Godzilla Rage Across Time #5 Title
 Godzilla Rage Across Time #5
 Jay Fotos, Jeff Zornow
Pencils: Jeff Zornow Inks: Jeff Zornow
Language: English Release: 2016
Publisher: IDW Publishing Pages: 32
Colors: Jay Fotos Cover: Bob Eggleton
Monster Appearances: Aliens, SDF, & Misc Appearances:
Godzilla, Ebirah, Gezora, Rodan, Baragon, Anguirus, Varan, Kumonga, Mothra, Battra, Titanosaurus, King Caesar, Gorosaurus, Megalon, Kamacuras, Manda, Megaguirus, Keizer Ghidorah Xilien, Xilien UFO
Anthony Romero

The last issue in the Godzilla Rage Across Time series... and sadly the weakest entry. For this issue, Jay Fotos and Jeff Zornow do both the art and story duties. The pair set the plot in ancient times, while Zornow does the pencils and Fotos works the colors. The end result is a huge kaiju battle royale occuring in the Cretacous period, as dinosaurus flee the carange caused by the larger creatures. Sadly, the issue falters from a lack of coherence in the action, which given the lack of dialogue in most of the comic needed to be clear, and at times due to rushed art.

For the comic's plot, it kicks off in the Cretacous period. Gezora, Ebirah and Rodan are all fighting over a dinosaur meal. Rodan is interrupted, though, by another conflict involving Godzilla, Baragon, Varan and Anguirus. Meanwhile, Mothra and Battra duel it out in the sky far above the grounded beasts. These battles are all about to be dwarfed, though, from objects rocketing toward Earth's surface from the stars...

The comic's plot suffers from a problem that has popped up more than a few times in the IDW Publishing run. In fact, a complaint first had way back in 2011 with Godzilla Gangsters & Goliaths #5. That problem is that just because a story can be "Destroy All Monsters 2.0" doesn't mean it should. Mothra and Battra easily could have been cut from this plot, as could Ebirah, Gezora, Rodan and Kumonga. That doesn't mean all of them should have been, but removing some would have freed up some valuable panel space to make the "main" battle between Godzilla, Baragon, Varan and Anguirus more clear, along with the resulting chaos from Keizer Ghidorah, who is the story's big bad. In fact, it took quite a few reads for me to deduce that Godzilla and Anguirus appear to be on the same team, as I originally thought their conflict was a 3 vs 1 bout that was an homage to Godzilla X Varan, Baragon and Anguirus: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack.

Staging is also diffcult at times, often because the art feels a little rushed and because there is so little panel time to devot to the fights in more detail. As a major spoiler, and consider this a sign to turn around at this point, the comic actually does a reverse transformation on Keizer Ghidorah, as he reverts into Monster X. The earth kaiju then get slaughtered like it was Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) on fast forward, with Keizer Ghidorah, meteors (#1 killer), Gezora (how often do you get to say that?) and Anguirus all chalking up kills through the course of the comic. The fights feel rushed, and none more so than Anguirus being almost on top of Godzilla in one panel to the next panel having Monster X punching the spiked kaiju into some lava.

The art itself ranges from great to a distinct lack of polish. In fact, the art at the start of the comic is stellar. The intro of Gezora and Ebirah is fantastic. The splash page of Baragon, Varan fighting Anguirus and Godzilla is amazing as well. However, it's around page 9 that the art takes a downward turn for the rest of the comic, save for another nice splash page of Keizer Ghidorah attacking Battra and Mothra. Not sure if this was done in consideration of the "preview" selection of the comic book, or it was just done in chronological order and time constraints negatively impacted the last part of the book. To be fair, Zornow turns in some solid panels, but the lack of consistency hurts the publication during the second half as the action gets more intense and harder to follow.

In regards to the covers, this issue has three different ones to choose from. The main cover is done by Bob Eggleton, who continues to channel the Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002) look for the character. The image of Godzilla bursting through the Earth's surface as some Diplodocus run away is a great visual. The cover does suffer, though, from the mountain that Godzilla is emerging from being sparse on detail. The appearance of Godzilla is stunning enough, though, that it's easy to overlook this. Next up on the docket is a cover by Clay McCormack. This has Godzilla attacking... Rome? Going to hazard a guess that this cover was intended for an earlier issue, most likely Godzilla Rage Across Time #4, but got moved to this one to keep it so there were three variants for issue #5. All in all, it's a cool image with a lot of detail in the city and a nice visage of Godzilla, although his neck area is a little rushed. The last cover is a subscription exclusive done by interior artist Jeff Zornow. The image showcases a Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999) circa Godzilla fighting off with Keizer Ghidorah, as dinosaurus fight in the foreground. The depection of the King of the Monsters exhibits the same odd trait as in the comic of having his dorsil fins as orange, rather than purple or gray. The detail shown to Godzilla and Keizer Ghidorah in the drawing, though, is great, with the only weakness being some of the Brachiosaurus in the foreground have slightly odd faces, although the detail on the red dinosaurus attacking them is stellar. All in all, the three covers are all good this time around, although the edge goes to the Zornow cover for being the most accurate to the issue with a dynamic image to make it stand out.

Overall, this comic is okay. Given the monster roster, I'm sure many if not most fans will prefer this issue to the previous one. In fact, thanks to some of the unique match ups, I'm sure it will be talked about more than most of the issues in this series, even if its faults are more apparant. However, the comic is a quick read and the issue suffers from having the best art occur early on, making it a distant memory as the reader start to sift through the last half of the comic.

Variant Covers
Comic: Godzilla Rage Across Time #5 Comic: Godzilla Rage Across Time #5