Comic Book Review – Godzilla: Half Century War #5

Luke Owen reviews the final issue of Godzilla: Half Century War….

Ota Murakami has fought Godzilla for fifty years. The decades have been hard on Ota, and he is seemingly no closer to his goal. Now, in the frozen wastes of Antarctica, the end of the world beckons. Ota and Ken gear up for a deadly final battle, and only one beast will be left standing at its end! This is the book you’ll be talking about for years! Don’t miss it!

It doesn’t seem all that long ago that I was getting excited for James Stokoe’s Godzilla: Half-Century War and it sure lived up to all the hype that surrounded it. This has been, without a shadow of a doubt, the best Godzilla series ever. I truly mean that.

We’ve seen Ota chase down Godzilla throughout the decades and now, old and beaten, he has one final push to take down the King of the Monsters – or at least get noticed by him. During Godzilla’s showdown with King Ghidorah and Gigan, Ota snakes aboard the Mechagodzilla to join in the fun with an epic battle that will even question Ota’s feelings towards the monster he has done nothing but try and kill.

What a ride this has been. Godzilla: Half Century War has been a brilliant, emotional, touching and beautiful story between Ota and Godzilla. Stokoe has done things with this iconic character that even writers of the movies have never been able to do – he makes it all feel genuine. Godzilla and his fellow monsters have been wrecking the planet for the last 50 years and it shows – the world is nearing a close and this is their one last shot to send Godzilla packing. With each line of dialogue and emotion filled panel, you feel the pain of the central characters and how these kaiju have affected their lives.

And despite gushing to my heart’s content in the above paragraph – my words do not to do justice to how truly great this series has been. When comic book fans look back at the ‘all-time greats’, they may throw up Batman: Year One or Daredevil: Born Again, but I will put forward Godzilla: Half Century War. It’s been that good.

I know I sound like a stuck record with this series and I hate to bash another’s work while praising someone else, but Half-Century War just shows how inept, boring and stale the regular on-going Godzilla series is. Half-Century War has packed in more character, monster action and beautiful artwork in half the time it has taken for the on-going series to even get started. I hope that team have been reading this – they could learn a thing or two.

IDW will hopefully see what they have in James Stokoe. Half-Century War has been the perfect Godzilla series and this has been the perfect way to end it. Beautifully drawn, wonderfully written and expertly put together. My hat goes off to you Mr. Stokoe.

Oh, and by the by, in my review of Godzilla: Half Century War #2, I said that I was using the two-page splash as my desktop wallpaper – I still am.

Luke Owen is one of the co-editors of Flickering Myth and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.

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