Luke Owen reviews the latest issue of Godzilla…
“Boxer is cornered by the government and Godzilla is a giant sized X-factor, wrecking everyone’s plans. Sides are switched, lives are lost… and then the unthinkable happens. The devastating third act of this Godzilla epic begins now!”
I’ve been incredibly harsh on this series for some time now. The last good issue of this was way back in Godzilla #5 when Godzilla had a brief battle against Mechagodzilla. Since then the series has been meandering its way through with average issue leading into average issue. We had some good teases in Godzilla #6 about upcoming battles but nothing was ever followed upon, until now that is.
Well sort of. A lot of what was teased in Godzilla #6 is more or less teased here again but at least we’re shown who Godzilla will be taking down in Godzilla #9. With Urv now dead and the team in an inescapable situation, Boxer has to make a choice whether to save his son Harrison or his lover Clare. After making his choice, the realisation suddenly dawns on him (as per Clare’s visions in Godzilla #6) that Godzilla and Mothra were there to protect the earth rather than destroy it. Because some creatures are raining down from space and they are not happy creatures.
Ignoring why the included Hedorah in this collective (he is, like Godzilla, a man-made creature and not from space), the introduction of these characters was nothing short of anti-climactic. If you look at James Stokoe’s Godzilla: The Half Century War #4 and how he introduced Spacegodzilla and then compare it to Swiercynski and Gane have here, it’s worlds apart (no pun intended). It may just be poor timing as the comics have come out about a week apart from each other, but Stokoe did something that no one has ever been able to do: make Spacegodzilla cool. In fairness to Swiercynski, I did like how they described him as space’s “gruesome mockery of our own defender”.
I do sound like I’m being hard on Godzilla #8 and I don’t mean to keep comparing it to the infinitely better Half Century War, but there is a lot wrong with this series.
That’s not to say that this issue didn’t do some good things. The story was paced nicely and some of the artwork from Simon Gane was really good. The final few pages where Hedorah, Gigan, Spacegodzilla and Monster X (or Kaiser Ghidorah if you prefer) attack the cities are absolutely awesome. I love the choice of using Monster X rather than jumping into King Ghidorah as they can replicate his reveal à la Godzilla: Final Wars in the next issue.
But again I have to resign to the fact that Godzilla #8 has the same teases we had in Godzilla #6 which highlights what a waste of time the last issue was (and more or less what this one was). Godzilla #8 has been a huge improvement and I am looking forward to next month’s third act, but this series has been missing a certain spark and I’m not sure if one great issue can claw back my investment into the series.