Review by Ian Keogh
IDW’s continuity has Godzilla and its fellow giant monsters launched on a world that’s never seen anything like them before, and Volume 1 ended with the first actual clash between them. Godzilla travelled undersea from Japan to California, while the armadillo-like Anguirus rolled up from Mexico. People tracking the monsters are aware others are converging.
Eric Powell and Tracy Marsh collaborate on the writing, and in between showing us what the monsters have been up to they cut back to the US President desperately trying to assess and cope with the situation. In keeping with other recognisable celebrities he’s referred to by an alias (as President Ogden), despite being identifiably drawn as Barack Obama. He, his military advisors and other world leaders are rapidly learning that no conventional weapons, no matter how potent in human terms, have the slightest effect on the monsters. Therefore the unconventional is needed…
The art switches from Phil Hester to another master stylist in Victor Santos, who also relishes being let loose on the monsters. His pages are usually seen in black and white, contrasting light and shadows, so seeing them in colour is interesting. The result is a looser style that’s more effective on the monsters than the people. However, Santos includes well over a dozen spreads of monster battles, so there’s compensation.
Introduced in the first volume, introspective war hero Sgt Steven Woods is a wild card, and one who’s seen the devastation the monsters can cause up close. His progress is followed, helping out where he can, and picking up an orphaned young girl along the way, but without any hint as to what his ultimate role is. The amount of pages the pair occupy increases throughout the book as until by the final chapter they’re almost the sole focus. It’s a little disappointing given we want to see Godzilla and the other monsters having at each other, but the final page leads into Volume 3 and it all makes sense.
If you’d prefer, the entire Kingdom of Monsters was later collected in a single volume.