IDW Godzilla “Kingdom of Monsters” Volume 1 Review
Here at the clubhouse, I’m sure that most of us love ourselves a good old fashioned monster clash: they are massive, filled with fiery – not to mention crushing – goodness and so damn difficult to screw up. IDW apparently knows all that because it decided to give fans a Godzilla comic! YES! The king of all monsters is back on the printed page with an incredible book full of detailed artwork, tense plotting and, surprisingly, a lot of criticism on modern society.
Although the majority of the story focuses on a real spectacular fight, the book has a major change of perspective once the main character is finally introduced. From there it switches between a war against monsters to a man showing a rather decadent society that sadly you could feel actually mirrors the current state of the world. Although his thoughts are harsh and grim his actions reveal the first light of hope rising from this destruction. By the way, you may recognize a few celebrities that appear on the comic. They may not have the right names on, but we can clearly see who are them and how are they criticized.
The first volume starts out quite simple, with the two-thirds of the book being devoted mostly to the first chapter of global destruction. Shortly afterwards, when lots of dead fishes appear, Godzilla arises on an island east of mainland Japan and from there he begins spreading destruction along the harbor where Japanese forces and scientists are baffled with his appearance. Interestingly enough, these sames forces apparently give Godzilla his atomic breath after a failed attempt to nuke him.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, the United States is ready to help when they find out that Anguirus has been seen in Mexico and is heading their way. On that same note a giant egg appears on the north coast of France and in Normandy two creepy twin girls seem to have a deadly secret. Further away a boy in Russia steals an ancient stone from a museum during an earthquake which soon “breaks,” giving birth to Rodan. Seeming connected to all of these appearances we learn that hundreds of thousands of animals are shown dead (or dying) for no apparent reason. We can only assume this is an omen of some sort because it provides a disturbing prelude for things to come.
Back in the U.S. President Obama… I mean Ogden… (yeah…) is dealing with quite a lot of pressure from celebrities like Girly Yaya who are campaigning for military forces to stop the threat of these new creatures and the cast of “Jersified” attempt to make Ogden look like an insensitive bastard. It bears note that the co-writers (Eric Powell and Tracy Marsh) of this series go to great lengths to parody pop culture here, adding a whole new level of entertainment for readers.
In the last act of this volume we finally meet our hero, a man called Sergeant Woods. Woods is a depressed, purposeless soldier who has finally left the United State Army after an apparently short but successful career. He walks around the city while thinking how this new American society is no longer worth the effort or sacrifice, lost to those who idolize banality and laziness. After his grim commentaries, and a bit more criticism on politics, Woods is called back to service in order to help with the evacuations prior to an attack by Godzilla (who’s made his way overseas). Once Godzilla wipes out LA, Woods is shown pulling himself out of the rubble to join other survivors which include the cast of Jersified. Stuck and crying for help, Woods decides to leave the cast behind right before they’re wiped out by Godzilla’s atomic breath in the last panel.
So far I have to say that this is a must read comic! If you like monsters and explosions you’ll get all that and more, including a deep storyline. Even though the meat of the story doesn’t come until later the pacing never feels off. In Woods, Powell and Marsh give us a complexly grim protagonist who isn’t depressed from what is going on, but because he lacks a purpose. I say you should get your hands on this comic, you won’t regret it! Kingdom of Monsters gives you a lot to think about beyond the destruction.