Review by Ian Keogh
In addtion to Godzilla IDW also licensed the use of the other monsters from the classic Japaneses films. As fans will know, there are a fair amount, and the main purpose of Kingdom of Monsters is to have plenty of them on the rampage.
Co-writers Eric Powell and Tracy Marsh don’t bother with previous continuity of films or comics. When Godzilla emerges from the sea causing minor earthquakes with each step taken there’s no instant recognition from bystanders, just instant fear. Neither do the authorities know what’s hit Japan, but they’re more confident that a well aimed missile will end the problem. They’ve a lot to learn. The same applies to other countries around the world where monsters appear, Powell and Marsh showing some wit in the circumstances. A giant pterodactyl emerges from a meteor, while a US senator proudly does a TV interview in front of a wall on the Mexican border as a giant armadillo bursts through.
There’s an obvious genre love from Phil Hester. The story’s format allows him to draw the assorted monsters in pin-up style, as they rampage around the world, and he delivers some great pages. When it comes to the satirical aspects he delivers them without going too far over the top, with an instinctive understanding of how that best sells the comedy, and is great when it comes to designing dinosaur-themed costumes for idiot pop stars.
This opening selection of a three volume story is little other than an introductory sequence, and only in the final chapter is there actually any clash of monsters. Don’t expect much more than plenty of stomping and a few great jokes and you’ll be very satisfied. Powell and Marsh pick up in Volume 2, and all three trades were combined as a complete story in 2019.