Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #2
 Chris Mowry
Pencils: Matt Frank Inks: Matt Frank
Language: English Release: 2013
Publisher: IDW Publishing Pages: 32
Colors: Ronda Pattison Cover: Matt Frank
Monster Appearances: Aliens, SDF, & Misc Appearances:
Godzilla, Zilla, Destoroyah N/A
Anthony Romero

Second issue from the creative team of writer Chris Mowry (Godzilla Legends #4) and artist Matt Frank (Godzilla Legends #1), and it devolves into popcorn entertainment, which is enjoyable but leaves the series feeling like it has stalled a little in the plot development area.

The story starts where Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #1 left off, with Godzilla and Zilla facing one another in Honolulu. The two monsters battle across the city, dueling mostly in physical blows aside from Godzilla's atomic ray and Zilla's burrowing. Meanwhile, Chavez (one of Steven Woods' men) is escorting kaiju enthusiast Lucy Casprell to safety while Steven Woods witnesses the devastation first hand, ordering his men and nearby helicopters to assist.

As might be apparent, this issue is almost solely dedicated to the action. It works inverse to what one would expect as the conflict between the two monsters takes up most of the issue from the very first panel, leaving the last four pages to progress the plot a bit more and introduce a host of side characters as future coworkers for Lucy, although introduce is a strong word since at most we see their faces and get there names ala "What's Shakin'? I'm Jeremy" or "Hi Lucy, I'm Shannon Nunez. Welcome aboard.". Its a cast of about seven new characters, which seems like a lot but will see how its juggled in the future. However, personally, I find the Steven Woods side of things far more interesting than the Lucy side of things, and as a character she is still feeling incredibly vapid without any development beyond her kaiju enthusiasm angle. Speaking of, there is a one page flashback for Woods which goes to describe why the military picked him and make nods toward characters from the past series and the conclusion in Godzilla #13, although Woods himself is still acting more like Boxer with the first issue demonstrating a short temper and this issue a penchant for jokes.

In terms of the art, this is where the issue shines without question. Artist Matt Frank really captures the conflict between the two creatures as they battle back and forth across the city. There are a lot of creative shots, although the star attraction is wisely saved for the early splash image of the two facing off before the fight begins. There is a great sense of flow making the fight easy to follow, while the visual cues, like a raised eyebrow or when Godzilla goes wide eyed, get across their point without being cheesy which is harder to do than it might sound when the subject matter is monsters. The only downside is that human characters toward the end, while not bad, are still a little too cartoony.

As for the covers, this issue has two. The primary cover is done by interior artist Matt Frank, and is a great piece. It captures the action between both Godzilla and Zilla quite well and the level of detail is commendable. The alternate cover is done by the usually rock solid Jeff Zornow and is, surprisingly, a miss. The Zornow cover gets one detail wrong, but its so front and center that it drags the whole thing down: Gigan's mouth. It's too big, his pincers out of place and his tongue sticking out creating a goofy rather than imposing visual when taken as a whole. The tragedy is if you take your finger and cover up the mouth, it's pretty clear this could have been an amazing cover.

Overall, for the second issue in the series, there just doesn't feel like there is enough progression. We have seen satisfying, fight focused issues in the past from IDW - oddly enough, Godzilla Legends #1 and Godzilla Legends #4 by members of this creative team are great examples of that - but this issue doesn't reach those levels and feels more on the forgettable side; in fact, would say that the Gigan vs. Kumonga battle from the first issue was more memorable. All in all, the issue doesn't feel like its firing on all cylinders and ends on a so-so cliff hanger, to the point where I'm more excited by seeing the cover for the next issue, featuring Manda and Gezora, than by the conclusion to this one.

Variant Covers