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Originally published at Fangoria.com on August 20, 2011

Full of exciting monster mayhem, GODZILLA: GANGSTERS & GOLIATHS #3 (IDW Publishing) pits the unstoppable monster icon against a hard-boiled cop, trigger-happy gangsters and a power-obsessed crime lord. Framed for a murder he didn’t commit, an innocent detective has brought back Mothra with him from Monster Island and intends to take back Tokyo from mob rule!

The last time Tokyo was attacked by a monster, Officer Makoto Sato was patrolling the streets, blocking civilians from entering the crime scene. As a warning, Sato raised his fist and fired a bullet into the air, preventing anyone from passing him. With all the mayhem going around, he was trying to keep his family safe. The job always came first to him, instead of his family. This is why Detective Sato now has a difficult time reasoning with his teenage son, Jiro.

The crime lord Takahashi used Sato’s gun in the murder of Sato’s partner. Now wanted by the police and gangsters, Sato is banished from his homeland, never to return. Takahashi’s henchmen sent him straight to Monster Island and forgot about him for five years. Growing up without his father, Jiro sadly believed in the lies and became convinced his father did kill his partner.

Mothra has suddenly shown up again, this time destroying cargo ships and sinking shipping containers. Only Sato knows that those are really smuggling ships and containers carrying guns and drugs. Sato is directly sending a message to Takahashi, declaring war against him. And while Sato orders Mothra to do his bidding, Godzilla is very close by, rising from the murky waters…

Focusing heavily on the father/son drama, author and letterer John Layman offers readers a solemn glimpse into Sato’s personal life. As the story jumps back and forth in time, Sato reveals that he was always thinking of his family first, even though he didn’t know how to actually show it. He has returned home to a world that has forgotten about him and to a family that has changed.

Artist Alberto Ponticelli does a good job of capturing the menacing, destructive force of Mothra as well as the father/son dilemma. Even though there are monsters fighting in the background, Ponticelli keeps the close-ups tightly on Jiro and Sato’s angry faces during their heated discussions. And the colors by Jay Fotos heighten Mothra’s attacks with a lively yellow hue. GODZILLA: GANGSTERS & GOLIATHS #3 is an undeniably exciting issue. Readers will have a tremendously enjoyable romp with this comic!