Part One: Forty Stories of Sheer Terror
Godzilla is back… in an all-new ongoing series! Duane Swierczynski and Simon Gane launch this ultimate action-movie blockbuster, ushering in a new era of monster battles. Ex-special forces tough-guy Boxer is a man with a grudge and vows to end the terror of Godzilla, no matter what. He assembles a top notch team to take down monster-sized threats… at $7 billion a bounty. What starts as a vendetta could become a lucrative business for Boxer… if he can live past day one!
Story Duane Swierczynski
Art Simon Gane, Ronda Pattison
Cover Arthur Adams, Tony Harris
Release Date May 23, 2012
Format FC, 32 Pages
Cover Price $3.99
Godzilla #1 isn’t the first ongoing series for the King of the Monsters, it’s not even IDW’s first Godzilla ongoing. Godzilla had a 24 issue run in the 70′s that took place in the mainstream 616 universe. Godzilla vs. the Avengers, ’nuff said. Godzilla didn’t have another appearance until the mid 80′s when Dark Horse put out a limited series along with multiple one-shots and appearances. Dark Horse finally gave Godzilla his own monthly ongoing series in 1995 with King of the Monsters that lasted 16 issues and ended in 1996. Over 15 years later IDW picked up the license and launched the new ongoing series Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters. Kingdom spawned two limited series and was cancelled after 12 issues in February.
Godzilla never stayed dead for long in the movies and luckily the same is applying to the comics. IDW’s giving Godzilla another change with a brand new #1 and a different creative team for the simply titled “Godzilla”. Instead of wiping the slate clean this reboot supposedly takes a couple years after Kingdom’s events. While it does take place in the same world as Kingdom, it’s not necessary to have read the previous series to start this one.
I don’t want to spoil it but the first two pages before the comic even begins are amazing and should fill any Godzilla fan with excitement. We start in Mexico City with Irving “Urv” Jassim leaving behind his violent past to marry his boyfriend Eduardo. Yep, a gay wedding in a comic book that didn’t need to be hyped and didn’t feel out of place. The wedding doesn’t goes badly as it’s quickly crashed by a giant monster. Then other giant monsters are shown attacking Brazil & South Korea. We then see Godzilla is 50 miles outside of Washington DC which begins the main story, “Forty Stories of Sheer Terror”. In DC we’re introduced to Jason Statham look-alike “Boxer”, an ex-british forces soldier who is hired to protect the daughter of a Japanese billionaire in talks to fund the reconstruction of DC. Godzilla attacks DC once again and Boxer is determined to get Gwen to safety. The pair end up running into a an unprepared US Army and a dangerous militia group hunting Godzilla. After seeing the various failures in dealing with the world’s giant monster problems, Boxer is given enough reason to take matters into his own hands. The story ends by going back to wear it starts, Boxer places a call to a friend for help.
The only previous works i’ve read by Duane Swierczynski were two issues of Marvel’s Widowmaker crossover and now I think i’ve been missing out. He did a great job of introducing the main character “Boxer” and giving you his backstory while keeping everything moving. The restrained use of Godzilla and the rest of the monsters was smart. This way when they appear it’s more meaningful and shocking. While 32 pages of Godzilla blowing shit up would be awesome, it would get old quickly. Some may not like narrative boxes, but they move the story along without interrupting the fast paced action. My only complaint is that certain pieces of the story are left behind without any explanation. I’m looking forward to seeing what direction Swierczynski takes this book and it’s main character, it should be a really fun ride.
I haven’t seen too much from Simon Gane besides Godzilla: Legends #2 and now I really want to see more. His Godzilla looks amazing and it reminds me of Art Adams work from Dark Horse. He made sure Godzilla a dark terrifying monster and even included the more often used cat-like facial features. The amount of detailing in the buildings and backgrounds is fantastic, they really stand out with the gritty style he draws. The details really come out when you see Godzilla destroying a building and the pieces are flying everywhere. My only complaint with the art is that the human characters look really rough and maybe too gritty. Rough humans aside, I hope Gane sticks with the book for the long run.
Ronda Pattison’s colors are spectacular. Nighttime stays dark but clear enough to see the detailing and the brighter daytime and the explosions really pop off the page. Her subtle color choices enhance Gane’s gritty artwork rather than take away from it.
Arthur “Art” Adams drew the A cover and it’s beautiful, as far as i’m concerned nobody draws Godzilla better. As far as I know Adams is only doing the cover for the first issue, it’s really nice to see considering all of his work on Dark Horse’s Godzilla comics in the 90′s. There’s also a B cover drawn by Tony Harris and two different retailer variants.
If you’re a fan of Godzilla, giant monsters, action movies or just like a really fun read then i’d recommend getting Godzilla. With #1 being very new reader-friendly, it’s the perfect time to add some Daikaiju to your pull list.