Godzilla: Complete Rulers of Earth Volume #2 is published by IDW Publishing, with a story from Chris Mowry and Matt Frank, written by Chris Mowry, with art by Matt Frank and Jeff Zornow, ink assists by Mostafa Moussa, colors by Priscilla Tranmontano, and letters by Shawn Lee and Chris Mowry. The book follows as a mysterious industrialist offers the nation -nation or nations?- of the earth protection from destruction in the form of a new generation of Mechagodzilla. But what looks to be a new time of peace and security for the nations of the earth brings something much darker instead.
In the broad strokes, Godzilla: Complete Rulers of Earth Volume #2 brings all the hallmarks of a great kaiju story together. Whether it’s the classic struggle of technology versus nature, the manipulation of the scared masses into making a grievous mistake, or huge city being leveled in a Kaiju battles, this book has it all. It’s just once you dig into the details that things start to fall apart.
One of the biggest hurdles I faced while reading Godzilla: Complete Rulers of Earth Volume #2 was the plot. For the first few issues, it held fairly well. It was predictable but in an agreeable way. After all, classic plot lines are classic for a reason. As the issues go on though and more and more is layered onto the story to the point it stops being enjoyable and becomes a burden. The plot has so many bends and twists that it feel like they exist simply to extend the book’s length. There are several moments where it felt like the story could come to a natural conclusion and it would have been better for it.
Though while the plot of Godzilla: Complete Rulers of Earth Volume #2 left me exhausted by the end, I did thoroughly enjoy the characters themselves. While none of them were groundbreaking, they were all excellently executed. As I followed the heroes from crisis to crisis they showed a strong range of emotion and believability. As they waver from hope to fear they serve as excellent windows into the kaiju world for the reader. Which is always the primary point of humanity in these larger than life stories.
Just as I came away with mixed feelings about the writing in Godzilla: Complete Rulers of Earth Volume #2, I was left in the same position in regards to the art. Any single frame is executed with competence. It effectively shows you what it sets out to. Where it often fails, however, is in stringing these panels together.
One of the greatest tricks to comic book art is showing the transition of its subjects. If a character is laying on their back in one panel and then is, not only standing but is shown on another’s shoulders grappling with them in the next panel, the sequence will feel disorienting and leave readers confused. This problem plagues Godzilla: Complete Rulers of Earth Volume #2. It seemed as if the art was only interested in showing me the most exciting bits of each sequence. The savage bite or the epic energy blast. While often leaving the critical connective tissue on the cutting room floor. And while I appreciate the difficulties that fleshing out these complex sequences had to present for the art team, I feel like there had to be a better way.
At the end of it all, Godzilla: Complete Rulers of Earth Volume #2 strides to deliver more than it can. If you are a big kaiju fan who just wants to see a massive roster of your favorites wrecking cities then this is a book to look into. Just don’t expect a ton more than that.
Godzilla: Complete Rulers of Earth Volume #2 is available now everywhere comic books are sold.
Godzilla: Complete Rulers of Earth Volume #2
At the end of it all, Godzilla: Complete Rulers of Earth Volume #2 strides to deliver more than it can.