Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters #3
 Eric Powell and Tracy Marsh
Pencils: Phil Hester Inks: Ronda Pattison
Language: English Release: 2011
Publisher: IDW Publishing Pages: 32
Colors: Cary Porter Cover: Eric Powell
Monster Appearances: Aliens, SDF, & Misc Appearances:
Godzilla, Rodan, Anguirus, Battra -
Anthony Romero

Graphic Editorial Review by Chris Mirjahangir

The third issue in Eric Powell and Tracy Marsh's series on Godzilla is another good entry in the Kingdom of Monsters series. It doesn't feel as balanced as the second, and will probably play better in trade format, but still progresses the story and does benefit from the increased monster roster. The issue still introduces some original ideas, has a greater emphasis on the human element, and Phil Hester produces his best work yet in the series.

In terms of story, demonstrations are being held by a small group who are in support of the monsters while Godzilla makes his way across Korea just as Anguirus rampages across Texas. At the same time, a mysterious pair of mute girls in France discover a giant egg that washed ashore.

Once again, the story sounds simple on paper, but does work better in execution. The "battle" alternate cover to the issue, though, is the most misleading yet. Rodan, outside of a quick view on a television screen as a scientist names him, is not in the issue at all. Godzilla gets about three pages devoted to him, but he is getting increasingly overshadowed by his costars. Of the three, Anguirus gets the most focus here, which is perhaps fitting since he has one of the alternate covers devoted just to him. None of the monsters actually fight each other, though, or even meet. The human side of things once again feels more fleshed out than the first issue, and continues a notable slant toward political references. The real meat of this story, though, is on the mute girls, Minette and Mallorie, who end up being almost horror-like in execution and are even introduced well in the issue. The pair takes a fascination with the egg as it emerges and even begin attacking others through psychic powers, all to keep safe the being inside who they can hear "singing".

As for a spoiler to the issue's end, and yes treat that as a fair warning to stop reading the review if that's a concern... the egg does hatch to reveal that the female being inside is not Mothra, as many might assume when the egg washes ashore. It's actually Battra (interesting to note is that the review copy calls the monster a female, while this line was removed from the retail copy), which was shocking to me as I thought Mothra would have been introduced first. The monster emerges with the previous trend as well, as many insects appear and all die, similar to the birds for Rodan, fish for Godzilla and cows for Anguirus. It will be interesting to see how this angle is addressed in the end. The issue closes with the real Shobijin looking at a TV screen with Battra on it saying how this isn't right, leading to the first real cliff hanger of the series and the greatest incentive yet to pick up the following issue.

In regards to the art, Phil Hester really outdoes himself. Not only is he very consistent here, with everything looking spot on, but I have never seen a more impressive Battra than his drawing of the larval form. It makes an already great, surprising moment even more fantastic with the stunning amount of detail placed into the creature. Anguirus and Godzilla, especially the latter, also fair very well, and the human cast is constructed with a nice sense of detail. The mute girls are a little over simplistic, but this actually tends to work in making them look a little unnerving from the start and plays to the slight horror homage with the two.

The covers are pretty nice this go around. Of the ones available, the Matt Frank one tends to be the most impressive with a great rendering of Anguirus, although he looks a little more animated and not as savage as Hester's version of the creature in the comic itself. The Powell cover is also great, and the first to feature something other than the monsters, as the mute girls appear front and center. The Jeff Zornow's "battle" cover is nice, although Godzilla's mouth looks just a little too big while the concept of the three monsters fighting is, once again, very misleading.

Overall, another good but not great issue. The series is shaping up to be an increasingly good read, and this is the first issue that ended with me really wanting to read the next, as a good serialized comic should. The increasing monster cast seems like its already producing some trouble for the creative team, but its great to see characters like Anguirus and others given page time even if the title character feels very downplayed by this point.

Variant Covers