The covers: Two monsters to add to your collection if you can coax them from Monster Island. The Regular cover has art by Matt Frank with colors by Josh Perez. It’s a sweet shot of Anguirus tromping through Japan. Explosions flare about from missiles that can be seen flying into him. This is the perfect mixture of monster, mayhem, and setting. The slobber coming out of his mouth is a nice touch, as are the wonderfully bright colors coming from the detonations on his armor plated skin. The RI cover is by Jeff Zornow, which features Anguirus from a different angle, revealing, perhaps, where all those missiles are launching from–Mechagodzilla! Projectiles are flying out of this mechanical reptile like it’s from Macross, heat rays radiate out of eyes in brilliant colors of death, and smoke and flame are everywhere. It’s a wonder Anguirus isn’t in pieces. This is a fantastic action cover. Overall grades: Both A
The story: Last issue, Godzilla was in the Artic and Mechagodzilla had appeared. In this issue, whose story is by Chris Mowry and Matt Frank, with Mowry writing this installment, the images of both covers lead into the opening page perfectly: Mechagodzilla is beating the tar out of Anguirus. The mortal monster tries to escape armadillo style but the deadly energy beams from the robot stop its retreat. As this tussle continues, the narration of the old man who’s in charge of the ‘bot gives a speech that resembles a sales pitch on the virtues of the shiny Godzilla. The victor of the battle isn’t really in doubt, but the eyes of the two individuals at the bottom of Page 5 will make readers doubt the old man’s intentions. A discovery is made on 6 that is about to become much, much worse than imagined. Two individuals from early issues get a nice, overdue focus which crumbles quickly. Though it was short, I was glad it happened. There’s a terrific growing tension in the city which is mirrored in the Kamchatka Peninsula. The reveal on 17 is super and the reveal on 20 stupendous–it’s a double-whammy of wow-ness. Mowry and Frank are making modern monster magic. Overall grade: A+
The art: The visuals in this book are by Matt Frank, with ink assists by Mostafa Moussa. There is a spectacular amount of monster action in this book. Creatures roar, stomp. bleed, destroy, and trample magnificently. The many close-ups of Anguirus’s eyes show this creature to be in an absolutely fearsome frenzied state. I’m not a Mechagodzilla fan, but I’m becoming one with this story and art. I love that this mechanoid is not smooth, instead having slight nicks and imperfections over its surface to show damage from earlier encounters. I am so happy to clearly know where the combatants are in relation to each other and their environment–a rarity in most comic books. The humans also look great, with the glasses-less pair being particular stand outs. The old man is growing on me, thanks in no small part to Page 20. And what of the title character? Page 10 is beautiful. If I had Frank and Moussa’s skills I would be drawing Toho terrors all day. I love the look of this book. Overall grade: A+
The colors: Perfect work on every page from Priscilla Tramontano. The first page uses brilliant yellows to draw attention to the fighters in the foreground. The energy weapons emanating from Mechagodzilla are killer in neon scarlet. Wonderful jobs are also done on all the little details in the art: Anguirus’s spikes, the different shades of Godzilla’s hide, the pieces of debris that are flying everywhere, and the evil glaring eyes on the final page. Plus the sound effects are brilliantly electric, with Page 10 being gorgeous. Overall grade: A+
The letters: I am in love with the many superior sound effects in this issue by Shawn Lee. The sounds gleefully make the monster even more awesome that the visuals. Oh, sure. Lee also creates some solid dialogue and scene settings, but VREEEEE, MWRAAWN, FWHAM, BA-DOOM, SKREEEEEONNGK, GRROOONGK, and FOOSH take me back to my childhood, thrilling to every moment of these monsters. Overall grade: A+
The final line: Stunningly perfect. Highest possible recommendation. Overall grade: A+
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.