Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Swierczynski, Gane & Pattison
IDW delivers an oversized first issue for their latest attempt at a Godzilla reboot. This first issue reads more like a 1970s disaster film except where we pick up the story after everything goes to hell. It’s a good first issue but I can’t tell if the underlying story is going to be a slow burn as IDW seems to like to tell stories or if we are going to launch into the plot in the very next issue. Overall, I liked the issue and am intrigued enough to sample a second issue and that is about all you can ask for.
Basically, the book is a simple setup. The monsters are roaming the Earth after some amount of time being absent from the scene and they are angry. The big guy makes his target Washington DC. Amidst all of this destruction are two characters. A military type is in charge of keeping his employer’s daughter safe. This leads to all kinds of Die Hard/Indiana Jones type cliffhangers and stunts throughout the book as the pair try to escape a skyscraper as Godzilla takes it down.
Fortunately, Swierczynkski’s character work is very good. The book has a tiny cast and he makes them all have unique voices over the course of the twenty-eight pages. He doesn’t quite get me to care about the characters yet, but at least I was interested to see if they could survive the rampage.
One other aspect I liked about the book was the promises made in the back as to where the story is going and the fact that future issues will contain essays in the same vain as Criminal or Incognito. This is a nice bonus to look forward to in future issues.
The artwork is what makes this story move. There are plenty of panels where I could feel the building swaying and the characters gasping as their lives hang in the balance. I really enjoyed the elevator shaft sequence and I attribute much of that to how detailed the artwork presented the scene. This is a terrific visual comic book.
Godzilla is a niche genre. The reader is probably going to love it because they already love the title character or monsters in general. On the other hand, the book is a tough sell if it is written just from the human aspect of the story and might not be a fast enough book for the diehard fans. This issue strikes a balance but still leans more towards characters instead of plot. It will be interesting to see how this proceeds and if it can balance monster action, character work and plot. This is a good start.
3 out of 5 geek goggles