Comic: Godzilla vs. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #4

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Godzilla vs. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #4


English Comic Title

Godzilla vs. Saban's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #4

Authors:

Cullen Bunn

Pencils:
Inks:
Colors:
Language:
Release:
Publisher
:
Pages:

Freddie Williams II
Freddie Williams II
Andrew Dalhouse
English
2022
IDW Publishing
35

Covers:

Freddie Williams II & Andrew Dalhouse / Alex Sanchez

Comic

Monsters

Godzilla
Godzilla
Megazord
Megazord
Kamacuras
Kamacuras
Kumonga
Kumonga
Kumonga
Scorpina
Eye Guy
King Ghidorah
Rodan
Megaguirus
Hedorah
Goldar
Ebirah
Slippery Shark
Terror Toad
Grumble Bee
Pineoctopus
Snizard



Review

By: Christian Salabert

Alright, I know why we're here. You know why we're here. Let's not waste any time and dive right into Issue #4 of Godzilla vs. the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers!

Our heroes find themselves quickly becoming outdone by the squad of insects and arachnids; Scorpina oversees the battle as Kumonga's webs begin weighing down the Megazord while Kamacuras and Megaguirus outmatch Godzilla with their speed and fire blasts. The heroes are able to recuperate by firing their beam weapons at the bugs, and when Scorpina tries to get the monsters to attack again, Kumonga attacks her instead. As Scorpina slinks away, Godzilla crushes Kumonga while the Megazord kills Kamacuras. With the bug army defeated, Rita is infuriated and demands that the Controller summon forth the most terrible monster the Xiliens possess. But the Controller refuses, telling her there would be no point to summoning another monster without the guarantee of victory, calling the witch far too rash in the process. Fed up with her ally, Rita finally declares that she's taking over as Goldar subdues the Xilien crew. Rita commands Finster to locate the Xiliens' most powerful monster and he does so, releasing King Ghidorah upon Angel Grove.

The three-headed monster descends on our heroes and quickly outmatches them, assaulting them with his powerful gravity beams. Grabbing the Megazord with his tails, Ghidorah throws the mech into the ocean, and when Godzilla blasts him with his atomic ray, Ghidorah ensnares the Monster King in his necks and begins draining his energy. But just as Rita starts singing Ghidorah's praises, the golden dragon notices the Xilien Mothership and blasts it. Rita is confounded that Ghidorah has turned on them, as meanwhile the damage to the ship has caused the door to Tommy's cell to open. Tommy knocks out his guards, only to find himself confronted by a third Xilien soldier aiming a gun at him. Down below, it seems that King Ghidorah has won the battle, with Godzilla and the Megazord badly injured and sinking deep into the waves. With her foes beaten, Rita commands Finster to send Ghidorah back to wherever he came from, but her monster maker admits he doesn't know how.

Tommy tries to talk the Xilien soldier down, but to his surprise, the alien isn't there to return him to his cell. The Xilien says that this particular invasion and alliance with Rita has been far too costly to his people, and that he simply wants Rita and the Rangers to leave; as such, he gives Tommy his Power Morpher back. Tommy morphs and vacates the Mothership just as Ghidorah begins to focus his attack on the saucer even more. Goldar offers to go outside and fight Ghidorah himself, an idea that Rita quickly agrees with, though she adds to it, asking Finster how many of his own monsters he has left. Outside, Ghidorah is hit hard by a series of blasts, blowing him out of the sky. Rushing to attack him are Goldar, as well as Slippery Shark, Grumble Bee, and Snizard. Meeting up with Scorpina, the army of monsters prepare to teach King Ghidorah that five heads are better than three.

While not a bad issue by any means, Issue #4 of Godzilla vs. the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is probably the first one I would refer to as "eh." It's competently told, but it finds itself in the awkward position of needing to set things up for the final issue more than focus on its own events, and as such this issue's content suffers a bit for it. Some moments feel rushed, underdeveloped, or like there are just large parts of them missing.

