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Review: Kingdom Kong

Kingdom King

Before there was a rivalry between Team Edward and Team Jacob, two different monsters polarized audiences, forcing them to choose which force of nature they were going to cheer on. Those monsters are King Kong and Godzilla. These two giants are set to face off on the big screen once again in “Godzilla vs. Kong” and Legendary Comics is providing the pre-game commentary in two new graphic novels. This review will focus on Kingdom Kong but be on the lookout for my review of Godzilla Dominion.

Kingdom Kong, written by Maire Anello, sets up Kong’s side of the conflict. This original graphic novel is a sequel to Skull Island: Birth of Kong, but as far as I can tell, you don’t need to have read it to understand this book. I’ve never read Birth of Kong and it didn’t stop me from enjoying Kingdom Kong. Anello gets the exposition out of the way at the beginning of the story. Quickly catching the reader up and setting the stage for the story that is about to play out. There are an unexpected number of science-fiction elements introduced during the setup. Although a cool addition to the Kong mythos, I felt a little bogged down by these details. Luckily, the pacing and action both take off soon after.

Once the setup is out of the way and the action begins, the storyline is very exciting. Between the exhilarating action scenes and the character’s emotional beats, Kingdom Kong is a real page turner. In addition to the compelling character work and stellar action, I also enjoyed the plot points obviously inspired by classic Eldritch horror. In addition, the story features a diverse cast of characters. Audrey Burns, the comic’s main human character, is especially well developed. Anello does a great job of making all the characters believable. They come off as actual people and not just players in an action comic.

The realism of the characters is further enhanced by Zid’s artwork. I always appreciate when an artist pays attention to the light source in each panel. This is something that Zid excels at throughout the graphic novel. He also expertly scales the kaiju. It’s easy to tell the size of figures relative to one another. This provides clarity to the scope of characters featured in each panel and gives the reader a real sense of the size and power of the kaiju.

Kong is illustrated very well. In every panel in which he appears, his might and majesty are readily apparent. He doesn’t look much like an actual gorilla but luckily, he also doesn’t look like a guy in a gorilla suit. One complaint I have with the artwork is that there are a few points in the story where it’s hard to tell the flashbacks from events in the present. Each is colored the same and time stamps are rarely used, so there are times when it’s hard to tell the difference between a character’s memories and the scene playing within the current storyline.

Members of Team Kong will definitely want to read Kingdom Kong. It’s probably not a bad idea to also check out the companion graphic novel Godzilla Dominion too. After all, it’s always best to know your opponent. Even if the contenders are giant kaiju monsters.

Story: Marie Anello Art: Zid
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Legendary Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonBookshop

Review: Godzilla Dominion

Godzilla Dominion

I have loved Godzilla for as long as I can remember. As a kid I was drawn to Godzilla because he is the perfect mix of dinosaur and monster. As an adult, I appreciate the social and historical commentary often applied to Godzilla stories and films. As big a fan as I am, I’ve fallen behind on the more recent Godzilla remakes. I just haven’t had the time or the funds to see the newest movies. I’m hoping to change that, and the first step is reviewing Godzilla Dominion.

Published by Legendary Comics, Godzilla Dominion is an original graphic novel due out on March 30th. Written by Greg Keyes, the story is follow-up to the 2019 film “Godzilla: King of Monsters.” It is also a prelude to the upcoming movie “Godzilla vs. Kong.” I’ve already reviewed the King Kong tie-in comic Kingdom Kong; now it’s time to jump into Godzilla Dominion.

The plot unfolds entirely through narration and no in-scene dialogue is used. The narrative text is artfully written in a beautiful prose. The story is told from Godzilla’s perspective and drawn from a third-person perspective so that the reader can take in all the action. Although there are plenty of fight scenes, my favorite parts of this graphic novel were the moments of reflection upon Godzilla’s life and history. Keyes does an amazing job of imagining Godzilla as an actual living creature and not solely a freak of nature. He really gets inside Godzilla’s head and gives the reader a sense of what life must be like for the apex predator.

