All good things must come to an end, and thus is the case with not only one of the best comic series of the year, but with what might be the best Godzilla series I’ve ever read.
In the previous issue of Godzilla: Here There Be Dragons, Mr Hull continued his tale of Sir Francis Drake’s journey to Monster Island to find hidden treasure, dealing with the creatures that call it home. Last time we saw the pirate crew using the dynamite that they’d taken from the wrecked ship they’d found to lure the gigantic lobster creature, Ebirah, across the island. Why would you want to have a Kaiju chase after you? Well, Drake uses the creature to lure Godzilla out of his lair, and tricks the two creatures into fighting each other, giving the pirates the chance to go after the treasure hidden within. However, the vengeful Captain Blanco is hot on their trail.
This issue sees the end of the series, and thus, the end of Hull’s narrative. With Blanco having cornered Hull and Drake in the cave full of gold, a fight for survival breaks out, whilst out in the ocean Godzilla not only has to contend with Ebirah, but the giant octopus creature Oodoko too. This becomes the first issue of the flashbacks where the human story isn’t the most interesting part. The confrontation within the cave is decent, but when its being inter-cut with a three-way giant monster fight, with one of those monsters being one of my favourite under-used Kaiju, it’s hard to compete.
That being said, the events in the present are where this issue shines, and the current day Hull’s story is the most important part of this issue, and is used to bring the entire series to a close in a way that I wasn’t expecting but found to be really interesting, to the point where I wish that this series could have been longer. The events on Monster Island aren’t hugely in depth, and it’s all told through narration rather than spending a lot of time there and seeing characters interact. I feel that with longer this series could have gone into more depth, could have spread the story out more, and could have easily filled double the amount of issues. And the way things end it demands a follow-up series in order to explore this version of the universe more.
But that’s not a gripe in any way. Yes, it would be nicer to have more, but what we have here isn’t lessened in quality because we don’t. The story is still a fantastic read, and this issue not only brings one narrative to a satisfying close, but has to do it twice, and succeeds.
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The art on the comic, by Inaki Miranda, with colours by Eva de la Cruz, looks decent throughout, and the Kaiju fight has some really good full page splashes and large panels to showcase the scale and power of the combat. However, some of the more creative and interesting art choices that were present in the first few issues aren’t here, and that’s something of a shame. A few of the pages from the first issue are seared into my brain with atomic breath because of how well crafted they were, and whilst the art here has nothing wrong with it, there’s not anything in this issue that compares.
Godzilla: Here There Be Dragons felt like a fantastic experiment, of trying to bring a new setting and feel to the Godzilla franchise whilst staying true to what makes it popular; and it works. Sending these creatures back in time to the age of piracy was incredibly fun to read, and I want more historical set Kaiju stories now. Hopefully this series will prove to be successful enough that we might get more from this creative team, and more stories that try equally as creative things. But, if not, we still at least have an absolutely wonderful read.
Godzilla: Here There Be Dragons #5 is out now from IDW Publishing.