Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters Review by Eugene Alejandro

For Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters to be the first Godzilla comic IDW Publishing has made, it’s a very weak start to their line of Godzilla comics. I don’t absolutely hate Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters, but there is just a lot of flaws that keep it from being a good series to me.

Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters is a 12 issue series with issues #1-8 written by Eric Powell and Tracy Marsh, while issues #9-12 are written by Jason Ciaramella. The artwork for issues #1-4 are by Phil Hester, while issues #5-12 are drawn by Victor Santos.

To start off, Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters has a very good premise in which Godzilla and other Kaiju are causing the world to go through an apocalypse. What ruins the concept though is the use of satire in it. The story makes fun of real life figures most famously Barack Obama, Lady Gaga, and the Jeresy Shore, and it tries to make fun of (sometimes) the governments failed attempts at stopping the Kaiju, and while some of the jokes do work in the way they allow chuckles to happen, it detracts greatly from the dark tone that the series is suppose to have, and feels completely out of place in a Godzilla story.

The writing also has some problems with out of place comedy, and parts of the story that foreshadow something, but never get fulfilled once the series ends. The character development is also poor as there is no explanation for why Godzilla (and the other Kaiju) appear, and the villians of this story who are twin sisters with psychic powers who want to control and the Kaiju and rule the world is never given a good reason to be there.

The dialogue, actions scenes, and the times the story tries to be serious to work, but are overshadowed by the rest of the writing flaws. The comedy isn’t bad, it just feels out of place for this series.

The artwork by both Phil Hester and Victor Santos is another huge flaw with this series as the way the Kaiju and human characters look, it feels way too cartoonish and looks rushed sometimes. There is also an inconsistency with the art as the Kaiju’s eyes in some panels are completely pale, while in other panels their irises can be seen. I don’t want to make it sound like both Phil Hester and Victor Santos are bad artists because they are not. I have seen good work from them. It’s just that their art in Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters just looked very rushed and poor with even the backgrounds looking dull (the coloring and inking are very solid though).

One thing that I was really upset with his story is the origin they give to Godzilla. Instead of being a giant reptilian monster that was created by nuclear weapons, he is instead a giant monster that randomly appears in the world causing destruction for no reason and explanation, that only gets his nuclear powers because a nuclear missile was launched at him with the hopes of killing him (only for him to absorb the radiation and get more powers from it). This is an insult as it goes against Godzilla’s metaphor of being the consequences of using nuclear weapons, and is bound to offend any true and hardcore Godzilla fan.

Even though I said that this series has way too many storytelling and artwork flaws, I won’t say it’s awful because it had a good concept, good giant monster fighting action, and good lettering. It’s just that if if hadn’t felt so rushed, it would’ve been a much better story for sure, and a better start for IDW Publishing’s Godzilla line.

I give Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters 2/5 Stars.

Godzilla: The Half Century War Review by Eugene Alejandro

Please read James Stokoe’s Godzilla The Half Century War from IDW Publishing if your a Godzilla fan that wants to read a brilliantly written and brilliantly drawn Godzilla comic.

The reason why it’s called the half century war is because all five issues are set in different years with the first issue being set in 1954, and the fifth and final issue is set in 2002. Issue two takes place in 1967, issue three is set in 1975, and the fourth issue is in the year 1987.

Godzilla The Half Century War is an amazing comic because it’s an ambitious story that James Stokoe put lots of heart, soul, passion, and effort into making as each issue has strong writing and phenomenal artwork by him.

Even though I’ve just said this, James Stokoe’s art in Godzilla The Half Century War is without a doubt some of the greatest art I’ve never seen in a Godzilla comic. The Kaiju and the environments have huge amounts of detail put into them, and the colors also help the atmosphere that the art is meant to represent. My only nitpick with the art is that sometimes the human characters look a bit cartoonish looking.

A dislike that I have is that I didn’t feel that SpaceGodzilla should have been in issue #4, while King Ghidorah and Gigan were in issue #5. In my opinion, it needed to be the reverse because any Godzilla fan should know that SpaceGodzilla is a much more powerful foe than King Ghidorah and Gigan are.