Probably the biggest victim of this is the opening battle against the bug monsters. It starts off with the Rangers saying they're firing the Megazord's cranial laser, but instead the Zord makes a big slash with the Power Sword (in fact, the Megazord is never shown using its cranial laser once in the entire issue). Next we see a panel of Scorpina giving Kumonga a "Get back in there!"-type slap on the back (she even outright says "Get back in there" when she does it), but then the very next panel is Rita complaining that Kumonga is attacking Scorpina, which we never see. Most noticeable of all, Kumonga is crushed by Godzilla's tail, Kamacuras is either killed or knocked out by a kick from the Megazord... and Megaguirus just disappears from the narrative completely, with no indication that she was destroyed or that she flew away or anything. It's distractingly shoddy... Pacing? Writing? Communication between Bunn and Williams?... for a series that has, up until now, avoided such things.

Rita finally makes her move to double cross and take over from the Xiliens, and while it does happen fairly suddenly, at least it was set up in the previous issue, not to mention being a foregone conclusion merely from the fact that it's a team up between two villains and it was bound to happen eventually anyway. Amusingly, Rita doesn't kill the Controller or lock him in a cell, she just lets him remain on the bridge, watching her be in charge. One point of discussion I've been meaning to bring up concerns the Xiliens and their ability (or inability, rather) to control their kaiju, especially King Ghidorah now in this latest issue. While the whole "Toho monsters are nearly impossible to efficiently control" makes for a good counterpart to Rita's loyal monster minions and it does help to make their kaiju seem more threatening (especially King Ghidorah), I do think it's rather amusing in an ironic sort of way that the one monster the Xiliens absolutely cannot control in this story is the one they are famously known for controlling - Monster Zero. Not really a problem, per se - after all, this is clearly an alternate universe that seems to be a mash-up of multiple Godzilla histories - I just thought it was an noteworthy observation, as alien races have never had an issue controlling giant monsters before in any Godzilla media.

Tommy's capture and thus his separation from the main plot comes to an end in this issue, thankfully, though sadly we don't see him rejoining the others just yet. Hopefully he's actually allowed to escape the Mothership and summon the Dragonzord without getting sidetracked once again. But while it's good to see Tommy finally break free and rejoin the plot, the sequence in which he does so is a little suspect. As previously mentioned, the scene involves Tommy being confronted by an Xilien who says he tires of Rita's involvement in their invasion and gives the teenager his Power Morpher back, not out of any heroic motivation, but simply because "The enemy of my enemy..." What I find particularly strange about this sequence, which is perfectly fine on the surface, is that this is done with a generic, random Xilien soldier... When the scene is desperately calling out for his role to be filled by Miss Namikawa, or at least a random Xilien woman. The whole idea of an Xilien seeing reason and granting Tommy mercy, allowing him to leave - which would no doubt anger the Controller - seems tailor made for Namikawa. Not to mention, the comic has been teasing her appearance since the main cover of Issue #2. So now, for what is very clearly her big moment in the story to finally arrive and be given to another generic Xilien male, seems very anti-climactic and confusing. While this is purely conjecture on my part, could this possibly be why the issue was delayed for so long? Did Bunn in fact intend for this to be Miss Namikawa and Toho took issue with it for some reason? I suppose we may never know, but either way, it's distractingly odd that Miss Namikawa wasn't allowed to partake in this story. Sure, I guess it's possible that she may still appear in the next issue, but why would she now, at this point?

Alternatively, failing an appearance from Miss Namikawa, they could've at least made the Xilien that gives Tommy's Morpher back the same Xilien pilot that the Rangers spared in Issue #2, saying that their act of mercy "touched my cold, alien heart" and that he owed them one act of kindness for sparing his life, or something like that. This connection, which would be super easy to make, is unfortunately completely overlooked.

Perhaps the most surprising turn of events, at least for me, is that at the end of the issue, Rita decides to fight back against the rampaging King Ghidorah and sends out not only Goldar, but also has Finster resurrect Snizard, Grumble Bee, and Slippery Shark, three monsters from the first season of Power Rangers. As we got closer to the final issue, I had assumed that Eye Guy and Rhinoblaster in Issue #3 would be it as far large roles for any MMPR monsters go, but seeing a few more pop up is a pleasant surprise. It'll be fun to watch them, along with Goldar and Scorpina, go Destroy All Monsters on Ghidorah. Hopefully they'll last longer than the gang of bug monsters at the start of this issue did (I had in fact wished that Grumble Bee could have been part of the bug squad, but thankfully he's been saved for this fight, otherwise he likely would've been wasted and disappeared without a trace as Megaguirus did). Although it is worth noting that, as exciting as the cliffhanger may be, its redundancy may potentially annoy some readers: this makes it the third issue in a row now to end with a big group of monsters showing up and Rita declaring that her victory is assured. I get that you've gotta end each issue on a big cliffhanger to hook people in for the next issue, but surely there's some other kind that could be used. It'll likely be even more noticeable when reading the entire series in one go.

