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Wednesday, January 01, 2020


I just finished reading the collected edition of KAIJUMAX SEASON FOUR: SCALY IS THE NEW BLACK, and all I have to say is WOW. 
For those unfamiliar with the series, it deploys pretty much every Japanese sci-fi/giant monster/giant robot/giant alien hero trope (along with other elements cherry-picked from international monster culture/lore) and reimagines Toho's Monster Island enclosure as a maximum-security prison policed by human corrections officers equipped with hi-tech mecha suits and extra-terrestrial Ultra-style size-changing and energy powers, and it follows the harrowing daily existence and intrigues of the colossal inmates ad the island's staff. In other words, it's a OZ-esque prison drama about giant monsters, ad it's every bit as harsh and compelling as the best of its more mundane precursors.
This volume shifts the focus to the female monsters, among whom is former staff doctor Zhang Xian, now is incarcerated for murdering her drug-dealing inmate boyfriend and stuck in her gigantic superhero form. We also get a look at the religious cult of the Queen Bee — the island's Mothra-like native deity — as it accepts "krakenhead" Goat — an analog for H.P. Lovecraft's Shub-Niggurath, "the goat with a thousand young" — into its fold, and a human guard's struggle with his conscience as he begins working with an imprisoned crime boss to earn extra cash to better provide for his pregnant wife (who happens to be a giant robot superhero).
A superb series from top to bottom and a hell of a lot of fun if one comes to it already well-versed in the territories it mines, KAIJUMAX gets my strongest recommendation. A+