My Week in Comics: Godzilla: The Half Century War #1

I don't get why comic creators have a hard time with Big G here. His very existence demands bigger-than-life storytelling, and yet previous attempts have him guest-starring to badass normals, relegating Big G to half-veiled shots of foot or tail, if any. When I pick up a Godzilla comic, the last thing I want it to see is the book actually being "Everyday Joe (with special appearance by Godzilla)", ya know?

Enter Godzilla: The Half-Century War #1, IDW's latest foray into the Godzilla franchise. Written and drawn by James Stokoe, the first salvo of this miniseries opens up with Godzilla tearing Tokyo a new one, and it just gets better from there. Not only do we get to see Big G stomp his way through the entire comic, we also get a compelling human character in Lt. Ota Murakami, a Japanese soldier caught in Godzilla's rampage. And while he's not totally helpless in the face of all that wanton destruction (he gets in a few awesome moments, in fact), Ota knows he's way in over his head in this one, and it's that fine balance of heroism and helplessness and heaping doses of Godzilla action that makes this a fun and interesting read.

And man, this book is gorgeous. Stokoe renders the hell out of each and every panel of this book and then some. Every scale in his hide, every wisp of smoke, every destroyed building in Tokyo is done in amazing detail. You could pore through each page for days and you'd still miss something. I bow to Stokoe's mastery over both story AND art, a rare talent that rarely works...but when it does, you get THIS book.

Bottom line is, this is how you make a Godzilla comic. Godzilla: The Half-Century War #1 is glorious, a fitting addition to the Godzilla legacy. If you have to get a Godzilla book, get this one. This gets a 6 out of 5. Pick this up on sight at your friendly comic book shop today!

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