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Originally published at Fangoria.com on June 26, 2011

GODZILLA: GANGSTERS AND GOLIATHS #1 (IDW Publishing) awesomely pits the unstoppable monster icon against a hard-boiled cop and trigger-happy thugs.

Framed for murder, innocent detective Sato unwillingly finds himself stranded on Monster Island. With no food and water, the detective has to survive by himself in the jungle, while on the run from a crime lord’s henchmen. Then, in the middle of the shootout, they unfortunately wake up Godzilla from his slumber.

Focusing on the crime drama aspects, author and letterer John Layman (CHEW) creates a gritty detective story… with monsters in it. At his best, Layman cleverly jumps back and forth in time, to tell Sato’s narrative; something the author will hopefully keep in future issues. Interestingly, Takahashi’s henchmen take Monster Island very seriously and have the utmost respect for Godzilla.

Artist Alberto Ponticelli (UNKNOWN SOLDIER) captures the menacing atmosphere of Monster Island with the street vibe of a police procedural and brings crime lord, Takahashi’s menacing façade to life with a scarred face and one eye.

Who knew crime and monsters would fit so perfectly together? But GODZILLA: GANGSTERS AND GOLIATHS #1 is undeniably enjoyable from beginning to end.