THE KAIJU OF IN THE SHADOW OF EXTINCTION
In the Shadow of Extinction is a 700+ page epic that spans the globe and takes place over a period of 15 years. It begins with earthquakes and volcanic eruptions along the Ring of Fire, then massive creatures begin crawling out of the fissures of the earth. Military attacks do nothing against the monsters and in our panic some nations turn against each other, only making matters worse. Mankind's war against the giants lasts only weeks... then the story jumps ahead 15 years and rejoins the survivors in a world where man is no longer the dominant species on the planet. Humanity exists in the shadows of leviathans now and we must decide whether we can accept that or if we will continue the fight that may ultimately lead to our extinction.
The Tyrant has been already been drawn by artist Wafalo. This art will also serve as the book cover, whereas the other kaiju art pieces will be black & white and be featured at the beginning of each of the three parts along with a quote.
The “hero” kaiju Tyrant is a stand-in for Godzilla or Gamera, I suppose, and is built like a tyrannosaurus but with long arms and thorn-like spikes lining its back. The spikes are inspired by the dinosaur kentrosaurus. Modern dinosaur stance. The Tyrant’s existence is constant conflict and death, like a hulking embodiment of war. (War is a theme that is explored throughout the novel. The Tyrant is the unbeatable foe.) The Tyrant is often covered with either the blood of its prey or its own bloody injuries from its latest fight. No specific color scheme in mind beyond the eye is to have a red tint to it. The idea is that the Tyrant is the meanest, most dangerous of the foes, and the one we're most desperate to destroy despite its general disinterest in us.
The primary villain kaiju is an insectoid race of white exoskeleton creatures that are seemingly infinite in number called Breeders. They have a faceplate that opens up and a long black tongue shoots out to suck out blood. Mix a crab with a mosquito and paint it white, that’s my Breeder. (The Breeder’s long, Chameleon-like tongue is the only “power” that any of my monsters possess. There’s no laser beams to be found in this book.) They range from the size of a dog to a couple hundred feet tall. They are a kaiju plague, like locusts, destroying everything and leaving nothing living in their wake. They're easy enough to kill, but they drop eggs when they die, constantly replenishing their numbers. Breeders have a white, shiny exoskeleton and a rubbery, black "skin" that runs beneath.
Some inspiration for what I am going for. The body type/shape of the Acklay from Attack of the Clones. But with a cold, white exoskeleton over black. Like a crustacean or insect. The black tongue shoots down in a way similar to the tentacles of the Tripods from War of the Worlds.
There is a burrowing kaiju called Kazan-ryu with a shovel-like lower jaw. The Kazan-ryu is a glutton. It’s blind and it just plows through city streets, scooping up people and debris into its mouth to swallow whole. The first Kazan-ryu (which roughly means Volcano Dragon in Japanese) crawls out of Mt. Fuji before destroying much of Tokyo. When it has had its fill, it digs beneath the dirt and waits for more food to pass its way. The Kazan-ryu is very dark in coloration, almost black.
I wanted a four-legged kaiju. It's like a belly dragging, gluttonous Baragon with a messed up underbite. I think of the thing as a creature that evolution should've corrected but got lazy.
And finally there is a swarm of sea monsters that resemble a mix between a squid and an eel called Ikarah. They’re bioluminescent and look dull at first before their tentacles turn bright red. Ikarah are a very minor monster in the book but they’ve basically taken over much of the open oceans. They often hunt in packs. Since much of the story is set on land, we don't see the Ikarah much, but they represent an obstacle for the characters who hope to traverse the world in search of family and safe haven.
Inspiration for this guy is more straightforward and easy to guess. Thing is a sea serpent/giant squid hybrid. Maybe a dash of Lovecraftian horror. Some Kraken.