Overall, Godzilla The Half Century War is a well-written and well-illustrated comic in the Godzilla franchise by James Stokoe that I absolutely recommend to every fan of Godzilla, as well as the Kaiju genre as a whole.

I give Godzilla The Half Century War 5/5 Stars, and Two Thumbs Up.

Godzilla 1954 Movie Review by Eugene Alejandro

Godzilla 1954 is movie that features that talents of Ishiro Honda (director and writer), Akira Ifukube (soundtrack), and Eiji Tsuburaya (special effects), and is the very first installment that started the entire Godzilla franchise (this review is also specifically of the original Japanese version).

The plot of this movie is that it is the year 1954, and a giant monster the people of Japan decide to call Godzilla appears from the depths of the ocean, and begins causing destruction to the city of Tokyo. It becomes proven that Godzilla was created as a result of nuclear testing, and the government of Japan tries to figure out how to destroy Godzilla, with one scientist having the answer, but too afraid to show as he believes it would inspire ever more dangers for the world.

As would expect with this film, it is a true masterpiece in the Kaiju genre for it has an engaging story, brilliant writing, and works as a very good allegory about the consequences of using nuclear weapons with the title character Godzilla being born as a result of nuclear weaponry.

While Godzilla doesn’t fight another giant monster in this film, and it takes a very long time of him to appear in it, what makes up for it is it’s cast of memorable characters, well-done drama, and the fact it doesn’t pander about it’s message about nuclear weaponry.

Akira Ifukube’s soundtrack is brilliant to hear, and helps with the dark and depressing tone of the movie.

I usually try my best to find a flaw in what I review, but for me, Godzilla 1954 doesn’t have anything that isn’t good about it for it is a good story that’s well-acted, and well-written, Although I will admit that the Godzilla suit sometimes does look a bit unintentionally silly looking and is outdated, but I’ll give it a pass because the movie was made back in the year 1954.

In conclusion, not only is Godzilla 1954 the very first film in the franchise that’s important for every fan to watch to see how it all began, it is an example of powerful cinema with a very good message, and is a phenomenal drama in the Kaiju genre that should never be missed and forgotten.

I give Godzilla 1954 5/5 Stars, and Two Thumbs Up.

Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 3 Review by Eugene Alejandro

Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 3 published by IDW starts off from Volume 2’s ending as we see Titanosaurus, Gezora, and Manda attacking a fleet of ships on the ocean (one of them has the Kaiju Watchers on it). Godzilla then appears out from the water, and begins to fight Gezora, Manda, and Titanosaurus. While this is happening, one of the members of the Kaiju Watchers Lucy Casprell, ends up falling from the ship that she and the rest of the Kaiju Watchers were on, and washes up on Infant Island where she meets the Shobijin. The Shobijin allow her to be welcomed to the Island, and show her cave drawings that are meant to foreshadow a prophecy.

The drawings in the cave show Kaiju’s such as Gorosaurus, King Caesar, Mothra, Megaguirus, Varan, Megalon, Battra, Baragon, Ebirah, Manda, Kamacuras, Kumonga, Gezora, Titanosaurus, Kamoebas, and Anguirus. The Shobijin explain that there will be a monster that will try to destroy the world, but one will try to save the world. The reason why all of this is in the story is because it’s meant to set up a big major event that will happen in the story’s future. Afterwords, Lucy Casprell is given a necklace from the Shobijin, and is teleported out of Infant Island, and ends up waking up on a life boat.

After that, Godzilla is seen chasing after the Gargantuas Gaira and Sanda in the ocean, and all 3 of them end up in Australia. Sanda and Gaira then proceed to fight Godzilla. Steven Woods and the CKR (Counter-Kaiju Reaction forces) then show up to stop all 3 of them from fighting in order to save Australia from destruction. Gaira get’s knocked out by Godzilla’s tail, Sanda manages to hurt Godzilla, and Godzilla then retreats to the ocean. Steven Woods calls for two helicopters with nets so that they can take Sanda and Gaira to Monster Island. 

Afterwords, a Devonian shows up to a bunch of fisherman, and warns them about the Devonians plan. After that, Baragon appears from the grounds of Paris, but Kiryu (The Millennium Era MechaGodzilla) then appears in order to take Baragon to Monster Island. Baragon uses his fire breath to attack Kiryu, but Kiryu has the upper hand and knocks Baragon unconscious, and takes him to Monster Island. A character named Dr. Allison speaks with the Devonian that is on the humans side so that he can get answers.

