Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters

Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters
Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: IDW - 978-1-68405-533-3
  • Release date: 2019
  • UPC: 9781684055333
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no
  • CATEGORIES: Action Thriller

The big difference between IDW’s Godzilla and earlier comic versions is that IDW also licensed the right to use other giant monsters from the classic Japanese 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.

This is treated as a new start. When Godzilla first emerges from the sea onto a Japanese beach there’s no recognition, just terror, and with one exception that’s the same response generated by other monsters as they also emerge. The exception is in France, where creepy mute twin sisters Mallorie and Minette relish the meeting with Battra, then still in caterpillar form and are able to exert some control over it. After encouraging destruction they watch it attach itself to the Eiffel Tower to generate its final form.

As that might indicate, initial co-writers Eric Powell and Tracy Marsh approach Kingdom of Monsters with their tongues in their cheeks. Don’t worry, they take the monsters seriously enough, but have fun with the people who run into them, included (but not limited to) a narcissistic pop star, some Texas good ol’ boys and their monster truck, and a Japanese suicide bomber.

Phil Hester draws the opening four chapters, and he’s the better all-rounder, nailing the monster scenes with some great pin-ups, but also good when it comes to civilians. Victor Santos is slightly better with the monsters, having a visceral energy to his pen, but his scenes with people are altogether shakier. He inherits Sgt Steven Brooks, who has a considerable destiny, but first saves a young girl he protects. Santos never manages to draw her convincingly, her head always misproportioned. However, when he can deliver the type of monster mayhem seen on the sample art there shouldn’t be too many complaints.

Kingdom of Monsters isn’t for you if you want plot density, but who comes to a Godzilla story with that as their priority? If your taste is for brilliantly drawn monsters bashing the bejaysus out of each other, this is for you. This was previously available spread over three books beginning, naturally enough, with Volume 1.