Originally published at Fangoria.com on April 16, 2011
GODZILLA: KINGDOM OF MONSTERS #1 (IDW Publishing) returns the unstoppable monster icon in all its infamous glory. In his latest resurrection, Godzilla does what he does best. You’ll find him smashing buildings, destroying streets and turning life into a living hell! This comic book lets the hideous creature loose upon the entire world. This is Godzilla on a complete and unrelenting rampage.
For those not in the know, Godzilla (a.k.a. “Gojira”) is a Japanese movie monster. This giant lizard became a pop culture icon after numerous sequels and eventually headed his way to America with the latest reboot being directed by MONSTERS’ Gareth Edwards. This setup provides its own mythology, presenting the ferocious creature in the current here and now. This Godzilla is meaner, faster and deadlier than his previous versions.
With no explanation given, Godzilla suddenly wakes up from his deep slumber and wanders off to shore. His colossal size frightens everyone, including the no-nonsense military. While everybody is running away, soldiers are firing high-artillery missiles at the monster gone berserk. With conventional weaponry failing, top officials believe a nuclear response holds the answer to their problems. After hitting the gigantic lizard with a nuke, the demonic creature now spews radioactive fire from its mouth.
Underneath all the destruction, there is an underlying social and political commentary. Through satire, government officials react absurdly to this mind-boggling situation. “You’ve got to be kidding me?” is used so frequently by some of the secondary characters. The phrase luckily never loses its freshness and meaning during the repetition.
Right from the start, readers can tell authors Eric Powell (THE GOON) and Tracy Marsh are just absolutely having tremendous fun. Their enjoyment is just unbelievably infectious when you start reading. There should be problems because the storyline has no character development whatsoever. But because each page is filled with hilarious humor, the storytelling comes across as purely entertaining.
The pencils by THE WRETCH’s Phil Hester are just amazingly eye-catching. It’s interesting how he is able to put the epic size of Godzilla in these small panels. The splash pages capture the violent ferocity and destruction that lies in Godzilla’s aftermath. The inks by Bruce McCorkindale and the colors by Ronda Pattison enliven the monster action and capture the dilapidated surroundings of a city falling apart.
GODZILLA: KINGDOM OF MONSTERS #1 is an entertaining combination of monsters and mayhem. If you remember the countless GODZILLA movies, this is pure nostalgia that will bring back memories of joy and excitement. If you’re looking for nonstop big creature destruction, you’re surely going to enjoy this action-packed issue. Because the first issue sold out right away, Godzilla groupies should definitely grab the second reprint on May 11. The second print will feature a fantastic Alex Ross cover with a new foil logo.