The Devonian explains to him that the Devonians are going to use Manda, Titanosaurus, Gezora, and Destroyah to destroy humanity because the Devonians see that the humans are polluting the ocean. Godzilla is later seen in the pacific ocean, and his ambushed by Destroyah, Titanosaurus, Manda, and Gezora. The government has submarines use sound waves to lure all 4 monsters into the main Devonian base so that they can destroy the base, and the monsters at the same time. The sound waves however, cause Destroyah to split into multiple aggregate versions of himself, and attack the ship that Steven Woods, and Kaiju Watchers are currently on.

The people on the ship are able to fight off the aggregate Destroyah’s, but they retreat back to the ocean so that they can form back to Destroyah’s final form. Before Destroyah can destroy the ship, Jet Jaguar appears and fights Destroyah. Jet Jaguar decides to shrink to human size so that he can pilot Kiryu that’s on the ship. Jet Jaguar get’s Kiryu working, and activates Kiryu’s Absolute Zero Cannon to freeze and destroy Destroyah. Afterwords, Jet Jaguar goes into the ocean to try to save Godzilla from being buried in the ocean grounds by the missiles that were launched to destroy the monsters and the Devonian base. And not to spoil the ending, the ending does a phenomenal job at setting up the events and will happen in Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 4, and future stories to come.

Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 3 collects issues #9-#12 and is another really good addition to the series. Chris Mowry’s writing continues to be spectacular as ever, and the story his helped by the awesome artwork by Jeff Zornow and Matt Frank.

As I said earlier, the ending for Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 3 is a brilliant way to get people anticipated for Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 4 so that they can see what happened after the events of Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 3.

It’s also really cool to see The Gargantuas Gaira and Sanda officially fighting Godzilla for the very first time. If your a fan of comics, Godzilla, or both, and have read and enjoyed the previous 2 volumes of Godzilla: Rulers Or Earth, you will not be disappointed with Volume 3. 

I give Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 3 Two Thumbs Up, and 5/5 Stars.

Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 2 Review by Eugene Alejandro

IDW’s Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Volume 2 collects issues 5-8 and is a good follow up to the first Volume. 

The story starts off where Volume 1 left off as we see the Kaiju Watchers being chased by Varan in China. Before Varan can get to them, he is suddenly attack by Rodan, and the two begin fighting. While they’re fighting, the Kaiju Watchers go to a Chinese military base for safety. One of the members however, ends up discovering that the Chinese military base contains the green Gargantua Gaira for scientific research.

Varan and Rodan end up crashing into the military base, and the member of the Kaiju Watchers that found Gaira decides to release him in order to fend off both Kaiju. Rodan retreats, and Varan ends up fighting Gaira. Varan then decides to fly away, but Gaira grabs Varans tail as he flies. The brown Gargantua Sanda then appears trying to reach out to Gaira but to no avail. The Kaiju Watchers then arrive at an airport so that they can keep searching for Godzilla.

Afterwords, Godzilla shows up in Las Vegas to fight the upgraded Gigan which is the design Gigan had in Godzilla: Final Wars. Gigan has the upper hand until the CKR (Counter Kaiju Reaction forces) calls for Moguera to defeat Gigan. But before Moguera showed up, Gigan was able to knock Godzilla conscious which gave the Cryog the opportunity to use one of their aircraft’s to absorb Godzilla. The aircraft ends up exploding revealing Orga. Godzilla is able to recover, but he now has to face both Gigan and Orga.

Orga was able to easily defeat Moguera which now makes Godzilla outnumbered. But before all hope seems lost, Jet Jaguar shows up to help Godzilla defeat both Gigan, and Orga. Orga is defeated by Jet Jaguar and the Cyrog try to recover the remains of Orga, but at the same time, they end up abducting two members of the CKR. Both Godzilla and Jet Jaguar succeed in defeating Gigan, but Godzilla (still unaware that Jet Jaguar is suppose to be his ally) ends up attacking Jet Jaguar. This leaves Jet Jaguar no choice but to knock Godzilla unconscious, and throw him into the ocean.

