Kaijucast shared a table at the Rose City Comic Con with Keith Foster who is the writer of Kodoja Terror Mountain Showdown. Issues 1 through 5 were conveniently available at the table and, being a huge fan of Kaiju and comic books, how could I resist? Especially when Keith was kind enough to cut me a bit of a deal for buying all 5 at once.
I got the comics home and life caught up with me, keeping me busy for a couple weeks—okay a month, before I got the chance to sit down and read them. I must say that I really enjoyed them. Yes I read them all in one sitting. While Kodoja didn’t strike me as anything particularly new, I still enjoyed it.
The cover art is by Elroy Jenkins and I found it to be almost expressionistic in nature. The images seem to be very thoughtfully chosen to convey a building sense of horror and the color palette likewise. Now this is just the cover art. The interior artist is Rory Smith and inside the comics are all black and white. I love black and white art. I find the artwork in the comics really manages to create that sense of a Kaiju story. The layout of each page is very clever and used as much to tell the story as the graphics themselves.
Kodoja is a giant 150 foot tall, super top-secret government weapons program robot. The robot has quite a few nifty weapons but the real kicker is that the AI is designed to adapt and learn. Now I really found the characters in this comic quite engaging. Major General Jennifer Cruz is well written, interesting and sympathetic as the main focal point for the human part of the story. Roberto “Mercury” Velez is the official Historian, sociologist and demonologist and he’s a somewhat oily, con-man type who still manages to have just a whiff of decency about him. That’s a tough character to pull off and as with all of them, well done. He’s acquainted with a professor who is knowledgeable about a history of monsters coming from Terror Mountain. So we have our major players and the support cast is equally well done.
The only thing that might have made for a richer story would be a few panels devoted to the citizens who were suffering the attacks of Kodoja before the monsters showed up. We did see one guy get eaten but the focus was on the reaction of the military and government agents who were watching the rampage.
Over all I enjoyed the story. It’s clearly a set up for a lengthier tale and I find I’m looking forward to it. How, you ask? Well in the end Kodoja does battle the monsters, and they are very impressive monsters at that. The Lovecraftian in me almost wishes Foster had gone all in and referenced elder gods although he did have our delightful Professor reference a “cosmic awakening.” But I digress. Major General Cruz manages to shut down Kodoja right after the robot puts the monster down but the comic run ends with the professor ominously telling them that more are coming.
If I were to speculate, I would postulate a very tough decision in the future for Major General Cruz and the rest of the brass: They are going to have to choose between letting Kaiju run rampant when these others arrive or risk reactivating Kodoja and hoping the robot can be controlled, or is not as bad as the monsters. That of course is a guess on my part and I am looking forward to the next chapter.