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Godzilla: Legends Paperback – 3 Jul 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing (3 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613772238
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613772232
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 16.5 x 26.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 367,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JoeConsumer on 5 July 2012
Format: Paperback
Ordering this book up on a whim, I was a little dubious about how it would turn out.

What's contained within the covers are five one-shot comics collected together, with each dwelling on a monster from the classic Godzilla movies. Godzilla himself makes an appearance in several of the stories as well.

The good news is that the result is a fun collected edition with a set of stories that are nicely varied in their tone and art styles.

Stand-out stories for me are the ones revolving around Anguirus, Hedorah and Kumonga. The other two concern Titanosaurus and Rodan.

Hands down, the Anguirus story is the best in the book, being well written, blessed with some neat artwork and - most important of all - LOTS of fun. All of these stories are quite simple in terms of their content, so it's hard to say much without spoiling them. However, this one feels like it makes the best use of any of the monsters as an actual character in the story, showing Anguirus as the sort of heroic figure you can really root for.

The Hedorah story, which also features Mechagodzilla and the Big Lizard himself, is possibly the most beautifully rendered Godzilla comic I've read. The story is very simple, basically rendering down to just one long action scene, but it supplies plenty of monster-on-monster action. It's a bit of a light read, but it certainly adds a good dose of variation in tone, and is much needed after the rather plodding and clunkily over-written Titanosaurus story.

The Kumonga story is an odd one indeed, following a retired adventurer type as he sets about trying to scale Godzilla. It's full of eccentric dialogue and drawn in a highly stylised fashion, but captures the sense of fun about Kumonga's appearances in the old 1960s movies.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 18 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A mixed bag. 22 Nov. 2012
By dm94 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Godzilla Legends is a collection of 5 one-shot Godzilla anthology stories, each with its own seperate plot and existing in its own version of the Godzilla universe. This is a great idea and I wish they would do more. The problem though is that some of the stories are stronger than others. For this reaon, I will write a mini-review of each story below (note: each story is titled after the monster which is most prominently displayed in the story). If you don't wish to read these mini reviews, skip to the end to read my overall thoughts on the book itself.

#1: Anguirus- This is easilly one of the 2 best stories in the book. We begin with a city that is being ravaged by the monster Destroyah. We then meet a scientist who has been working on a government project trying to emit frequencies to summon Godzilla. They attempt to use the device, even though it isn't ready, and instead of Godzilla showing up to fight Destroyah, they get Anguirus instead. This story was very well done. The art is great, the plot intense, and the struggle of Anguirus against the far more powerful Destroyah is very moving. I give this one five stars easilly.

#2: Rodan- This one was a real let-down. After the Anguirus story, I guess I expected the same beautiful art and compelling writing. I was dissapointed. The basic premise is that a Japanese/American military/reseach base has taken possession of one of Rodan's eggs, and Rodan comes to collect. There's alot more to the plot than that, but I won't even waste time writing about it. The art is sub-par, with Rodan looking like some sort of cancerous muppet or an only slightly better looking version of The Giant Claw (thumbs up if you get that reference). This is especially dissapointing since the cover art was done by a different artist, and their Rodan was very well done. As for writing, the plot seems a bit clunky and the characters are very unlikeable. The only saving grace for this one is that it has some OK action scenes when Rodan attacks the base. 1 star.

#3: Titanosaurus- While not in the top two, this is my third favorite story of the five. I love Titanosaurus and wish Toho would use him more often. The premise is this: A young boy with psychic powers is discovered by Miki Saegusa (the only human character in this entire book who actually comes from the films) and taken to a facility where young people with psychic gifts are being trained to aide in the war against the giant monsters. While there, our main character forms a psychic bond with the monster Titannosaurus, accidentally summoning him when he becomes upset. However, the youngster is quickly swept up in an alien invasion plot... You may notice that this synopsis ends on a cliff-hanger. And so does this story. My biggest complaint with this story is that it got me all excited and then just cuts off. I wish this wasn't just a one-shot story, but rather the beginning of an arc. Besides this the art is very good and the writing, while not as impressive as Anguirus, was also very good. 4 stars from me.

