Godzilla: Dominion is one of two tie-in original graphic novels for the movie Godzilla vs. Kong. Set shortly after the events of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, it follows Godzilla as he surveys his domain and sets things in order.
Greg Keyes (Writer), Drew Edward Johnson (Artist), Allen Passalaqua (Colourist), Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt (Letters)
April 6, 2021
Godzilla takes on the role of an environmental protector as he travels the Atlantic over the course of the story, encountering other Titans along the way. Greg Keyes tells the story from the point of view of Godzilla himself through the use of narration boxes and a third person perspective. We see Godzilla’s motivations and his thoughts as the story progresses. Perhaps most importantly, we can see the humanity in a giant lizard as his thoughts turn to Serizawa’s sacrifice in King of the Monsters. Keyes also drops hints towards a rival as Godzilla dukes it out with other Titans, making it clear that though they may put up a fight for a time, they are not Godzilla’s true competition.
Drew Edward Johnson’s art is for the most part clear and easy to follow, though occasionally the eye is drawn to the middle of the page before being drawn towards the top, an issue of layout more than anything. There are moments when single panels feel too busy to the point of making it difficult to make out exactly what is going on. But in the moment when everything is clear and all of Johnson’s work can be seen? The art shines. A particular stand-out is a full-page spread in which both Godzilla and his environs are divided in half, one side showing his nervous system as well as prehistoric creatures, and the other the modern day and his current surroundings. This illustrates the fact that Godzilla is a creature tied so deeply to a different time, an earlier time, in a way that pairs perfectly with Keyes’ writing on the next page.
The colouring only serves to make the art even better. Allen Passalaqua’s colours vary from bright blues to brownish oranges to bright red and the colouring feels both distinct enough that each scene feels separate from the scenes surrounding it. The colours flow from page to page, changing in increments in a way that really makes everything work.
As for lettering, Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt create dynamic onomatopoeia that feels like you could hear it, most obviously in the way they show Godzilla’s iconic roar. Each instance of the roar is in a style that belongs only to the roar, setting it aside as something that is important and should be differentiated from everything else in the book, even the roars of other Titans. Tiamat’s hiss, for example, seems to drip as if with poison whereas Godzilla’s roar is sharp and firm if a bit rough around the edges, nothing like Tiamat’s oozing venom.
All in all, Godzilla: Dominion is a great follow up to King of the Monsters as well as a solid lead-up to Godzilla vs Kong. With a strong narrative voice and great art, Godzilla: Dominion is a graphic novel that reminded me just how much I love comics.