Welcome to the Thanksgiving edition of OFF THE RACK and, as I always say, nothing says Thanksgiving like Godzilla. What better way to rap on the sorted history of this gluttonous “holiday” than with the epic battle of Godzilla vs. Humankind.
I was first drawn to Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters because A) it’s been a long time since I’ve read a Godzilla book, B) I’ve heard good things about what IDW has been doing with the character and C) the cover is pretty cool with Godzilla rising from the ocean stalking a submarine.
The disappointment started early when I realized that the scene depicted on the cover would never come to be in the issue. In fact, Godzilla doesn’t even appear until the last page, of his own book! Guy is clearly getting a raw deal.
Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters is an ongoing series from IDW. Issue nine is the first of the series which I have read but thanks to the synopsis on the inside jacket I have a solid understanding of the series thus far.
Monsters from the classic films began rising from the earth: Godzilla, from off the coast of Japan, Anguirus from the ground in Mexico, Rodan hatched in Russia, Battra from a cocoon in France, Kumonga from the earth under the United States and King Ghidorah from the mountains of Asia. Each creature has been laying waste to the world.
At the time of this issue Godzilla has crossed the ocean from Asia to the United States and has brought with him death and destruction. America, in a last ditch effort to fight off the horrible creature, created Mechagodzilla only to have this endeavor fail in its first encounter with the God of Monsters.
When issue nine picks up a US Military Sergeant, Steven Woods, has located and taken control of Mechagodzilla; how he found it and how he was able to gain access to it or make it work in the first place are not explained here. Also not explained is who the little girl, Allie, is. Is she his daughter? A wayward child he found? Things I have to assume were explained earlier in the series.
Issue nine is lacking in action, choosing instead to focus on the human element of Woods and the US Government which has been forced underground. The only fight scene in the issue is a short-lived battle between Mechagodzilla and Anguirus. During the battle it is clear that Woods has no real understanding of how to use the massive machine but still somehow manages to “luck” his way into victory.
As a writer I understand the difficulty in writing a story involving monsters that doesn’t have a human element, case in point is a story I wrote for an upcoming anthology through Viper Comics. But it always annoys me when people try to over-involve humans in what is clearly a monster story. The example I lean on as the staple for doing this poorly is Aliens vs Predator; the premise is awesome, the execution was horrible.
I find myself unimpressed with how this story seems to be shaking out and the forums tend to be leaning the same way, it seems. If it were me, I would have focused more on the action of the monsters fighting or destroying. Then let the human element involve myriad people all over the world and how they either worked to fight the invasion or found ways to survive in the face of certain doom.
Overall, I give Godzilla King of the Monsters a C rating. The story was lacking in both action and value in the characters. The art did not blow me away and I felt the coverage of the title character should have been more prevalent.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s OFF THE RACK. Check back next week for an all-new review!
This is your Bin Fodder Guru Tim Blacksmith signing off.