Thursday, 3 November 2016
Godzilla: The Half Century War by James Stokoe Review
A Japanese soldier called Ota Murakami reminisces on his 50 year relationship with the giant irradiated monster known as Godzilla - the time they went to Paris and Godzy proposed to him in front of the Eiffel Tower, getting their first house together, becoming grandparents… Just kidding! It’s Godzilla fighting one kaiju after another with this dude watching from afar.
Yup, it’s another Godzilla story which is framed by a boring human character because we can’t have Godzilla talking or inner-monologuing ever. Bah. Their first encounter in Japan was entertaining though with Ota in his tank trying to escape Godzilla as he smashed his way through a city. Though Ota’s years-long storyline of chasing a rogue American scientist who’s trying to sell a machine that attracts kaiju didn’t do anything for me.
I think we’re meant to be rooting for Ota in his Moby Dick-esque quest to finally kill Godzilla but James Stokoe didn’t win me over to his mission - I still liked Godzilla more than anyone else here and was cheering him on the most.
As always, Stokoe’s detailed artwork is fan-bloody-tastic - this is the main reason to pick up this comic! He does scale really well so Godzilla’s battles with his awesome rogues gallery - Rodan, Mothra, King Ghidorah and Mecha-Godzilla, to name a few - look spectacularly epic and the action is really fun. I like the little expressions he gives Godzilla too, showing the intelligence behind the King of the Monsters’ eyes.
I’ve seen a bunch of Godzilla movies and read a couple comics and I think I like the idea of Godzilla more than anything because I’ve never come across a truly amazing story featuring this dude. It’s always the same big monster action and destruction. To that end, though The Half-Century War has a typically shallow narrative, it’s probably one of the better Godzilla comics out there purely for Stokoe’s superb artwork making the kaiju battles look so good. If you’re a fan you’ll enjoy it but anyone else is going to find this very one-note and average at best.