Review: KODOJA: TERROR MOUNTAIN SHOWDOWN #1-3
Today we’re going to take a look at an independently published giant monster book featuring a few surprising twists and turns. Kodoja: Terror Mountain Showdown is written by Keith Foster with art by Rory Smith. Lance Pilgrim is the editor and art director Elroy Jenkins rounds out the cast with covers. Kodoja is a five-issue miniseries and I was lucky enough to get my hands on issue #1-3. There are a lot of independent comics out there and even more giant-monsters-punching-things books out there, but is Kodoja one that should be on your radar?
The story opens with Major General Jennifer Cruz, a pupil-less woman with some anime inspired wispy hair, getting a phone call. One of the military’s decommissioned projects has been mysteriously reactivated. That wouldn’t be so bad except for the fact that the project was a gigantic 15 foot unstoppable mondroid (or more technically a DNA Droid) that is so good at destruction that it never lost a simulation in the years it was being tested. This thing is tough. The worst it ever got damaged in a simulation was one, single, solitary scratch. It looks like a cross between Clayface, Godzilla, and The Hobbit’s Goblin King. Now it’s loose in the world and the military has to try and stop it while the government tries to spin it as a “normal training exercise.” Things go from bad to worse as it turns out Kodoja may be the least of the world’s problems. Myth and legend may be the basis for humanity’s collective consciousness and the giant serpents that appear in countless world religions may rise up from their thousands of years of slumber and attack. Kodoja likes to fight stuff, but can he fight a mythological creature come to life?
Foster writes an incredibly intriguing story. He starts to seed things in the first and second issue that don’t quite make sense, but then comes around and smacks you in the face with the third issue. He presents some well-formed characters in a relatively short amount of time. The monster story is fun, but the plot becomes a lot more than monster on a rampage. There’s some political machinations and other large scale elements in play. Jenkins’ covers are absolutely stunning, but Smith’s interior art is just as sharp. There’s a slight Sam Keith vibe, especially with Major Cruz, but the character work is solid. They are slightly exaggerated and even have a slight animation bent, but the world and monsters Smith presents are stunning. The grey and black tones of the book seem to heighten the tension of the story with the fantastic shading.
Bottom Line: Kodoja is a very impressive series. There’s a lot going on in the span of just 3 issues, but nothing feels rushed or underdeveloped. Foster and company have presented a very solid story that pulls you in from page 1. It will be interesting to see how things end. There were several twists and turns, and I expect a few more before the final panel. This is definitely one to check out. You can check out Kodoja on Facebook here and learn more about the series and the creators on the official website here.