Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #2
January 12, 2015
Godzilla is really more of the Archduke of Monsters than the King.
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. Last year, I reviewed the first issue of "Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters", since I had heard from people that the series was bad... just that there's some debate about where it gets bad. So, (claps hands together) let's see if we can figure that out for ourselves, shall we?
(Cut to black)
Linkara (v/o): (dramatically) Last time on "Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters"...
(A montage of clips of the first issue is shown as Linkara gives a recap of it)
Linkara (v/o): Godzilla attacked Japan. Someone must have been friggin' kidding everyone. Godzilla got nuked by Japan, even though they can't have nukes, but all that did was turn on his radiator or something. Yyyyeah... Not a lot happened.
Linkara: So let's dig into (holds up today's comic) "Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #2" and see if this is where the series starts getting bad. (beat) Or if anything of significance will happen this time.
(AT4W title sequence plays, and the title card has "Godzilla March" playing in the background. Cut to a closeup of the comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): I'm reading from a trade, and while I've relaxed my thing about reviewing covers in trade collections, this issue has quite a few alternate covers, so I'm not sure which one to look at, not that any of them are really all that interesting. The best is this pseudo-painted one featuring a kick-ass Godzilla, Rodan and Anguirus all attacking at once, although the perspective makes it look like Godzilla is stuck waist-deep in the ground.
(The comic opens to the first page)
Linkara (v/o): We open... several hours ago, where the guy from the last issue is trying to locate his missing children, the ones that ended up becoming sandwiches.
Linkara: (exaggeratedly) Get it?! Because they were in the sand and... Shut up!
Linkara (v/o): He's ordered to evacuate, being told that his kids are probably on another transport. Later, during the attack on the mainland, he runs in front of a reporter.
Man: Please help me! I'm a fisherman from Niijima! My children are missing! Their names are Isamu and Kameko!
Linkara: (as fisherman) They haven't done their chores and I have to ground them, or else their mother will kill me! Please help!
Linkara (v/o): And now we're at... now, with Godzilla still in the middle of the attack. Fisherman Dad is watching as Godzilla uses his thermonuclear breath on a building, because like any kid with a new toy, he wants to keep using it until he gets bored with it.
Fisherman: (narrating) I ask myself why such a thing would be here.
Linkara: (as fisherman) Then I remember that the Christmas rush gets earlier every year.
Fisherman: (narrating) Why would such a thing be allowed to exist?
Linkara: Clearly, we must impose sanctions on Godzilla.
Fisherman: (narrating) Why would it be allowed to take my children from me?
Linkara: (as fisherman) You have twenty seconds to answer.
Linkara (v/o): Going through the ruined streets, the guy quickly locates an abandoned military jeep full of explosives and rockets. But enough about the death and destruction and loss of this guy's kids. Let's cut over to Moscow: specifically, the Vernadsky State Geological Museum. A class is looking at an exhibit for the Tunguska event. On the off-chance you've never heard of it, the Tunguska event was an explosion in a remote forest area in Russia in 1908, believed to have been caused by an asteroid exploding in the air before impact. It was pretty damn powerful, too, on par with a small nuclear detonation, though obviously without the fun times of radiation. Science fiction loves the Tunguska event, since we don't know for absolute certain what caused it; it's just the asteroid theory makes the most sense. Some of the wilder theories about it include a black hole tunneling through the Earth, an asteroid composed of antimatter, or a side effect of Nikola Tesla working on his death ray.
Linkara: Which, honestly, I was that was the case. A death ray would be perfect against Godzilla right about now.
Linkara (v/o): One kid, Mikhail, examines a piece of the debris from the asteroid, but an earthquake suddenly hits the area. The glass case for the stone falls over and frees the chunk of rock. Mikhail grabs it and puts it in his bag as everyone flees outside of the museum, only to be greeted by dozens of crows or ravens or whatever falling dead from the sky.
Linkara: Hey, check it out: a murder of crows. (a rimshot is heard)
Linkara (v/o): The Birds 3: Tippi Hedrin's Revenge! We then cut over to Sabinas, Mexico, where two ranchers are heading over to grab some cattle that were grazing near a stream. However, they're all dead, too.
