Title
 Monster King Godzilla #2
Author(s)
 Hisashi Yasui
Pencils: Hiroshi Kawamoto Inks: -
Language: Japanese Release: 1993
Publisher: Kodansha Comics/Bombom Comics Pages: 181
Colors: - Cover: Hiroshi Kawamoto
   
Monster Appearances: Aliens, SDF, & Misc Appearances:
Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Flying Ebirah, Gigan, Battra, Clone Godzilla, King Godzilla, Machine G, Rodan, Anguirus, Godzillasaurus, Minilla, Biollante, Mothra, Mechagodzilla, Hedorah WX Aliens (disguise), Xilien UFO, Maser Helicopters, Cyborg Oniyama, Oniyama's submarine, UN fighter jets, Spike Field, Escape Craft, Cosmos
Comments
Nicholas Driscoll

For me, the first volume of Monster King Godzilla was somewhat disappointing. The art, especially of the humans, was not very good, and the storytelling and character development was worse. Most of the enjoyment came from the remixed monsters and the lengthy monster battles, though said battles were always finished by the end of the chapter. The second volume is basically more of the same, though I felt that the storytelling improved slightly. This probably isn’t the Godzilla manga you were hoping for, but for fans it is definitely worth a read.

The story continues from the last book, which ended in a cliffhanger in which villain Mad Oniyama and his descendant from the future both seem to have died, and, in the last panel, Gigan and King Ghidorah can be seen coming to attack earth. King Ghidorah becomes the focus of the first chapter, Gigan the second, Ebirah (!) the third, and then the last two focus on a new monster called King Godzilla. In the first chapter there is a mystery concerning the WX aliens who seem to be controlling King Ghidorah—though that mystery is dropped pretty quick when the real villain is revealed. Uh, spoiler I guess: It’s Oniyama. Kid monster expert Hideo, his older brother and head of G-Team Yousuke, and sexy UN scientist Linda Miller also return to continue the fight against evil kaiju. Together they continue to thwart the dastardly plans of Mad Oniyama as a parade of monsters continues to show up and smash stuff.

The monster fights here again are the main attraction, and the new villainous kaiju are again remixed versions of old favorites. King Ghidorah can turn invisible by vibrating his wings (although in practice he seems to actually teleport from one place to another), and Gigan, though seemingly identified as the monster from the movies, is now a mech piloted by the main villain. Interestingly, the Gigan here has a few new powers—he can shoot his giant hooked hands off, which are attached to long cables used to ensnare Godzilla. If this sounds familiar, it’s because the Gigan in Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) also shoots similar grappling hooks from its arms to snare Godzilla in that movie—a direct crib from this comic, presumably. The robotic Gigan here also launches its head off as an escape vessel, which may have been something of a precursor of Gigan’s later decapitation in Final Wars. The Ebirah that appears here was genetically altered to have insect wings, which is a fun surprise, too.

As in the last film, Godzilla and the other monsters still talk sometimes, translated from growls—especially Godzilla, who continues to boast and spout tough-guy stuff and nonsense. It’s pretty funny, or pretty stupid, depending on how you look at it. Godzilla also uses a “new” super power—the Nuclear Typhoon—which is just a hugely overpowered atomic breath that spirals out of Godzilla’s mouth.

SPOILERS: I think the writer just wanted to outdo the Nuclear Pulse, which managed to take off one of Ghidorah’s heads. Here, the Nuclear Typhoon takes off two with one shot! END SPOILERS

The last two chapters contain some of the most outlandish action in the entire series—it’s a two-part story, which adds some interest to the previously simple episodic nature of the series, and has a new mech, Machine G, and a new monster, King Godzilla. I am going to SPOIL some of the story here, if that matters to you. (Actually, if anyone is interested in a breakdown of the stories in each chapter, let me know as I can go back through my copies and write out what happens. It just takes time.) Okay, here we go.

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

Machine G is an anime-style Mechagodzilla built for G-Team—and is a precursor to the human-created, G-Force-run Mechagodzilla used in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993), which came out later the same year that Monster King Godzilla Volume 2 was published. Of course, the comics would have been serialized in DX Bombom before that. It’s fun to imagine that this humble serialized Godzilla manga may have influenced the development of the 1993 film!

The second monster is King Godzilla, a genetically-created amalgamation made from a number of different monsters’ DNA. It has Godzilla’s torso, tail and head, wings from Battra, and legs and two more heads (with necks) from King Ghidorah serving as arms. King Godzilla also has a secret Biollante head hiding out in his chest, and is controlled by the severed head of Mad Oniyama himself—the mad scientist from the first volume. Since Oniyama seems to be working alone at this point, it is not clear how he cut off his own head and wired it into the monster… Anyway, King Godzilla looks absolutely ridiculous; he is like the sort of monster a five year old would create, which I suppose is much of the appeal of this series. The fight itself is pretty outlandish as well, with Godzilla, King Godzilla, and Machine G all getting to show off their abilities before a somewhat lame (in my opinion) denouement in which Godzilla grabs King Godzilla and they both tumble into a volcano. Hey, I know this is kind of a standard sort of conclusion for Toho monster fights (reminds me of Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965) for one), but it just strikes me as being pretty unimaginative… but at least it wasn’t just another monster exterminated by Godzilla’s nuclear breath!

END SPOILERS

After the story, there is an appendix in the back that includes facts and pictures of Godzilla and his friends and foes from the movies—though the pictures are sometimes just shots of toys. So, for example, Mecha-King Ghidorah never shows up in the comic itself, but he is in the appendix. The facts included tend to be pretty basic stuff, including Godzilla’s “Super Secret”—which is apparently just his height!

   
Godzilla uses a "Goji Dragon Fist" to defeat Hedorah on the second page of the Street Fighter Godzilla comic

After the appendix, we get a pretty bizarre extra treat—a short comic called Street Fighter Godzilla in which Godzilla (dressed as Ryu from Street Fighter) fights Hedorah (dressed as Blanka from Street Fighter… I guess). The comic is only six pages long, and half of that length is an extended gag about a female Mothra larvae named Mosuko declaring her love for Godzilla and his response. Basically he rejects Mosuko, and then realizes that if he dates Mosuko, he might get the Cosmos as well! That’s… about it.

Street Fighter Godzilla is pretty dumb, but the manga artist, Hiroshi Kawamoto, liked the idea so much that he made an unofficial sequel in Gojimaga volume 3, which is a doujinshi (or fan fiction) comic. The new comic, titled Street Fighter Godzilla 2014, brings back Street Fighter Godzilla and Hedorah and introduced a well-endowed random woman named Mizuno for a four-page, even less-funny gag comic. But I digress.

The two volumes of Monster King Godzilla are by no means high-quality entertainment. These comics are pretty mediocre monster madness, but the fights are so over-the-top as to be entertaining, and fans of the more Showa style hero Godzilla will find something to enjoy here. The Street Fighter Godzilla short, too, while dumb, still reminded me of when I was a kid and I would draw Godzilla in all sorts of outfits and costumes. Actually, after the Street Fighter omake, the second volume includes a few pages of fan art sent in by readers of DX Bombom, with each drawing including the name of the artist and the prefecture where they lived at the time. Those roughly drawn monster pics in the back kind of encapsulate the appeal of Monster King Godzilla—it may be poorly drawn, the stories may be juvenile in the extreme, but there is a sort of electric innocence to the stories (if not the depiction of the women) that makes it hard not to appreciate the work done on some level. I may wish for a more mature serialized Godzilla manga, but I am happy that Monster King Godzilla exists.