It's hard to believe it's been nearly five years since the last Godzilla comic stomped into stores, but fear not, the next wave of kaiju comics from IDW Publishing hits the stands later this month with Godzilla: Monsters & Protectors #1 — and SYFY WIRE is bustin' out an exclusive five-page preview of the premiere issue.
Spawned from writer Erik Burnham, artist Dan Schoening, and colorist Luis Antonio Delgado, the same creative team that delivered IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters crossover and Ghostbusters: Year One series, this resurrection title is a welcome return for the King of the Monsters that's perfectly timed to Warner Bros. new Godzilla vs. Kong flick in theaters now.
Back on December 2, 2020, Toho and IDW inked a publishing deal that would result in new Godzilla comics being release starting with this Young Adult series kicking off on April 21. Their kaiju-sized deal also covers all non-comic media like art books, journals, puzzles, and coloring books.
Monsters & Protectors' "Rise Up! Part 1" plotline begins when a greedy single-minded businessman uses a newly-discovered and untested element called E-131 to create clean energy for a profit. Electromagnetic radiation emitted by Linival Corporation's island power plant accidentally awakens the infamous beast named Godzilla. Sensing the damage this new energy poses to the planet, Godzilla charges at the heart of humankind.
Now it's all up to three adventurous middle-school students, and some magic help from Infant Island, to show Godzilla that not all humans are harmful and that there's still hope for Earth.
Burnham started working on this Godzilla project a year ago with a basic three-page pitch, including things his editors at IDW were keen to include and a middle-grade focus that Toho was interested in exploring.
"The actual scripting, which started in October of 2020, was more difficult," Burnham tells SYFY WIRE. "I kept starting with more Godzilla content, and kept getting editorial notes back that the kids needed the spotlight sooner. I just couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to get our tween leads into the fore... and then, an epiphany."
"Telling the story to a Vlog and becoming our narrator would do everything our wise editors (Megan Brown and Tom Waltz) had been asking for, and it’d make the execution of the story even easier! And that’s how we open and get the readers up to speed, introducing them to one of our leads, Cedric, by way of his Vlog."
"But I still got the King of the Monsters in early, popping in at page 2," he adds. "This page of Godzilla attacking by Dan Schoening and Luis Antonio Delgado, is pretty, and action packed... but my favorite art in the issue is a smaller scene.
"By coincidence, it’s page 3. Dan & Luis’s work often gets credited as “like it was lifted from an animated film” and the warmth of page 3’s second panel... man alive, it’s the most extreme example of ‘looks like it’s from a cartoon’ that they’ve ever done. I love it."
"That said, Dan & Luis just kept raising the bar as they went on through this story," Burnham notes. "Page 5 introduces us to one of our antagonists of the story, the head of a company called Linival (which is an anagram because I decided to be clever). Linival is promising something we’re all after. Sounds like it’s too good to be true, right? We’ll see about that later in the issue.
"Let me wrap things up by saying how much fun I had writing this book. I got to access my inner child, feed him caffeine and snacks, and then take notes as he told me about all the stuff it’d be cool to see Godzilla do. It was a blast."
Now step into our exclusive five-page preview of IDW's Godzilla: Monsters & Protectors #1 (Apr. 21) in the full gallery below.