Comic Book / Godzilla: Rulers of Earth
The fifth of IDW Publishing
' series to feature Godzilla
, and the third set in the shared universe that includes Kingdom of Monsters
and Godzilla: Ongoing
, Godzilla: Rulers of Earth
picks up shortly after Godzilla: Ongoing
left off, as the reemergence of Godzilla coincides with a plot by the aliens from Ongoing
—now revealed to be the shapeshifting Cryog and the aquatic Devonians—to seize control of the planet.
Unlike Kingdom of Monsters
, which attempted to mix political satire with giant monster action and Ongoing
, which attempted to do an A-Team-esque story, Rulers of Earth
aims to be a straight up comic book in the superhero vein, succeeding admirably. In addition to IDW series mainstays like Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, and Gigan, the series also introduces a number of other Toho monsters, including Orga, Destoroyah, and Manda, and even obscure creatures like Sanda, Gaira, and Gezora. Even unpopular characters like Zilla and Jet Jaguar appear, re-imagined and improved upon. Human characters like series regular Steven Woods are also given a fair amount of screentime, though their roles are downplayed when compared to those of the monsters.
The twelve-issue series received positive reviews, and a follow-up is in progress. It concluded with a double sized 25th issue.
Tropes appearing in this comic include:
- Action Girl: Mothra, as usual. What else is to be expected from a moth goddess?
- Action Mom: Mothra again, whose two larvae accompany her into battle.
- Adaptational Badass:
- Gigan, who has his Final Wars look, his Showa Era sadism, and a level of competency displayed by neither, fighting Godzilla, MOGUERA, Jet Jaguar, and his own berserk partner, Orga, all at once and holding his own.
- Zilla is also far more badass here than he was in either his own film or Final Wars, withstanding multiple blows from Godzilla and even getting in a few hits of his own. When he makes a comeback, he tears Trilopod Titanosaurus' throat out.
- Jet Jaguar goes from a Power Rangers reject who could barely handle Megalon to taking down Orga and Godzilla in two separate fights.
- Megaguirus is able to knock Godzilla out cold and carry him off as food for her children.
- Adorkable: Lucy Casprell, a reporter who gets herself into sticky situations.
- Animesque: Matt Frank's art style has a very anime look, this is very prevalent on the human characters. Rather fitting considering Godzilla's Japanese roots. Jeff Zornow's artwork on the other hand, not so much.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: We have attack of the several-hundred-foot moth, marine iguana, and squid, and that's without mentioning all the dinosaurs, aliens, etc.
- Badass Family: Mothra and her larvae, who show up to aid Godzilla against Destoroyah.
- Badass Normal: Commander Steven Woods, who's only human.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Jet Jaguar is probably the nicest Mecha around. This doesn't stop him from curb-stomping Godzilla when the King of The Monsters attacked him after Gigan was defeated.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: The Cryog and Devonians, who eventually fall out with one another.
- The Brute: Orga to the Cryog. Titanosaurus seems to play this role to the Devonians.
- The Bus Came Back: Steven Woods, who was absent since Kingdom of Monsters, as well as Dr. Ando, Minette and Mallorie and a grown up Allie.
- Big Damn Heroes: In issue 24 a Gojipod is on top of Woods' team only for Jet Jaguar to finally return after four years and save them. The final issue is full of such momements with Godzilla getting a respite from Kiryu and Moguera, once they are overwhelmed Jet Jaguar is on the ropes only for Zilla to rescue him. Lastly Godzilla makes an enormous roar and every Earth monsters comes to enter the fray.
- The Cameo: Megaguirus, Baragon, Gorosaurus, Kamoebas, and Shockirus make short appearances throughout the comic.
- Canon Foreigner: The Trilopod are a species of parasitic Anomalocaris-like kaiju.
- Composite Character:
- Zilla has the appearance of "Godzilla" from Godzilla (1998) but is explicitly stated to be the same monster from Final Wars, although it lacks the "acidic fire breath" it had in the latter film.
