With a Purposeful Grimace and a Terrible Sound
Timing aside, the return of the King of Monsters to the world of sequential art is one that should be heralded. Headed by a dynamite creative team, does Gojira make a strong first impression?
The Folly of ManThe story in this Godzilla adaptation is much the same as it is most every Godzilla iteration; the dreaded reptilian beast rises from the shores of Japan and proceeds to go on a rampage. Although the military attempts to intervene, even their strongest attempts are brushed aside. With the situation going from bad to worse following a tactical nuclear strike, Japan sends a desperate call for aid to nations across the globe.
Let's get one thing straight. Godzilla is a time-honored tradition and beloved series in Japan. Although the depiction of destruction and even the nuclear implications involved might seem a tad in poor taste considering recent events, one has to keep the whole thing in context.
Destroy All MonstersAnd to Powell's credit, he doesn't sugar-coat the proceedings. People are dying in this comic, and Powell doesn't shy away from the savage side of the rubber-suited menace. Even the dialog seems fairly believable and fairly minimalist. And that's fitting considering how the entirety of the comic is people running in fear and government types deciding how to handle such a fiasco. Throw into this the art stylings of Phil Hester, who has been one of my personal favorite artist since his run on Green Arrow, and this is a solid package. Hester's stylized, jagged, and harsh pencils just add to the story-telling.
But as far as that story-telling actually goes, some people may not like the simplistic "monster smashing up city" deal. There's also not much else to the issue other than its set-up, either, so if you don't plan on following the series from the get-go, this might not quite have the hooks to get you.
History Shows Again and Again...People who aren't fans of Godzilla or the "kaiju" genre as a whole might not find Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #1 to their liking. However, if you find yourself looking for something a little different at your local comic shoppes, this is a great start to what should be an entertaining series. Comics about giant monsters going on wanton rampages are fairly few and far between, but Powell and Hester's effort here makes one wonder why.
Godzilla #1 stomps out 4 stars out of 5.