The Cryog then discover the two CKR members that are inside their ship and decide to eliminate them. But before the Cryog can finish off the CKR members, Jet Jaguar shows up and saves the two CKR members. Afterwords, the Cryog ask the Devonians for help, but the Devonians refuse because they’ve figured out that the Cyrog are planning on betraying them. The Devonians summon Biollante to destroy the Cryog, but Godzilla shows up and ends up fighting Biollante which allows the Cryog to flee.

While Godzilla and Biollante are fighting each other, Biollante has the upper hand. Godzilla decides to use his Atomic Breath to cause the Volcano on the island both him and Biollante are on to erupt so that he can throw Biollante into the Lava which ends Biollante’s life. After that, The Kaiju Watchers are on a ship trying to look for Godzilla, and 3 Kaiju Manda, Titanosaurus, and Gezora appear from the ocean right in front of them ending Volume 2 of Godzilla: Rulers of Earth.

Just like in the first Volume, Chris Mowry’s writing is very solid. It’s also very cool to see Gaira and Sanda in something Godzilla related (especially since they’ve never been in any other Godzilla media in the past).

Matt Franks artwork also continuous to be spot on. Issue 5 is drawn entirely by Jeff Zornow and his art is spectacular (especially the way he draws Rodan).

The ending is a very great lead in to Volume 3 as it gets the readers anticipated to see the story continue.

Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 2 is a good follow up to Volume 1, and is perfect for any Godzilla fan. 

I give Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 2 5/5 Stars, and 2 Thumbs up.

Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 1 Review by Eugene Alejandro

With me being such a big fan of both Godzilla and Comic Books, I can certainly say that IDW’s Godzilla: Rulers of Earth is one of the greatest Comics ever made. Volume 1 collects the first 4 issues and is a brilliant introduction to the series as it allows the readers to be well immersed in both the story and characters it has to offer.

The story in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Volume 1 is that giant monsters (also known as Kaiju) have been appearing all around the world and everyone wants to know why. In order to combat the threat of the Kaiju, it’s up to the CKR (Counter-Kaiju Reaction forces) to keep the Kaiju at bay. At the same time, a scientific research group called the Kaiju Watchers are trying to find the answer as to why the Kaiju are appearing. As the story progresses, it’s revealed that two alien forces called the Cryog, and the Devonians are planning on taking over the Earth by using their own Kaiju to destroy all the humans.

Chris Mowry’s writing is perfect as it allows the story to have a very good pace, lot’s of awesome Kaiju action, and great foreshadowing. The human and aliens characters also help with the story as they add depth to the plot without being a distraction.

The artwork by Matt Frank is brilliant and is perfect for this series because it allows the humans, aliens, and the Kaiju to look brilliant. One of the best parts of Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Volume 1 is when Godzilla fights none other than Zilla in Hawaii. It’s definitely a great homage to when Godzilla fought Zilla in Godzilla: Final Wars from 2004. Matt Franks art also helps make the scene look even more awesome than it already is.

As I mentioned earlier, Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Volume 1 has great foreshadowing. A perfect example is in the beginning when Gigan rises from the Grand Canyon in Arizona and is attacked by Kumonga. The Cryog see this and it gives them the idea that Gigan must be upgraded. After the battle between Gigan and Kumonga, Gigan is summoned to the Cryog base for upgrades and is not seen again until Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Volume 2. The next example is when Zilla retreats from his battle with Godzilla. He’s not seen again and this is meant to show that Zilla will return at some point in the series. The final battle in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Volume 1 is when Godzilla and Mothra team up and fight Destroyah. It’s a great fight to see and is very well written and well drawn.

The ending where the Kaiju Watchers are in China and end up encountering Varan is brilliant set up for Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Volume 2. The ending is drawn by Jeff Zornow, and he does a very good job at drawing both the humans and Varan. What I also liked was how Chris Mowry was able to give Kumonga a small but very important role in the story as without his appearance and him fighting Gigan, the part of the story in which the Cryog decide that Gigan should be upgraded couldn’t happen.

So overall, Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Volume 1 is a brilliant comic to read and a great beginning for the entire series.

I give Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Volume 1 Two Thumbs Up, and 5/5 Stars.