The final installment of the Godzilla In Hell story arc does not disappoint. It is the reason I waited before writing any real criticisms, even though I had reservations throughout the series.
Here’s the problem with the entire series: The contemplative story type is not well-suited to the character of Godzilla. What the contemplative story does, by its very nature is highlight the inherent flaws of what is a two dimensional character.
I love Godzilla as much as, if not more than, the next fan but Godzilla needs a human foil to work against for the stories to have depth. By himself, Godzilla is not human and does not react as a human would. I applaud the writers for not once giving in to the temptation to write Godzilla as a human construct. Godzilla is not human and humanizing Godzilla always destroys the story line. Godzilla is an avatar of nuclear holocaust at his purest and an avatar of nature in any other application. Writing Godzilla in Hell, I imagine, required a boldness in story telling that isn’t often encountered. The writers allowed Godzilla’s flaws as a character to show. Then they turned around and made the story work anyway.
Godzilla in Hell is a very subjective comic series; it has to be. The only words appear at the end and they redeem the whole series. I’m not entirely sure I agree with what the, admittedly very clever, writers were trying to get at but they did an excellent job.
Here there be spoilers:
I guess it comes down to the idea of reincarnation and regeneration. I’m not sure the two are interchangeable and to me that was where the ideas stuck. I do absolutely love the final battle. The somnolent gatekeeper, unwilling to be bothered with the mere mortal daring to climb the peak it guards. But Godzilla is no mere mortal as a Lovecraftian inspired elder god discovers, far too late.
The final words are so well chosen and they make the whole series. The story is not the proper vehicle for Godzilla but the writers handled it just about as well as it could possibly have been handled. The whole series is beautifully illustrated, lovingly colored and brilliantly choreographed. The villains are familiar and yet horribly not. Godzilla suffers terribly and awfully. I was actually horrified on more than one occasion. The implications are pretty horrific too. Does Godzilla endure this sequence every time he regenerates from death or near death? By Mothra I hope not.