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Godzilla: Half Century War Paperback – June 4, 2013
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As a Godzilla fan, this comic is amazing with brilliant art by James Stoke and well written story that weaves together elements from all 3 different Godzilla film serieses. To begin with, for fans of Godzilla who have never read any of the comics like I hadn't, it's a completely self contained story in it's own continuity which I think is one of its greatest strengths! Half Century War just had the ability to tell a story from front to back with an actual ending, free from the strains of IDW canon. To briefly summarize the plot without spoilers, This book follows the story of two Japanese Army Soldiers who are in Tokyo when it is attacked in 1954 by the "first" Godzilla. After the first Godzilla was killed by the Oxygen Destroyer, the pair get conscripted into an international monster defense task force where the reader follows the exploits of these two over a half century of conflict with the second Godzilla and the various other monsters being drawn from around and "to" Earth.
The two main characters are very likable, play off each other well and feel like real people caught in this strange and gradually hopeless situation in a worldscale struggle versus these giant creatures. Godzilla is portrayed here similar to the Heisei Godzilla as not an outright hero like in the Showa series or an outright unredeemable monster like in GMK, just an indifferent observer which I like a lot. The book features a wild ranging cast of monsters, however don't expect everyone as remember this primarily a short, self contained "Godzilla" centered story. There are plenty of callbacks and allusions to the whole film series which I love as well. My only main gripe with the book is that several of the monsters it includes, especially Mothra who has her own well established backstory, are pushed to the sidelines and painted with only the broadest brushes in an effort to save time as this is a short book and several of them feel like background items only. While I was disappointed with that, this is very clearly a "Godzilla" book, and the cuts were made to save time to tell a better narrative as opposed to trying to push some half-assed political agenda or parody.
Overall, don't expect every monster and every monster in the book to get full spotlight, but expect a fun self-contained comic that is not only compelling but also a big enjoyment to long time fans of Big G!
Interesting artwork. Seemed a bit static, with too much emphasis on motion lines added after the fact.
Half Century War is the best IDW Godzilla comic I've yet read. The characters feel more realistic and the story feels more like the classic yarns we grew up with. The art is better than Orc Stain, but still in the same line, and seems to go hand in hand with Godzilla. Buy it, try it, and have a good time.