Two reviews from Tohokingdom.com
http://www.tohokingdom.com/articles/edi ... eview.html
http://www.tohokingdom.com/comics/idw_g ... nd_01.html
Title: Graphic Review of Godzilla: Legends #1
Author: Chris Mirjahangir
Published: November 15, 2011
Comic book artist Matt Frank is a sellout…or his debut comic Godzilla Legends will be once this book hits store shelves that is. To compliment the normal comic review, found here, I'm once again doing another review with images from the publication to give a better feel for what fans are in store for. With that, this is the comic Godzilla fans have been waiting for with its beautifully written, easy to follow story, lighthearted humor and brilliant artwork. The artwork is so good in fact, that almost every panel of the comic is suitable to be its own work of art suitable for framing. The book is a welcome addition to the IDW Godzilla comic series after the excellent "Gangsters and Goliaths" mini-series and the lackluster "Kingdom of Monsters" which seems to meander to no end.
Story: I'm just going to do a quick summary because I want everyone who reads this book to do it with the freshest mind possible. In this universe, the monsters are all very well known and all have an established history. The history of Anguirus for example is documented in a few panels, seen to the right, but pretty much gets to the core of the character. A scientist discovers that certain frequencies can call monsters while researching communicating with whales. He finds that each monster responds to very specific frequencies and is able to call Anguirus to fight the rampaging Destoroyah. The battle is very well done here and is very quickly paced with a satisfying ending.
Artwork: Matt Frank's artwork is very lively and colorful in this book. Destoroyah's beam pops right off the page and the use of motion blur, seen below for Destoroyah dragging Anguirus, is very effective. As I stated in the intro, almost every panel is suitable for framing. The human characters are very well designed here. Each character looks their part very well. The real stars though, are the monsters. Anguirus and Destoroyah really come to life here and it's amazing to see them drawn with such detail. It's a nice touch that Matt Frank used the Showa era design for Anguirus as well.
Cover(s): It was really cool to see both Bob Eggleton and Art Adams supply cover art for the debut of Godzilla Legends. Having both Eggleton and Frank doing cover art is a dream come true for the fandom but adding in Art Adams to the mix just pushes it over the top. Matt Frank's art leans more toward the mysterious with Godzilla looming in the background over Destoroyah who himself towers over Anguirus. One of the strengths in Frank's art has always been the use of lighting and it's done very well here adding a sense of foreboding. Bob Eggleton's cover features no Destoroyah while Anguirus is Showa era and Godzilla is from the Millennium era in this cover which is a nice contrast. The burning sky look is a compliment to Frank's cover and is very well done by the legendary artist. Art Adam's cover is simple yet effective. It doesn't feature Destoroyah or Godzilla but rather the true star of the comic, Anguirus. The Showa design is here again but the cover is more straightforward than the other two. It's a nice contrast.
Conclusion: THIS is the perfect example of having talented hardcore fans working on a film series they know inside and out and love to death. It doesn't seem to be "designed by a committee'" like the " Kingdom of Monsters" series does and the true love and affection for the films shine through in the writing and the artwork. It was a VERY wise move on the part of IDW to involve Matt Frank and writer Jeff Prezenkowski to launch this series and include fan favorites Bob Eggleton and Art Adams to do the covers thus making the book an epic release.
Now let's get these artists into the "Kingdom of Monsters" series to add some much needed life to it, eh IDW?
IDW Publishing starts their Godzilla Legends series, a mini-series dedicated to Toho's other kaiju beyond the King of the Monsters, with the company's second kaiju: Anguirus. For the honors, IDW brings in long time fan Matt Frank for both art and writing duties, the latter of which he is joined by Jeff Prezenkowski. The two craft a more traditional monster story, but one that ultimately excels thanks to good pacing, great art and above all and monster fight that appeals to the allure of watching the big screen characters duke it out in the movies themselves.
For the story, Destoroyah starts to rampage across the city leaving the military with a situation as the destruction escalates. In the nearby vicinity, Doctor Anders is instructed by his superior to use his G-Signaler, a a creation that was inadvertently created when he accidently called Godzilla while trying to communicate with whales, in hopes that Godzilla might arrive and keep Destoroyah distracted long enough for reinforcements to take over. However, rather than attracting Godzilla, the device lures Anguirus to the area who attacks and does battle with the much larger Destoroyah.
The story is very simple and something that, for better or worse, feels more like a plot Toho themselves would have constructed versus the more "out of the box" thinking seen by the other IDW titles. While this might seem like a strike against the comic, its ultimately streamlined for good pacing, quickly developing its human and monster cast with a scant amount of page time while at the heart giving the first satisfying monster fight seen by the publishing house since it started these comics earlier this year. This doesn't leave for a particularly engaging human element, but in a traditional monster movie fashion the kaiju themselves steal the show and give the overall comic a grandstand feeling that would have been right at home as the climax to a longer story, had it been given the luxury of several issues to develop its material. Still, despite the good pacing, the issue does seem to wrap things up too quickly, in particular with regards to the fight which feels like it should have had at least a page or two more for a conclusion rather than the overly abrupt transition that occurs to later in the day.
Now the art for this issue is easily the best of the IDW catalogue of Godzilla titles so far. Frank in particular excels at the kaiju action, capturing the action and giving a sense of adrenaline missing in other such comic fights such as the recent Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah battle in Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters #8. Most of this is actually due to Destoroyah, who has arguably never looked better. The creature's amazing introduction sets the scene for the issue quite nicely, while the added facial expressions work very well, such as a moment of curiosity and the cold look of indifference as he tries to break Anguirus' jaw with his hands. As for the star of the issue, Anguirus is portrayed well, although the comic is really stolen by his adversary, and most of Anguirus' better panels are thanks to this such as demonstrating the immense size difference between the two monsters as they are about to fight. As great as the kaiju are, the humans are only so-so. Its a better representation than the art that is currently present for the human characters in IDW's other two comic series, but all the same the portrayal is slightly too cartoonish in its take.
In terms of the covers, how can one go wrong with Arthur Adams? Truly an amazing cover by the artist, arguably one of if not the best standing alongside other amazing covers by Adams such as the one for Godzilla King of the Monsters #1 by Dark Horse. The detail placed on Anguirus, from the flawless representation of his face to his countless spikes on his shell, allows Adams to give the perfect cover. Artist and writer Matt Frank also gives a great cover, focusing more on Destoroyah in his piece with a great juxtapose between the three characters. The final of the three main covers by Bob Eggleton is impressive, although seems to focus more on Godzilla rather than either of the two starring monsters of the issue. Still, the three covers are all well crafted and each, most likely by coincidence, highlights one of the three monsters most frequently featured in the issue.
Overall, the issue is on the simpler side compared to what IDW has been doing. It feels like a more traditional monster versus the military plot that one would actually find in a monster film versus the "grim dark" plot by Eric Powell or the story for Godzilla Gangsters & Goliaths by John Layman.