Godzilla: Monsters & Protectors—All Hail The King! | Review
Godzilla: Monsters & Protectors—All Hail The King!
Writer: Erik Burnham
Artist: Dan Schoening
IDW Publishing; Ages 8-12
Writer Erik Burhnam and artist Dan Schoening’s kid-friendly Godzilla story Godzilla: Monsters & Protectors, which began in last year’s collection Rise Up!, continues in the new second installment of the series, All Hail the King!.
Our protagonist is still Cedric, a mildly irritating YouTube vlogger who here acts like quite a jerk when faced with a new friend who challenges his sense of being special. In the original book in the series, Cedric and his two friends Emily and Anderson established a psychic link with Godzilla, akin to the one that the Shobijin fairies have with Mothra. This they used to get the big guy to back off his plan of destroying humanity in order to save the Earth…at least for one more generation.
Now it’s a year later and Cedric’s Godzilla-centric vlog, the means through which he told the story of that first series, is in the dumps, his main engagement coming from a dedicated troll named Dragon–who is actually a Xilien agent, part of Planet X’s roundabout plans to conquer the Earth. (The Xiliens first appeared in 1965’s Invasion of the Astro-Monster; as we’ll see, Burhnam and Schoening make extensive use of Godzilla’s Showa era films in this book.)
Godzilla has been quiet, and the only place Cedric seems to see him is in his dreams, like one where Godzilla battles Gabara, the dream-sequence monster from the 1969 film All Monsters Attack.
That Cedric is dreaming of Godzilla is no coincidence, however. The Xiliens have activated a machine called a “dream sifter” to connect to all the minds on Earth at once, in order to find out more about Earthlings’ relationship to Godzilla. You see, Godzilla stands in Panet X’s way of global conquest.
In doing so, they found a mind–well, three minds–that were out of place on Earth: Those of Godzilla’s three-headed archenemy, alien kaiju King Ghidorah (first introduced in 1964’s Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster). This gives the bad guys a new idea. By installing mind-control devices on Ghidorah’s heads, they can sic him on Godzilla, and ultimately use him to conquer the Earth for them.
Meanwhile, there’s a new girl in Cedric’s class, Karen Higa from Okinawa, whose family the Shobijin say are connected to another guardian monster, akin to Mothra and Godzilla. This monster will be needed to turn the tide in Godzilla’s battles with King Ghidorah. He’s another king, King Caesar from 1974’s Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla.
Will the two protector monsters be able to work together to take on and take out the invading King Ghidorah? Will Cedric and Karen be able to put aside their differences and work together to psychically coach the monsters they’re connected to? Well, you can probably guess, can’t you?
The human drama is rarely the selling point in Godzilla stories, and that’s true here too; Cedric is far from the most compelling protagonist. Still, the creators manage to tell a monster story that makes ample use of the film franchise’s characters and lore, and to ground it in a story starring little kids, not unlike those they intend to read the series.
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About J. Caleb Mozzocco
J. Caleb Mozzocco is a way-too-busy freelance writer who has written about comics for online and print venues for a rather long time now. He currently contributes to Comic Book Resources' Robot 6 blog and ComicsAlliance, and maintains his own daily-ish blog at EveryDayIsLikeWednesday.blogspot.com. He lives in northeast Ohio, where he works as a circulation clerk at a public library by day.
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