In last month’s issue, Godzilla and Jet Jaguar teamed up to fight off Gigan and Orga while Woods and Chavez were transported to the alien invaders’ spacecraft. In this issue it’s now up to Jet Jaguar to save them. Is it good?
Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #8 (IDW Publishing)
Woods and Chavez are heroically saved by a giant…er….human sized Jet Jaguar, who went from tearing apart the ship from the outside to standing next to them on the inside of it. If you’re a long time Godzilla/Kaiju fan, you were probably well aware of Jet Jaguar’s size changing abilities. But if you were simply a new reader (which the 8th issue in a series is likely to still have onboard), Jet Jaguar’s appearance would appear to be either very confusing or a victim of poor perspective.
“Wow Jet…did you eat an irradiated tapeworm or something?”
But I digress… the two alien races that have been working together finally reveal that they’ve each been trying to screw the other over. This leads to the froggy-looking ones unleashing the monster Biolante in an awesome splash page of fury upon the ship of the purple alien race. Unfortunately for both of them (and fortunately for those of us who have no idea what the hell is going on), Godzilla shows up, which gives artist Matt Frank the chance to draw one of the series’ best fight scenes to date.
The only thing missing is jazz hands!
Meanwhile, the research team finds Monster Island. Not surprisingly, they also discover why it has earned that name.
Is It Good?
It’s clear that writer Chris Mowry really loves Godzilla and the mythology surrounding him. The fact that he’s able to introduce a “joke” character like Jet Jaguar and make him seem cool (while also retaining a hint of his absurd mystique) is quite impressive, as well. But once again, the series seems to be collapsing far too quickly under the weight of its own continuity.
Look, I’m usually the first one to rant and rave about companies like Marvel relaunching and renumbering their books every couple of years in an effort to draw in new readers. With digital access making trades and back issues more accessible now, it seems even more unnecessary and desperate than it did after becoming a standard industry practice over 10 years ago.
But this issue…heck, this entire series…is incredibly unfriendly to even the most invested of new readers. Mowry’s writing isn’t bad at all, but his reliance on prior knowledge of Godzilla lore and previously published series’ is so heavily anchored to understanding the plot and characters that it gets in the way of his storytelling. If it wasn’t for Matt Frank’s incredible work (particularly on the fight between Godzilla and Biolante), I’m not sure why someone looking to get into Godzilla comics would want to stay with the series.
With excitement building over the new Godzilla movie that’s being released in May, this is the exact wrong time for the kaiju franchise to have just a single ongoing book that only rewards longtime fans.