LACC 2018: Legendary Comics On Developing The MonsterVerse & Godzilla: Aftershock

by Gary Catig


Legendary Entertainment is the company responsible for creating the cinematic MonsterVerse that includes such franchises as Godzilla and King Kong. They are a multimedia company that also includes a comics division. Earlier we reported on the upcoming graphic novel, Godzilla: Aftershock, which they plan to release to coincide with the film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Saturday afternoon at L.A. Comic Con, the publisher held a panel about the process of developing this Kaiju-esque world and a little more insight into Aftershock. In attendance were Robert Napton, SVP of Comics, Barnaby Legg, SVP of Creative Strategy, George Tew, Mythology Manager, Drew Edward Johnson, artist, and Jann Jones, Manager of Brand Development and Publishing Operations.
All the panelists agree that the comics play in essential role telling stories in the MonsterVerse. Sometimes, the medium can provide opportunities to include interesting things that couldn’t make the films. For example, the beasts known as Death Jackals didn’t make the final cut for Kong: Skull Island, but did play a role in the comic, Skull Island: The Birth of Kong. When creating the monsters like the Death Jackals, the developers take a zoological approach to these mythological creatures.
In order to build up buzz for King of the Monsters, they then spoke about their site MonarchSciences.com. It’s a cool way to track the whereabouts of the fictional kaiju of the film like Godzilla, Mothra, Rhodan and Ghidorah on Earth. As the movie’s release date approaches, the site will release more “evidence” of their existence and information on these brutes.

Finally, they discussed Godzilla: Aftershock. The graphic novel will be released in the spring approximately six to seven weeks before King. It will serve as a bridge connecting the 2014 film to the new one where the titular character must face a new adversary, a new Kaiju who has a unique relationship to the MUTOs of the first movie.
Though he had a blast illustrating Aftershock, Johnson worried about translating the largeness of it all onto the comic pages because he was working in such a large scale. Also, he talked about how he needed to be flexible to accommodate the ever-evolving film script to ensure storytelling continuity. Luckily, he works digitally and the technology helped him make artistic changes promptly. The project wasn’t all challenges though since Johnson really enjoyed doing the battle scenes.
Godzilla: Aftershock is written by Arvid Nelson with art by Johnson. No set release date has been announced but it should come out roughly a month and a half before Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which is expected to be in theaters May, 31, 2019.

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