This second issue of Godzilla, under writer Duane Swierczynski and artist Simon Gane, continues the more character driven approach of the new series. It has the shades of a second issue, meaning a little less forced spectacle compared and narrowing in on more character development. It's still too early to tell how the series will shape up, as more work is needed on the character development part, although artist Simon Gane really shines in this issue.
For the second issue's plot, Boxer's mercenary task force is assembled, comprising of himself, Urv (the man who had his wedding interrupted in the first issue), Harrison (a mute racing driver who was involved in the Rodan attack in the previous issue) and Claire Plangman (gun touting military scientist and Boxer's ex). The group steals supplies, including an experimental weapon called the Headache Beam, as they fly to Edinburgh, Scotland, to confront the monster Anguirus. The group is effective at drawing the kaiju's attention, but may have bitten off more than they can chew...
The story ends the issue on a cliffhanger, which certainly has one vested in how things go from here. The comic starts out similar to issues of Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters, i.e. random worldwide destruction from the monsters without a lot of focus. Thankfully after this it narrows in on Boxer and how his group is progressing. Of the group, Boxer and Claire seem to be the only ones who play off themselves well, although their current relationship as testy exs seems a little cliche. Harrison, being given some narration duties in the start, seems rather disappointing that he is mute in that, as the second half of the issue demonstrates, the writing gives him little opportunity for character to make an impression beyond just the man behind the wheel. Due to the setting, it's going to be key that the human cast is interesting and compelling on their own, and it will need to pay off soon for the series to stay strong.
As for the art, Simon Gane is really stepping up his game. There are a few shots with the human characters that feel a bit rushed, but it's a solid improvement over the first issue. The monsters look generally fantastic as well, especially Anguirus who Gane has a firm grasp on. The human characters also spark to life with a lot more consistent details being put into them, especially for Claire. Here is to hoping this level of detail and care continues through the series.
In terms of the covers, this issue has a great selection to choose from. After a long break, Jeff Zornow is back and draws a fantastic Anguirus for his variant. This is probably the first time that Zornow's cover is the most true to source of those available, and the great image of the spiked monster make this the most appealing of the ones available. Zach Howard turns in also a great, underwater image of the King of the Monsters. The detail is fantastic, while the art gives off a welcome vibe toward the old The Return of Godzilla manga that was done. Finally, Matt Frank crafts a great image with Godzilla and the protagonist, Boxer, on the front with a Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002) style King of the Monsters charging his ray.
Overall, the next few issues will be "make or break" for the series. This one built up the crew Boxer has assembled a little, although they will need more character development if they are going to be able to carry the book for long spans without the monsters in the mix. The next issues will be the real test, as it's on a tough tight rope: will Boxer's group actually be successful in stopping the monsters? If so, that conjures up shades of Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994) and Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) if they are going to be doing it with handheld weapons, with sequences that aren't particularly beloved in those movies. If they are going to be failing, though, it could easily make the comic's progression feel futile. It will be a tough tightrope to walk, and will at least be interesting to see the direction Duane Swierczynski takes the book.