In last month’s issue, the two warring alien races attempted to one-up each other in the sport of double crossing. The losers (the purple ones) were awarded with an ass kicking courtesy of Biollante. Meanwhile, the research team arrives at Monster Island, which completely lives up to its name. Will they survive? Will the plot make any sense? Is it good?
Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #9 (IDW Publishing)
This issue wastes no time getting into the action. The naval fleet is attacked by Manda (the serpent), Gezora (the one that looks like a squid), and Titanosaurus. As the crew braces for impact, Dr. Ando yells to Lucy that they have to go. Much to my delight, Lucy points out how stupid that was to say by asking “Go where?” As if on cue, the ship they are standing on is annihilated by Titanosaurus, sending everyone flying into the air in all different directions.
Meanwhile, the remaining ships discover that their weapons aren’t having any effect on the monsters. Fortunately for them, Godzilla shows up and instantly begins making a scaly scarf out of Manda.
“TELL ME I’M PRETTY!”
But after an all-too-brief struggle and a few blasts of radioactive breath, the three monsters sulk away into the ocean. I’m really not sure why they gave up so easily, especially when it looked like the still badly injured Godzilla was having a bit of trouble with them. It was very disappointing to see such a potentially cool fight end before things really got rolling. It was all types of fun watching Godzilla use Manda as an irritated, reptilian whip against the other two. Much to my chagrin, however, writer Chris Mowry was leaving an epic battle to delve into more dense and convoluted plot material. But much to my surprise, I actually enjoyed that part, as well.
While the search for survivors from the attack continues, Lucy washes up on the shore of Monster Island. After for a brief moment of marveling at its weirdness, she comes across the creepy Mothra twins, Lora and Moll. We are then treated to a MASSIVE amount of exposition detailing how the monsters showing up all over the earth fit into the grand, cosmic plan playing out before our eyes.
I’m normally not a very big fan of moments like these, but Mowry does a great job telling an engaging and (thankfully) clear story, all of which is framed beautifully by Jeff Zornow’s artwork. By the issue’s end, the mystical aspect of Mothra (and her followers) reveals that Lucy has been transported to a raft in the middle of the ocean (or maybe had been there the whole time) with some very important information that needs to be shared.
Is It Good?
The fight at the beginning of the issue was a huge let down. One of the few things I’ve still been able to enjoy about this series is watching Zornow let loose with the kaiju action. Instead, we got a wounded Godzilla taking out three monsters with greater ease than his fight with Zilla back in issue #2.
“Screw you, Mr. ‘I Have a Movie Coming Out Soon’, we’re going home!”
But on the plus side, the backstory of how and why all of these monsters are appearing (besides being excuses to marvel at Zornow’s pencils) was well told, gorgeously drawn, and BADLY needed. It should be noted, however, that things never should have gotten to the point where nearly an entire issue of exposition was required. An issue like this should feel like breather rather than a shot in the arm. But as it stands, it finally feels (to me, at least) like the direction of the book is clear.
And for the first time many issues, I’m actually excited about reading the next one.