kaijumax-2

By Jarrod Jones. The structures of society are built in such a way that when they begin to deteriorate, there are those who fall through the cracks. That’s not news. That’s practically a cliché. Instead of fixing or merely addressing the problems of society, we’ve simply put other systems into place that are just as susceptible to disrepair and just as likely to destroy lives. Again, this is nothing new. The way things are going, and the way these structures shelter a select few from these fundamentals, there are becoming less and less of us who will be able to build and sustain healthy, happy lives. Society, as it stands, has failed us. What’s galling is that we let it happen.

Oh, wait. I may have opened the wrong window. This is the comments section of The National Review, right? No? Oh, jeez. All apologies, folks!

But after reading the first issue of Kaijumax Season 2, from 2016 Eisner Award-nominee Zander Cannon and Oni Press, can you blame me for dwelling on the more daunting aspects of our contemporary lives? Popular culture has never been under any real obligation to challenge us, but when it does as thoroughly as Kaijumax has it doesn’t feel novel so much as it feels like relief.

Courtesy of Oni Press.

Courtesy of Oni Press.

Because even though it’s dressed as a double-matinee featuring scaly kaiju and sleek jaeger, Kaijumax is about as civic-minded as comics get. It does more to address our societal ills in an honest and straight-faced manner than those we elected to be responsible for them. The theatrics of Toho Co. Ltd. imbued with the complexity of Serial. What an incredible concept. And it’s engaging. Not in a Pacific Rim, “we’re cancelling the apocalypse” sort of way. Kaijumax is engaging in the way those once-in-a-lifetime politicians are, who can reach through our laptops, grab us by our coffee-stained “Magneto Was Right” T-shirts and scream right in our faces, “We’re all in this together, dammit.”

If there was any fear that Kaijumax might hit a sophomore slump, like any well-written crime procedural typically does, you ought to know that is completely opposite to being the case. There are enough ideas and heart in this premiere issue to fill a 1000-page political manifesto — only it’s less severe than that. Megalon vs. Mark Fuhrman. How do you approach such an idea? Like society, you just let it happen. But you better make damn sure to engage with the issues that fallout lays at your feet. To approach Kaijumax like it were any other monster mash… well. Nobody should put up with that ambergris.

Oni Press/$3.99

Written and illustrated by Zander Cannon.

Color flatting by Jason Fisher.

Designed by Fred Chao.

Edited by Charlie Chu.

10 out of 10

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