Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Godzilla: Half Century War #2 of 5
James Stokoe writes and draws the Godzilla mini-series that has the Japanese military chasing the giant creature throughout the South Pacific during the American Vietnam War. If you have ever experienced Stokoe’s art then you understand why this book is so amazing. The pencils and layouts are simply nothing I have ever seen before from any other artist. It probably won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but, for me, there isn’t a better property for this type of art outside of Godzilla. That alone makes the book a must have.
The book is set in Vietnam during 1967. The Japanese have dispatched a special unit to track and kill Godzilla. Conventional weapons won’t work, but only the Japanese seem to understand that. Godzilla is making his way towards the capital, very much inland and not in his regular random destructive pattern. The special team feels they are running out of time before the entire country is crushed. However, not all is as it seems.
Godzilla is heading straight for something but it certainly isn’t the capital. I won’t spoil the reveal but everything human is background noise as far as Godzilla is concerned. This doesn’t stop the Japanese as they unleash their secret weapon on Godzilla with mixed results.
The book’s story is above average but nothing memorable. It’s fairly standard: Godzilla destroys and man tries to stop him. Throw in a twist or two and that’s pretty much all you can do with the premise. The hope is that the battles are unique enough to be memorable, which they are in this issue and that the art presents a fun story.
Stokoe is perhaps the most detailed artist I have ever seen. There is simply no part of the panel that doesn’t have some sort of detail in it. Just take the very first page. Half of the page is a topography layout from above that includes mountains, smoke, trees and just about anything else you can think of. Then there is a gap of sky, but Stokoe shades this with some four tones of the same color. Then we get more brush and helicopters that have no detail spared. The entire book is like this. Sure, you might find the bright, almost neon, color palette to be a bit much, but it clearly works for the story and certainly makes things pop off the page. Also, I understand that the characters might look a little wide-eyed and crazy, but again, that cartoon-like aspect works very well for this story. I can’t gush enough about Stokoe’s art.
Godzilla isn’t for everyone and I understand that. However, if you a comic book fan and are looking for something a little out of the ordinary then I urge you to pick this book up. Someday down the line Stokoe’s books are going to carry a tremendous weight with them and it’s always best to get in on that at the ground floor. Plus, who doesn’t want to see some destruction for twenty pages?
4 out of 5 geek goggles