MASTER FILMMAKER MARK MACKNER goes gaga over GODZILLA LEGENDS #2: RODAN!

 

COMIC REVIEW

GODZILLA LEGENDS #2: RODAN

STORY: Jon Vankin

ART: Simon Gane

COLORS: Ronda Pattison

PUBLISHER: IDW

REVIEW: Master Filmmaker Mark Mackner

Greetings, Godzilla Geeks! Tis I, noted kaiju scholar and local indie horror icon MASTER FILMMAKER MARK MACKNER with a review of GODZILLA LEGENDS #2: RODAN! Been a while since I posted a review here on POPTARDS, but I was so excited by this book that I felt I just had to share some of that joy with YOU, the readers who POPTARDS exists for!

Let’s just dive right into it. This is a comic book about RODAN, the pterodactyl mutated to giant size from being exposed to massive amounts of radiation, and star of such films as GHIDORAH THE THREE HEADED-MONSTER and DESTROY ALL MONSTERS. Now, Rodan has been featured in a few issues of IDW’s main Godzilla title GODZILLA: KINGDOM OF MONSTERS, and briefly appeared in the mini series GANGSTERS AND GOLIATHS, but this is the very first time that there’s been an entire comic book devoted to the old Toho regular. If you’re bothering to read this review, I don’t think I have to tell you that that’s FUCKING AWESOME!!!!

Godzilla’s been in comics for years, first through Marvel, and then Dark Horse. What’s great about these new series from IDW is that they feature several other famous kaiju, like MOTHRA and GIGAN. But what’s AMAZING about this LEGENDS mini series is that, finally, these legendary movie monsters get their chance to shine in the spotlight all by themselves. RODAN was the very second movie I owned on VHS, so many years ago (The first was GODZILLA vs. MEGALON). My Dad (RIP) bought it for me at Jamesway (A K-Mart type store that no longer exists) in the Woodhaven Mall (Also no longer with us). I watched that video a hundred times, and while I ditched a lot of my VHS tapes when DVD came along, I still held on to RODAN, for its obvious sentimental value.

So, imagine my delight when I saw the cover for GODZILLA LEGENDS #2 on the shelf yesterday, with GLORIOUS artwork by ART ADAMS, featuring the winged menace himself, SHOWA style, no less. ABSOLUTE BLISS. Seriously, I want that cover blown up, framed, and hanging in my living room. But, what of the story inside?

Well, the story centers on an obsessed scientist’s efforts to save a Rodan egg from being destroyed by the military, and his son, a frequent victim of school bullies. Dad is too busy with the egg to devote much time to his son, but the two eventually bond when the military moves in and the Rodan egg is threatened. It’s a tight, self-contained story, with enough Rodan action to satisfy your kaiju fix. The art is really nice, with suitably large renderings of Rodan, often being fired upon by tanks and other weaponry, much like in the Showa classics.

On the cover, Rodan is all Showa awesomeness, but inside, he’s drawn more in the 90’s “Fire Rodan” style. I would have preferred the Showa style throughout, but I’m an old-head who grew up with these monsters, so that’s just me. Fire Rodan is perfectly fine, though. And, while the story was good, part of me wishes these LEGENDS stories were ALL about the monsters. Like, maybe filling in some blanks that were left unexplained in the movies. Like, how did Rodan survive while his mate perished in the first movie? And which survived, the male or female? You know, things like that. But then, they tend to ruin movie mythology when they try to over-explain things, so maybe it’s better to have some mystery.

The coolest moment in the book? Mild SPOILER: The kid gets Rodan to come to his school to deal with the bullies for him. That’s original and FANTASTIC! Loved it.

Oh, and next up in the LEGENDS series? TITANOSAURUS, the ocean-dwelling beast who teamed up with Mecha-Godzilla in TERROR OF MECHA-GODZILLA, the final Showa film. FUCK YEAH!!!! I REALLY wish this LEGENDS series was ongoing. I could read self-contained mini-monster movies (which is basically what these are) forever. But, for now, enjoy this while it lasts!

So, to briefly recap, Rodan, the radioactive pterodactyl who starred in Toho’s very first color film (Before Godzilla went color, even), is the focus of a new comic book. If you love old-school movie monsters and dinosaurs, YOU MUST GET THIS!!!!! NOW!!!!!

And THAT is THE WORD, so sayeth THE MASTER!

Mark Mackner is the Mastermind of Monstros Madre, the Philly-based production company responsible for such experimental short films as “bored.dumb” and “Skee-titzin”. He is the writer/director of the forthcoming feature “Daisy Derkins vs. the Bloodthirsty Beast of Barren Pines”, starring Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman and Poptards founder Johnny Destructo. He is also developing EMBALMO!, a new web series based on his 2010 short film of the same name, as well as SILAS KILLINGTON’S CAVALCADE OF CARNAGE, a late-night horror hosting show. Check out a bunch of his short films, as well as updates on all his projects in the works, at monstrosmadre.com.

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