Godzilla: Half Century War #1

Here it goes kids. No more excuses. You ready? Too bad, lets go!

Reviewing this is somewhat problematic in that there isn’t a whole lot I can say it about it. I liked it. I didn’t really find anything to complain about. As such, I don’t have a preponderance of material. Quantifying what I like about something has always been more difficult than what I don’t like. I was only passingly familiar with James Stokoe prior to this, but his art really brings it home in so many ways. Gritty and visceral, but also showing a little touch of manga influence. The confluence of these is pretty much the perfect style for a good Godzilla story, particularly one focused on the ground level the way this one is. Also, Stokoe has created  what is probably the perfect visual representation for Godzilla’s trademark roar.

The perspective Stokoe creates is very engaging, capturing the unfathomable nature of Godzilla as an impossible and ultimately unstoppable force. The protagonists, rookie army officers Ota Murakami and Kentaro Yoshihara, do not so much triumph as they simply survive. The sense of place and period is also strong. The ill-suitedness of Murakami and Yoshihara to their surroundings, both in terms of their military role and the very unnatural disaster they find themselves caught up in, reflects the uncertainty of Japanese culture at the time. Ota and Kentaro are oddballs in an army that was no longer assured of its place in society. Even their mandate of self-defense seems ephemeral in the face of Godzilla’s destruction. Out of this crisis though the two find a sense of grounding and purpose, marking the beginning of a long twilight struggle against the unknowable.

That’s really about all I can say about it at this point without retreading over my previous Godzilla essay. I’ve got a good feeling though that this series will only give me more to chew on.


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