||Inks: Simon Gane
SDF, & Misc Appearances:
|Godzilla, Kiryu, Titanosaurus, Anguirus, Kumonga, Battra
Issue five and Duane Swierczynski's Godzilla series is picking up steam again, giving Boxer's crew a titan beyond their current skills to take down to make things interesting and another monster fight that is more satisfying. The comic isn't particularly great by any measure, but is a decent read with a so-so plot and thankfully a return to form on the art duties from Simon Gane after the rushed feeling Godzilla #4.
The story starts off with billionaire Daniel Malmon unveiling his new weapon that his company has created, built from the blueprints of the US government Mechagodzilla: Kiryu. Piloted by the billionaire himself, Kiryu flies to San Fernando Valley where Boxer and his "Monster Kill Crew" are struggling to stay alive against Godzilla, who is immune to the headache beam they created. The new Mechagodzilla confronts Godzilla, while Boxer is not pleased at the thought of someone other than himself going up against the King of the Monsters.
After a weak fourth issue, Swierczynski crafts a much better story this time around. The narrative isn't a whole lot better, but the monster conflict is actually interesting which in the case of an issue where most of it is fighting, makes all the difference. The human cast is developed a bit with Harrison revealing that he is actually Boxer's son. It's a somewhat touching revelation, and will go a long way toward making their dynamic in the future interesting. However, it's also revealed that Harrison is mute by choice, that he refuses to talk ever since Boxer left his mother... at age 9. Sorry, but characters who are mute for decades or more by sheer will just feels like such a forced writing technique, and there better be a damn good reveal for when he first talks later in the series to make up for the fact that the reader can see the cliche coming a mile away.
In terms of the art, Simon Gane does a much better job here with the conflict between Godzilla and Kiryu than he did with the one between Rodan and Titanosaurus in Godzilla #4. It would seem that beam wars are more up Gane's ally. A few of the panels, especially when Boxer and his crew are running from debris, are a little sloppy, but Gane draws a good Kiryu and otherwise does a much better job on this comic than he did the one before.
In regards to the covers, this issue drops the total down to two. One, by Zach Howard, is a strong image of Godzilla, with a bloody hand, trying to face off against Kiryu. Godzilla's face looks a little cartoony, but it's an impressive cover. The other by Matt Frank shows a charging Kiryu raining down missiles on Godzilla. It's not as attention grabbing as the Howard one, but the Zero Cannon induced icy background is a nice touch.
Overall, the issue is okay, and feels like the series is going in the right direction again. I'm not particularly excited by the cliff hanger of the issue, but with Monster Island as a backdrop it gives the idea some playing room. The biggest fault of the comic, though, is simply that it was released on the same day next to Godzilla: The Half-Century War #2, which is an amazing comic that makes even this decent fifth issue feel like an afterthought.