#4: Hedorah- This is epic! I mentioned before that I had a favorite two stories from this set, one being Anguirus. This is the second. The Hedorah story is truly a work of art from the start to finish. A crew of G-force pilots driving Mechagodzilla arrive in a city which has been decimated by some industrial disaster. The buildings lie in ruins, and pollution looms in the air. Suddenly, the crew find themselves in a showdown against Hedorah, the Smog Monster! Just when their hope of beating Hedorah seem nill, Godzilla arrives and the two enemies join forces to combat the evil Smog Monster. This one is amazing! I'm still in a debate with myself which one, this or Anguirus, is my favorite. First of all, the art. The art in this one blows me away. There's a great sense of atmosphere when they arrive in the destroyed city, you can feel the desolation. The writing is good, the fighting between the three monsters is fantastic. 5 stars all the way!

#5: Kumonga- This one's...OK. First of all, it shouldn't be called Kumonga, because while he is in it, he's not the focus. The plot is this: a famous world explorer is given a radioactive-resistant suit and a seemingly impossible task: to climb Godzilla, much as one might climb a mountain. If that sounds impossible, that's probably because it is. However, he manages it, and gets to witness Godzilla destroy a village, as well as experience a battle between Godzilla and the giant spider Kumonga. Somehow he survives all of this, and lives to tell his tale, ending with his belief that humanity should learn to accept Godzilla as a force of nature and live with him, rather than continue the pointless war to try and stop him. The art is bad. It isn't as bad as the Rodan story, but it's a let-down after Hedorah Titanosaurus and Anguirus. the story is weak, but it isn't terrible and the message at the end is good. in the end, I was entertained. 2.5 stars.

Overall this was a pretty good collection, worth the read. while some of the stories are weaker than others, when it's good it's really good. At the end of the day, I'm satisfied with the purchase. I give Godzilla Legends 3 stars out of 5.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Monsters: A Day in the Life 6 July 2012
By rgrekejin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been largely disappointed with IDW's run of Godzilla comics so far. Their "Kingdom of Monsters" series was atrociously drawn and had a plot which was barely functional. "Gangsters and Goliaths" had some fairly serious flaws, but it also had at its core a premise so novel and interesting that I was compelled to give it my recommendation anyway. That said, I have no qualms at all about giving "Legends" two thumbs up. It's an anthology-style book, featuring five short stories centered around members of Godzilla's Rogue's Gallery, as opposed to the King of the Monsters himself. Specifically, we have Rodan, Hedorah/Mechagodzilla, Kumonga, Titanosaurus, and Anguirus/Destroyah. Each story is written and illustrated by a different creative team, which leads to some fairly extreme variation in the the quality of each entry. The Anguirus/Destroyah story is beautifully drawn and has a pretty good story, given the length restrictions. For what it's worth, the guy who drew this one is the same guy who maintains the "Godzilla NEO" deviantart page, I think, so support your local Godzilla nerd! Most of the other stories are reasonably well-drawn and well-plotted, with the art bottoming out around the Rodan story (although it still hasn't quite reached "Kingdom of Monsters"-level awfulness).

In short: this is a great collection of short "a day-in-the-life" snapshots of various kaiju. It doesn't have an overarching plot, so don't buy it expecting to be told a complete story. There are loose plot threads, and the stories aren't connected to any one main continuity. But they are a series of well-drawn, mostly well-written vignettes about life in a world where giants walk the Earth.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Godzilla: Legends 18 July 2012
By Paul J. Gundrum - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book shows the monsters of Toho in all their glory!! Various stories highlighting Anguirus, Rodan, Titanosaurus, Hedorah, & Kumonga. The stories are original and entertaining, and a variety of writers and artists collaborated on this project. The artwork is perfect for these stories, and I've continued to be impressed with the respect and homage paid to Godzilla and all the Toho Monsters by IDW Publishing.

If you are a fan of Godzilla (shame on you if you don't already own this!), a fan of monsters, or just want to get on board now before the awesomely fantastic movie is released later this year.....give Godzilla: Legends a try!
All the big monsters. 28 Mar. 2014
By Rooms82 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a great collection. If you like the monsters in the realm of godzilla then the price is right for you to pick this up.
90% good 31 Dec. 2013
By G8 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well the artwork is good and the stories are all stand alone so no worries about continuity but that's the problem they all give open endings as if I'm missing another page from each one. It is nice to see the rouges gallery have some time to shine tho
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