Title
 Godzilla Gangsters & Goliaths #2
Author(s)
 John Layman
Pencils: Alberto Ponticelli Inks: Alberto Ponticelli
Language: English Release: 2011
Publisher: IDW Publishing Pages: 32
Colors: Jay Fotos Cover: James Stokoe
  Order
Monster Appearances: Aliens, SDF, & Misc Appearances:
Godzilla, Mothra Elias
Comments
Anthony Romero

The second series from IDW, after the Kingdom of Monsters line, is shaping up to be one of the better comic series based on the Godzilla character. While Gangsters & Goliaths had a decent start, the second issue is a proof of concept delivering a refreshing plot and a developed lead character with good pacing, although has a large drawback in regards to the art.

In terms of plot, the issue sees detective Makato Sato, hell bent on avenging his partner and clearing his name, using the Elias he kidnapped to escape before ultimately seeking an audience with Mothra. His goal is simple: to take down the Takahashi crime syndicate which killed his partner, despite warnings from the Elias about the cosmic balance and interfering with Mothra.

The story deserves a lot of praise for, foremost, being a great story involving Mothra. The monster and her relationship to the Elias, or other versions of them, is one that can be complex, yet is rarely explored in anyway to give it depth. In this story, the Elias are actually opposed to what Mothra ends up doing, yet follow the more passive nature that is familiar to them from the movies. Sato is also given some great characterization here, and will easily take the thrown for the most interesting character included in a Godzilla comic. He's an anti-hero, a man who in flashbacks seemed to be noble and great, but has turned to doing questionable things to get his way. Pulling out his gun and threatening the Elias to allow him to speak with Mothra is the greatest example, even more extreme than kidnapping them in the first place. He's not particularly likeable, yet this makes him all the more fascinating while the reader can't help but wonder what the consequences of his actions might be as the comic, very effectively, doesn't overly broadcast how the story might continue from here.

In terms of the negative, sadly the art by Alberto Ponticelli is once again lackluster. He does a great job with drawing Mothra, who ends up being the only monster in the book outside of a quick flashback to Godzilla from the first issue's events, but otherwise falls short. Alberto in particular has a problem with consistency, as the face's of the human cast never maintain a feeling of continuity, especially Sato who is drawn so wildly here. He does do an excellent job with the close up on his eyes, but on the flip side Alberto really falls short whenever he draws people from a distance as the detail is all but washed out in his style.

In terms of covers, the default one here is the cover by James Stokoe, which looks decent in both color and ink but lacking the grandeur that a cover probably should have had. Its fairly misleading with having Godzilla on the cover, but is staying in line with the recent trend in the Kingdom of Monsters series. Oddly enough, the Alberto cover, an alternate, is excellent. Both Sato and Mothra are drawn well, and its a very dynamic angle which sells the book pretty well and should have been the default cover instead.

Overall, the story is excellent, but the art holds it back from being a phenomenal comic. Given the graphic nature of the medium, its hard to have one not drag down the other; however, the story alone elevates this to one of the better Godzilla comics and is shaping up to be one of the more thought out and clever interpretations of the Godzilla universe in quite sometime.

Variant Covers