"In May 2014, audiences will witness the epic rebirth of the King of the Monsters as Legendary and Warner Bros. bring Godzilla to the big screen. To pave the way for the iconic creature's return, Legendary Comics is proud to present the official graphic novel Godzilla: Awakening. This 72-page story, set decades before the film, is co-written by Max Borenstein (screenwriter of the new Godzilla) and Greg Borenstein.
Delve into an incredible mystery, generations in the making. At the dawn of the atomic age, humanity awakens lifeforms beyond imagination, unleashing monumental forces of nature. This explosive, larger-than-life adventure is the perfect way for fans to experience the new Godzilla before seeing it in theaters."
In 1980 Tokyo, Ishiro Serizawa meets with his father who asked him to come urgently. Serizawa's father begins telling him about his job, the one he had kept secret from him. He begins his story in Hiroshima, on August 6, 1945, at 8:15 AM. After the atomic bombing of the city, Serizawa went looking for his wife and newborn son but only found his son. After finding him, he sees a creature in the air, "summoned by our own monstrosity," who flies away, with something in the water observing. Serizawa left off Ishiro with his grandparents for his safety and continued working in the Japanese Navy. One year later, he and his fellow sailors are sent to provide aid to an American vessel that sent a distress call from a nearby island. After finding one of the American men, the sailors find the wrecked ship deep inland and are attacked by the Shinomura. They go inside the ship to rescue the men trapped inside but the Shinomura throws the ship down at the sea, sinking it. No one but Serizawa and the one American they rescued, named Shaw, survives. Shaw, impressed with Serizawa surviving, offers Serizawa go work for the U.S. government, which Serizawa accepts as Godzilla looks on at the Shinomura flying away.
Later, Serizawa becomes part of the first Japanese-American military unit since Japan's surrender in World War II: Monarch. General MacArthur explains that the job of the Monarch unit is to kill the Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms in secrecy to avoid world-wide panic. Shinomura attacks places all around the Pacific Ocean each year following, starting with Russia the Philippines in 1946, Western Australia in 1947, Moansta Island in 1948, New Zealand in 1949, Yap in 1950, and Guam in 1950. Every time Shinomura attacked, eye-witnesses reported both it and a giant crocodile-like creature which chased the Shinomura away. Serizawa believes that the monster, which one of Guam's people calls "Gojira," a combination of the Japanese words for gorilla and whale, actually exists, while the rest of his team doesn't. Serizawa gets some people to go down in the ocean and to find Gojira using the first nuclear submarine, the U.S.S. Nautilus, but after weeks of searching, Gojira isn't found.
Three years later in 1953, Serizawa is playing with his son Ishiro, as Shaw comes and tells Ishiro he has to take his father for "shipping company business." At Monarch headquarters, Serizawa meets with Doctor Zamalek, who shows him and others a giant cell discovered in the Philippines from the Shinomura. Doctor Zamalek then exposes it to a beam that makes it grow, but it is set on fire and presumably killed. Serizawa comes up with the name shi no mure for the super-organism, and Zamalek claims that they don't understand why it hasn't taken over the world yet, which Serizawa answers to with Gojira. Serizawa points to depictions of Gojira throughout history and believes he is from a time when the Earth was ten times more radioactive than today. 250 million years ago, a Shinomura unknowingly landed near Gojira and gets blasted by his atomic breath and sent down a cliff just as a meteor hits the Earth, diminishing atmospheric radioactivity forever, and forcing large creatures that fed on radiation like Gojira down closer to the Earth's core. Shinomura and Gojira were awakened with the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the radiation it released. Every time Shinomura attacked, Gojira drove it away. Serizawa wants to find Gojira and let him fight the Shinomura, but no one believes Gojira exists.
Serizawa goes back with his son who put an injured sea star in his fish tank. Ishiro explains to his father that sea stars can regenerate, even an entire body if they need to, just as the "dead" Shinomura cell at Monarch HQ regenerates. Ishiro and Serizawa hear a sound but Serizawa assures Ishiro it's probably just the wind as the Shinomura flies past the window. Monarch headquarters has been destroyed. Serizawa is back there with Shaw, who believed the Shinomura was destroyed, but Serizawa explained that even with microscopic remnants it can regenerate. Serizawa asks to find Gojira, which Shaw allows but lets him know that he will be alone at sea looking for Gojira. Serizawa says goodbye to his son and goes out to live in the ocean alone on a ship, looking for Godzilla.
A year later, in March of 1954, both Shinomura combine into one on Monsta Island as Godzilla rises from the ocean and engages it in battle. A boy sees them and tells Papa Brava, who notifies "the monster man", Serizawa, who in turn alerts Shaw and Monarch. Godzilla and Shinomura's battle rages on, setting a section of the island aflame as Serizawa reaches the island. Godzilla separates the two Shinomura with his atomic breath and kills one with another blast. As Navy ships arrive, the other Shinomura escapes, which only Serizawa sees, and Godzilla follows, having been seen by Monarch and therefore now proven to exist.
The next day, the Shinomura carcass is found and shown to Serizawa, who says he saw one fly away. Days later, the military decide to intercept Gojira in Bikini Atoll. Serizawa insists on letting Godzilla kill the other Shinomura and let him return to where he came from, but they say it's too risky. Just then, General MacArthur arrives on a helicopter and gives them permission to nuke the MUTO. Serizawa stops MacArthur, saying he has some concerns, and MacArthur says that he knows he does--that he's thought of the bombing of Hiroshima every day since 1945, but he also spent those years working to build a modern world which he'd kill to protect. At Bikini Atoll, Serizawa convinces the natives to leave. Later on, the Castle Bravo "test" is conducted, killing the Shinomura and presumably Gojira, but Serizawa assures Ishiro that he's still alive as he finishes his story. A year passes and Serizawa passes away and is buried in the Yanaka Cemetery. After the burial is over, Ishiro is approached by Shaw, and Ishiro, knowing the truth, tells Shaw that he's ready to join Monarch, but Shaw claims that he's not sure "anyone's ready for what's coming."
Weapons, Vehicles, and Races
- Ishiro Serizawa's father
- Ishiro Serizawa
- General Douglas MacArthur
- Doctor Zamalek
- Papa Brava
- Pacific Ocean
- Novosibirsk, Russia
- Busselton, Australia
- Rotorua, New Zealand
- Written by Max Borenstein and Greg Borenstein
- Illustrated by Eric Battle, Yvel Guichet, Alan Quah, and Lee Loughridge
- Cover art by Arthur Adams
- Yvel Guichet, who also worked on Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero, worked on this graphic novel.
- Godzilla: Awakening would also count as a prequel to Kong: Skull Island since the events in the comic take place before the formation of Monarch and the events of 1954, but Kong is not mentioned by any of the characters after the events of the 1970s though due to the fact that Kong: Skull Island was only thought of after the comic and film were released.