What They Say:
Detective Makoto Sato is on a quest to bring down the Takahashi crime syndicate. Sato”s efforts earn him a one-way trip to a tropical getaway, courtesy of the Tokyo criminal underworld. The exotic locale? MONSTER ISLAND! Alone and facing death at the hands of both gangsters and goliaths, Sato must use his wits to survive – and enlist the aid of some most unusual friends. Join superstar creators John Layman (Chew) and Alberto Ponticelli (Unknown Soldier) for this unusual and exciting mini-series of monster mayhem!
Life isn’t easy as a cop anywhere, be it New York City, Los Angeles or Tokyo. The hours are long, the pay seems to be rather on the short side for the risks taken and one tends to risk making enemies of some very powerful and very amoral individuals. Makoto Sato is a Japanese detective who has run afoul of one of such person in the form of Takahashi, a Yakuza leader who has managed to unite all the various families under his iron grip and is now using his power to rule from the shadows.
Takahashi has a rather simple problem at the moment-Sato and his partner refuse to be bought off and continue to pursue their investigation into the Yakuza families’ activities. To relieve himself of his problems Takahashi kills Sato’s partner, frames Sato for it and has his men take Sato out on an ocean cruise he isn’t meant to return from on a small fishing boat crewed by Yakuza members. With Sato tied up and surrounded it looks like Sato has no chance of escaping let alone clearing his name while also saving his two sons who Takahashi has threatened. But one of Sato’s defining characteristics is his refusal to stay down no matter the odds.
Sato manages to escape his bonds and even fight his way against the tide to reach land, but it maybe that even his luck has now run out. He has come to shore on the beaches of Monster Island, home to some of the most powerful creatures known to man. Sato has no time to catch his breath however as the Yakuza have sent a landing craft ashore as even though they fear the inhabitants of Monster Island, they fear returning to their boss without positive knowledge that Sato is dead more.
But a cat and mouse game among giants is dangerous for all involved and one misplaced volley proves this as the creature called the King of Monsters has a fuse that one would need a neutron microscope to see and no love for humans…or much else…is hit and instantly goes apoplectic despite the lack of it actually being able to really hurt him. As the behemoth takes out his rage on the small beings around him he is stopped from adding Sato to his lengthy casualty list as Sato is in luck. As the giant is about to turn his focus on the detective he is interrupted by one of the few beings that have the ability to slow Godzilla’s rampage, and even luckier for Sato this god does have at least some interest in certain humans survival. Sato is rescued from the field of slaughter and brought to a hut where the few humans who live on the island reside along with the small fairies who communicate with Mothra. When Sato awakes he hatches a mad plan as he now has a way to fight Takahashi, a man who fancies himself the mightiest of monsters though a more rational person might pause to wonder if his proposed cure won’t be worse than the disease itself.
What was available for this review was only the first chapter in what looks to be a graphic novel collection of material previously published in comic singles format. Along with the story material the preview copy had four pages showing off the various covers available for the original issue of the comic as well as a splash page showing off the King of Monsters which also lists the creative staff with the Toho legal and monster guide present at the bottom of the page. There were also 10 pages that included advertisements for various other IDW comics as well as a page of IDW Publication’s upcoming releases and a page listing the staffs Twitter accounts.
Godzilla Gangsters & Goliaths is a brilliant concept that brings a new reason for the chaos and destruction that are certain to be in the offing with the monsters involved that the story initiates. It is a rather novel approach that brings in a human to be a villain through what would have to be considered a mad plan from a man desperate to save everything he cares for and willing to do what is almost completely unimaginable. This comic offers a lot of promise to mix both the police/Yakuza world with the rampage of monsters for the entertainment of the reader, though the fictional world the characters inhabit may tremble as never before with the force of the clash of powers.