||Inks: Simon Gane
SDF, & Misc Appearances:
|Titanosaurus, Rodan, Anguirus, Godzilla, Kumonga, Battra
Four issues into Duane Swierczynski's Godzilla series, and the plot continues the exploits of Boxer's task force in taking down the kaiju. This issue focuses on their conflict with Rodan and Titanosaurus, who end up fighting each other. Godzilla #4 seems like it should be a highlight, getting to work in the hunting aspect with a kaiju battle, but suffers a serious lack of energy due in part because of the art by Simon Gane.
The story picks up in Tokyo with the group ready to tackle Titanosaurus from a helicopter until Rodan interferes. The giant winged monster downs the copter, sending it into a building but the group manages to survive the crash. Thinking quickly, they fire beams at both monsters, managing to anger them
and misdirect their rage into a battle between them.
First off, a battle between Titanosaurus and Rodan sounds like a good conflict. Two tooth and claw kaiju going at it with a unique pair up that hasn't been seen before. However, the concept falters for two reasons: Simon Gane is not that great at capturing the action and the conflict itself feels unsatisfying and brief. Straight up, while Gane has been generally consistent overall with his art duties for the first three issues, he isn't as great at capturing battle sequences. A sense of energy and adrenaline is missing from the panels, while Gane's Titanosaurus is drawn with an inconsistent look from panel-to-panel. For the other fault, I'm not going to hold back spoilers, so stop reading now if this is a concern. That said, the battle entails: Rodan pushing Titanosaurus away with his wings, ramming into him and biting him in the neck before a building falls on both of them ending their war. The building, which was detonated by Boxer and Urv, is actually enough to take out Titanosaurus as Rodan flies off to menace them another day.
The plot is a little skimpy and the issue feels brief, thanks in part due to the battle which feels like it's just starting before it's already over. By comic's end, not much has changed besides another monster defeated and no additional development of the human cast, with Claire and Harrison not getting to do much. The publication does at least reveal what the government is doing with all the monsters that have been defeated so far (I won't spoil it, but I wager most will guess what the plan is and its one of the comic's pay offs).
In regards to the covers, the Zach Howard entry is the strongest with a compelling close up of Titanosaurus. The Matt Frank and the Jeff Zornow covers are also nice, although oddly similar in their subject matter for a change. The Frank cover has a great Titanosaurus on it, although the Rodan looks oddly "griffon-like". The Zornow cover is very sleek with an incredible amount of detail, but doesn't capture the right level of action for what is happening unlike the more dynamic Frank one.
Overall, the issue is so-so. It's nice to see Rodan get more respect in the new series, but very disappointing to see what could have been a great conflict feel like a non-event and for the character development to have largely stalled. The issue doesn't end on a cliff hanger either, lending to a rather apathetic outlook for issue #5. Here is to hoping the following issues kick up the conflict a bit more, and flesh out the human cast as well with a bit more personality.