(Cut to the Mystery Science Theater 3000 gang watching Giant Spider Invasion, in which cows have fallen over, dead)
Servo: Got milk?
(Cut back to the comic)
Rancher 1: Dios mío! What happened here?
Rancher 2: I dunno. But El Jefe is gonna be pissed.
Linkara: Welp, standard operating procedure: better send it to McDonald's.
Linkara (v/o): Their horses suddenly get spooked and toss them off. Aaand out of the ground springs Anguirus.
Linkara: (as Anguirus) Look, I know what this looks like, guys, but I swear to Godzilla, I killed these cows in self-defense!
Linkara (v/o): There's a quick cutover to Tokyo, where we see the father duct-taping sticks of dynamite together.
Linkara: (as fisherman) Well, if Godzilla find me handsome, at least he'll find me handy.
Linkara (v/o): We then cut back to Moscow as Mikhail runs home.
Mikhail: Hi, Mom! There was an earthquake on our field trip! Did you feel it? And there were dead birds everywhere! I squished a bunch of their heads!
Linkara: (as Mikhail, grinning) I'm turning into a real psychopath, Mother!
Mikhail's mother: Shhh! I'm trying to listen to the television!
Linkara: (as Mikhail's mother) They're playing an extended cut of the Super Megaforce finale! It's still really disappointing!
News reporter: Details are sketchy as word spreads of attacks on Japan, and the Internet is inundated with home videos of what some are calling a monster.
(Cut to a clip of an episode of The Simpsons)
Chief Wiggum: We think we're dealing with a supernatural being. Most likely a mummy.
(Back to the comic again)
News reporter: Although we cannot corroborate these outlandish claims, the destruction of the city is undeniable.
Linkara: (as reporter) We especially cannot corroborate this footage of the giant lizard that appears to come directly from our own camera. Let's face it, the news media is pretty biased.
Linkara (v/o): Seriously, though, the President was already told about this in the last issue with an actual news report. And the videos are pretty concrete evidence along with those news reports. The hell do you mean you can't corroborate this stuff?
Mihail's mother: Pfft! People will believe anything!
Linkara: (as Mikhail's mother) People really believe that Ghost In the Shell movie is gonna get made? Come on.
Linkara (v/o): The mother tells Mikhail to get his gear ready for hockey practice and he goes to his room. Inside, we see the kid has quite a collection of animals – in rather tiny cages for some of them. That poor snake up top practically fills the entire box. Also, giant grasshopper. He takes out the rock from the museum.
Mikhail: I bet there are diamonds inside you! I'll be rich!
Linkara: I'd make a joke about the Russian educational system, but I'm not exactly sold on America's educational system, so... we all suck together, I guess.
Linkara (v/o): The rock suddenly collapses, revealing an egg. Of course, the egg quickly hatches as well, revealing a tiny Rodan.
Linkara: (as Mikhail, stroking chin in thought) Hmm, it's not as shiny, but it does have perfect IVs in all its stats, so... yeah, I'll keep you.
Mikhail: ...Better than diamonds! I have my own dinosaur!
Linkara: (deep Russian voice) I will make you and Russia proud, my human mother.
Linkara (v/o): Mikhail's mother calls him down to leave.
Mikhail: You stay here! I'll be back soon! And I'll bring you something good to eat! Like Mr. Egorov's stupid cat!
Linkara: So, the message I'm getting from this comic and the issue before it is that all little boys are sadistic assholes?
Linkara (v/o): He leaves Rodan behind in a shoebox and runs off before we then cut back to Mexico. Some kids are playing soccer with a beat-up ball... and suddenly, Anguirus is rolling down the street in his ball form. And from the looks of things, he actually has his tail in his mouth.
Linkara: (as Anguirus) Dear Lord, I taste delicious! You'd think traveling through dirt would make me filthy, but no, I think it actually enhances the flavor!
