|MonsterVerse graphic novels|
Godzilla: Aftershock (ゴジラ：アフターショック is a prequel graphic novel to Gojira: Afutāshokku)Godzilla: King of the Monsters officially published by Legendary Comics on May 21, 2019, and by villagebooks on May 24 in Japan. However, many Barnes & Noble stores began selling it in early May. The third official graphic novel tie-in for the MonsterVerse, it is written by Arvid Nelson, the writer of Skull Island: The Birth of Kong, and illustrated by Drew Johnson. Set several months after the events of Godzilla, it features a battle between Godzilla and a new Titan called MUTO Prime, the parent of the two MUTOs which Godzilla battled in the aforementioned film. The Japanese release of Godzilla: Aftershock is translated by Shiori Miyo. Legendary Comics reprinted it with Skull Island: The Birth of Kong in Monsterverse Titanthology Vol 1 on May 11, 2021.
THE OFFICIAL GRAPHIC NOVEL PREQUEL TO GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS NO FAN WILL WANT TO MISS!
In 2014, the infamous British mercenary Alan Jonah is interrogated at an American military base in Guam, to little success. Suddenly, the ground splits open and a huge monster erupts from underground, tearing its way through the base before feasting on a nuclear submarine. Godzilla soon emerges from the sea and roars at the creature. Godzilla approaches the monster, but it punches him in the face with its forelimb and quickly escapes back into the crater from whence it came. Godzilla roars before wading back out to sea. A Monarch Osprey carrying Dr. Emma Russell subsequently arrives at the destroyed base. Dr. Ishiro Serizawa informs her that an earthquake struck Kyushu, Japan eighteen hours ago, triggering a series of aftershocks that traveled straight to the base in Guam. Because the earthquakes were traveling right along the Ring of Fire, experts wrote it off as tectonic activity. They were wrong, as the source of the tremors revealed itself as a particularly large MUTO. Inside the base, Russell meets with Miles Atherton, a representative of the United Nations' San Francisco Commission, formed to oversee Monarch's activities following the incident. Serizawa and Dr. Vivienne Graham inform Emma that the Japanese government has requested that she travel to Kyushu to see something "sensitive." Atherton will be accompanying her on behalf of the Commission. Before departing in a jet on the base's runaway, Emma converses with Graham, noting that the giant MUTO ate a submarine just like the male MUTO did in Honolulu, and remarking that Godzilla seemed to arrive as if he was looking for a fight. As Emma boards the jet, Alan Jonah emerges from behind one of the seats and holds her at gunpoint. However, Tarkan Cavusgolu, a member of Monarch's Crisis Response Unit, boards the plane and aims his gun at Jonah. Jonah tackles Tarkan and manages to escape. With the threat gone for now, Emma travels to Kyushu aboard the jet with Tarkan and Atherton.
When they arrive at a Shinto holy site in Kyushu, a priest leads them to a massive crater outside the temple, almost identical to the one the MUTO emerged from in Guam. He states that it opened up in the earthquake, and says it may lead to the lair of the creature that attacked Guam. Emma and Tarkan then prepare to descend directly inside the crater.
Emma and Tarkan don Katatsumuri gear which will allow them to descend quickly into the crater. Once they reach the bottom, they find the MUTO seemingly waiting for them. As it burrows and tosses tons of bedrock aside, the tunnel begins to collapse. Despite Emma's protest, Tarkan grabs her and pulls them both out of the crater before they can be crushed by the debris. Emma shouts at Tarkan, demanding that he never interfere with her work again, but Tarkan insists that he is here to protect her since she doesn't seem concerned with self-preservation. The Shinto priest expressed his relief that Russell and Tarkan are alright, and escorts them back inside the temple. Emma asks if he knows the identity of the creature, and he responds that it is a god of the ancient Earth. He says that in Japan, followers of the Shinto faith worship the god Jinshin-Namazu, which takes the form of a fish and brings both earthquakes and rain. However, he explains that Jinshin-Namazu possesses a different, more ancient form: Jinshin-Mushi, the Dragon-Beetle. He says that this temple is dedicated to Raijin, the lord of thunder and mortal enemy of Jinshin-Mushi. It is said that "when Raijin tires of drumming, Jinshin-Mushi rises." Tarkan then informs Emma that they have successfully cracked Jonah's phone which was confiscated from him. Its contents include GPS coordinates leading to another borehole in Siberia. Outside, Atherton converses with Emma's ex-husband Mark over a computer. Mark expresses his concern that Emma should not be working in Monarch right now, as she is not in a good place. Atherton insists that Emma is safe for the time being, but cannot discuss matters further.
