Godzilla Gangsters & Goliaths #4
 John Layman
Pencils: Alberto Ponticelli Inks: Alberto Ponticelli
Language: English Release: 2011
Publisher: IDW Publishing Pages: 32
Colors: Jay Fotos Cover: Dan Brereton
Monster Appearances: Aliens, SDF, & Misc Appearances:
Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, Anguirus, Battra, Kumonga, Titanosaurus, Mechagodzilla Elias
Anthony Romero

Issue four, which means the Gangsters & Goliaths mini-series has almost completed its run, is another good comic from IDW Publishing. For this issue, author John Layman goes all-out with a giant monster cast that assaults Tokyo, keeping up good pacing while the only drawback is the art by Alberto Ponticelli.

For the story, the various creatures of Monster Island are loose in Tokyo. As the Elias had warned, the balance is no longer being maintained due to their absence from the island. This, however, is perfect for crime lord Takahashi, who has the Elias captive and watches with satisfaction as the city is destroyed. Detective Makato Sato, meanwhile, has given up, drowning away his sorrows at a local bar, until his son finally motivates him to make one final stand against Takahashi to try and stop the carnage.

While still a solid plot, the all-out monster attack on Tokyo feels a little like fan service. Godzilla, or Battra perhaps, attacking Tokyo would likely have done the trick rather than a Destroy All Monsters (1968) style conclusion to a story that really had a more modest and unique framing. Still, the story is good and some shots of the monsters, in particular Kumonga, make this a very interesting read from start to finish. The book ends on a nice cliff hanger too, making it hard to wait for the final chapter in what has been a great series for the King of the Monsters.

In regards to the art, its up and down. Ponticelli still has trouble with the human characters, with a couple of the shots looking pretty awful for a lack of better words. He does a decent job with the monsters, though, so this is one the better issues in regards to the art thanks to that alone. Kumonga and Battra in particular look great here, especially the former who has a couple of sequences that are impressive on account of the art alone.

As for the covers, there are three in total, two by Ponticelli and one by Paul Hanley. The Ponticelli is a little more dynamic, showing a battle scene, and is oddly enough the more truthful of the two in terms of the book's contents, minus Gigan and King Ghidorah appearing. However, the Hanley one is probably my favorite cover from the series. Its a solo shot of Godzilla looking on a crowd as they attempt to defend themselves or are in a state of shock. Its a simple concept, but the art style and use of color between in the inside and outside make it a stunning one.

Overall, it might not match the previous three issues, but its a solid comic and the huge monster attack on Tokyo is sure to appeal to those wanting a little more kaiju action in the series. Its unfortunate that the next issue is going to be the last, as this has been probably the best story related to the franchise for comics so far, and the fact that its over coming the rather cumbersome art style of Ponticelli is also further credit toward it.

Variant Covers