Godzilla made a splash with its 1954 debut in Japanese and American cinemas. Since then it has inspired countless spin offs, adaptations, and one awful American reboot in 1998. Having established an entire universe of monsters since its inception, the universe of the Godzilla franchise seems ripe for prime story telling in the realm of comics. Does Godzilla: Half Century War live up to its potential? Find out after the jump!
The art is wonderful
This isn’t a “deep” book, but then again, it doesn’t need to be
Previously in Godzilla: Half Century War: Godzilla attacked Japan! We followed two soldiers as they attempted to survive the onslaught. They do, and help create the A.M.F., an organization tasked with researching and destroying Godzilla and all other monsters that may attack humanity.
SMASHING GOOD SHOW
This comic, above all else, is fun. It is really fun. It manages to induce a sense of speed and excitement that is rare in this medium, due to the fact still images do not lend themselves to such a feeling as well as moving images. But this book manages to do it. Every moment flows effortlessly into the next, giving a feeling akin to a roller coaster. Then the story pauses enough to give the reader a chance to breathe, then BOOM! Right back into the action. It left me with a feeling of emptiness at the end when there was any more “ride” to be had. If you are looking for something deep here, you are not going to find it. Godzilla: Half Century War does not go beyond the typical nuclear warfare metaphor that is at the core of the Godzilla franchise. And even that it does pretty shallowly. It does do a pretty good job of really exploring the effects fighting a completely uphill battle can have on a soldier. Unfortunately, this issue does not devote enough pages exploring the psychological trauma, making it something barely worth noting.
SOMETHING TO SEE
As a fan of Stokoe’s previous work, it is no surprise that I find myself absolutely in love with the art. His use of extreme detailing really helps to accent the gruesomeness of the monsters and does a great job of making the fallen buildings seem all the more tragic. After all, we are conditioned as readers to think the more details, the more important. Both the human and monster character designs are amazing. He manages to make all the sillier parts of the monster designs (like Megalon’s drill hands) look like they naturally grew or at least look more natural than they were in their conception. The colors are also pretty fantastical, a wonderfully bright color palette that adds to the wacky fun of it all.
BOTTOM LINE: DON’T BE A MONSTER, PICK THIS UP
This is easily one of the best comics being put out right now, you owe it to yourself to pick it up. Its fun, larger than life, and engaging. What more could you ask for?