Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters #10
 Jason Ciaramella
Pencils: Victor Santos Inks: Victor Santos
Language: English Release: 2011
Publisher: IDW Publishing Pages: 32
Colors: Ronda Pattison Cover: David Messina
Monster Appearances: Aliens, SDF, & Misc Appearances:
Godzilla, Mechagodzilla, King Ghidorah, Rodan, Battra -
Anthony Romero

By his second issue, its pretty clear that writer Jason Ciaramella is nothing like Eric Powell. The grim-dark tone that was a trademark of the series felt diminished in Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters #9, but is now totally gone by #10 as this issue enters into a total slugfest more customary to the kaiju genre. So fans of the first eight issues are probably going to be upset, while detractors will probably be happy although all the same this comic series has a "run of the mill" type of feel to it where it doesn't stand out much now. Still, this particular issue is better than several of the ones that came directly before it, with its largest weakness being the art which has been consistently lackluster since Victor Santos took over.

In terms of story, Godzilla and Mechagodzilla have their long awaited rematch. Steven Woods handles the mech well, as the two seem evenly matched. However, King Ghidorah awakes again and enters the battle with the two. All the while, the twins, leading Rodan and Battra, are heading to the area as well...

Make no mistake, this is popcorn entertainment. Not much story telling here, but a lot of fighting. The book is a very quick read because of this, with little dialogue but a lot of larger images of the battle. I won't lie, though, that it is one of the more enjoyable comics in this series since Mechagodzilla was first introduced. Still, its not particularly great and seems to fall more into that guilty pleasure category. It would have worked better had the three monsters in question been built up a little in terms of importance, as the lack of weight that this fight might have had as a climax to something larger is noticeable.

Well I have avoided from doing spoilers long enough, so here are a few, and back track out to avoid them: King Ghidorah still proves to be a push over here, and is oddly outclassed and easily defeated by Mechagodzilla. Godzilla falls as well alongside his three-headed rival after Steven begins to listen to the President and use the Plasma Grenade on both of them to finish the match, which is something that should have been built up more as the "at odds" dynamic in the previous issue was more interesting... but alas the pair become quick friends here. In fact, Steven Woods totally loses his defiance and lone wolf angle and seems nothing like the character we knew up to this issue in the series.

In regards to the art, its uneven as ever but still continues to improve compared with issues before. The only problem is that with this issue being light on story the art becomes even more important, and while Victor Santos has improved his craft for monster battles he still doesn't sell the confrontation for what it could be. Its like a summer blockbuster with poor special effects... it will still find an audience, but will miss some of its target because of this drawback. As for the covers, two solid ones this time. The first is by David Messina with colors by Giovanna Niro. Its a simple design, with Godzilla looking back on a destroyed city, but it gets the job done and is visually appealing. The Matt Frank one, though, is stunning, although you have to pretty much ignore the fact that the character covers are totally untrue to the contents of the books at this point. Keeping this in mind, Matt draws a great Hedorah, and all the nods to fans here, such as the Type 66 Master Cannon and ASTOL-MB93 being stuck among the sludge, make it worth looking at in more detail as well.

Overall, I said it once, but it bares repeating: the comic is enjoyable, but in a guilty pleasure sort of way. I liked it more than some of the recent comics in this series, but knew in the back of my head that the comic wasn't particularly great. So while it might appeal to kaiju fans, traditional comic fans who enjoyed some of the earlier issues are going to be a little miffed at the change of direction for the title.

Variant Covers