Godzilla: Here There Be Dragons #2 – Comic Review

Throwing together modern pop culture with historical settings has long been something that has entertained people, whether it’s things like putting alien hunters in the 1700s in Prey, or putting characters like Wonder Woman into World War I or the 1980s, folks love a good mash-up. It’s not even a modern thing: Mark Twain did it with A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court in 1889! Godzilla: Here There Be Dragons is just following on in this proud tradition, but setting a Godzilla story in the 1500s.

The first issue of the series introduced readers to the pirate Mr Hull, who is about to be hung for his crimes in the Caribbean. However, before he heads to the gallows he’s managed to convince his jailers to hold off on his execution by telling them a story about Sir Francis Drake, and a mysterious mission to an island in search of lost treasure. The mission was so secret that the public was told that he was circumnavigating the globe, whilst the real goal was to reach Monster Island.

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In this issue Hull continues the story, beginning with what happened when he and his crew came face to face with the greatest monster of all, Godzilla, as well as what happened when the Spanish navy decided that they could take down the towering titan. One of the more enjoyable aspects of most Godzilla stories is watching giant monsters destroy stuff, and military might has always fallen short against such creatures without some kind of fantastical device or plan. So, it’s a pretty foregone conclusion what would happen to sailing ships trying to kill a kaiju with canons, but it doesn’t make the sequence any less cool to read nor the spectacle any less amazing. The art team really excel here, and it’s easily the best looking part of the issue.

Most of the issue pertains to the pirates’ first few hours on the island, and the things that they find waiting for them. And it feels like a fun excuse to let the art team throw some cool visuals and interesting moments at the reader. It also feels like the book is slowly drawing us into the more bizarre elements (minus the first meeting with Godzilla himself of course) as the more outlandish creatures from this world are yet to rear their heads, allowing some new, more mundane monstrosities to have a go first. This feels like a good decision, as it’s not only giving the reader something that feels a bit new, but it also raises the tension somewhat as you know that the pirates have barely scratched the surface of what’s to be found on the island.

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Compared to the first issue, the art feels a lot more mundane here. That’s not to say that it isn’t good as it has some fantastic moments and looks great throughout, but some of the best pages in the first issue were when the art got a big more creative, and gave us interesting visuals such as panels being broken up by Godzilla’s tail. This issue doesn’t really do that, and looks much more like what you expect from a comic. Whilst this isn’t bad, I do hope that future issues will give us a little bit more flair, as it was a genuine delight last time.

Overall, this is a really strong second issue, though perhaps not quite as solid as the first. The story continues to be interesting, and there are some fun character and story moments to be found here that are sometimes lacking in other Godzilla comics that choose to focus on monsters fighting over decent storytelling. This is still the Godzilla comic I’m most excited for each month, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Godzilla: Here There Be Dragons #2 is out now from IDW Publishing.

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