Linkara (v/o): Leaping out of the ball form, he then quickly smashes a nearby building, to the shock of the kids.
Linkara: (as Anguirus, singing) They see me rollin', they hatin'...
Linkara (v/o): Over to the Pentagon, President Obama* is being briefed on Godzilla's attack. Seems like the kind of thing that they'd be doing at the Situation Room, not over at the Pentagon, but what do I know? Thousands are dead, and the region's infrastructure has fallen apart. No power, no clean drinking water, and the surrounding areas can't handle the amount of refugees that are pouring into them. President Obama wants to send in more humanitarian aid, but the Pentagon guy says that they can't while the situation is ongoing. Um, why the hell not? In fact, why isn't the Japanese Ambassador here right now, coordinating with you guys? A massive attack on an allied nation by a monstrous creature, and you can't even spare some helicopters to fly refugees out of the area? Or even send in FEMA or the Red Cross to provide food, water and medical supplies? We don't wait for a disaster to be over before we provide support; people need help now! However, Pentagon dude says the situation is even more dire, revealing footage of Anguirus attacking Mexico.
- NOTE: The President's actual name is not actually Obama, it's Ogden, as will be revealed later.
Linkara: (holds up hand defensively) Whoa! Let's not be too hasty, guys. The footage of this attack hasn't been corroborated yet.
Linkara (v/o): Back over to Mikhail, he's returned home while holding the stolen cat. However, he apparently isn't paying very close attention, because despite all his aquariums being broken and on the floor, it takes him a minute to notice Rodan perching on his bedpost, having grown a bit larger and just finishing up devouring one of his lizards. And then, on the next page, Rodan is giant-sized and breaking out of the roof.
Linkara: (as Mikhail) Trumpy! You can do magic things!
Linkara (v/o): The next panels reveal that Rodan has clearly eaten the kid.
Linkara: And this, everyone, is why Gamera is friend to all children.
Linkara (v/o): At the White House, the President is speaking with the press about the attacks, assuring people they're doing everything they can for humanitarian aid – lies, if the previous scene was any indication – and they're putting together a team of scientists, engineers and military leaders to figure out what to do about the monsters and how to protect America should an attack come here.
Reporter: Sir, how do you respond to those who are questioning your assertiveness on this issue? I mean, these are giant monsters. If there ever was a time to go in with both guns blazing, isn't this it? Why aren't we bombing these things into oblivion?
Linkara: (as reporter) And sir, is there any way I can make this question any more leading or clear that it's (gestures toward himself) me questioning you and not some vague (makes a "finger quote") "other people"?
Ogden: Look, Japan employed nuclear weapons against one of these creatures, and it had no effect... Let me rephrase. It had a negative effect. I hesitate to turn to a military course of action just yet.
Linkara: Well, it took them, like, fifty-plus years, but they finally figured out that the military doesn't work on giant monsters. (beat) Unless they want to get started on Mechagodzilla.
Reporter: So you're willing to just sit back and watch as these creatures devastate Japan and Mexico?
Linkara (v/o): Asshole, did you come in late or something?! He says they're hardly doing nothing, but at this point, trying to attack it without all the facts would be insane.
Reporter 1: Sir, I understand the need to make informed decisions based on the best advice available, but... giant monsters!
Linkara: (as reporter) I know it's important to make informed decisions and not act rashly, but shouldn't we be acting rashly and not making informed decisions?
Reporter 1: People are dying. Shouldn't we be doing something – anything – while we devise a long-term plan?
Linkara: (as reporter) I'm just saying, let's pointlessly sacrifice the lives of our citizens when so far, nothing has proven to be effective, so we can feel better about doing something.
Ogden: Did I mention that one of them started breathing fire when they dropped a nuke on it?! And it's growing! It's already huge!
(Cut to a clip of Dragon Ball Z, showing Goku confronting Vegeta, who has become a giant ape, towering over Goku)
Goku: Now he's really getting huge!
(Cut back to the comic)
Ogden: What do you want me to do?! Drop another nuke?! It could start shooting lasers out of its eyes!
