Comic: Godzilla Rage Across Time #1 Title
 Godzilla Rage Across Time #1
 Jeremy Robinson
Pencils: Matt Frank Inks: Matt Frank
Language: English Release: 2016
Publisher: IDW Publishing Pages: 32
Colors: Paul Hanley, Goncalo Lopes, Josh Perez Cover: Bob Eggleton
Monster Appearances: Aliens, SDF, & Misc Appearances:
Godzilla, Gigan, Megalon, Orochi, Snowman Shobijin, Nebulans
Anthony Romero

Kicking off the new IDW mini series is this first entry from author Jeremy Robinson, novelist and now comic writer. The time trotting story promises to take Godzilla across many periods of history, and the first places the King of the Monsters in Feudal Japan in 1274. Along for the journey is artist Matt Frank, a veteran of the character after a long stint on Godzilla Rulers of Earth. For a first issue, this comic is a joy to read, exercising an interesting premise and stellar artwork.

For the story, the issue opens with Akio, the "infamous woman warrior", and Gorou Suda, of the Suda clan, engaged in battle. Their conflict is interrupted by the advance of the Mongol forces by sea, who command the monsters Gigan and Megalon. Called forth to defend the nation, the two warriors set out on a quest to the Shobijin temple to seek aid to defeat the two creatures.

The plot is simplistic, but moves along with great pacing to tell a near full story in the confines of a single issue. The unique concept, as who doesn't love kaijus mixing with samurai, is a huge plus. There is a great combination of action with story, even if said story has all the normal dressings of a period adventure film. The cool thing is that author Robinson does play with readers expectations a bit, throwing some nice curve balls. With that said, I recommend people read the issue first before continuing. For those who want spoilers though... the issue sets up the easy expectation that the main characters will summon Mothra, especially with the inclusion of the Shobijin. However, the pair end up waking up Orochi instead. The creature, spelled in Japanese here as 八岐大蛇, is of a unique design versus the version of the character that appeared in Three Treasures (1959), Yamato Takeru (1994) or Onmyoji II (2003). This isn't too big of a surprise as they didn't license the Toho version based on the copyright. All the same, it's cool to see the beast throw down with the Godzilla franchise.

As for the art, it's done masterfully here by Matt Frank. The art for this particular publication is challenging, and Frank shows tremendous range. The feudal Japan work is fantastic, and breaks from the norm of his style in a way that makes these segments highly visual. Even backgrounds look like they would fit right at home in classical Japanese art. Despite a more simplistic, although very thoughtful, style to certain elements to match ancient Japanese art, Frank still pours in details when it comes to the kaiju cast, making them pop. The style is not lost on them, though, with Godzilla's atomic ray doing a very cool swirling smoke effect to match the rest of the art. Kudos has to also be given to the series of colorists on the title, with Paul Hanley, Goncalo Lopes and Josh Perez working on this. The result is different styles, with each corresponding to either the fuedal Japan setting or the modern day setting, which does drag the story a little but is brief and seems like it will be the story thread to connect all the issues.

As for the covers for this issue, there are three different ones to choose from. The main cover is by artist Bob Eggleton and shows the Millennium Godzilla crashing against the waves with ships below. It's accurate to how Godzilla is in the book and is a cool, if slightly simplistic, visual. The alternate cover is by James Biggie and has a drawing of Godzilla that feels at home with the Fuedal period... although is a tad too simplistic. The final, subscriber cover is by Matt Frank and easily the best of the three. It has Godzilla facing off against a legion of ships and the detail is extraordinary, being a great piece that the reader just wants to gaze at to soak up all the rich intricacies.

Overall, this issue was an interesting start to the series and makes for a great stand alone read. There is enough text to not make it a quick read, while the art is some of the best from its artist. Hopefully this is a sign for how the rest of the series might pan out.

Variant Covers
Comic: Godzilla Oblivion #1 Comic: Godzilla Oblivion #1