Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #10
 Chris Mowry
Pencils: Matt Frank Inks: Matt Frank
Language: English Release: 2014
Publisher: IDW Publishing Pages: 32
Colors: Priscilla Tramontano Cover: Matt Frank
Monster Appearances: Aliens, SDF, & Misc Appearances:
Godzilla, Gaira, Sanda, Titanosaurus Devonian
Anthony Romero

After the kaiju onslaught with the previous issue, this one returns to basics a little with a more modest selection of monsters... and is better off because of it. The subject is Godzilla and the two title monsters from The War of the Gargantuas (1966) throwing down in Brisbane, Australia. It's popcorn entertainment, but one that excels thanks to an interesting fight with the giant King of the Monsters and two smaller opponents that are brought to life with incredible art from Matt Frank.

In terms of the plot, Godzilla loses track of Titanosaurus, Gezora and Manda. With three having escaped, the King of the Monsters becomes distracted when he sees Sanda and Gaira swimming. Godzilla pursues the pair to Australia and just as the Gargantuas begin to attack each other, Godzilla assaults them causing a melee between all three.

Story wise, the comic is fairly simple. It does have the slight backdrop of preparations for Monster Island, but really is about bringing to life the bout seen on the cover. The Gargantuas are easily Toho's most popular monsters that Godzilla never actually faced, although the idea for Godzilla vs. Gargantua was kicked around. This comic makes that the center piece and has to be my favorite conflict so far in the comic series. While I have my complaints with the issue, such as the human element feeling a bit slow and the time line for the backstory of the Gargantuas being a little confusing, at the end it excels as popcorn entertainment. What makes the battle interesting is the odd relationship between the two brothers Gaira and Sanda. On one hand they care for one another, defending and aiding each other. On the other hand, they are not beyond viciously attacking the other as their philosophies toward humans put them at odds. The two are less yin and yang and more just dissonant, which makes their dynamic interesting.

What sells the popcorn entertainment, though, is Matt Frank's wonderful art. While his humans are inconsistent in this issue, especially Steven Woods who looks drastically different in a few panels, the sequences with the monsters are fantastic. The part where Godzilla rises from the rubble to assault Gaira with his tail, for example, is incredible for its sense of detail. The size difference between Godzilla and the two is also well captured, and spices things up allowing for some creative attacks to come through in the art. Its also nice to see the return of a few fan nods, such as the Saradia fuel truck for Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989).

In terms of the covers, the issue has two solid ones to choose from. The main cover by Matt Frank is a favorite. Even ignoring Sanda and Gaira, the level of detail placed into Godzilla is mesmerizing. It's hard to take your eyes off him as the detail on the mouth and scales are flawless. The pose with the smaller Gargantuas assaulting him, along with the little cabin and horse below that seem to be a nod to Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965), result in one of the most beautiful covers in the IDW run so far. The alternate cover by Jeff Zornow, while not as breath taking, is also quite stellar. It goes for a water color-like approach that ads a bit of majesty to the rainy battle of the two Gargantuas. Bottom line, both covers are winners for this issue.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable issue even taking into account its faults. While the comic does hint at a few things to come, the meat of it is a fantastic fight between Godzilla, Gaira and Sanda that is both creative and stunning to behold.

Variant Covers