“Justice League vs. Godzilla vs. Kong” – Book One
Writer: Brian Buccellato
Artist: Christian Duce
Color Artist: Luis Guerrero
Letterer: Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt
Review by Lauren Fiske
Man, what a title! Justice League vs. Godzilla vs. Kong #1 is a collaboration that I’m surprised hasn’t been done before. This new crossover resembles a new big Hollywood blockbuster meant to rope in money, but it has some genuine world and story-building elements that are rare to find in something so commercial.
This first issue isn’t the most exciting, since it’s meant to set the story, but the pieces that are introduced are definitely fun. Two Kaiju facing off against superheroes will always pack a punch and give fans a good time.
The title alone tells readers who’s going to be involved in the series, at least in terms of the Kaiju. As for heroes, the members of the Justice League present on the page are the ones most people think of. The issue opens with Superman proposing to Lois Lane. A flashback shows the Flash and Green Lantern chatting about Clark’s proposal, with Supergirl telling them about the hopeful nuptials. Wonder Woman congratulates Clark while Batman (Bruce Wayne) visits Clark’s apartment to confirm that he’s really sure he wants to move forward with Lois. Hawkgirl even has a non speaking appearance.
What’s less obvious, at least from just the title, is the appearance of the Legion of Doom. Present members include Grodd, Black Manta, Captain Cold, Cheetah, Giganta, Toyman, and after a beat, Lex Luthor. These villains are individually the most famous enemies of the Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Superman. To me, would usually imply that the story will focus on these heroes and their struggles, but Black Manta’s appearance without Aquaman doesn’t support this. At the very least, since this story starts with Clark proposing to Lois and Luthor’s revealed separately from the other villains, this is likely a Superman centric comic. His name isn’t in the title though and neither is another essential character’s…
We see Godzilla facing off with Superman and Kong meeting the Legion of Doom. Grodd is the most fascinated of any of the characters by either Kaiju’s appearance. His awe and reverence for Kong is almost sweet, albeit dangerous. Grodd’s blue speech bubble seems to indicate that he’s trying to speak some sort of ape language to Kong. Grodd does get the larger gorilla’s attention, but we’ll have to see if he survives the conversation.
We don’t see much of Godzilla other than him rising out of the sea to attack Metropolis. Superman flies off towards him at the end of the issue, so it remains to be seen how that altercation will go.
As I mentioned before though, there’s another character that is important to the issue who isn’t top billed in the title: Toyman. I think this character could serve as a true “Spanner in the works”.
Justice League vs. Godzilla vs. Kong #1 is uncomplicated. The art and colors are consistent and simple (this is a compliment!), and every character is recognizable. This allows the overall comic to be relatable and comprehensible, even for inexperienced DC readers, such as myself.
For now, we know that the Justice League’s relatively safe. Godzilla has arrived in Metropolis, and the Legion of Doom is potentially in another part of the multiverse, but still on Earth. All compelling places to build from in the future.
Clark Kent having to face the vulnerabilities of superhero marriage is going to create a compelling story arc. I do find it amusing though that his fellow super friends are only concerned about attachment and loss at this stage of Clark and Lois’ imminent nuptials. The irony that many of them also have significantly important relationships in their lives further extends that amusement.
This first issue gives readers a solid start that promises more entertainment in upcoming issues. Seeing the superheroes and villains facing off against the most iconic giant monsters in history is surely the recipe to an excellent crossover.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment