Review: ‘Godzilla Rulers of Earth’ #2

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Godzilla returns this month in an issue driven by spectacle. Kaiju battles are the only reason to pick this book up, anyone looking for any sort of character development look elsewhere.

WRITTEN BY: Chris Mowry
ART BY: Matt Frank
PUBLISHER: IDW
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: Aug 7, 2013

Godzilla stories are inherently problematic. They are incredibly unrelatable, and often focus on spectacle. Premise never drives a good story. Character is paramount in any story, and this book begs you to accept Godzilla as a character, but offers you no compelling reasons to do so.

Most of the issue is devoted to showing Godzilla Prime deal with his American counterpart. While the battle is interesting and exciting, it fails to have any stakes. Neither monster is really defeated. The resulting stalemate ensures the larger than life conflict ends with a whimper rather than a bang.

The characters Lucy, and Commander Woods are flat. Neither character has anything more than superficial motivations for doing what they are doing. Lucy is rather annoying and her introduction into a special task force was almost groan worthy. There is a rapid-fire introduction of new characters but they are all so nondescript and boring you’ll be hard pressed to remember them.

Mowry hopes that you’ll latch onto Commander Woods’ flimsy backstory. We’ve seen it a million times before. Woods is the self-doubting hero of old, bent on revenge. It’s hardly new, and proves uninteresting in the context of the story.

A missed opportunity on character makes the issue feel directionless and empty. There is nobody here to root for, and the resulting destruction of the city hardly feels like it has any real stakes. No character finds themselves in danger, not even Godzilla, who spends half the issue in a epic battle, only to emerge unscathed.

Matt Frank’s art should be applauded. The battle that takes the majority of the issue is made dynamic and exciting by his art. His attention to detail with the Kaiju is unparalleled. They have such subtle details and the pain they feel is evident on their gigantic faces. You feel like a fly on the wall for an epic confrontation. The focus on the eyes, the swiping at tails, and the impact of a bite, you feel it all.

Frank’s work with the human characters leaves a much more to be desired. Humans seem to be drawn with wavering proportions that never really look nice in comparison to the monsters they share the pages with.

“Rulers of Earth” continues to falter with little to no direction. The book hopes that you accept the gigantic monsters on the pages as the characters to root for. Yet, Mowry never provides any depth to their plight. Instead superficial flat human characters are meant to be rooted for, but usually just seem vapid and directionless.

1/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jimbus_Christ

  • Canucklehead

    I’m not reading this for a deep layered examination of the characters motives, I am reading this to see monsters fight. Again wouldn’t want this in every book, every week, but if you’re gonna do this, you better do it well, and I think the creative team does.