Also, as a small piece of fun, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon-type trivia, there's the fact that the voice actor for Snizard in his debut episode "Foul Play in the Sky" was in fact none other than Bryan Cranston, who of course would go on years later to portray the character of Joe Brody in Godzilla (2014). Does this mean anything? Does it have anything to do with why Bunn chose Snizard to appear in the comic? Who knows. But it's a fun little connection nonetheless.

Williams' art is as solid as it has been in the previous three issues, although much to my dismay, the distracting, creepy "helmet eyes" make their return here in a big way, with literally every Ranger displaying them at some point throughout the issue (with some of them even doing it more than once, annoyingly). King Ghidorah looks nice in Williams' style. He's huge, ominous, and imposing, perfect for what I presume is the "final boss" of this story. Interestingly, Williams takes the more humanoid Slippery Shark and makes him look much more animalistic, giving him multiple dorsal fins down his back as well as a tail. Sort of an odd choice as all the other MMPR monsters he's drawn have been free of such creative flourishes, but it doesn't look bad, at least.

The covers this go-round are okay. Nothing bad, but nothing really mind-blowing either. The default cover by Williams and Dalhouse is nice, showing Rita apparently growing King Ghidorah to an even gianter size than usual, absolutely dwarfing Godzilla and the Megazord down below, who look almost human-sized in comparison to the dragon. Unfortunately, what holds this cover back from being top tier is that it features these odd inserts of the Rangers' helmets in little bubbles. Not only is it dumb - Did they think we'd forget who the other half of the crossover is? Rita and the Megazord are already on the cover - it also blocks a decent chunk of the image and gets in the way of a really nice piece of art. Honestly, it would've been a less egregious use of the space if they'd given Rita some villainous dialogue in a series of smaller word balloons like older comic book covers would do - "You think you're hot stuff, eh, Power Rangers? You and Godzilla may be tough, but you're no match for my newest monster! Meet King Ghidorah! He's about to teach you that three heads are better than two!" etc. Or, preferably, simply keep the image completely uncovered by anything. The next cover, by Alex Sanchez, looks good, featuring Godzilla and the Dragonzord facing off as the Rangers and their individual Dino Zords pose in the foreground. It's not bad, but it feels a little more appropriate for the first issue, where "Godzilla vs. the Dragonzord" was the main fight. The third issue, yet another of Williams' and Dalhouse's "view screen" covers, is nice, though a bit plain, showing Godzilla charging his atomic breath while facing a human-sized flying Goldar. The fourth cover, again by Sanchez and an exclusive for San Diego Comic Con, is probably the least interesting of the bunch this time around, simply showing the six Rangers leaping at Godzilla's face as lightning cracks in the background. I suppose out of this batch, I'd have to go with the default Williams/Dalhouse cover, as it's the only one that even attempts to portray our heroes facing off with King Ghidorah and it really is a great, almost apocalyptic looking over, despite the unfortunate inserts of the Rangers' faces.

At this point, I honestly have no idea how the final issue will go. Amazingly, this series has managed to surprise me on more than one occasion. Will Rita's monsters prove effective against King Ghidorah? Will they perhaps join forces with Godzilla and the Rangers for one final stand? Will other inhabitants of Monster Island arrive to lend a hand in the eleventh hour? Will the Dino Zords form Trendmasters Power-Up-style armor for Godzilla and form the Mega Dragon Godzilla Zord, the dumbest yet most awesomest thing ever put on the page of a comic book?

I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

...I hope it's the Mega Dragon Godzilla Zord.


Variant Covers

Alex Sanchez Cover
Freddie Williams II & Andrew Dalhouse Cover (No Text)
Alex Sanchez Cover (Convention Exclusive)