Godzilla, the king of the monsters. What started as a metaphor for the threat of nuclear energy has evolved into one of Japan’s most beloved pop-culture icons. After a ten-year absence, Godzilla finally made his triumphant return to the silver screen earlier this year, and the fans could not have been happier. For yours truly, the recent film reignited and increased my love of the franchise. In the past six months I haven’t been able to get enough of the big G. I stocked up on Godzilla movies, video games, and of course, comics, which brings us to today’s review.
You may have noticed that we’re starting with the second issue. This wasn’t my intention, but my local comic book store didn’t seem to have a copy of #1, so here we are.
We open with the planet Earth completely devastated, presumably by giant monsters, and a narration describing that the monsters had finally gone and the Earth, while devastated, is finally at peace. Many of the people of Earth who remember what is now known as the era of the Kaiju pray to the giant monsters as if they were gods. Some prayed to Mothra for good fortune. Other prayed for to King Ghidorah to bring the rain. Still others prayed to Ebirah to bring plentiful fishing trips. Our narrator, an old man, says he doesn’t believe the monsters to be gods, but he prayed all the same. He prayed to Godzilla, in hopes that he would never return, but in his experience, such prayers are rarely answered.
And indeed, those prayers have indeed fallen upon deaf ears as we soon see Godzilla battling Biolante, a monster born from a combination of Godzilla’s DNA and a rose, which when I actually read that sentence back, sounds incredibly silly. To young boys are fleeing the scene of the battle, scared for their lives, but one of them insists on taking a moment to be awed by the overwhelming presence of Godzilla. I like this scene, you can truly get a sense of the impending doom Godzilla represents as well as the incredible respect he commands.
Anywho, the monsters have a pretty brutal fight. About half way through, Mothra joins the fray and starts fighting off Godzilla. The Godzilla fans among my readers will know that unlike Godzilla, who is neither good nor evil, Mothra is a full fledged good guy who acts only to defend the earth and its people. Mothra fighting against Godzilla is nothing new, but we also see her healing Biolante. Remember that for later. Godzilla destroys Biolante and wounds Mothra, forcing her to retreat while the boys run for it.
While our narrator has nightmares about a time when he and some other scientists tried to mind control Godzilla, possibly a reference to one of the films, the boy reveals that Biolante was the only hope to heal the Earth.
While I would have liked to see more of the monsters but what we got was great. Also, the sort of, post-apocalyptic setting was very interesting and something I don’t think we’ve ever seen in a Godzilla story. Also, I really like the respect and terror that these people have for the monsters. In many of the movies, as much as I love them, monster attacks are often treated like an everyday occurrence. Here though, it’s something far more impactful. Finally, the inclusion of Biolante, one of the more interesting unique one appearance monsters from the films, was a nice touch and the subtle foreshadowing with Mothra healing it was also nice.
I don’t really have any specific complaints, but I will say, this comic felt very brief. That could just be me, but in any case, it just went by way too fast for my taste.
A very enjoyable read. Nice Godzilla action combined with an examination of the aftermath of the devastation caused by the monsters. Definitely worth picking up