Godzilla has defeated every monster he’s encountered, even the Fantastic Four were barely a match for the King of Kaiju, I don’t care what anyone says, that comic is and forever will be canon. And in this miniseries they took him through his biggest (and most metal) challenge yet, Godzilla was in Hell. This last instalment on the series seeks to put the mighty beast through one last trial. This issue begins with Godzilla walking through a mighty and vast desert, which turns as quickly as the page is turned into a relentless ice storm which makes even Godzilla struggle. And as it comes, the storm leads way to a cavernous river of boiling blood that lead into a cascade to the abyss. Before he knows it, he’s in a bridge that can’t hold his weight, and falls right into the same abyss the blood leads to. Godzilla then wakes up to more foes, small and big, few and many, all trying to stop and kill the mighty beast from reaching the top of the mountain (figurative and literally). Godzilla in Hell #5 really submerges into what it is for Godzilla to travel to the Underworld and which of his enemies and other kaiju he’s battled over the years would be his most feared, is there anyone left for him to battle now that he’s defeated all monsters on Earth and some on Space? Or is he meant to travel continuously through the entrails of the land of eternal despair and desolation, battling his way through everything he’s ever faced over and over again.
Dave Wachter nicely wraps up the tale of Godzilla going through Hell by providing closure to the story. As the creative teams before him, he’s shown his own version of Hell, which at this point feels similar to some of the earlier incarnations of Godzilla’s Inferno, which works very well to relate this story to the other ones, while still being able to notice that Wachter has his own ever changing of the place and how it changes the protagonist. He continues the little to no usage of dialogue, narration, or captions, which has proven more effective to set up the tone on how epic the entire tale is, and when overused, well, you have issue #2. Godzilla is mighty in his own regard. There is no need to tell the reader that, but rather show them by matching him with a world (or Underworld) that’s just as epic and even more mighty dabbling on the surreal.
The art is some of the best I’ve seen in the series, putting aside my personal bias with James Stokoe with a lot of effort, Dave Wachter has made product that equals in attention to detail, contrasts of color, and use of bizarre and quirky images and creatures that could run the risk of clashing with the tone of the book, but rather enhances it. In terms of art and their style, this feels like a mix of James Stokoe and Mike Del Mundo working on a Godzilla book together, as far as art goes, issue #1 and issue #5 of Godzilla in Hell stand in equal terms, but when the story is factored in, the last issue of Godzilla is a richer tale that serves well for the entire series. If Dave Wachter decided to fully take over a Godzilla book, he would have my money every month.
I have only one gripe with this issue and with the series overall. If Godzilla went to Hell, when did he battle the Satan himself? Where is the all out brawl with the King of Kaiju vs the King of Hell? The Fallen Monster vs The Fallen Angel? I know there could be a big argument to say he was a representation of one of the many monsters he faces that seemed to look like his old foes but weren’t . But dammit, Dr. Who showed me a fantastic representation of the (could be) Devil in the Satan Pit based off Simon Bisley designs. Wouldn’t it have been the mother of all fights to see his and Godzilla beat the shit out of each other?
Overall, Godzilla in Hell comes to a good closure, its one not-so-great issue still had amazing art, and it’s overshadowed by how great the entirety of the series was. If you’re a Godzilla fan whether it’s just the movies or the comics, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have this series as part of your collection.
Godzilla in Hell #5 Written/Illustrated by: Dave Wachter Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 11/18/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital