Godzilla the Half-Century War #1

by stephengervais on August 13, 2012

I had two initial thoughts when I finished reading this issue. First one was now I know where James Stokoe disappeared to.  He was busy drawing 1950’s Japan getting destroyed by Godzilla. Secondly there’s something special about pieces of work drawn and written by the same creator. When one person is looking after the whole creation they tend to want to craft a masterpiece. They agonize over every detail to get it just how they envisioned it. There’s no compromising with a co-creator or worrying about someone else’s interpretation, it’s all them.

This series is brought to us by IDW publishing and was not only drawn and written by James Stokoe but he also did the colors. Admittedly I’ve never been much of a Godzilla aficionado but after flipping through the issue at the local comic shop there was no way I was leaving there without it.

I think we all know the basics of the Godzilla story but this one is a little different. Yes we have the monster rampaging through Tokyo and destroying everything in his path but the twist here is it’s told through the eyes of Lieutenant Ota Murakami and his tank driver Kentaro. It’s the story of their first encounter with the beast with a nice little twist at the end to leave us anticipating the next issue.

Stokoe’s art in this debut issue is nothing short of mind-blowing. The details in every panel really bring the whole thing to life. Take your time and examine each panel and you’ll almost feel the destruction Godzilla is causing. It’s as close to cinematic as a comic can get. You can even make out the type of debris flying about. I can’t imagine how long it took him to draw this. Then he had to color the whole thing on top of that. He uses lots of reds, oranges, and yellows which further intensifies the vividness of the damage and devastation.

The story itself naturally takes a back seat to the art but is nonetheless entertaining. Stokoe gives us a couple of characters to care about and a monster to truly fear. He builds up several moments of suspense and the pace of the issue moves along smoothly and quickly. Again giving the whole story a very moviesque feel to it. The first appearance of Godzilla as well as the buildup to it is epic.

I know the story is an old one done countless times but Stokoe writes it from the unique perspective of the obsessed Lieutenant to give it a fresh feel. The artwork alone makes this worth the purchase. I can’t emphasize enough how spectacular it truly is. Just flip through it and you won’t be able to resist.

Our Score:


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