MASTER FILMMAKER MARK MACKNER reviews GODZILLA: KINGDOM OF MONSTERS #2!!!!

COMIC REVIEW

GODZILLA: KINGDOM OF MONSTERS #2

STORY: Eric Powell & Tracy Marsh

ART: Phil Hester

PUBLISHER: IDW

REVIEW: Master Filmmaker Mark Mackner

OK, somehow I missed the opportunity to review the first issue of this title, but I can’t express to you just how happy I am that we’re getting a new ongoing GODZILLA comic series. And this is the first time ever that some of Toho’s other legendary movie monsters, such as MOTHRA, RODAN, ANGUIRUS, KING GHIDORAH, and more will be featured in comic form, so that’s really a cause to celebrate!

The first issue was pretty standard Godzilla fare. Godzilla rises up out of the sea, annihilates a small Japanese island, and proceeds to Tokyo with the military powerless to stop him. That was Issue 1. That happens in nearly EVERY Godzilla story, so no new territory there. But it was just awesome to have a new Godzilla story, whatever the case.

But with Issue 2, it really starts to get interesting. More monsters begin to appear, and there’s a little more gallows humor, which is exactly what you want from an ERIC POWELL Godzilla story. Phil Hester’s artwork is suitably HUGE, with the kaiju almost too big to contain within the pages of a standard-sized comic book. If you’re a big kaiju geek like me, you’re going to LOVE this issue!

Highlights include the entrance of ANGUIRUS, coming up from underneath Mexico, in a spectacular splash page. It seems more like a BARAGON intro, but it reminded me of GODZILLA vs. MECHA-GODZILLA (1974), which also had Anguirus burrowing from underground. USELESS TRIVIA: Baragon was actually in the original script for that scene, but the Baragon suit was still in bad shape after being altered to create several monsters for the first ULTRAMAN series, so they used Anguirus instead.

You’ve also got RODAN making his comic book debut in this issue, and his intro is REALLY unconventional. A kid in Russia grabs a rock in a museum during an earthquake, and takes it home, only to discover that it’s actually a Rodan egg. This subplot is more reminiscent of GAMERA THE BRAVE, the most recent Gamera film, than anything that Rodan ever appeared in, but it quickly goes in a much different direction than the Gamera movie. Let’s just say that Rodan is NOT a “friend to all children”.

It’s a cool nod to DESTROY ALL MONSTERS to have Rodan wreaking havoc in Russia, and it’s just as cool to have a kaiju attack a less-obvious place like Mexico for a change. Anguirus employs his wicked rolling ball attack that he debuted in FINAL WARS in another memorable moment. And let’s not forget the comedy in this issue, which is actually welcome and well-executed. The best funny bits to me were the scenes which had the governor of Texas erecting a wall across the TexMex border to keep Anguirus out of the USA, and the spectacularly inconsequential suicide bomb revenge plot where the father of two missing children attempts to turn himself into a living weapon to use against Godzilla. Hilarious!

Not a whole lot of Godzilla himself in this one, actually, but having the first appearance (in comics) of Anguirus and Rodan, two of my favorite and most iconic kaiju, more than makes up for it. Plus, it promises that there will soon be a battle of these behemoths, as soon as next issue! In fact, the back cover tells us that we’re going to see just that in #3! So, yeah. I’ve been a fan of Godzilla comics past, but just the fact that we’re seeing other actual Toho creations come in to play here makes it feel more like an extension of the films, and already elevates it above the Marvel and Dark Horse series that have come before it.

In future issues, we’ll be seeing more heavy hitters such as Godzilla’s arch enemy KING GHIDORAH, the always-heroic MOTHRA, as well as more obscure fan favorites like HEDORAH! YES! This will be more than enough to keep me satisfied until Legendary Pictures’ brand-new Godzilla film coming next year! THIS is how you make G-Fans happy, IDW! Keep up the great work!

And THAT is THE WORD, so sayeth THE MASTER!!!!

(MASTER FILMMAKER MARK MACKNER is the resident Poptards Spider-Man nut, and the author of SPIDEY’S WEEKLY WEB-UP right here on this site! Also, true to his name, he is the writer/director of the locally made films DAISY DERKINS, DOGSITTER OF THE DAMNED!, EVIL BREW, and THE HALF-LIFE HORROR FROM HELL or: IRRADIATED SATAN ROCKS THE WORLD! And recently, he was placed in charge of filming the SWELLCO & SWELLCO VIDEO CIRCUS!)

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