Artist Drew Edward Johnson draws Godzilla with a great sense of scale and scope, though I wish the depth of the ocean was communicated a little better. It always bugs me to see Godzilla swimming while completely immersed in water one minute and then suddenly standing in that same water moments later. Godzilla is expertly drawn, especially when he’s the only character in a panel. There are many full-page splashes and two-page spreads that truly showcase Godzilla’s elegant ferocity. Unfortunately, in many of the action scenes it is very hard to tell what is going on. Godzilla’s opponents and their actions become unclear, making it hard to follow the fight sequences. Unexpected changes in perspective between connected panels further confuse the imagery.

Those who haven’t seen the movie “Godzilla: King of Monsters” shouldn’t be worried. You don’t need knowledge of that film to enjoy Godzilla Dominion. There’s plenty of action in this original graphic novel but the main draw is the focus on Godzilla himself. Within the pages of this book is a very well-done character study that casts Godzilla in a new light. The art isn’t perfect but still manages to hit a lot of high notes while shining a spotlight on Godzilla. Godzilla Dominion is an incredibly unique book and well worth the time of both casual and longtime fans of kaiju films and comics.

Story: Greg Keyes Art: Drew Edward Johnson
Story: 10 Art: 7.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Legendary Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonBookshop

ComiXology Has Your New (Digital) Comic Needs Covered. New Releases from Marvel, IDW, Image, BOOM!, AfterShock, and More!

Locke & Key/Sandman: Hell & Gone #1

Today’s new comic book day and comiXology has your digital comic releases covered. Get shopping for what’s new now or check out the releases by the publisher below.

AAM-Markosia

Ablaze

Abstract Studio

AfterShock

Archie Comics

AWA Studios

Behemoth

BOOM! Studios

Caliber Comics

comiXology Submit

Dark Horse Comics

DC Comics

DC Thomson

Dynamite Entertainment

Harlequin

IDW Publishing

Image Comics

Kingstone Comics

Legendary Comics

Marvel

Oni Press

Papercutz

Tidawlwave Productions

Titan Comics

Valiant Entertainment

Vault Comics

Zenescope


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Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

ENIAC #2

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Avengers #44 (Marvel) – “Enter the Phoenix” wraps up and leads into “Heroes Reborn”!

Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #1 (Dark Horse) – An elder member of the occult-battling pack of Wise Dogs recalls a harrowing mission in U.S-occupied Japan after World War II. Yeah, we’re in for this.

Championess (Legendary Comics) – Based on the true story about female bare-knuckle boxers.

Batman #107 (DC Comics) – The series has really found its footing post-Future State and with the seeds being laid out for that fascist future, we want to see how it all plays out.

Crime and Punishment (Digital Manga Distribution) – We don’t know much about the publisher but the title and description caught our eyes. On the eve of the revolution a young student murders a pawnbroker but an innocent man is quickly arrested.

ENIAC #2 (Bad Idea) – The first issue about a computer gone mad was solid. We want to learn more.

Far Sector #11 (DC Comics/DC’s Young Animal) – The series is soon wrapping up and we want to see how it all comes together in this very socially relevant series.

Geiger #1 (Image Comics) – Geoff Johns and Gary Frank team again for this new series about the scavengers of a dying Earth post-nuclear war.

Green Lantern #1 (DC Comics) – We want to see what the future holds for this series as DC’s cosmic side of things attempts to get things in order.

The Impure #1 (Scout Comics) – Nero must stop his sister before she causes humanity’s downfall.

King in Black #5 (Marvel) – The event wraps up and looks like it’ll have some interesting ramifications on the Marvel Universe.

Magic #1 (BOOM! Studios) – Magic: The Gathering returns to comics!

Nocterra #2 (Image Comics) – The first issue of this world plunged in darkness was very entertaining and we want to see where it goes and how it uses the darkness to tell its story.

Nottingham #2 (Mad Cave Studios) – This new take on Robin Hood was fantastic in its debut and we’re expecting more quality.

Project Patron #1 (AfterShock) – Years ago a hero battled a beast as Earth’s protector. What the world doesn’t know is he died that day and was replaced.

The Rise #1 (Heavy Metal) – A prequel to the horror franchise Night of the Living Dead!

Sam & His Talking Gun #2 (Scout Comics) – It’s John Wick… but with a talking gun.

The Silver Coin #1 (Image Comics) – A new horror anthology with each issue telling a story in a shared supernatural world.

