Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Dave Wachter
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Earlier this year, the world witnessed the rebirth of the original daikaiju (giant monster), as Godzilla stomped through international theaters for the first time since 1998. In the newest installment, director Gareth Edwards returned the King of Monsters to his days as a lumbering behemoth as opposed to Roland Emmerich’s slithery, iguana-like mutation.
Keeping it vintage for the 60th anniversary of Godzilla’s first romp through Tokyo, writer and artist Cullen Bunn and Dave Wachter’s Godzilla:Cataclysm #1, published by IDW, was released earlier in the week. The story takes place 20 years after the disappearance of the last kaiju in an understandably post-apocalyptic Tokyo.
The book is done mostly in monochrome renditions of devastation as we are introduced to a world transformed. We learn through the opening narrative of Grandfather, that in their absence, belief in the monster’s has waned, though some worship the “myth”of the kaiju and await their return.
Bunn uses rhetorical questions and minimalist dialogue in conjunction with Wachter’s stark imagery to create an atmosphere of abject desolation, but one peppered with the terrible creative/destructive potential of angry gods. It works, to a degree, and you, like the small scavenger team in the story, find yourself eager to get to the next panel, if only for “…the change of scenery”.
I know what you’re thinking, though. Another post-apocalyptic dystopia? Well, yes. But with the super important caveat that this one hasn’t been caused by zombies or a plague or some devious ( and probably overdone at this point) combination of the two. This book works because it revisits the familiar territory of ruination by overwhelming outside force in a relatively fresh way. OK, yes, it’s Godzilla’s 60th anniversary. I said relatively.
The early emphasis on mythology and monster worship gives the impression that we may run into a cult or two in this universe devoted to a who-knows-what kind of horrible incarnation of chaos. The anticipation. The suspense.
Bring on the monsters.
By Adam Cadmon
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