- Baragon is also an example of this; looking like he did in GMK but having his fire-breath from Frankenstein Conquers The World.
- While the designs for the Meganulon are taken from the Millenium series, their origins are more in line with their (as well as Rodan's) debut film.
- Continuity Nod:
- Gigan is first seen with his broken visor which he got in a previous issue, courtesy of Rodan.
- Anguirus is first seen returning to the Mexican border where he originally appeared in the first series.
- Kumonga gets her limbs severed... again.
- This is the second time Godzilla is seemingly Buried Alive.
- The antics of the Monster Kill Crew are mentioned.
- There are several new Monster Islands.
- When a Brazilian village is attacked by Meganulon, a character in the background can be seen praying for Mothra's intervention.
- King Ghidorah is revealed to be an Outside-Context Problem, seeing how he destroyed the Cryog's home world.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Poor Ebirah didn't even stand a chance against Megaguirus.
- Death Glare: In issue 4, one of Mothra's larvae gets curious about the tip of Godzilla's tail, and gets closer with her mouth opened wide. Godzilla turns his head to give her this kind of look, one which practically screams, "Kid, I will squish you." The larva promptly flees back to her mother's wing.
- Demoted to Dragon: Minette and Mallorie, who were originally the villains in Kingdom of Monsters, are now lieutenants for the Cryog leader, Rhizon. Rhizon himself is reduced to this when Emperor Karkaro arrives on Earth.
- Dirty Coward: When the Showa version of King Ghidorah attacked the Cryog homeworld, Emperor Karkaro was the first to escape, effectively leaving his people to their death.
- The Dragon: Gigan to the Cryog and Destoroyah to the Devonians.
- Enemy Mine:
- Godzilla, MOGUERA, and Jet Jaguar team up against Orga and the upgraded Gigan.
- Godzilla and Megaguirus against an army of Trilopods. Also, if the cover for #21 is not lying, Godzilla and SpaceGodzilla will team up as well.
- Dragon Their Feet: All Cryog are destroyed just as Magita, the Trilopod queen, begins to awaken. Like Kaiser Ghidorah she is the last enemy destroyed.
- Evil Counterpart: Destoroyah can be viewed as this for Godzilla. Titanosaurus and Zilla are both neutral counterparts who happen to come into conflict with him.
- Eviler Than Thou: At first, it's the Devonians towards the Cryogs, then it's SpaceGodzilla towards the Cryogs. Then it's the Cryog emperor towards Rhizon in the end.
- Evil vs. Evil: Gigan vs. SpaceGodzilla. And later Cryog commander Rhizon vs. Emperor Karkaro.
- Expy: The Cyrog are basically a stand in for all the aliens that took on human guises, Simians, Millenium Xilians and Nebulas.
- Fish People: The Devonians.
- For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: When the Destroyah larva crash the Comic Convention, it's assumed they're people in costume right up until they start chowing down on the attendees.
- Friendship Moment: Possibly. Following their battle with Destoroyah, one of the Mothra larvae tries to play with Godzilla's tail. Godzilla turns around and glares, only to see the two larvae hide under their mother's wings to help her up. Godzilla and Mothra lock eyes, he nods, and then he heads off.
- In issue #16, Just as Godzilla is being Triple-Teamed by 2 Mechagodzillas and Mecha-King Ghidorah, Anguirus suddenly appears and in true Showa fashion, teams up with Godzilla to fight them off. Anguirus isn't even hostile at Godzilla after the latter uses him LIKE A MACE.
- Hero Killer: Destoroyah is in fine form - driving Zilla ashore, defeating Godzilla during their first battle, and then fighting Godzilla, Mothra, and two of Mothra's larvae at the same time.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Mothra.
- Hive Queen: Megaguirus is the queen of the Meganulon. Maginta is the queen of the trilopods.
- Horror Hunger: Orga's hunger is so extreme he tries to devour not only Godzilla, but his own partner, Gigan.
