Writers: Marc Bernardin & Geoffrey Thorne
Artists: Kyle Hotz & Jan Bazaldua
Cover Artist: Tony Moore
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
The skies are raining symbiotes all over the Earth. Knull has taken the planet and now readers see what happens when the world is covered in his darkness. Last issue we saw stories that were set up way back in Absolute Carnage get some payoff. In Planet Of The Symbiotes #2, we get to see America’s own homegrown kaiju take on Knull’s symbiote dragons.
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The first story focuses on American Kaiju facing down wave after wave of symbiote dragons. Bernardin writes a solid and straightforward action-filled story, but tries to write in some complexity to character that fills in readers on who in the world he is and how he got to be where he is now. However, Bernardin tries to add some complexity that may or may not be needed for some readers. He writes American Kaiju’s inner dialogue to reflect on his origins, his motives, and why he is the way he is as a giant monster. And how he got to fight back a symbiote alien invasion. It’s not too bad but can be predictable in some parts.
I do feel the ending was a major letdown but enjoyed the story overall. Of course, Kyle Hotz’s art is impeccable here from the design of American Kaiju to the roaring action on display as he claws and chews through symbiote dragons. It’s something everyone should see for themselves. It’s also fun how he illustrates American Kaiju’s spoken dialogue to reflect the colors of the American Flag.
Now the second story by Geoffrey Thorne is okay. It’s neither great or terrible just fine. It focuses on what the Prowler is doing during Knull’s takeover, catches people up to speed on his life, what he’s been up to and gets right into the point of the story as symbiotes strike. Prowler really shines as crafty anti-hero who’s really turned over a new leaf thanks to Spider-Man. But he doesn’t really do much in the comic.
The story is just about survival as he tries to survive the symbiote invasion. The art by Bazaldua is good and really captures the malleable nature and oily look of the symbiotes while Prowler visibly contrasts well with the alien masses. I also want to point out how Rosenberg really pulls double duty on the coloring for both stories and does a solid job. Especially with Prowler’s story which uses more distinctive colors than American Kaiju’s story.
Honestly, my only criticism is how underwhelming the ending to American Kaiju was with him being de-powered by some random agent. If anything, the agent’s actions feel counterproductive to American Kaiju’s mission: to fight the symbiote dragons. It’s not like he was losing control of himself, losing the fight, or even being possessed by symbiotes. He was actually winning! So, why did she de-power him while the Earth is still in the middle of an alien invasion by SYMBIOTE DRAGONS?!
Earth could still use American Kaiju’s help, in fact, he could’ve been a great help in pushing back against Knull’s invasion. Instead, she shoots a cure or something into his back and turns him human saying, “You did good, Todd. Lets go home. I’ll buy you Mozzarella sticks.” Of all the crazy things in this comic, that feels the dumbest thing to do.
I have few criticisms with Prowler’s story other than it just feels like setup for another story. Though it was great to see symbiotes literally raining from the sky.
Planet Of The Symbiotes #2 delivers some solid, crazy action-filled stories for readers to get into during the King in Black event. It doesn’t pick up where the previous issue left off but it does give readers something cool to see.