In last month’s issue, Godzilla was locked in a fierce battle with Orga and Gigan when out of nowhere, Jet Jaguar showed up. In the meantime, the alien plot to take over earth (which obviously has to involve a lot of monsters attacking various cities) gets a little more complicated…. and sinister. There’s a lot going on here for even the most hardcore kaiju fan to keep up with. Is it good?
Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #7 (IDW Publishing)
The cliffhanger tease from last issue was simply ‘PUNCH PUNCH PUNCH.’ To the creative team’s credit, that’s exactly what we get. Unfortunately, the action scenes are done in such a stilted and disjointed manner that it sucks much of the enjoyment right out of them. This is incredibly disappointing; artist Matt Frank has drawn plenty of other battles during this series’ run that were excellent both from an aesthetic and a storytelling standpoint.
But there were more than a few instances in this issue when the fights didn’t flow from one hit to the next as they had before. Frank often utilizes close up panels to portray the brutality of the battles taking place on them. In this issue, however, the tight perspectives often led to it being very difficult for the reader (or me, at least) to understand what had just taken place.
Are we swing dancing or engaging in an epic battle?
As far as the actual story goes, its quality is going to largely be effected by what type of Godzilla fan you are. If you’re a relative Godzilla newbie, than your head will feel like it’s going to explode with all the unexplained (but still implied) origins and motivations of the various humans, creatures, and robots. If you’re a lovingly casual fan with a cursory knowledge of Godzilla-lore (like myself), than seeing some of these characters will bring a jolt of nostalgic joy…followed by a wave of “what the hell is going on here?”
Hardcore Godzilla fans, however, will surely appreciate the nods to both comic and film canon sprinkled throughout the issue. But it should be noted that we’re entering some pretty treacherous territory; the series seems to be wrapping around its own continuity far too tightly. In a long ongoing series, that can be expected and easily forgiven. But the point of a re-launch is severely negated when this starts to happen by issue 7 (especially when the first four issues were laid out at such a better pace).
That’s not to say that everything in this issue bad at all. Despite my criticism of Frank’s panel work, his splash pages are as beautiful and poster-worthy as ever. I also like the idea of Woods and Chavez coming face to face with the alien race that has been unleashing various kaiju onto the earth.
I’m very excited to see what direction Chris Mowry takes Jet Jaguar. And despite my general dislike for this issue, both the cliffhanger and the teaser for the next one (Monster Island) have me more than interested enough to come back.
Is It Good?
Even though I am not as well-versed in Godzilla’s mythology as others, I am enough of a fan to have been more than a little outraged at how he was treated in Roland Emmerich’s 1998 crapfest of a film.
- Appearance of old school Godzilla film characters will be a treat for long time fans of Big G
- New plot twist involving the aliens who have been unleashing the kaiju should be interesting (and provide more perspective)
- Disjointed paneling/artwork takes away from what should have been some incredible fight scenes
- The series is already beginning to collapse under the weight of its own continuity
So when this series started off with Godzilla kicking Zilla’s ass, I couldn’t have asked for a better opening chapter. When it continued with Godzilla facing off against Destroyah, I felt like a kid again, watching monster movies in a living room on a Saturday morning. And even though the human characters were already well-established, I felt like I was getting to know them and their backstories right along with what was transpiring on the page.
Now, however, it feels as though things are moving ahead in a way that will start to lose a lot of readers. If a long time Godzilla-reader wants to chime in with a comment below on how they feel about the series, please do. Maybe I’m just not the right audience for this book. But for what it’s worth, I was greatly enjoying this book during the first few issues. Now, however, my enjoyment and willingness to keep reading is slowly being chipped away.
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