- Hot Scientist: Yumi Nagata, the person in charge of Jet Jaguar. If you were to take away her lab coat and her glasses, she'd be considered almost model material.
- Humongous Mecha: MOGUERA makes its first IDW appearance here. We also get Kiryu as it was seen in Godzilla Tokyo SOS and a mass-produced army of Showa-style MechaGodzillas.
- Ironic Nickname: Woods mishears a warning that Godzilla is coming and calls the new monster he's engaging "Zilla".
- It Can Think: Woods' conclusion after watching Mothra come to Godzilla's aid again, confirming for him something the audience already knows.
- Zilla is shown to be almost as smart as his son of a different universe: ducking under Godzilla's first atomic breath; digging underground in an attempt to gain an advantage over Godzilla; and when caught in a Neck Lift by Godzilla, notices the CKR attack helicopters and moves his head out of the way so Godzilla takes the brunt of the missiles.
- Kaiju: Goes without saying that the series revolves around them.
- Kill All Humans: Both Cryorg and Devonians have this goal.
- Killed Off for Real: Destoroyah and Mothra. In the final battle, Woods is mortally wounded and dies.
- Knight of Cerebus: Even though this is considerably lighter hearted compared to its Darker and Edgier predecessors, it does have a lot of characters that make it much darker such as the shapeshifting Cryog, the aquatic Devonians, Destoroyah and Minette and Mallorie.
- Man-Eating Plant: Biollante puts in an appearance as a Devonian monster in her second-form.
- Mythology Gag: Of course!
- Lucy's hotel room number is 1954, while a poster in the background during a meeting between her and Woods says "MUTO-54".
- Ebirah, Horror of the Deep: The number "1966" is seen multiple times in various places. Also, when we first see Godzilla underwater in the very first issue, not only are there the aforementioned Shockiras, but a sunken ship with the name "Yahlen" on the side - the name of the yacht the characters had in Ebirah, Horror of the Deep.
- In the first issue, when Chavez sees the readout on his computer of Zilla under the water, at his desk we can see a model of the Gotengo/Atragon, and among the books nearby, you can make out the titles of two of them as "Mon-Star", and "Age of the Gods", nods to two of the most important and influential books on Godzilla, written by Steve Ryfle and Guy Mariner Tucker, respectively.
- The cover of the third issue, with the Destoroyahs attacking the comic convention, is stuffed with clever nods. Among these: A man dressed as the hippie guy from "Godzilla vs. Gigan"; a man dressed as an SY-3 crew member from "Destroy All Monsters"; a woman dressed as an X Alien from "Invasion of Astro-Monster"; a model of the Super X, from "The Return of Godzilla"; a magazine with the name "Zone Meteor", a nod to Toho's superhero TV show "Zone Fighter", from 1973, which featured cameos by Godzilla, Gigan, and King Ghidorah.
- Godzilla vs. Biollante: Sanda hits Godzilla with an oil tanker truck that has "Saradia" on it. It has the label 1966, the year War of the Gargantuas was released.
- Chavez is seen reading a comic called "Vapor Human", a nod to a lesser known Toho film called The Human Vapor.
- Lucy and her rollerskate opponent's numbers are 54 and 84, a reference to the first movie and Return of Godzilla.
- During Lucy's dream, she passes by a restaurant labelled "Lees" (a reference to J.D. Lees, editor of G-Fan magazine) and a store that has the dolphin-mobile from Godzilla vs. Megalon.
- Godzilla vs. Destoroyah: Godzilla tries to eat a sperm whale before it escapes, much like Godzilla Junior.
- 1998 Godzilla: The first indicator of Zilla arriving is the classic water Wormsign. While most citizens and tourists are running away after Zilla makes landfall, Lucy runs towards him with camera in hand, akin to Animal grabbing his news camera for taping in his first encounter. Zilla bursts out from underneath the streets right in front of CKR member Chavez, similar to him appearing in front of Dr. Nick Tatopoulos. Later on, when Zilla doesn't see Godzilla and thinks it's safe, the Big G bursts right through one of the skyscrapers behind Zilla in a surprise attack, which was the same thing Zilla did to three military helicopters when they thought they got him.
