Godzilla: Gangsters & Goliaths #1 (IDW Publishing)
by John Layman & Alberto Ponticelli
One would think a lone cop’s war against a drug lord with seemingly unending influence and capacity for cruelty wouldn’t have much to do with Godzilla, but writer John (Chew) Layman delivers an odd but effective story that merges two disparate genres — hard-boiled crime and giant monsters — in a way that actually makes sense (or at least creates the illusion that it makes sense). The world in which Layman sets his story is one in which the world is well aware of the existence of Godzilla, Mothra and other monsters that call Monster Island home. I find it interesting that in such a world, life continues on as usual despite the “knowledge” of the existence of such immense, devastating threats. I also appreciated the achronological approach to the plotting, especially since Layman is careful to distinguish clearly between the Monster Island scenes and the flashbacks that explain the Tokyo detective hero’s story. Furthermore, the story development at the very end of the issue shows the protagonist isn’t exactly a paragon of ethical behavior, but is rather depicted as a desperate man willing to go to any lengths not only to survive but to come out on top of an impossible situation.