In the Barents Sea, Jinshin-Mushi attacks and destroys a Russian nuclear submarine. Godzilla promptly arrives and rams Jinshin-Mushi, who once again punches him in the face before swimming away. Emma, Tarkan, and Atherton arrive in Siberia, where Tarkan informs Emma about Jinshin-Mushi's latest attack. Atherton asks if the Russian government is aware of their presence, and Tarkan responds that they are not because they can't risk allowing Alan Jonah to know about their presence. He reveals that he arranged for them to be transported to their destination via a reindeer sled. When they arrive, they find the massive crater next to an abandoned Monarch outpost. Using a mine elevator, the three descend to the bottom of the crater, where they find what appear to be several hatched MUTO eggs. They then find themselves held at gunpoint by Alan Jonah, intending to abduct Emma. However, he is promptly surrounded by armed Monarch agents, whom Tarkan had sent ahead anticipating Jonah's presence. Tarkan informs Jonah that he will be handed over to Russian authorities, but Jonah seems unconcerned and simply promises that he will be seeing Emma again soon.
Jinshin-Mushi attacks the Athena II Nuclear Power Plant in France, tearing open the plant's reactor just before being struck by a blast of atomic breath from Godzilla, who rises from the sea. Both Titans charge at each other, with Jinshin-Mushi slashing Godzilla's neck with its claws before knocking him to the ground with a powerful punch. Jinshin-Mushi leaps onto Godzilla and extends ovipositors from its body. Before they can pierce his skin, Godzilla slashes at Jinshin-Mushi's face with his claws and causes it to jump off of him. The monsters exchange roars before Jinshin-Mushi escapes back underground. At Monarch Outpost 14 in the Philippines, Emma is greeted by her daughter Madison. Dr. Graham explains that she told Mark that Emma needed to see her daughter after all the recent stress she has been going through. However, Graham says there is no time to celebrate as she informs her of Jinshin-Mushi's latest attack. Emma remarks that this doesn't fit the pattern since Jinshin-Mushi's first two targets were submarines, then observes a video feed of Godzilla wading back out to sea, which shows that he was badly injured in the fight. Graham then tells Emma that the Japanese government wanted her to see something they found in the Imperial archives: copies of stone tablets inscribed in Phoenician. Emma is surprised that such artifacts were found in Japan, but Graham tells her there is more news. Scans of the egg chamber in Siberia show that it is virtually identical to the MUTO eggs unearthed in the Philippines in 1999. Emma then instructs Atherton to come with her.