Suicide Squad #2 (DC Comics) – The first issue was pure action and fun plus the bodies already began to pile up. We’re excited to see what happens next as the jailbreak of Talon continues.

Tankers #1 (Bad Idea) – A time travel story about oil execs and dinosaurs.

Preview: Godzilla Dominion

GODZILLA DOMINION

Writer: Greg Keyes
Artist: Drew Edward Johnson
Colorist: Allen Passalaqua
On-sale date: March 30, 2021

Godzilla Dominion—the prequel graphic novel written by Greg Keyes (the Age of Unreason trilogy; three New York Times bestselling Star Wars novels in the New Jedi Order series) with art by Drew Edward Johnson (DC’s Wonder Woman, Supergirl; Legendary Comics’ Godzilla Aftershock)—will feature a unique story that picks up after the events of the film Godzilla: King of the Monsters, where the Titans have risen and the reign of Godzilla has begun. As told entirely from Godzilla’s point of view, the graphic novel brings new insights into the King of Monsters: his habitats, ancient rivalries, encounters with new Titans, and other challenges. As his new era of dominance is tested, a coming confrontation with another King looms.

GODZILLA DOMINION

Preview: Kingdom Kong

KINGDOM KONG

Writer: Marie Anello
Artist: ZID
On-sale date: March 30, 2021

A sequel to the graphic novel Skull Island: Birth of Kong and a prelude to the film Godzilla vs. Kong, the upcoming prequel graphic novel, Kingdom Kong, will follow a group of highly skilled military pilots gathered together on Skull Island to see who has ‘the right stuff’ to take on a dangerous mission into the hollow earth. One of the pilots, Audrey, is haunted by the memories of a monstrous clash with one of Godzilla’s titanic rivals that left deep scars. When Skull Island is attacked by Camazotz, a bat-like Titan, Audrey must come to terms with her inner demons, and finding his home newly threatened, Kong must rise to face this usurper that would plunge the world into perpetual night. Kingdom Kong is written by Marie Anello (Shout Out) with art by ZID (Legendary Comics’ Skull Island: The Birth of Kong; Trick ‘r Treat: Days of the Dead; Spectral: Ghosts of War).

KINGDOM KONG

Review: Godzilla Dominion

Godzilla Dominion

I have loved Godzilla for as long as I can remember. As a kid I was drawn to Godzilla because he is the perfect mix of dinosaur and monster. As an adult, I appreciate the social and historical commentary often applied to Godzilla stories and films. As big a fan as I am, I’ve fallen behind on the more recent Godzilla remakes. I just haven’t had the time or the funds to see the newest movies. I’m hoping to change that, and the first step is reviewing Godzilla Dominion.

Published by Legendary Comics, Godzilla Dominion is an original graphic novel due out on March 30th. Written by Greg Keyes, the story is follow-up to the 2019 film “Godzilla: King of Monsters.” It is also a prelude to the upcoming movie “Godzilla vs. Kong.” I’ve already reviewed the King Kong tie-in comic Kingdom Kong; now it’s time to jump into Godzilla Dominion.

The plot unfolds entirely through narration and no in-scene dialogue is used. The narrative text is artfully written in a beautiful prose. The story is told from Godzilla’s perspective and drawn from a third-person perspective so that the reader can take in all the action. Although there are plenty of fight scenes, my favorite parts of this graphic novel were the moments of reflection upon Godzilla’s life and history. Keyes does an amazing job of imagining Godzilla as an actual living creature and not solely a freak of nature. He really gets inside Godzilla’s head and gives the reader a sense of what life must be like for the apex predator.

Artist Drew Edward Johnson draws Godzilla with a great sense of scale and scope, though I wish the depth of the ocean was communicated a little better. It always bugs me to see Godzilla swimming while completely immersed in water one minute and then suddenly standing in that same water moments later. Godzilla is expertly drawn, especially when he’s the only character in a panel. There are many full-page splashes and two-page spreads that truly showcase Godzilla’s elegant ferocity. Unfortunately, in many of the action scenes it is very hard to tell what is going on. Godzilla’s opponents and their actions become unclear, making it hard to follow the fight sequences. Unexpected changes in perspective between connected panels further confuse the imagery.