- Godzilla Final Wars: Godzilla sent Zilla flying into a large building before letting loose his atomic breath.
- In the end of the 10th issue, there is a ship at sea with the name "Moonlight", a nod to the Moonlight SY-3, from "Destroy All Monsters" while a woman on it is wearing a hat that reads "Type 66", a reference to the Type 66 Maser cannons.
- Issue 11 has Baragon destroying the Arc de Triomphe in Paris after being driven to the surface by the military, essentially acting as a corrected version of the infamous Gorosaurus scene in Destroy All Monsters. This is followed by Baragon squaring off against Mecha-Godzilla, which was supposed to happen in Godzilla Vs Mecha Godzilla until he was replaced by Anguirus.
- On that note, the first fight between Anguirus and Mecha-Godzilla went about the same as it did in Godzilla Vs Mecha Godzilla...with Anguirus getting his butt handed to him.
- Godzilla causes a similar tidal wave to the one he did in the more recent film.
- A very subtle one, but in the 4th issue, right after Godzilla and the Mothras drives Destoroyah away, one of Mothra's babies sees Godzilla's tail and tries to get a "closer look." Knowing Godzilla's History with Mothra's babies, Godzilla promptly gives her a very menacing Aside Glance, causing the baby to quickly mind her own business and resume helping her mother.
- Godzilla fights Sanda and Gaira which is a reference to a scrapped movie revolving around a similar premise.
- In issue 10, there is a street called Rolisca which is a reference to the original Mothra film.
- When Chavez and Lucy spot Zilla off the coasts of the Monster Islands, Chavez believes the reason he's keeping his distance is because he's probably not welcome while Lucy mentions he'll probably accepted in time, a reference to the Godzilla fandom's reluctance towards Zilla.
- Jet Jaguar flying Godzilla out to sea is a reference to the movies where Godzilla ends up being dropped into the ocean.
- When Godzilla is fighting Biollante, he manages to defeat her with a volcano. This is a reference to Godzilla vs. Biollante where a volcano was a huge factor in the movie. It's also possibly a reference to the films where volcanoes played a huge part.
- The Cryog Emperor's command toward the mass-produced MechaGodzillas is almost word-for-word from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla.
- In issue 9, during the flashback we can see Rodan inside a volcano.
- When Lucy is talking to Steven, he tells her the she reminds him of someone who punched Godzilla in the face. Obviously, he's referring to Allie from Kingdom of Monsters but it's also a reference to Akane Yashiro.
- The cafe Steve meets Allie at is called Monarch Cafe.
- The carving of Mothra fighting Battra from Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth is shown.
- In one panel, there is a theater showing of a movie called "Robotman" which was the Americanized name for Jet Jaguar in a promotional comic for Godzilla vs Megalon.
- The cliffhanger note on issue 6 that leads into issue 7 is "PUNCH! PUNCH! PUNCH!" which just so happens to be one of the lyrics for the Jet Jaguar song.
- There is a panel of Gigan attacking Las Vegas that is an almost shot-for-shot remake of the first Marvel Godzilla cover, right down to the people fleeing.
- The Kaiju News Network's logo is lifted from the Japanese poster for Godzilla2000.
- Lucy calls Varan "unbelievable".
- Jason's shirt has the SY-3 logo.
- Godzilla and Anguirus are seen swimming off together.
- The Devonian lab contains a fish skeleton and a rose.
- The fight between the CKR and the Destoroyah swarm is a reference to Godzilla vs. Destoroyah right down to the soldiers discovering the monsters' weakness (in this case it's freezing temperatures) although they actually do a lot better this time around.
