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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #11 Review

Kingdom of Monsters is a very interesting series. Whereas the previous writer, Eric Powell, focused more on the human element surrounding the monsters, Jason Ciaramella focuses on the kaiju action. I think that's fine, the series had been due for some good fights. Of course, the problem here is that the issue ends with a 'to be concluded.' I'm sure you've heard that Kingdom of Monsters is ending with Issue 12. What could this mean you ask? I don't fully understand it myself, cause apparently the story 'concludes' next issue. Now that wouldn't be such a problem, except we have lots of plot holes open. First of all, what the heck happened to Kumonga? One panel appearance in the whole series. And it was never explained why every time a new kaiju appears, certain animals die out. And then there's this guy who found out 'where the monsters came from' who died, and that was never opened up again. Unless the 'sequel' takes place after Kingdom of Monsters, I shout "Foul!" Anyways, this issue appears to be the climax, while the next one looks to deal with what happens to humankind. Once again, Ciaramella gives us a very fun read kaiju fans will love, though as a 'final battle' for the series, it was underwhelming.

The story continues with the Twins attempting to control Godzilla. The ladder, however, seems to be too worn out from the previous fight. So, they tell Rodan and Battra to drop him into a nuclear power plant. Yeah, not the best idea. And they witness this first hand when the King of Monsters rises...

I really like the splash pages at and near the beginning, really has a good scope. Well, this issue seems to bring the Twins plot to a close. They've been kinda the main antagonists for the series, this issue really forces them out rather quickly. I have to question their intelligence if they think they could control Godzilla after juicing him up. The battle between Rodan, Batta, and Godzilla was fun and energetic. I can picture Godzilla's theme from Final Wars playing in it. Still, I have been rather annoyed that Rodan has been treated like a joke the whole time. Battra seems to be favored here, Rodan gets the shaft and is knocked out a lot faster. And did I miss something, cause the Twins were knocked over Battra, but didn't appear for the rest of the issue. It's not clear if they died or stood alive to terrorize another day.

Godzilla is looking rather impressive. I just love, love the panel of him about to fight, roaring the iconic "Skreeeonk!" Godzilla himself hasn't had much of a character throughout the series, he's been practically nothing more other than a walking event. At least here he displays some of the classic Godzilla fanfare of just looking epic. Battra gets the most hits in, displaying his strength pretty well. Rodan on the other hand doesn't land a single blow, it's quite disappointing at how weak he was portrayed.

I've gotten use to the art, it fits the series, but still isn't that great. Some shots of Godzilla look fantastic. Rodan still looks like a rough draft version of the character. Battra looks good enough, and the battle is fluid. After the dynamic Issue 10 cover, the cover to this issue really pales in comparison. The Twins looked way too stretched out, it looked like they were extended in Microsoft Paint. Godzilla looks decent when compared to some of his earlier cover appearances. The Matt Frank variant this time features Titanosaurus. Once again, a very awesome piece of artwork.

Overall, Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters #11 is a very enjoyable issue. However, as the 'final battle' of this story, it was a bit underwhelming. The Twins plot is over, yet it is not clear what happened to them. It was great seeing Godzilla doing what he does, just owning. It also was nice to see Battra show his strength, though sadly Rodan gets the shaft. I've gotten use to the art, it's not great, but it's decent. Next issue is the conclusion to this story, so it should be interesting to see what happens.


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