Luke Owen on the latest issue of Godzilla: The Half Century War…
“New technologies and new recruits lead the AMF now, while Ota and Kentaro are stuck watching. But when a new threat comes to town from space, technology and young blood mean nothing. Will the grizzled vets be able to save the day? Don’t miss this action packed issue, it’ll have you seeing three Godzillas!”
Last issue saw the A.M.F track Godzilla through a Ghana warzone as he took part in all-out monster rumble including Mothra, Rodan, Ebirah, Megalon, Kumonga, Hedorah and Battra. I asked in the review for Issue #3 where the series can go from here to top this epic battle, but after reading Godzilla: The Half Century War #4, I wonder why I even questioned it.
Ota and his team (and all the other A.M.F teams) are now more or less disbanded following their failures to take down The King of the Monsters. Now they are nothing more than just glorified weather watchers – following Godzilla’s path of destruction to minimise the damage. 30 years older than he was when he first encountered Godzilla, Ota is struggling with this new station in life. All he wants is to be part of the new young team that has been brought in to replace the A.M.F – because they have a new way of battling Godzilla in the form of a mechanical version of their problem: Mechagodzilla.
However while watching Godzilla go on a rampage through Bombay, he accidentally discovers the man who is responsible for the death of Colonel Schooler in Issue #3 and the man who has been the cause of a lot of Godzilla’s rampages. His act of revenge is sadly short lived as it turns out Deverich has created a more powerful version of his transmitter – it’s now so powerful that it has pulled in kaiju from space: Spacegodzilla. Now Bombay has to deal with the truly epic and incredible three-way battle between Godzilla, Mechagodzilla and Spacegodzilla. Who will come out the true Godzilla?
Not only has Stokoe created a very memorable comic book series with fantastic dialogue and an interesting take on the Godzilla mythos, he has fashioned probably the biggest fan service comic I have ever encountered. Every little thing he writes is almost geared towards making Godzilla fans say “that’s awesome”, whether it be his choice of kaiju or the moments in his battles. I lost count the amount of times I gasped in awe during the showdown between Godzilla and Spacegodzilla and how Stokoe has managed to make this incredibly far-fetched scenario seem completely real. And then, just when you think he couldn’t offer anymore, he draws a fantastically brilliant teaser panel for the fifth and final issue as Spacegodzilla will not be the last of the cosmic kaiju…
I cannot praise James Stokoe’s work on this series enough and this issue may just be the jewel in his crown (to steal a line from Deverich). The detail in the battle between Godzilla and Spacegodzilla is just simply spell-binding to the point that every single millimetre of panel is important to look at. Not only is his artwork the best in comics today, but his script work is almost even better. The relationship he has developed between Ota and Godzilla is incredibly engrossing and it makes you wish that you could see every little moment of their history together rather than just getting a quick snippet through each decade.
Sadly, Godzilla: The Half Century War comes to a close with the next issue – but it’s an issue that I cannot wait to read!