President Ogden (Obama) unleashes a massive Godzilla stopper that will simultaneously turn around the bad economy. Meanwhile, the surviving soldier and the orphaned girl he adopted while traveling seek a safe haven from the monsters. This issue of Godzilla isn’t quite so bad as previous issues, but also doesn’t reach the giddy heights of the premiere.
Part of the reason for the title’s reversal of fortune can be defined in one made up word: Mechagodzilla. Now, let me be clear. For me Mechagodzilla will always be synonymous with the Cosmic Monster. He’s the evil doppelganger simian aliens built to smear Godzilla’s reputation. Godzilla vs. The Cosmic Monster, as it was known in America, was the last really great Godzilla film until Final Wars balanced Godzilla’s dual aspect as redeemed champion of the earth and future echo of nuclear war.
I really doubt present day United States could build anything as complex as Mechagodzilla, or frankly near future United States, but if you set aside reality, this is pretty cool and unexpected. I also like how our President Obama stand-in tries to solve two problems at once. That’s just his style.
When Ogden releases the weapon at Godzilla, artist Victor Santos choreographs a riveting, tremendous battle pitting the King of the Monsters against his namesake. It also helps that some of this battle ensues in widescreen and dutch angles to create the illusion of cinemascope, which is the traditional filming technique for Godzilla movies.
I know that I should be rooting for Ogden and Mechagodzilla as well as the human race, but nostalgia stops me cold. There’s simply no way I can look at Mechagodzilla as anything but the nemesis of the humanity. Fortunately, Powell and Marsh do alleviate the conflict by having the machine go amok, thus once again reinforcing the themes of humankind’s folly when attempting to tame or combat nature.
Ray Tate’s first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, “Spider Without a Web,” published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups. In the POBB, as it was affectionately known, Ray reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he’s young at heart. Of course, we all know better.