IDW’s ‘Godzilla In Hell’

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GODZILLAHELL_01-COV_AGodzilla in Hell is an interesting concept. What would be hell for Godzilla? If it’s the human hell, why would Godzilla go there? The only time Godzilla has ever been understood to be actually evil is in Giant Monsters All Out Attack and in that movie the Big G was possessed by the souls of the war dead. So arguably Godzilla wasn’t even evil then and the cause of the souls was not evil either. Which begs the question: Why would Godzilla end up in hell?

Author and Artist James Stokoe elects not to answer this question in the first issue of Godzilla In Hell. The comic starts right out with Godzilla falling a great distance, reminiscent of Gandalf’s fall while fighting the Balrog in The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers. At first it might be the mouth of an ancient volcano that Godzilla falls through but it seems unlikely.

Once Godzilla lands, creating an enormous impact crater, he has to drag himself out of the crater and onto an abyssal plane. There is a large rock edifice that quotes Dante’s Inferno saying, “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” Apparently Godzilla can read because he takes exception to this and uses his breath weapon to destroy it.

Godzilla doesn’t really talk so there’s not a lot of dialogue or even narrative to guide the reader through the adventure. The whole thing has a wonderfully Lovecraftian tone to it with the art and action creating a place where horrible and inexplicable things happen. Godzilla In HelI challenges what is real and what is illusion.

Godzilla In Hell manages to walk the razor thin line of creating an expressive Godzilla without making him human. The author manages to keep Godzilla the force of nature and avatar of nuclear war that he is while still presenting just enough expression to make him a rich enough character to be interesting to the reader.

The first issue of Godzilla In Hell is interesting and a visual treat. Godzilla is still Godzilla and although the hell starts out as the human hell there is some foreshadowing that things may get more Kaiju hellish as Godzilla progresses. Godzilla In Hell is shaping up to be a great run.

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