Kodoja is a Kaiju story. It’s very much in the vein of the Godzilla franchise and even takes a few beats/plot points from it. The difference is that the U.S. military created Kodoja, but instead of being a man-made monster… he’s a robot. A giant robot monster. The series kicks off with Kodaja waking up after being deactivated and going on a rampage. The military stopped the project because every simulation that it ran against Kodaja… it lost. They decided that it if they couldn’t defeat it, they couldn’t use it and so the monster was supposed to be shut off for the past three years.
The other part of our story comes from the actual monsters that are lying dormant in the earth. One being a snake creature that shows up later and Kodaja goes to town battling the snake that constantly evolves to try to battle Kodaja.
As with practically all Kaiju stories there’s the human element. In this story we get that in two shapes. There’s the military team that created Kodaja that’s now trying to figure out how to defeat him and prevent more lives being lost and there’s the scientist element as well. The scientists we meet include one college professor that teaches about the world shifting again like it did after the dinosaurs and his former associate that ruined his career and has now taken a job with the White House.
The story is okay. If you liked the new Godzilla film or even Pacific Rim you’re sure to enjoy this book. For me I felt that it suffered from the same problem that the aforementioned stories suffered from… the human element.
The story ends with a setup for more which is to be expected with this genre, but the entire story builds towards that reveal. It also spends a great deal of time explaining the world and how these monsters could exist. Kodaja’s creators are the only tolerable element, but they don’t do a damn thing until the final act of the final issue. The rest of the time they’re just as clueless about what’s up with Kodaja as the reader and the rest of the military branches aren’t listening to them. He eats someone and they’re like “he’s a robot, why would he do that?” Well that pretty much gives up the ghost that Kodaja may not be 100% robot. Again if you like the human element in your Kaiju stories then you’ll definitely like this story, for me I felt I read too much dialogue and didn’t see Kodaja do anything really cool.
The art is a great fit for the story. The downside, for me at least, is that we spend more time with the human characters than watching Kaiju battles. Kodaja has an interesting design because he’s doesn’t resemble any Kaiju that have come before. He has a big jaw that almost looks like a double chin and his face has a lot more personality than your average Kaiju. The snake that he fights ends up being kind of similar to King Ghidorah with its transformations and whatnot. It doesn’t look like King Ghidorah as it too has its own unique look, but that was definitely the reference point.
The story is entertaining, but it falls short of mastering the Kaiju genre and breaking out on its own. There is the potential for the universe to break out on its own with the next storyline that’s threaded throughout this entire series, but that doesn’t help this volume.
Writer: Keith Foster Artist: Rory Smith Price: $4.00 each Website