster of the clear blue skies, yet here, in this underworld he is ‘other’.” It does a great job at invoking classical writers and scenes of old while bringing Godzilla into the mix. Another great scene that invokes the old classics and Greek myths is the one where Godzilla falls to a new area, a watery one, and the demon Varan rises from the depths. Though Godzilla easily sends this demonic Varan packing, the scene where Varan rises up and the one where he and Godzilla stand face to face is fantastic. If ever something in this comic was reminding the reader of the classical roots this art style took from, this would be the part that yelled it from the rooftops. There’s just something very powerful about the way the scenes with Rodan and Varan were done, and it is certainly helped along by the gleefully ancient sounding narrator.
If anything other than the amazing art or the action draws you to his comic, it would be the narrator. Our storyteller sounds just like a narrator out of an old Greek play. Throughout the issue, we see constant use of “the Leviathan Godzilla” and other ancient sounding parts like when the narrator describes King Ghidorah. When Ghidorah attacks Godzilla after emerging from blinding light, the narrator describes the scene thus, “King Ghidorah lashes the Leviathan Godzilla with energy bolts until a great maelstrom forms behind Godzilla. Like being trapped between ancient monsters Scylla and Charybdis, the forces against Godzilla are too great. He begins to topple…” Not only is this portrayed like a fight between two titans, but the narrator brings up two Greek myths in Scylla and Charybdis. It draws the reader into that classical inspiration that the writer and artist strove to capture. The book comes off as a mix between Dante’s Inferno, classical Greek stories, and Godzilla. One may not think all these things would work or make sense together, but they end up working beautifully here. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a comic that made me go nuts over the art quite like this one did. The way the monsters are portrayed and the way the issue plays out sort of feels like a Greek Epic, and in that department, I felt it succeeded on all points.
Literally everything about this book amazed me. The art, the writing, and the blend of styles they had made for an exciting read that kept me reading it over and over. Even for those who may not be fans of Godzilla, this book still gives plenty to adore about it. Sure, it’s probably better if you are a fan, but there are other things to admire here for sure. It’s weird to have a comic with no actual dialogue whatsoever, but the narrator is enjoyable enough. The presentation breathes life into the comic in a way I don’t think I have ever seen before. Godzilla is whisked away quickly by the ongoing events, and this did admittedly leave a sort of longing in me. I wanted the scenes with the demon monsters to last longer, but the creators had their own ideas in mind. Either way, this is an incredible issue in a series that I’m finding to be way more heavily impressive than I thought it would be.
Released By: IDW Publishing
Release Date: August 26th, 2015