Dr. Ilene Chen speaks before a panel of Monarch scientists in a cavern in the southern Philippines, explaining that the myth of the dying god appears in mythologies from all over the world, and evidence of this very myth literally surrounds them right now. Emma takes the podium and explains that this very cavern housed the eggs of the two MUTOs which attacked San Francisco, and that they recently discovered an identical cavern in Siberia, despite originating from a completely different geological epoch. She says that these caverns are not natural formations, but rather they are the graves of fallen Titans, as a graphic showing the carcass of a Godzilla-like creature is displayed on a nearby screen. Serizawa asks if this creature is possibly a Godzilla ancestor, and Emma replies that it is possible since so little is known of his species' lifecycle. Dr. Graham then begins speaking about the stone tablets. Not only are they the first recorded contact between the Levant and the Far East, but they chronicle an encounter between a Godzilla-like creature and what appears to be Jinshin-Mushi. She and Dr. Chen explain that the Godzilla-like creature may be the precedent for both the Japanese deity Raijin and the ancient Semitic sea god Dagon. The tablets show several humans surrounding the fallen Dagon, who possesses twin puncture marks in his abdomen, which may be from the spear-tipped ovipositors Jinshin-Mushi was seen extending during its most recent battle with Godzilla. Serizawa deduces that Jinshin-Mushi must have been incubating its young inside Dagon's body, like a parasite. Emma says that once Dagon was infected, the parasitic eggs fed on his internal nuclear energy furnace, weakening him until he finally died, resulting in this very cavern. She finally reveals her conclusion: Jinshin-Mushi possesses many anatomical similarities with the MUTOs which attacked San Francisco, and as such she believes that it is their parent subspecies, MUTO Prime. Had Godzilla not killed the MUTOs, they would have reproduced. She says that after this point, the female may have killed her mate and matured into another MUTO Prime. But analysis of the MUTOs' reproductive organs raises another possibility, she says. The female MUTO's ovaries contained hundreds of unfertilized eggs, meaning she may have given rise to an entire subspecies which acts as an invasive species, reshaping and eradicating existing ecosystems. After destroying the existing ecosystem, the brood turns on itself until only the strongest individual remains and becomes the next MUTO Prime. Emma says she does not know this for certain, but what is clear is that there once existed other members of Godzilla's species, and MUTO Prime's life cycle has played out numerous times. Most troubling is that both of the egg chambers uncovered correspond to different mass extinctions in Earth's history, while the events depicted on the Phoenician tablets coincide with a global dark age which spanned from Cambodia to Egypt. Now, she warns, it is happening again. But Emma does propose one possible measure to stop MUTO Prime. The MUTO eggs emitted a sonic pulse, which she theorizes acted as a signal to their mother that they were safely incubating inside the host. At this point, MUTO Prime goes from fight to flight mode. If they can reproduce this sound during Godzilla's next encounter with MUTO Prime, they may be able to give him the edge. Everyone is then informed that MUTO Prime has been located heading to the Azores in Portugal.
Emma quickly leaves and attempts to set her plan into motion, acquiring a sound system powerful enough to replicate the sonic pulse when MUTO Prime next emerges. As she demands that Tarkan find more power for the operation, she briefly collapses from stress and exhaustion. Retired Monarch member Houston Brooks arrives and helps Emma up, saying he is here because he is worried about her. He says she has the same look on her face that his son Aaron had when he disappeared. He says she is pushing herself too hard, and that he knows what it's like to lose a son. Emma dismisses Brooks, saying he found his son, and assures him that nothing will happen to her. When Brooks asks her to consider Madison, she snaps and angrily reiterates that nothing is going to happen. Emma calms down and asks Brooks to just wish her luck, which he does. As Emma is en route to the staging ground in Portugal, Tarkan informs her that Alan Jonah escaped Russian custody and asks why he seems so interested in her. Emma says she has no idea, and tells Tarkan that Jonah is unimportant compared to what is happening now.
