In Review: Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #19

A super story with spectacular visuals will leave you wishing these monsters were real, but glad they're not.

The covers: A pair of monstrous covers for you to catch and take back to your island. The Regular cover is by Matt Frank with colors by Tommy Shelton. It’s a powerful image in blue and violet as Godzilla is getting dragged down by a number of Trilopods. Frank is the expert on Toho terrors and this cover illustrates why the big guy’s foes look fantastic with their gross maws and gigantic claws. I love the bit of drool coming off the one in the lower right. You would swear Godzilla’s expression says, “Get them off of me!” The use of blues makes the moment seem hidden by the night, but the highlights coming off the creatures’ carapaces reveal them to the reader. The RI cover features the Shobijin back-to-back, separated by the energy emanating from Gigan, with only his head showing as he swims through the ocean with a pair of Mothra larvae flanking him. This is another super cover from Jeff Zornow with great images and great coloring. Should explosions behind giant monsters be this pretty? This is poster/print worthy. Overall grades: Both A+

The story: Crafted by Chris Mowry and Matt Frank, with the former doing the final scripting, this story has it all. An opening flashback starts¬†the tale¬†with “evil psychic twins” Minette and Mallory in drugged induced comas aboard a military transport going to Russia. They can communicate with each other psychically and to summon “…our hero, our friend, our…Battra.” The gigantic evil insect emerges out of the clouds, grabs the body of the plane, destroys the two escort fighters, and takes off with its prize. On a deserted island, Battra kills the soldiers on the plane, but leaves the medics alive because the twins need them. In the present at Monster Island Research Facilitiy, alarms sound as two Mothra larvae arrive with two tiny passengers. What the Shobijin have to tell Woods is not good news. Their tale is a six page flashback of a major incident at a famous Toho monster’s location. What happens there is awesome and I won’t discuss it so not to spoil it. Meanwhile, the big G is trapped in a deep pit in Brazil, his body covered in the recently hatched young of Megaguirus. He’s not going to take their bites lightly and suffers the wrath from another for taking action against them. The issue ends with a third party making the scene from an unexpected source. This has terrific action that’s key to the story, and that’s what sets it towering over other monster books. Overall grade: A+

The art: Matt Frank is the gift that keeps on giving. His art is beautifully detailed and gives these epic creatures the status they deserve. He can do something the films can’t–when I see his illustrations of Battra or Mothra I stop and look. I just can’t do that for their screen adventures. Frank’s interpretations seem more believable than their film counterparts. The energy that sparks out of Battra’s eyes is on a cosmic level rivaling anything I’ve seen from Galactus or Darkseid. The bands of energy that marks this creature’s entrances and exits explode off the page. The sequence that begins on Page 7 is sensational, with two pages having no dialogue because none is needed since Frank’s art expertly tells the story. A writer and editor show their faith in the artist when words aren’t needed to assist the story. Frank is the king of monster artists. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Matching the strong art are the strong colors of Priscilla Tramontano. The realistic coloring on the Russian military jet is shattered by the sick colors of Battra and his accompanying orange lightning. Look at Page 2 for the excellent blending she does with the monster’s eye blasts and the explosion that follows. The sounds on this page are also colored well–notice the pale THOK which makes the sound dull before leading into the bright FOOM which should dominate the panel. Page 11 is the stand out for colors with the monsters standing in their setting with beautiful sounds. Exceptional on every page. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Shawn Lee is this issue’s designated letterer. He has created scene setting, thoughts and dialogue (the same font), super sounds, and the final page’s “To be continued…” I love his SKREEEEONGK, but wanted the evil twins’ thoughts to be a different font from the dialogue to show that this is a different form of communication from speech. Overall grade: A

The final line: This is a monthly love letter to the creatures from Toho Studios. A super story with spectacular visuals will leave you wishing these monsters were real, but glad they’re not. Overall grade: A+

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five 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.
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