This could get very messy. Justice League Vs Godzilla Vs Kong is the kind of announcement that could make you slap your forehead, shake your head and then, when you think about it, rub your hands with a goofy grin.
On the first day of San Diego Comic-Con 2023, DC announced a collaboration with Legendary Comics and Toho International that will see a crossover with a difference.
Sometimes the title says it all, and you’re in before you’ve even read the synopsis. In announcing the project, DC President, Publisher, Chief Creative Officer and all-round comic legend Jim Lee spoke of “exploring those amazing ‘What If’ situations that come up when fandoms cross streams”.
What we do know from the press release is that what starts out as a clash with the Legion of Doom leads to a breach between worlds and Godzilla, Kong, and the rest of the MonsterVerse arriving on Earth.
We also know that the seven-issue miniseries will be written by Brian Buccellato (The Flash, Injustice, Detective Comics) who, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, talked about the size of the cast.
It’s definitely the classic characters. You’ve got a Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl — and also Supergirl! A conceit from the beginning of the first issue is that Superman is about to go on his first vacation ever, so to make sure that they have their resident superpowered Kryptonian, Supergirl steps in to temporarily join the Justice League. She was probably my favorite add out of all of them. But you’re gonna see people from Gotham, you’ll see some Titans, you’ll see auxiliary Justice League members. The cast is pretty big.
Although Buccellato talks about Superman’s vacation, he still clearly features in the story – in fact we can see from some of the selection of early interior art that he is first to confront Godzilla itself.
But what about Batman? When we’re talking about the likes of Godzilla and Kong it’s with an awareness that these are some of the biggest characters in mythology – which is fine if you have superpowers, but what if you’re a more regular guy (and I use that term very loosely) like our Dark Knight? One of the cover images to the first issue features the Batwing, but in another, Jim Lee himself has drawn Batman in an enormous mech suit.
Still, the size issue has been a challenge. Even in designing the Bat-Mech, Lee initially had Batman in the cockpit, but realised that even then he’d be too large for the actual scale that the series artist Christian Duce (Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point) was working to.
Lee has been full of praise for the way Duce has risen to such a difficult brief:
When you have a story where the characters are this big, there’s a size disparity. From an artist’s point of view, it is a challenge to compose the shots in a way that you’re able to show the drama through the faces, while at the same time clearly conveying what’s happening in terms of the action. But Christian just brought it home and has done a fabulous job.
Of course we’re coming at this news from a Batman/DC perspective, so it’s easy to forget that this is big news for DC as Godzilla has worldwide appeal beyond the superhero fanbase. Featuring in nearly forty movies, as well as countless comics and novels, Godzilla had been a cultural icon in Japan since the 50’s.
Considering that Hollywood pitted Godzilla and Kong together in Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) and have a sequel lined up Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire (2024), this is a great time to bring two great franchises together.
By the way, DC has a great track record with animated adaptations – just putting that out there…
Mostly we want nuanced, finely plotted sagas with nefarious plots and Machiavellian schemes foiled by extraordinary acts of bravery and heroism, from our comics. Every-now-and-then we just need a massive punch-up! Justice League Vs Godzilla Vs Kong doesn’t get much bigger than this. Let’s get readyyyyyy to rumble!
Justice League Vs Godzilla Vs Kong #1 is the first of a seven-issue series written by Brian Bucellato with art by Christian Duce and Luis Guerrero. It will be published on October 17 with a main cover by Drew Johnson and variant covers by Jim Lee and Scott Williams; Rafael Albuquerque; Francesco Mattina; and Dan Mora and Alan Quah.
And don’t miss the Godzilla “Roar Sound FX” gatefold variant cover and the Kong “Roar Sound FX” gatefold variant cover, both by Christian Duce, on sale November 14 (polybagged, $14.99 US). Sound chips in the covers will have both Godzilla and Kong deliver battle roars when the gatefold is opened! Hear them RRAAGGHH!
Press release and images courtesy of DC Entertainment and Entertainment Weekly