Earlier this year IDW Publishing released a graphic novel for the first volume of Godzilla: Monsters & Protectors, a new series aimed at a younger audience that proved to be a fun and enjoyable read. Now, IDW have given fans a new series set in the same world with Godzilla: Monsters & Protectors – All Hail The King, and it looks set to be bigger and better than what came before.
As with the first volume, the story opens with Cedric chasing the high of being internet famous, this time having made a small, animated gif about Godzilla protecting the environment. His friends, who lived through an adventure alongside the titular monster, still think that advertising their connection to Godzilla is a bad thing, and encourage Cedric to just let it go. The problem is, Cedric is being constantly messaged online by a troll named Dragon who keeps demanding that Cedric prove his claims of having a connection with Godzilla.
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Whilst this might just seem like your average internet rando, it is in fact an alien invader! Agent Dragon is a member of the Xillian invasion force that’s preparing to attack the Earth, but is trying to gather information that can help them do so. Dragon is trying to get info on Godzilla from Cedric, and claims that “If the boy’s connection to Godzilla is true I’ll make him reveal it with the powerful technique the humans call trolling.” This might be one of the most evil men in any Godzilla media.
And thus we get the set-up for this volume of the series; the Xillians are watching us from space, prepared to come and invade the planet and destroy all we hold dear, but are still nervous about doing so thanks to the threat of the Kaiju. However, they discover something deep beneath the surface of the Earth that might help them in their mission, which if you know a bit about Xillians, and can extrapolate from the book’s title, you may be able to guess what it is without even needing to read the book.
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This seems like a good solid start to the series, and it works a lot better than the first volume, which had a much shakier beginning, despite no monsters actually appearing in this issue (other than in dream sequences that offer a surprise cameo from Gabara, a monster that existed solely in a child’s dreams in the film All Monsters Attack). But the story doesn’t really need the monsters yet, as it’s doing a decent job of establishing the human characters. The returning cast fit well with what came before, and their development since the first volume feels believable and fits with where they were last time, especially Cedric.
We also get a couple of new characters introduced in this issue too. There’s the already mentioned Agent Dragon, the Xillian tech who’s surfing the web and abusing children. This is a pretty ridiculous character, and his line about using trolling to get things done did genuinely make me laugh. He’s a bit different from what we normally get from his people, so he makes a decent change. In contrast, Commander Z, his superior, is much more what we expect from the Xillians, and seems to be the straight man for Dragon to play against. There’s also Karen Higa, a new student at Cedric’s school who transferred from Okinawa after she asked her parents to move her there. She has an interest in Cedric’s story about Godzilla, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s more to her character than meets the eye.
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The art on the book, by Dan Schoening, and Luis Antonio Delgado looks really nice, and fits the middle grade style very well. The art is bold and bright, with clear colours and simple to absorb panels. The characters all look dynamic and are easily identifiable, and even the matching Xillians look unique from each other. The monsters that we get this issue also look really good, and I was impressed that they actually made Gabara look like something other than a joke.
For fans of Godzilla, this is a pretty decent start to a promising series. It’s designed to be accessible to younger audiences, but does actually have stuff here that older fans will be able to enjoy too. With hints of bigger, scarier things to come, this could prove to be much better than the first volume.
Godzilla: Monsters & Protectors – All Hail The King #1 is out now from IDW Publishing.