Linkara: (as Ogden, stroking chin) Actually, come to think of it, let's do that. It'll be hella cool! (nods)
Reporter 2: There's no need to be argumentative, Mr. President.
Linkara (v/o): ...says the jackass asking stupid questions in an argumentative fashion. Anyway, we unfortunately cut away after someone asks a good question... namely, about the rumors of Rodan flying around Russia... and over to Texas: specifically, the Mexican border, where the governor is overseeing building a giant wall to keep out monsters. It's a very weak parody of immigration, but what's making me confused is if this is the same day or not. I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be, yet they managed to get so much of the wall up already. Oh, we also learn it's not President Obama in this comic, but President Ogden. I don't get it. Were they afraid the President would sue the Godzilla comic if they used his real name? But whatever. Blah, blah, blah, Texan governor, 'Murica is strong, freedom, no monster will get past this fence... and immediately, Anguirus shows up and stomps through it. What makes this parody even more idiotic is that Anguirus is still taller than the wall. He could've just stepped or jumped over it.
Linkara: That being said, how are we going to protect the jobs of American monsters?
Linkara (v/o): And finally, back over to Tokyo, Fisherman Dad has followed Godzilla to Yokohama.
Fisherman: (narrating) As I followed him, I had to wonder how many lives he had destroyed. How many loved ones had he torn apart?
Linkara: Well, see, my previous marriage didn't really work out because of Godzilla.
Linkara (v/o): The guy has strapped all the explosives he could find onto his body, wiring them together into a single button, which is kind of perplexing to me since I thought the guy was a fisherman. Or is wiring explosives a normal part of the fishing industry in Japan? Having arrived at the roof of a skyscraper, he leaps off the building at Godzilla.
Fisherman: You took my children from me! DIE!
Linkara: (as fisherman) DAMN YOU AND YOUR LEMONADE, GODZILLA!
Linkara (v/o): He detonates the explosives, which hit Godzilla right on the nose.
(Cut to a clip of Patton)
Patton: Come on, you bastards! Take a shot at me right in the nose!
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Aaand it did nothing. I love this panel, with Godzilla looking like he's facepalming at how pathetic that was. And so, our comic ends with Godzilla resuming his rampage as if nothing happened. Because, really, nothing did there.
Linkara: This comic should have been called (makes an "air quote") "Godzilla: Kingdom of Futility". Otherwise, though, (closes comic and holds it up) this comic is... still not very good.
Linkara (v/o): I think my problem with this story so far comes from both mood and pacing. The emotional range seems to be all over the place, with the creative team unwilling to settle on what sort of story they're trying to tell. The first issue was almost comedic in its situation, but here, we have something of a dour tone, with pointless deaths and misery. And yet, there also seems to be some childlike whimsy with all the kids being featured, plus a crap-ton of unnecessary political satire. It's like they had a lot of ideas for the comic and couldn't settle on what they wanted to do, so they just did everything. I don't even mind if this is supposed to have a dour tone, given some Godzilla movies have also had that same attitude, but it needs to pick a mood already. The pacing has been glacial. Godzilla has attacked Tokyo in the first issue and is still attacking now, with no sign of what the plot actually is. Now, other monsters are appearing. Okay, that's fine, but why couldn't these have both happened in the first issue? Why are the monsters attacking now and not before this? I'm also not certain who the main character is supposed to be, if there even is supposed to be one.
Linkara: Still, there are plenty more issues to go through, so the story could either end up being awesome... or as bad as people warned me about. (throws down comic, gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll)
Briefly considered having Mikhail and his mother speak in Russian accents, too, but considering they're not in the series anymore, figured it wasn't worth it.
Anguiras [sic] could have just joined the Braceros program if he wanted to stomp on buildings here LEGALLY!
(Stinger: A panel showing President Ogden's press conference is shown again)
Ogden: We are assembling an international team of renowned scientists, engineers, and military leaders to assess and respond to this serious threat.
Linkara: (as Ogden) Naturally, Earth's greatest warrior, Charles Barkley, is also on his way.