The sound system is set up at the Angra do Heroísmo in the Azores with Emma overseeing it. When she is informed that MUTO Prime is underneath the area, she orders the sound to be played. To everyone's shock, MUTO Prime erupts from the ground and rampages through the area, killing almost Emma's entire team. The U.N. Security Council convenes an emergency hearing with Emma, Graham, and Serizawa, criticizing Monarch for the lives it has cost with its secrecy. The members of the tribunal determine that the best course of action is, to quote Serizawa, "let them fight," and allow MUTO Prime and Godzilla to hopefully kill each other. Emma and Serizawa interject, saying that if Godzilla is killed he will no longer be able to protect them. While the tribunal is dismissive of the idea that Godzilla is defending humanity, Emma warns that MUTO Prime's next target is a storage site for decommissioned nuclear submarine power cores in Montana. If MUTO Prime reaches it, it will draw Godzilla there and finally kill him. Her pleas fall on deaf ears, and the tribunal prepares to adjourn before Atherton interjects. While he says he finds Emma unpleasant to work with, he believes that she is truly dedicated to this cause and suggests the council grant her whatever resources she requires. The panel is unimpressed, and it passes judgement to simply let Godzilla and MUTO Prime kill each other. After the hearing, Emma reveals one last plan she has to try and stop MUTO Prime. She did not account earlier for the fact that the sonic pulse needed to sound like it was coming from inside the host to pacify MUTO Prime. If they could broadcast the sound from underground inside the facility in Montana, it may have the desired effect. To carry the plan out, Emma says she will need the prototype for the sonar device she and her ex-husband developed at MIT, the ORCA. Unfortunately, it was developed through a U.N. grant and is in their possession now. Atherton says he will get the prototype for her, and managed to get it to her just before he is detained by security personnel.
MUTO Prime begins approaching the facility in Montana, but is attacked by Godzilla, who knocks it to the ground. MUTO Prime gets back to its feet and slashes Godzilla across the face as an Osprey carrying Emma and Tarkan passes overhead. They tell the pilot to land near the battle, and both exit the chopper. MUTO Prime punches Godzilla in the face yet again, but he retaliates by ramming it. MUTO Prime leaps above Godzilla and strikes him on the back, stunning him long enough to blast him with a devsastating sonic roar that shatters his dorsal plates and knocks him to the ground. Emma and Tarkan make it inside the facility and activate the ORCA, just as MUTO Prime is about to stab Godzilla with its ovipositors. The sound causes MUTO Prime to hesitate just long enough for Godzilla to lift it onto his back and fire a powerful pulse of atomic energy from his shattered dorsal plates. The blast launches MUTO Prime into the sky, severing its smaller forelimbs and causing it to crash into the ground on its back. Before MUTO Prime can react, Godzilla stomps on and crushes its head, successfully killing it. Emma and Tarkan watch as Godzilla lets out a victorious roar before weakly limping into the sunset, smoke pouring off his wounded back.
In Boston, Emma walks with Madison, promising that she will never leave her again. She says that the world is changing and some scary things may happen soon, but that it's the only way for things to get better. Whatever happens, she swears, she will keep Madison safe. Madison tells her mother that she saw her on the news, calling her a hero. Emma says she couldn't have done it without the accounts recovered from the ancients. Madison asks what happened to the Phoenicians, but Emma replies that she doesn't know. Whatever the case, Emma expresses her admiration for all the adventurers and explorers who dare strike out into the unknown.
Weapons, vehicles, races, and organizations
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Written by Arvid Nelson
- Illustrated by Drew Edward Johnson
- Colors by Allen Passalaqua
- Covers by Christopher Shy, Arthur Adams
- Story and Mythology Development by Barnaby Legg
- Mythology Manager George Tew
- MonsterVerse Creatives Katie Aguilar, Brian Hoffman, Josh Parker
- Lettering and Design by John Roshell, Jimmy Betancourt, Sarah Jacobs
- Edits by Robert Napton
- Special Thanks to Alex Garcia, Jay Ashenfelter, Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields, Rui Machida, Brooke Hansohn, Jeremy Colwell, Makenna Knudson, Jennifer Stewart, Legendary Marketing
- Japanese Translation by Shiori Miyo
- This is the first American Godzilla comic published since the final issue of IDW Publishing's Godzilla: Rage Across Time in November 2016.
- Godzilla: Aftershock was originally scheduled to be released on April 16, but was eventually delayed to May 21, just 10 days before the release of Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
- Godzilla: Mass Extinction was an early title for the graphic novel.
- Several drawings of Godzilla in Godzilla: Aftershock were traced from screenshots of Legendary Pictures' Godzilla, S.H. MonsterArts figurines, statues, and other media.
This is a list of references for Godzilla: Aftershock. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: 
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