When the mini-series Godzilla: Gangsters and Goliaths was announced, some questioned if a mini-series could not only live up to the ongoing title, which had much hype and has been doing incredibly well, but could IDW’s team really combine hard-boiled yakuza-versus-detective action with giant monster action. I can, with nerdy pride, say two things: 1.) This reviewer, a long time Godzilla fan, never questioned it. Godzilla as well as other kaiju stories have served as vehicles for multiple plot lines, including criminals playing parts in Godzilla Raids Again, Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster, and more. 2.) I wasn’t wrong and IDW’s team I can happily say lived up to my expectations with the first issue of this mini-series doing a fantastic job! IDW’s Godzilla rocks hard!
Godzilla: Gangsters and Goliaths tells the story of Detective Sato who escapes from a group of yakuza, who are taking him into the middle of the ocean to bump him off after framing him. Sato escapes the boat and is pursued by his captors, but where he ends up isn’t back in Japan, it’s smack dab on Monster Island. As he runs he comes across a little duke out between Big-G and Mothra, which of course leads him to the twin miniature Mothra priestesses. As this unravels the story keeps jumping back in time to what went down between Detective Sato and how he ended up in this mess.
The writing on this first issue is solid, and Layman does a great job filling in a little character and giving us the whole set-up we’ll need for the entire mini-series. I would have loved to see more monster action; the battle between Godzilla and Mothra was great but too short, but a forgivable flaw since we needed to get a lot of the setup in this first issue. The art work by Ponticelli is fantastic and his pencils fit right at home capturing the feeling of Monster Island. Cameos by monsters like Rodan, Ghidrah, and Battra were nice touches (come on IDW, get Jet Jaguar in there now! Godzilla vs. Megalon gets an official blu-ray finally in the States this November, so give Jet Jaguar the respect he’s gonna get!).
Godzilla: Gangsters and Goliaths is a fantastic first issue start to a mini-series, which I will 100% be sticking around to the end to buy and read. On stands now.