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.