Comic: Godzilla: Monsters & Protectors All Hail the King #2

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Godzilla: Monsters & Protectors All Hail the King #2


English Comic Title

Godzilla: Monsters & Protectors All Hail the King #2

Authors:

Erik Burnham

Pencils:
Inks:
Colors:
Language:
Release:
Publisher
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Pages:

Dan Schoening
Dan Schoening
Luis Antonio Delgado
English
2022
IDW Publishing
25

Covers:

Dan Schoening

Comic

Monsters

Godzilla
Godzilla
Gabara
Gabara
King Ghidorah
King Ghidorah



Review

By: Nicholas Driscoll

It’s no secret that I wasn’t a fan of the original Godzilla: Monsters & Protectors, but longtime readers will know I thought that the first issue of IDW’s first sequel series, Godzilla: Monsters and Protectors All Hail the King!, was a marked improvement. I was cautiously hopeful—I love kid-centric Godzilla media like Godzilla-Kun or All Monsters Attack (1969)—and I even enjoy Chibi-Godzilla here and again. In short, I don’t have anything against G:M&PAHTK out of the gate, and the first issue (although a bit conventional in its setup) dealt deftly with many of G:M&P’s weakpoints, such as the cringey MeTube setup and some of the obnoxious characters. Going into the second issue, I was blorping hope gel on my eyeballs to try to keep a positive outlook—and I liked it! The book has many of the strengths from previous books clicked up a notch or two… but also some minor disappointments. Let’s get kaijuicing!

Note that as usual I will be discussing spoilers, so skip to the last paragraph to avoid them.

The story begins with a dream sequence showing Godzilla fighting Gabara on the seaside. As their fight progresses, Gabara seems to be possessed by the spirit of King Ghidorah, and counterattacks against the G-Man. Cedric and the others then discuss the dream together with newcomer Karen, and attempt to contact the Shobijin May and June to no avail. Cedric disparages Karen when she tries to put in her two cents. Meanwhile, the Xilien are digging up a mountain (presumably where Ghidorah is sleeping), with CEO Nomura of Linival overseeing. He and the head Xilien snipe verbally at each other, and we get a sequence showing an Xilien underling use the Dream Sifter to read Ghidorah’s minds and so glean the tri-dragon’s origin in the meteor that killed the dinosaurs. Back with the kids, they continue debating how to get in touch with the little beauties when suddenly all four of them are mentally transported onto Infant Island to have a little talk about KG and the prospects for the earth. We end with ominous tidings about what might happen with the space hydra—and whether Godzilla will even listen to the kids if they manage to contact him. Play those three chords of terror!

Author Burnham continues to lean aggressively into depicting Cedric as an enormous dumbhead elitist nincompoop, and intensifying the rivalry between him and newb Karen (who obviously has a connection to King Caesar back in Okinawa). As previously mentioned, I thought Cedric was one of the worst parts of the first mini-series, and so having his bad side come into sharp relief against a new hero continues to provide some satisfying conversational vitriol. I am assuming because Cedric and Karen have taken the antagonistic roles, Emily and Anderson’s playful infighting so prevalent in the first books again remains extinguished here, too. The two instead play the muted role of pushing back against Cedric’s incendiary personality, so they really get lousy scraps for character advancement. Seeing May and June back is nice, and they remain positive-thinking if stressed out by the kids and the oncoming monster drama.

Over to the villains, the best part for them is Nomura disagreeing with and getting threatened by the Xiliens. I wondered what happened to Nomura, who played a prominent role in the first series, but was AWOL in issue one from the sequel, so I was glad to see him back in his sneering superiority—only bested by the Xiliens’ own overweening pride.

I noted in my previous review that one of the weaknesses of the book was that all the monster action was confined to dream sequences. Well, that’s true here as well—we get two dream sequences, and nothing happening in reality. Still, Godzilla’s fight with Gabara is executed with gorgeous art and a memorable, dramatic progression of panels. Ghidorah’s dream sequence in which he attacks prehistoric earth is almost as good—there are two theropods which appear inspired by the rex from Fantasia (1940), at least by my eye.

The art by Schoening remains top-notch. Love the monsters, love the clean lines, love the way he works most of the transitions (with only very slight hiccups), and I still really like how he works the characters’ expressions. The dudes and dudettes in this book rock the cartoon look, with impressively expressive mugs that twist and quirk in all the right ways (well, almost always), just as always. And Delgado—man, I still adore how he creates cartoon-cel and above quality coloring, and his lighting effects reach a whole new level with this book.

Covers? Main one by Schoening has the tri-headed space dragon dramatically perched on an erupting volcano, with lightning flashing. He seems to be referencing KG from Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), and maybe it feels a bit standard, it still looks cool. Andrea Bell contributes another piece, this time showing youngsters hanging out at a ramen restaurant with Godzilla emerging far in the distant background. The cover is like cotton candy and a bit too understated to make an impact. The last cover, again by John Yurcaba, has Cedric and Karen grumping at each other with shadows of their respective monster connections. I am still not the biggest fann of Yurcaba’s style, but this cover captures the theme of the book the best of the three.

Some cool easter eggs, too. There is a “Godzilla Kun” poster in the background of one shot (maybe referencing the Godzilland merchandise line?), and in the same shot a Robotech/Exo-Squad robot toy that looked JUST like one I owned as a kid. Also, when the Shobijin arrive, they are depicted with what appear to be canang sari behind them—flower box offerings from Bali, Indonesia. I recognized them from my trip, and again, I love-love-love that touch, just as I did that the first series put Infant Island near Indonesia, given that the “Mothra Song” was in Indonesian.

Yeah, so, it’s pretty much a fun book! I wouldn’t heap praise on it, but it’s enjoyable. Maybe the characters are still a bit shallow, but I like that Cedric continues to clash with Karen, and I really think he is being set up for a character arc. The villains have some good scenes, too, building up internal tension amongst the bads, and while the monster scenes are all dreams, the hit with a solid visual oomph! Still loving the art, still loving the coloring. The ending is a little weak maybe, but I think this is a series best read in collected form (if IDW can hold together that long…). Still, I like this series a lot more than the first run, so if Monsters & Protectors had you bummed but you liked the look of it, maybe give this one a try.


Variant Covers

Andrea Bell Cover
John Yurcaba Cover