Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Guest Review - Godzilla: The Half Century War

   Stepping into the Guest Review duties today is David Wright, who's part of the team covering while Chuck takes a short break.

   Godzilla: The Half Century War by James Stokoe.

   I'd never heard of James Stokoe before, however, a quick Google search told me he also was the creator of the indie book, Orc Stain, which I wasn't familiar with either. Since the new Godzilla movie came out recently, I thought I'd read the first issue of The Half-Century War and really enjoyed it.  

   I've picked up some other Godzilla comics in the past, and they really didn't do too much for me.  Some of the artwork in them was fine and fun to look at - I recall one from Dark Horse which was done by Art Adams - but the stories didn't have much to say about the giant lizard.  

   Stokoes' story, however, did. It was fast paced, full of action, and that helped.

   The year is 1954 and Lieutnant Ota Murakami is on hand when Godzilla first makes landfall in Japan. He is part of a tank patrol in Shinigawa, barely out of his teens and working for the Japanese defense program. Their mission is to aid in some sort of disaster relief, though the details are not fully disclosed. They are just told to expect very bad weather. This is when we first see Godzilla, and he is enormous, powerful, and awesome.  

   Of course the shock of the situation alarms both Ota and his pal, Kentaro. They makes a desperate attempt to save lives, and in the process begins an obsession with the King of the Monsters and Ota that lasts 50 years.  

   It is a retelling of the Moby Dick story brought into modern times.  The second comic takes place in Vietnam with the second sighting of the monster.  If you enjoy stories about Godzilla and giant kaiju, this might be for you. 

   I enjoyed the art a lot too. It's big, kinetic, and highly detailed. It seems to be influenced by some of the early manga that I remember. If you enjoyed the latest Godzilla movie, you might want to give it a shot. 

Grade:  B


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