Those who haven’t seen the movie “Godzilla: King of Monsters” shouldn’t be worried. You don’t need knowledge of that film to enjoy Godzilla Dominion. There’s plenty of action in this original graphic novel but the main draw is the focus on Godzilla himself. Within the pages of this book is a very well-done character study that casts Godzilla in a new light. The art isn’t perfect but still manages to hit a lot of high notes while shining a spotlight on Godzilla. Godzilla Dominion is an incredibly unique book and well worth the time of both casual and longtime fans of kaiju films and comics.

Story: Greg Keyes Art: Drew Edward Johnson
Story: 10 Art: 7.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Legendary Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: AmazonBookshop

Review: Kingdom Kong

Kingdom King

Before there was a rivalry between Team Edward and Team Jacob, two different monsters polarized audiences, forcing them to choose which force of nature they were going to cheer on. Those monsters are King Kong and Godzilla. These two giants are set to face off on the big screen once again in “Godzilla vs. Kong” and Legendary Comics is providing the pre-game commentary in two new graphic novels. This review will focus on Kingdom Kong but be on the lookout for my review of Godzilla Dominion.

Kingdom Kong, written by Maire Anello, sets up Kong’s side of the conflict. This original graphic novel is a sequel to Skull Island: Birth of Kong, but as far as I can tell, you don’t need to have read it to understand this book. I’ve never read Birth of Kong and it didn’t stop me from enjoying Kingdom Kong. Anello gets the exposition out of the way at the beginning of the story. Quickly catching the reader up and setting the stage for the story that is about to play out. There are an unexpected number of science-fiction elements introduced during the setup. Although a cool addition to the Kong mythos, I felt a little bogged down by these details. Luckily, the pacing and action both take off soon after.

Once the setup is out of the way and the action begins, the storyline is very exciting. Between the exhilarating action scenes and the character’s emotional beats, Kingdom Kong is a real page turner. In addition to the compelling character work and stellar action, I also enjoyed the plot points obviously inspired by classic Eldritch horror. In addition, the story features a diverse cast of characters. Audrey Burns, the comic’s main human character, is especially well developed. Anello does a great job of making all the characters believable. They come off as actual people and not just players in an action comic.

The realism of the characters is further enhanced by Zid’s artwork. I always appreciate when an artist pays attention to the light source in each panel. This is something that Zid excels at throughout the graphic novel. He also expertly scales the kaiju. It’s easy to tell the size of figures relative to one another. This provides clarity to the scope of characters featured in each panel and gives the reader a real sense of the size and power of the kaiju.

Kong is illustrated very well. In every panel in which he appears, his might and majesty are readily apparent. He doesn’t look much like an actual gorilla but luckily, he also doesn’t look like a guy in a gorilla suit. One complaint I have with the artwork is that there are a few points in the story where it’s hard to tell the flashbacks from events in the present. Each is colored the same and time stamps are rarely used, so there are times when it’s hard to tell the difference between a character’s memories and the scene playing within the current storyline.

Members of Team Kong will definitely want to read Kingdom Kong when it releases on March 30th. It’s probably not a bad idea to also check out the companion graphic novel Godzilla Dominion too. After all, it’s always best to know your opponent. Even if the contenders are giant kaiju monsters.

Story: Marie Anello Art: Zid
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Legendary Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: AmazonBookshop

Legendary Comics Drops a New Motion Trailer for Godzilla vs. Kong

The Monsterverse is expanding! In celebration of Godzilla vs. Kong​, Legendary Comics is releasing 2 all-new prequel graphic novels, 2 children’s books, a behind-the-scenes art book, a novelization, and a special anthology of past stories. All coming soon!

Godzilla Dominion—the prequel graphic novel written by Greg Keyes with art by Drew Edward Johnson will feature a unique story that picks up after the events of the film Godzilla: King of the Monsters, where the Titans have risen and the reign of Godzilla has begun. As told entirely from Godzilla’s point of view, the graphic novel brings new insights into the King of Monsters: his habitats, ancient rivalries, encounters with new Titans, and other challenges. As his new era of dominance is tested, a coming confrontation with another King looms. Available on March 30, 2021 and available for pre-order.

