Godzilla #8
 Duane Swierczynski
Pencils: Simon Gane Inks: Simon Gane
Language: English Release: 2013
Publisher: IDW Publishing Pages: 32
Colors: Ronda Pattison Cover: E.J. Su
Monster Appearances: Aliens, SDF, & Misc Appearances:
Godzilla, Mothra, SpaceGodzilla, Gigan, Hedorah, Monster X N/A
Anthony Romero

What a conflicting issue, featuring both disappointment but with such a fantastic conclusion. The issue is a passing of the torch, fully moving from one plot (Boxer and his crew trying to take on the monsters with their own means) to a more grand one, but lacks the finesse to make the two flow well into each other. Still the end is a big pay off, and despite some early slip ups in the comic, Gane put in the effort where it counts with some of his best work on the franchise to date.

The plot begins with Boxer, Claire and Harrison trying to escape from Godzilla after their plan failed in Godzilla #7. They scatter to try and escape, but this only presents Boxer with the tough choice later of who to save: Claire or his son, Harrison. Ultimately, he picks his son. Meanwhile, the authorities and the young expert Hikari are watching from a helicopter above, with Hikari disgusted by the fact that Boxer's group had to suffer such loses due to their interference. The authorities aren't so concerned, hoping that Godzilla will fall into the trap they have set, while meanwhile an invasion approaches from the stars...

Before I continue, I would implore people to stop reading unless they have the issue as there will be a lot of spoilers listed through out. That said, the first half of the issue feels like a major disappointment. While we aren't through with the Boxer character, it feels like the story is rushing to move most of them out of the way to start on the invasion plot without a more natural transition between them. Claire in particular is a causality of this, with pretty much no fanfare made by Boxer after her apparent death (the sequence is vague enough that this could be a fake out, though) beyond some quick rubble searching before leaping into the next plot with meeting Hikari and discussing the trapping of Godzilla. That said, the issue has a major payoff as the alien invasion hinted at in Godzilla #6 is finally happening... the final seven pages of the comic are an orgy of chaos, with SpaceGodzilla landing in London, Gigan in Hong Kong, Hedorah in the North Pacific Ocean and Monster X in New York. It's pure popcorn entertainment, with great descriptions from the Shobijin for each monster as they describe the situation to the UN. Mothra even emerges to throw down with Monster X, hinting at a big battle between the two coming up. So despite the issue's early short comings, the conclusion is certainly worth reading.

In terms of the art, Simon Gane starts the issue off pretty weak. The first two pages in particular are a miss, with a gross lack of detail in the human characters and an unimpressive Godzilla. The artwork done for Harrison later, who seems to be in serious need of medical attention, also misses the mark as there are no overt injuries where a little blood on his clothes or something would have made the point more clear that he got very badly hurt. That said, Gane also does his best work ever on the series toward the end of the issue. To the point, Gane draws the best SpaceGodzilla has ever looked, really pouring his soul into the amount of detail in the creature. His initial shot from space is fantastic, as is the close up of him firing his Corona beam later on. In fact, even though SpaceGodzilla is far and away the stand out in terms of art, all four of the space monsters look phenomenal under Gane's hand here.

As for the covers, this is the rare instance where neither of the covers particularly caught my eye. The main one is done by E.J. Su, the artist for Godzilla Legends #4, and depicts Boxer and I assume Hikari (could be Claire as well if they colored her hair wrong) trying to escape from Godzilla. The angle is dynamic, but the Godzilla looks a little off and Boxer is a bit too divorced from what we have seen from the pages of the comic so far. The alternate Matt Frank cover, showing Boxer with his fallen crew and Godzilla in the background, is a bit better... but again feels off in how it draws Boxer, who is the center focus of the cover.

Overall, Swierczynski starts the issue weak and ends with a bang. I'm a bit sad that, by eight issues in, I'm still looking for more development of the main cast so that I care about them, especially in their darkest hour... but the issue concludes with such a splash that it's hard not to love it and also really looking forward to the next issue.

Variant Covers