Review: Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #5

Goon creator Eric Powell's dissolution of human society continues at the hands of giant goddamned monsters.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #5

With all due respect to the beloved rubber-suit classics we all grew up on, these days we might just be witnessing the greatest creative flourish for Godzilla since his inception back in 1954.  Not only is his new feature film being written by Batman Begins scribe David Goyer and directed by Gareth Edwards (a guy who cut his teeth on a very impressive giant-creature movie simply called Monsters), but Eric Powell and Tracy Marsh's run on Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters is bringing a similar scorched-earth feel to human society with a bleak mix of dark terror and twisted humor.

The last two issues have taken shots at Lady Gaga and the Jersey Shore as reasons to root for the destruction of our way of life, but now, in #5 of their 8-issue run, that kind of brutal mockery is falling by the wayside, as things are starting to get truly ugly for much of humanity.  Of course, no matter how ugly it gets, the gallows humor will never go away, whether it be cocky military assholes watching their huge-collateral-damage plans fail miserably, the pasty nerd discovering the secret of the monsters only to be crushed by Rodan before he can tell anybody, or two guys finding "Girly Yaya's" body and saying "Is she dead?"  "I dunno, poke her face."

The two creepy little girls controlling Battra and using the beast to crown themselves queens also look to be facing some kind of squashing once they come across its cocoon attached to the Eiffel Tower.  That's not going to end well for anybody.  Then again, nothing is, as we see during the traffic jam outside Pasadena of people trying to escape the Godzilla/Anguirus fight and the poison gas dropped on L.A. to try and snuff out the loser.  Rioting, fighting, scavenging, selfish brutality are all breaking out, making us hate humanity, and simultaneously weep for it as Godzilla comes crushing his way down the highway with his merciless wrath.  This is no benevolent beast.

Powell says he initially turned down the idea of doing a Godzilla comic series because it seemed impossible to do something ongoing with such a formulaic franchise, but thankfully, he's cracked that nut in a big way, as these stories give us a really uncomfortable mix of emotions to read through.  The only thing lacking in #5 is Victor Santos' artwork, which is good sometimes, passable most of the time, but painful on a couple of occasions.  Fortunately, it doesn't take away from the impact of what Powell and Marsh have put together so far. 

If you like Godzilla at all, this is the best you're going to get in the comic realm.   Check out Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters while there are still a few issues left to go before the complete collapse of civilization.