Third issue in the new Godzilla series, still under the wing of writer Duane Swierczynski and artist Simon Gane, and the eb and flow of the series is taking shape. The roster of characters introduced in the last issue is now set loose on a couple of monsters, giving the humans versus kaiju story line it's make or break moment. In terms of how it stakes up, it's an interesting read, although the humans seem to be having it a little too easy in the third issue, while artist Gane is fitting well with the material.
The plot begins where the last issue left off, with Boxer and Claire Plangman frantically trying to repair the Headache Beam while Anguirus is quickly approaching. Harrison provides some last minute transportation to rescue them, while the crew successfully defeats the monster thanks to explosives planted by Urv. With their new found success, the crew goes after Kumonga, Rodan, Battra and a new creature emerging in Japan.
First, one will have to forgive how the story starts out. Anguirus was nearly on top of them at the end of Godzilla #2, while here he is much further out and rolling toward them. Second, somehow Harrison is able to run off, get a car, hot wire it (according to him, in four seconds) and drive it back before Anguirus is able to roll to Boxer and Claire's position. Anyway you slice it, the monster must have been going almost 5MPH for that to even work. For those curious, the entire scene is included in the preview.
Okay, nitpicking aside and please stop reading to avoid spoilers as punches will not be withheld, the story shapes up with the human mercenary versus kaiju plot in full swing. The group has their first success with Anguirus followed by another with Kumonga, a failed attempt on Rodan and another success with Battra... personally, that's a lot of ground to cover for a single issue. Many of the fights only have their conclusion focused on. That's a particular shame with some like Kumonga, since he has a history with Urv and there was certainly enough meat there to draw that out. In fact, the issue probably would have been stronger had they focused more on some of the adventures with capturing them, showing the group's larger plans in action leading to the eventual defeat of the monster, rather than skipping to a bullet point rundown.
That leads to the Battra conflict, which is the one that seemed most implausible. I can buy how they captured Anguirus, I can believe that they got Kumonga toward a mountain that they could detonate, and I was even impressed that they gave Rodan the honor of not being taken down (since he has been on the receiving end of comics lately)... but with tackling Battra the group felt over their head. First, this one has a beam weapon, and is already trying to blast the group. Second, they end up trapping her in a giant, electrified kevlar net. That seems okay, but what's stopping her from continuing to blast everything with her prism beams while inside? The net has large enough holes to keep her firing away. Oh well, I guess sequences like these will perhaps read odd to diehard genre fans, but for comic readers less familiar with the movie framework it will probably seem like senseless nitpicking.
As for the art, Simon Gane is both great and so-so here. His monsters are fantastic, in particular Anguirus while he has mastered the look of Rodan who harks back to the one in Rodan (1956). The detail in the monsters themselves are great, although on the flip side the human cast is often less refined and more loose in their appearance. I'm sure fans are pleased that the monster aspect is done with such care, and I will admit that of the two to focus on, Gane made the right call... although it would be great to see the human cast fleshed out in detail a bit more.
In regards to the covers, another strong selection for this issue. In terms of best of show, the Battra cover by Matt Frank is simply stunning. It's an incredible action shot, with a great contrast of colors that makes the image pop. Simply put, the art work is one of the best covers Frank has done so far. Zach Howard also returns to do an Anguirus cover this time, which is the most true to the subject matter of the three. It's an interesting piece, although not quite as strong as the other two. That leads to the Jeff Zornow cover featuring Godzilla, which has the creature grasping a battleship with an amazing amount of detail placed into the King of the Monsters.
Overall, the issue is okay. Right now, the humans seem to be having it a bit too easy, taking down three kaiju in a single issue. The third comic ends on a cliffhanger and while I preferred the second issue for fleshing things out a bit more, still have a vested interest in how this progresses although I'm hoping for a bit more of a personality to emerge from the human cast to make the reader connect with them more.