Thursday, August 9, 2012

Godzilla: The Half-Century War #1

by James Stokoe

Much like Conan before Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan came along, Godzilla is not a character or comics property I have any interest in.  Why then am I buying this latest IDW mini-series with such a sense of excitement?  James Stokoe.

Stokoe first caught my eye with his Wonton Soup English-language manga series at Oni, but it is his Orc Stain that really exposed the depth of his comics genius.  That series, which chronicles the adventures of a nameless one-eyed Orc who may have a role in fulfilling some great prophecy, has been on a hiatus for a while, and so I'm happy to get my fix of Stokoe with this book.

Stokoe excels at pages filled with finely detailed mayhem.  His work is like a cross between Geof Darrow and Brandon Graham, and it is never boring.  This series is about a Japanese soldier, Lieutenant Ota Murakami, who first encounters Godzilla in 1954, when the monster first attacks Tokyo.  Murakami and his friend are able to protect a large number of evacuating civilians by distracting the monster, and later they are offered a job which, we are told, leads to Murakami spending half a century dealing with the giant radioactive lizard.

Story and character are secondary to visuals here, and Stokoe does not disappoint.  There are some excellent scenes of Tokyo being devastated, and the book is fun, inventive read.  I look forward to the next issue (even though I'd rather be reading Orc Stain).

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