Forty years ago, Ishiro Sozo had a dream. He wanted to help mankind by using untoward advanced biotechnology. He called his crazy idea the “Daikaiju Directive.”
Only a madman would dream of using giant monsters as a balm for humanity’s ills, and Ishiro was indeed crazy. Years later his daughter Sadako took over the family business and tweaked the mission statement a little bit: Nothing less than total world domination!
With a host of scientific outlaws on the payroll, Hidora Neo (New Hydra) is creating supercharged kaiju left and right. Shellshock, Rampage, Conquer, Natilus Rex, Terror Griffin, an anaconda with batwings, a saltwater crocodile and a brown bear hybrid, a panda bear mixed with a fiddler crab and a gorilla with the head of an elephant—all of these creatures (and more) are “saving” humanity by smashing San Francisco, Minneapolis and Chicago.
Each monster is introduced with a fanfare of extravagant detail. Author Dustin Dreyling is obviously fully invested in his towering colossi and he enjoys talking about them at great length. Good on him. I don’t know Mr. Dreyling at all, but I bet Primordial Soup: The First Batch is the culmination of his “childhood imagination come to life.”
Along the way, Dreyling also loads his novel with a ton of nerd culture signifiers. This may be a good or a bad thing depending on your fandom credentials. Tekken, Gary Larson, Keith Flint, “Rapper’s Delight,” Married … With Children, Three’s Company, Klingon-style facial hair, The Last Dinosaur, “a group of musical monkeys named Led Zeppelin” and Target Field, “the overpriced home of the Minnesota Twins” all get solid shout-outs. For goodness sakes, even Neil Riebe (author of Vistakill) gets namechecked at one point (although Dreyling misspells his name. Tsk!).
The author is planning a sequel (of course) and one of his characters that will undoubtedly shine in the second volume is Volk’narr, an eccentric celestial warrior similar to Marvin the Martian, Mork from Ork and Jaco the Galactic Patrolman.
After coming out of a thousand-year stasis, Volk’narr dons his mech suit and preps for battle. He’s on a mission to save the “Earthicans” from monster annihilation.
On his way to Earth, Volk’narr somehow hacks into Spotify or a similar music platform. In particular, he finds himself liking heavy metal music, mostly “hair metal” and “thrash metal.” “The mech pilot found it perfectly appropriate to his vocation,” writes Dreyling.
Volk’narr knows he’s heading toward the most dangerous mission of his career. As he enters Earth’s atmosphere, he wants to make a dramatic entrance. Ready or not, it was time to get fucking hostile and kick some kaiju ass. Cue up Vulgar Display of Power by Pantera!
[Primordial Soup: The First Batch / By Dustin Dreyling / First Printing: February 2021 / ISBN: 9781735805429]