Secrets (featuring Titanosaurus):
Tristan is a young man with an incredible, and incredibly powerful, psychic talent. One that draws the attention of United Nations funded Institute located just outside of Gresham, Oregon. While Tristan enjoys exploring and strengthening his ability, he also makes a connection with a strange creature. A connection that might be the first step toward the end of the world as humanity knows it...
Smog of War (featuring Hedorah):
A novice Mechagodzilla piloting crew is sent to investigate the sudden, cataclysmic destruction of Linfen, China. Although unverified, it is believed that Godzilla is responsible for the disaster. What the Mechagodzilla crew find, however, is an all new creature. A corrosive, shape-shifting giant that appears to be made out pollution...
From A Great Height (featuring Kumonga):
Former extreme adventurer Bryson Allworth is convinced to come out of retirement when he is asked to scale Godzilla and collect various tissues samples. What he learns during his adventure is something that no one else seems to want to know...
This trio of one shots looks to be the end of the Godzilla Legends one shots, for now, at least. There are still a handful of legendary monsters that have yet to make an appearance in this series. Mothra, King Ghidorah, Gigan, Jet Jaguar, Megalon, King Caesar, Biollante, SpaceGodzilla, and Destroyah are still unaccounted for in the Godzilla Legends realm. Granted, some of them might be appearing in the other IDW Godzilla titles, Godzilla and Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters, but I am woefully behind on my Godzilla reading. It is my hope that, by the end of April of this year, I will be completely caught up on my Godzilla comic book reading.
But I have digressed. Let me return to the comics at hand.
Of the three, I found Secrets to be the most unsatisfying of the bunch. Guest star monster Titanosaurus is not given a chance to do much of anything, because Tristan hogs the spotlight stage. When Titanosaurus does arrive, he does little more than roar once or twice, bump into a building or two, and show that he has formed a psychic bond with Tristan.
Then the two are whisked away by the story's villains and the curtain falls on a cliffhanger that demands a follow through chapter. This is a story that did not read as a one, but as the first chapter in a longer story arc. It is my hope that one will be forthcoming. I like Tristan and my heart has a sizable warm spot for Titanosaurus.
While Smog of War also ends with a promise of much more mayhem to come, it is less a set up for a continuing story and more an illustration (pun unintended) of just how difficult it will be to get rid of Hedorah, the Smog Monster.
This time there is not a whole of plot getting in the way of story. Smog of War is nothing more than a protracted threeway fist fight between Hedorah, MechaGodzilla, and Godzilla. One that is rendered in loving and kinetic detail by artist E.J. Su and colorer Priscilla Tramontano. If you love unrestrained monster mayhem, this issue is a must have issue.
Both Secrets and Smog of War echo a theme that is fully played out in From A Great Height. Extreme adventurer Bryson Allworth's climb to the very top of Godzilla gives him a unique perspective on how humanity might best interact with these giant monsters. Too bad that no one really wants to listen to what he has to say, especially when it contradicts with the established "destroy them all" mentality that everyone else seems to hold.
One thing I really liked about this talk filled tale was Allworth's description of what it felt like to ride Godzilla during a fierce battle with the giant spider known as Kumonga. Allworth describes it as being like "...a boxing match...on a roller coaster. During an earthquake." Artist Dean Haspiel does a splendid job of capturing that descriptive energy visually. He and writer Bobby Curnow also manage to to inject some very welcome humor into the tragic tale. The sight of Godzilla ripping off one of Kumonga's legs and then beating the spider over the head with it is nothing short of priceless. I loved it.