- The CKR foot soldiers all carry the guns Ozaki and his fellow mutants used in Godzilla Final Wars and one is even seen carrying a miniature Maser Cannon.
- Lucy appears to be drinking a soda called Bireley's, which was a soda company whose logo was featured quite prominently in early Showa Toho films.
- There is a bag of chips labelled Red Bamboo.
- Ishiro Serizawa and Vivienne Graham are briefly seen running from Godzilla as he's tossing Ebirah in a reference to the poster for Ebirah, Horror of the Deep.
- The issue feature Godzilla against classic Mechagodzilla, 15, has numerous nods. Godzilla gets shot in the mouth with missiles, just like Terror of Mechagodzilla, but while biting the hand. One Mechagodzilla is damaged and has the same secondary head in the neck as seen in the same film.
- Oh, Crap!: When Godzilla pops out of the ocean fighting Ebirah, Lucy and a Megaulon about to attack her both freeze and stare at them.
- One-Man Army: Godzilla battles Manda, Gezora and Titanosaurus on his own.
- Origins Episode: Issue #9 involves Lucy having a Flash Back to ancient Japan and witnessing a battle between King Caesar and Megalon courtesy of the Shobijin. It also serves as a Wham Episode as Lucy discovers this is not the first time the Kaiju have appeared nor was it the first time humanity interacted with them.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: One can possibly see Godzilla attacking a city as this seeing as two issues prior, he was buried due to the detonation of three nukes. Of course he'd be pissed off.
- Rogues Gallery: Godzilla's rogues are on display here, as usual in the IDW Comics.
- Rogues Gallery Showcase: Let's see, we have appearances from: Zilla, Gigan, Orga, Destoroyah, Titanosaurus, and other Toho monsters like Manda and Gezora, who don't normally face Godzilla but do here.
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: Gezora, Sanda, and Gaira were not Godzilla foes in the films, but are in this comic.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Zilla quickly realizes it doesn't stand a chance against Godzilla's Atomic Breath and books it the first chance it gets.
- Sci-Fi Bob Haircut: Lucy, Minette and Mallorie.
- Sea Monster: Manda, Gezora, Titanosaurus, Zilla, and Godzilla himself.
- Shape Shifter: The Cryog.
- She Is All Grown Up: Allie, the little girl Woods rescued and more or less adopted in Kingdom of Monsters has grown into quite the babe, though she retains her sweet personality.
- Size Shifter: Jet Jaguar can grow from human-sized to kaiju sized.
- Slasher Smile: Destoroyah's default face. Godzilla does something like this after he blows up a volcano in order to incinerate Biollante. Megaguirus does this from time to time.
- Too Dumb to Live: A mining team in Brazil discovers a chasm filled with what look like eggs... which they decide to take. Granted they didn't know they were eggs but it doesn't really help when they brought the eggs to their home village.
- Took a Level in Badass: Gigan's upgrades are one in-series.
- Ungrateful Bastard: After teaming up to fight Gigan and Orga, Godzilla hits Jet Jaguar with his Atomic Breath. It doesn't end well for the King of The Monsters.
- Villainous Underdog: Zilla during his battle with Godzilla, lacking the Breath Weapon, armour, and greater size of his Japanese counterpart.
- Villainous Valour: Both Gigan and Zilla display it when they choose to keep fighting despite being outgunned by larger, stronger, and in the case of Gigan, more numerous opponents. Zilla's tenacity in the face of Godzilla's overwhelming superiority actually helped to earn the big iguana some of the fans he had been lacking. With the last few issues it turns out Raizon has some good qualities. While the emperor was fled from Showa King Ghidorah he stayed behind to gather survivors for another world.
- We Can Rebuild Him: Gigan gets upgraded from his Showa appearance to his Final Wars appearance.
- Mecha-King Ghidorah makes an appearance in the latest issue.
- Zerg Rush: Apparently the main tactic of the Trilopods. This is a definite strategy used by the Meganulon as seen by what they do to Ebirah.