If you asked me what was my most anticipated thing this year, I would have said THE AVENGERS....or not. I've been waiting for GODZILLA #1. After the realization that Kingdom of Monsters would be ending, I thought that was it for G's comic career. For awhile it was in limbo, until we got word from IDW that they would be doing a brand new, 'fresh' series. While it's in the same continuity as Kingdom of Monsters, their words for it are 'soft reboot.' Whatever you want to call it, GODZILLA is a new start for the big lizard. Kingdom of Monsters was a very mixed series, as you know if you've followed my coverage of it in the past. In the end, it was a fun story that brought back all my favorite characters from hibernation. With the film seemingly in development hell, I have the comic to look forward to. Like with Kingdom of Monsters #1, I wasn't overly impressed with this issue. By no means bad, but it's lacking the punch I was expecting.
Here's the official description IDW themselves:
Godzilla is back... in an all-new ongoing series! Duane Swierczynski and Simon Gane launch this ultimate action-movie blockbuster, ushering in a new era of monster battles. Ex-special forces tough-guy Boxer is a man with a grudge and vows to end the terror of Godzilla, no matter what. He assembles a top notch team to take down monster-sized threats... at $7 billion a bounty. What starts as a vendetta could become a lucrative business for Boxer... if he can live past day one!
The very first two pages were so amazing. It's shows the TOHO logo and then on the other page it shows Godzilla in Japanese writing. Just looking at those two things made me feel like a kid on Christmas morning. I then turned to the next page to find Kumonga crashing a wedding. Gotta give props to that, no wedding had ever been crashed before in G history. It's good to see unique concepts such as that. Then we are given scenes with Rodan and Battra attacking cities with the tagline: "The giant monsters are rising once again." So yes, this is a direct followup to Kingdom of Monsters, there's nothing being ignored here. First off, I like that they're giving back to the fans. Kumonga had a one panel appearance in the whole Kingdom of Monsters series, so it's good to him here. It wasn't really explained how Godzilla, Rodan, and Battra had thawed out. Not a true big deal, I guess it makes sense for new readers. This series looks to be just a tad bit more character driven than Kingdom of Monsters.
For some reason, I don't like the narration boxes. They ruin the mood and atmosphere. Our main character is Boxer, kind of a slight opposite to Steven Woods from Kingdom of Monsters. While definitely not a bad focus, I think he could have been established better. He doesn't have that likable exterior Steven had when he first appeared. I must give props to the fact about a plot twist I didn't see coming. Let's just say that this series looks to keep the no holds-barred dark tone of Kingdom of Monsters. Characters die when you least expect it, as seen here. Writing isn't particularly strong. Not as bad as some of the cringe worthy writing from some of the earlier issues of Kingdom of Monsters, but nothing too great either. I'm not really sure where this bounty hunter angle is going to go, it's totally unnecessary. What the heck are they going to do to any of these monsters?
The art is in mixed territory. While slightly better than Victor Santos from Kingdom of Monsters, the humans look way too sketchy. However, the monsters, namely Godzilla, look great. G is in his complete Heisei look here, some great panels with him. (The double page spread is fantastic.) It even rivals Arthur Adams's work with G back in the Dark Horse days. In Rodan's brief panel appearance, he actually looks like Rodan instead of Gyaos. I hope he actually looks impressive in this series. Kumonga looks like Kumonga rather than just a giant brown spider. I would have preferred the eyes to have more of a purple look, but it's a minor thing. There are three covers this time around. Cover A is a wraparound featuring a stylized GMK Godzilla, very dynamic. Cover B shows G's foot with a puddle showcasing him, great perspective. The variant cover shows Boxer standing in front of Godzilla, the perspective here is fantastic. Really good covers. Regarding the monsters, sadly once again they're portrayed as walking events. I want to see some personality displayed in these guys, we've only seen that in Gangsters and Goliaths and Legends.
Overall, not the awesome start I was hoping for. It's still not a bad beginning, just like with Kingdom of Monsters #1. It may seem like a continuation of the whole 'monsters appearing and attacking' thing, but I have faith that as the issues go on, we'll be getting some pleasant surprises. I'm happy to see these characters back in media, I'll be reading further.