Friday, September 21, 2012

Godzilla: The Half-Century War #2

by James Stokoe

The longevity and popularity is something that doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  Ultimately, all Godzilla stories have to be about the people trying to kill the giant monster, and they can never succeed in their mission.  There's not a lot there that makes for sustained runs in comics or movies, unless a stream of new monsters is introduced.

Why then, if I have no real interest in the franchise, am I buying Godzilla comics?  The answer is easy - James Stokoe.  This gifted and unique cartoonist brings his wonderfully detailed and strange art style to the big green monster, and therefore is keeping me captivated.

This series follows a Japanese officer, Ota Murakami, who has devoted his life to following the creature and trying to stop him from destroying cities.  This issue is set thirteen years after the last, as Godzilla wanders his way through the middle of Vietnam, during the Vietnam War.  Ota has been sent by his government to work with the US Army and a very manga-looking professor (you know you know what I mean), who has big experimental masers he wants to use.

The issue follows the standard Godzilla set ups and tropes, including the inevitable appearance of a second creature.  It's a very nice looking comic; Stokoe continues to work his usual magic, and that ensures that I'll be back next issue for more.

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