“They have come…to end us all.” ~The Priestesses
The GODZILLA Ongoing has reached its final act that has been hinted since the end of Kingdom of Monsters. Issue #6 was the high point of the series, finally Mothra’s lovely Priestesses appeared and explained things. (Vaguely, but it was something.) They had warned that the monsters whom had risen up were not the end for humanity, rather it was the things approaching our planet. Then #7 came and it might have been the worst issue of the series. Not necessarily bad, but extremely underwhelming compared to the previous one. With this issue, I had high expectations, but not too high, since I’ve been letdown in the past with these comics. What I am happy to report is that #8 is by far the greatest issue in the series yet, the first issue I can call a really good read. Big things happen, with the humans, with the monsters, and…the invasion begins. Now this is the reason why we read Godzilla comics. (Spoilers are abundant in this review.)
Here’s the official description from from IDW:
Boxer is cornered by the government and Godzilla is a giant sized X-factor, wrecking everyone’s plans. Sides are switched, lives are lost… and then the unthinkable happens. The devastating third act of this Godzilla epic begins now!
It starts out with Boxer, Claire, and Harrison running away from the ‘misty stuff’ the helicopter sprayed. Unfortunately they run into Godzilla, whom is walking straight toward them. Meanwhile the Priestesses tell the world about the objects that have struck the Earth. Gigan, SpaceGodzilla, Hedorah, and Monster X have arrived, and according to the little ladies they are the ones that bring the fall of humanity. And also sides are switched, it looks like the Earth monsters might have not been the evil creatures after all. Duane Swierczynski raises the bar greatly in this one. One of the best scenes is actually not a fully monster one, but when Harrison narrates, “In that moment, my father knew he had a choice to make. Me…or Claire.” It’s a truly emotional moment when we see Godzilla stomp on Claire, whom was I think the best human character. That moment was far more emotional than Urv’s death last issue, it really takes you by surprise and even makes the reader a little sad. Boxer’s dialogue is still of that from an 80’s action movie, but better than what we’ve been reading. This is also one of the best Godzilla portrayals. It’s an interesting perspective, he didn’t mean to stomp on Claire, she was just there. He didn’t notice her, because to him she’s just an ant. Godzilla doesn’t care about humans, because they are far smaller beings. This issue gives us a great perspective of the King of Monsters.
Obviously the thing that will get fans excited is the invasion of the space monsters. It was a big “aw yeah” moment when Mothra gave Claire a vision two issues ago of what was to come, showing SpaceGodzilla, Hedorah, and Gigan, the latter whom at that point surprisingly not had a real appearance in the comic world. They appear here and get some really great destruction scenes. The notable thing is that also Monster X is here, a very cool surprise for longtime fans. (Unless you had already saw the variant for Issue #10.) Monster X appeared in in the most recent Godzilla film nine years ago, Final Wars. I personally love his second form, Keizer Ghidorah, which served as the final boss. (One has to wonder if it will appear alongside SpaceGodzilla in the final battle.) The narration saying who these monsters are from the Priestesses is just fantastic. From “…A gruesome mockery of our own defender” to “The beast in the East is an unholy marriage of alien flesh and mechanical destruction,” it succeeds in establishing the scope for how dangerous these guys are.
I’ve always liked Simon Gane’s art, he can draw some truly fantastic monsters. (Rodan and Godzilla being highlights.) The humans on the other hand could look really sketchy and the facial expressions off. There are no true problems here. Godzilla looks great, his first splash page here is truly memorable. Gigan has a very gritty look to him, I like it. SpaceGodzilla gets the money-shots naturally, his first splash page appearance is amazing. (It was also nice to see Monster X’s arrival in meteorite form, just like in the film.) SpaceG is colored in bright blue, resembling the Trendmasters toy more than his on-screen appearance. I don’t mind personally, it’ll look good good next to a dark blue/grey Godzilla. Hedorah looks fine, standard. Monster X looks the most dull, but to be fair he doesn’t get any big pages to himself. The first cover is definitely the best, an amazingly detailed head-shot of Godzilla looming down at Boxer and Miss Asuka, one of the better covers from IDW. The second one by Matt Frank has a pretty cool shot of Godzilla in the background with Boxer and Asuka in the front. A good cover, but the main one actually wins out this time, it’s unique has a great perspective of the big G. One of the more interesting characters of this series is Miss Asuka. Here we see the full extent of Dr. Pohl’s plan, she knew what to do. She is definitely one of the best human characters in this series. Dr. Pohl is basically what you get when you grab a generic mad scientist and make him a little more interesting. My opinion of him hasn’t changed, not great, but not the worst human villain out there.
Overall, GODZILLA #8 is what I would call a Godzilla comic. The writing is strong, stronger than it has ever been. Big things happen with the humans, and there’s plenty of monster action. Godzilla is portrayed wonderfully, and the long awaited invasion of the space monsters has begun, and it’s awesome. This is a great setup issue with some payoff. You can count me extremely excited for what comes next, the final arc of this series looks to be one of the best!
My name is Daniel (@Destroyer_199), the main guy for comic reviews here at Unleash the Fanboy. I was born in 1995 in the Big Apple, spent my formative years in Staten Island, and currently reside in the awesome state that is New Jersey.