What a month for Giant Monster fans. Pacific Rim has finally hit the theaters being everything it promised to be and in comic shops, Godzilla Rulers of the Earth #1 hit shelves. Now chances are if you’re one of us older folk who grew up in the 70’s your Saturday Mornings were a steady diet of cartoons, kung fu and Giant Monster movies. From Godzilla to Gamara to Ultraman, we had our heroes, our villains and all of these embodied in giant rubber monster suits and awesome Kaiju Wrestling moves. So many of us on the East Coast have fond memories of Saturday’s Creature Double Feature giving us classic monsters to start but then stepping it up to Godzilla, King of Monsters and his court. Movies, vinyl import toys, american games based on the toho franchise, we couldn’t get enough of these titans, and with the release of Pacific Rim, a tribute to our childhood has been updated for an entirely new generation.
IDW has had the rights to publish Godzilla titles for a few years now and with a solid number of mini series under their belts its time for an ongoing title for the King of Monsters! Rulers of Earth written by Chris Mowry and drawn by Matt Frank starts with a solid enough story and the usual trappings of a Toho movie. Unknown aliens/villains manipulate these giant beasts into battle with creatures of their own in the hopes of using them to control Earth. In the meantime, Earth scientists and military have entire departments devoted to the study and defense against Kaiju attack. The big item that this book brings to the table that other Godzilla tales haven’t is the introduction of Zilla in comic format for the first time! For those of you who don’t know, Zilla is the 1998 americanized version of Godzilla brought to the big screen and staring Matthew Broderick. While a fun giant monster movie, this version of Godzilla was never really accepted and since then reinvented as an new monster named Zilla and cast as part of the Godzilla gallery of foes, even featured briefly the in 2004 film Godzilla Final Wars.
Personally I’m looking forward to the battle between Godzilla and Zilla in issue 2, and this could be the start of new ongoing rivalry between monsters! My only negative with this title is that while Matt Frank is amazing at his comic rendition of all things Kaiju or Robotic, his humans have a slightly off appearance. A sort of hybrid of anime and US cartoon style that isn’t quite there yet but as I mentioned, he makes up for it in spades with his monster work! Here’s looking forward to the rest of the series, if you’re a giant monster fan like I am give it a try!