Luke Owen on the latest issue of Godzilla: The Half Century War…
I said in my Godzilla Issue #6 review that Godzilla: The Half Century War was getting a lot of praise from critics and fans alike and to be honest, I didn’t quite get it at first. One review I read of Issue #1 said that this was the best drawn comic he’d ever read and while I was impressed with it, it didn’t blow me away. I stuck with the series however and Issue #2 was a turning point and by the final page of Issue #3, I was totally sold. This series is epic.
This is a fantastic comic not just for fans of the Godzilla franchise, but for comic fans in general. Writer and artist James Stokoe has created some of the best visuals that have ever been put to page with a group of characters that you can buy into. Ota is a likeable lead that was there for Godzilla’s first attack on Tokyo, tracked him through Vietnam and is now stuck in the middle of a warzone in Ghana. His narration and dialogue convey so much of his torture and his desire to be the one who brings down the beast. His supporting cast are also very likeable, especially the hippy stoner. I’d like to see them a little more developed then what they are, but the main crux of this Half Century War is the relationship between Ota and Godzilla.
Perhaps the true turning point for me on this series was the introduction of the other monsters. Godzilla’s fight with Anguirus in Issue #2 was pretty epic, but here we have an all-out monster rumble with Godzilla, Rodan, Ebirah, Mothra, Megalon, Kumonga, Hedorah and Battra. If you’re a fan of the Godzilla franchise and you recognise those names, you will understand just how exciting that is. It makes you wonder where the series can go from here to top this. My only hope that the final Issue will be a replica of Godzilla: Final Wars or Destroy All Monsters. The tease for the next issue (at least to me) suggests that we’re getting the alien side to the classic kaiju. So perhaps next month we’ll be seeing the likes of Gigan, Mechagodzilla, Spacegodzilla and (fingers crossed) King Ghidorah.
While I always admired Stokoe’s handy work on the art for this series, I was completely blown away the incredible two page splash of Godzilla blasting his atomic breath, just missing Kumonga during his fight with Megalon with Mothra flying overhead and Rodan crashes into a building. The level of detail and the richness of the colour is spellbinding. It’s worth picking up this comic for this splash alone (it’s now my desktop wallpaper). Even little things like his attention to the smallest of details on Mothra and Ebriah is impressive, but each and every panel of this wonderful comic draws you in.
Stokoe’s writing is also really impressive and his level of humour acts as the perfect counterpoint to the amount of violence happening around the characters. Ota’s 7 page opening narration never gets boring and does a great job of bridging the gap between the events of the previous issue. I’d go as far as to say that James Stokoe is one of the finest people working within the comic book industry today. The level of brilliance this series has held (my reservations of the first issue aside) is on such a higher level than most comic books.
Seriously go out and pick up this book. It’s quickly become the highlight of my comic month and it just highlights some of the problems that the regular ongoing series has. Godzilla: The Half Century War is just awesome.
Luke Owen is a freelance copywriter working for Europe’s biggest golf holiday provider as their web content executive.