Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #3
 Chris Mowry
Pencils: Matt Frank & Jeff Zornow Inks: Matt Frank & Jeff Zornow
Language: English Release: 2013
Publisher: IDW Publishing Pages: 32
Colors: Priscilla Tramontano Cover: Matt Frank
Monster Appearances: Aliens, SDF, & Misc Appearances:
Godzilla, Destoroyah, Gigan, Manda, Gezora N/A
Anthony Romero

Third times a charm, as issue three in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth from writer Chris Mowry and artist Matt Frank delivers the most enjoyable ride in the series yet, crafting a great balance between plot and action from start to finish.

The plot kicks off with Steven Woods delivering a piece of Godzilla along with a claw that had been stuck in Zilla to CKR Headquarters in San Diego for examination. However, the exchange is being observed by an alien race, invested in securing the Godzilla cells. They orchestrate a mass attack involving Destoroyahs in a nearby convention in San Diego, allowing the extraterrestrials to focus on claiming their prize.

The comic's story is straightforward, and excels from focusing on a tighter cast. Steven Woods is the star here, along with his right hand man Chavez and a scientist called Allison, and this helps for both the pacing and the enjoyment. Woods is still acting more like Boxer than the lead character of the original Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters series, but at this stage its almost a moot point with three issues in with the more wisecracking personality in place. The issue doesn't delve much into secondary characters, although makes a reference to the "Monster Kill Crew" from Godzilla #13 and frankly hoping they show up at some point... especially in place of kaiju enthusiast Lucy Casprell, whose story is oddly absent from this issue as she doesn't appear at all.

Characters aside, the issue devotes a lot of page time to the aliens and the attacking Destoroyahs. The red kaiju are given a nice level of menace as they attack the city, fighting with the military and giving Woods some nice action sequences against the Destoroyahs. What makes this work is the excellent art by Matt Frank with coloring by Priscilla Tramontano (Godzilla Legends #4), who takes over for Ronda Pattison. The artwork really pops, with some great scenes of the Destoroyah, such as seeing their silhouettes move amongst docked boats or their first attack on the convention center, and some nice panels for the aliens as they start their assault. In fact, Matt Frank deserves extra kudos as the human characters come off pretty well in this issue, in particular he draws a very good "Monster Kill Crew". However, not all of the art is handled by Frank, as Jeff Zornow does three pages from the issue which entail Manda and Gezora attacking the battleship USS Goldstein. The artists pass the "baton" well, without it being overt that the artist from one segment to the next is changing.

In regards to the covers, the issue has two done by the interior artists. The main cover is by Matt Frank and is backed with references to the Godzilla series using the convention setting, from a Super-X toy from The Return of Godzilla (1984) to someone obviously based on the corn loving hippie from Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972). The alternate is done by Jeff Zornow and hosts Manda and Gezora tearing up the USS Goldstein, and its nice to see Gezora finally get himself a character trademark icon after all these years. At any rate, both covers are excellent and while I slightly prefer the Zornow one, due to featuring more obscure characters, you can't go wrong with either choice.

Overall, while some might be disappointed in the lack of panel time for the King of the Monsters, who hardly factors in here, others will likely enjoy the framework the issue establishes for the more basic intentions of the alien invaders to the nice change of pace with the more close-quarter action for the human-sized Destoroyah scenes. All in all, a very recommendable issue.

Variant Covers