A sequel to the graphic novel Skull Island: Birth of Kong and a prelude to the film Godzilla vs. Kong, the upcoming prequel graphic novel, Kingdom Kong, will follow a group of highly skilled military pilots gathered together on Skull Island to see who has ‘the right stuff’ to take on a dangerous mission into the hollow earth. One of the pilots, Audrey, is haunted by the memories of a monstrous clash with one of Godzilla’s titanic rivals that left deep scars. When Skull Island is attacked by Camazotz, a bat-like Titan, Audrey must to come to terms with her inner demons, and finding his home newly threatened, Kong must rise to face this usurper that would plunge the world into perpetual night. Kingdom Kong is written by Marie Anello with art by ZID. Available on March 30, 2021 and available for pre-order.

Kong finds himself in the center of a charming and enthralling children’s book, Kong & Me, by New York Times’ bestselling author Kiki Thorpe with illustrations by Nidhi Chanani. Young fans will be able to follow along as the mighty Titan and his new pal spend a day of fun and adventure exploring the many wonders of Skull Island—proving that friendships come in many sizes and no matter how different we are, no one is too big or small to find a true friend. Available on March 30, 2021 and available for pre-order.

The engaging and family-friendly board book Godzilla vs. Kong: Sometimes Friends Fight (But They Always Make Up), from Insight Editions and featuring art from illustrator Carol Herring, features heartwarming lessons and introduces the beloved Godzilla and Kong characters to a younger generation. Making new friends isn’t always easy for kids. That is equally true for two giant monsters, where small misunderstandings can easily blossom into enormous conflicts. This book provides tips on how to be a good friend by using these two Titans to show young kids how to behave in familiar situations…but on a much larger scale. Available on April 6, 2021 and to you can pre-order it now.

New York Times’ bestselling author Greg Keyes returns once again to the Monsterverse with Titan Books’ Godzilla vs. Kong: The Official Movie Novelization, taking readers deeper into the worlds of Monarch, the Titans, and so much more. Humanity fights for its future as Godzilla and Kong embark on a path of destruction that will see the two most powerful forces of nature on the planet collide in an all-out war. Available on April 6, 2021 and is up for pre-order.

For new readers wanting to discover the backstories of Godzilla and Kong for the first time or fans revisiting their favorite adventures, the Monsterverse Titanthology Vol 1 brings the previously released graphic novels, Skull Island: The Birth of Kong (2017) and Godzilla: Aftershock (2019), together in one legendary volume for the first time ever. Available on May 11, 2021.

Godzilla vs. Kong: One Will Fall, The Art of the Ultimate Battle Royalefrom Insight Editions and written by Daniel Wallace with a special foreword by director Adam Wingard—takes fans behind-the-scenes revealing how this monstrously epic film was brought to the screen. The deluxe book will feature a dynamic selection of exclusive concept art, pre-production materials, on-set photography and insight from the filmmakers, making it the ultimate guide to an iconic movie showdown. Available on May 21, 2021 and it’s available for pre-order.

Legendary Comics Debuts Motion Trailer for Championess

Championess is based on the true story of Elizabeth Wilkinson, a female bare-knuckle boxer in 18th century London. Elizabeth, reimagined as half-Indian, and her sister Tess struggle to make ends meet and cover Tess’s debts. While Elizabeth works odd jobs at the local newspaper, the only way she knows how to make enough money to help them survive is her true passion, bareknuckle boxing. With Tess’s support, Elizabeth trains at the boxing facility of one of the most famous retired boxers and the only real fight promoter of any notoriety, James Figg. As Elizabeth trains with Figg and James Stokes, she confronts her personal demons of what destroyed her family and comes to terms with being the first half-Indian female boxer in a white male world. Available in bookstores and online retailers on April 13, 2021.

Writers: Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
Artist: Amanda Perez Puentes
Editor: Legendary Comics’ Nikita Kannekanti

In November, it was announced that Legendary Comics’ forthcoming graphic novel, Championess, is to be adapted into a television series by new UK-based production company Watford & Essex, a joint venture between Legendary Entertainment and acclaimed showrunners Emma Frost and Matthew Graham  (“Life On Mars,” “Ashes to Ashes,” “The White Queen,” “The Spanish Princess,” “Doctor Who” and “The Man In The High Castle”). 

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