As a longtime Godzilla fan, it’s great to see these characters back in media with new stories. Kingdom of Monsters was a very mixed series, but in the end, it was a fun Godzilla story. The new series has unlimited potential, but the previous issues have only been ‘good,’ not ‘great.’ I was never sold on the bounty hunter angle, and the monsters are just ‘walking events.’ They only have a slight sense of personality. Issue #3 is pretty solid with introducing some interesting new plot developments, but it’s still not ‘great.’
Here’s the official description from IDW:
Boxer and his Monster Kill Crew are notching some impressive victories against the kaiju, but a battle with Battra almost puts the team down for the count. The Crew decides it’s time to upgrade their fire-power, but questionable methods lead to division in the ranks. With his sights set on Godzilla, Boxer will have to get his team in line—fast!
I’ve been laughing at the concept of ‘monster hunters.’ There was no way in the world these guys would be able to take down a monster, right? Well….no. Somehow, somehow these guys are taking down monsters. It’s a sad thing to say, stuff like this doesn’t happen in the films unless you have a Mechagodzilla. To be fair, the way they take out Anguirus is feasible. However, when they start taking out others…the monsters are now looking like jokes. Remember how happy we all were when Kumonga appeared in the first issue? Well, fans of the spider will be disappointed at how he was treated like a joke. Not everything’s bad however, finally Rodan is getting treated with respect. He hasn’t really been a big hitter in these comics, but that’s changing, which is great.
Fans might be disappointed that this series is barely about Godzilla at all anymore. He’s in it, but it’s really about what’s happening around him. That’s not a bad thing, but there should definitely be more of a focus on the title character. The ‘Monster Hunters’ (that is what I’ll keep referring to them as since ‘Monster Kill Crew’ doesn’t have that same ring) aren’t really terrible focuses, but they aren’t particularly engaging either. Boxer is a gruff character, but he’s lacking everything that made Steven Woods so likable in Kingdom of Monsters. I definitely prefer Simon Gane’s art over Victor Santos.’ Gane’s style is growing on me, the monsters look great. It’s almost like a gritty take on them. There’s a really amazing shot of Anguirus rearing his Showa head, Rodan looks great, (unlike his look in Kingdom of Monsters, where he looked like a brown Gyaos) and their destruction on the panels look good. The main cover shows a Final Wars styled Anguirus in rolling form. Not bad, but not great either. The other two covers are fantastic. The Matt Frank variant shows an amazing-looking Battra while the other variant showcases Godzilla in his Against Mechagodzilla and Tokyo SOS look, great stuff.
Overall, a pretty solid third installment in this series. It’s still lacking that ‘punch,’ but this issue seems to be winding up for the epic blow that will hopefully be Issue #4. (Rodan vs. Titanosaurus, are you ready?!) Sadly monsters like Kumonga are offed in a few panels, so get ready for your inner kaiju to cry foul at making a bunch of hunters able to beat these guys. Well, it appears this series is improving somewhat, I eagerly await the next issue which could very well have the greatest battle in comics this year.