Editor’s Note: Here is a look at Godzilla Catacylsm from Science Fiction writer KL Zolnoski. As a die-hard fan of all things Godzilla, she offered to take a look at the new IDW comic for us.
First, a disclaimer: I am a fan, not a critic.. I like Godzilla. I like comic books. I was one of those kids who sneaked comic books into the house after I was told that comics weren’t for girls. There are several things I look for in a comic. I look for a story that has internal logic, thoughtful art and I like good ideas. Thoughtful art is art that may be stylized, or not, it may be polished or it may be very primitive , it may be bold, or understated, but one thing that is consistent is that it conveys the mood and tone of the story. Art transports you and good comic book art takes you on a journey to another place.
That being said: Megaguirus is one of my favorite monsters from the Godzilla universe and Bob Eggleton one of my favorite artists. This month’s installment of Godzilla Cataclysm features subscription cover art of Megaguirus and Godzilla done by Bob Eggleton and I absolutely love it. I may have to get my own subscription. Bob Eggleton uses a particular color palette that is so much his own that I can almost always pick one of his works out from a crowd.
Dave Watcher is responsible for the regular cover and it is gorgeous as well. It is very menacing not just in form but makes excellent use of a lot of red overtones. Watcher is the artist for the comic and he does a superlative job. Each panel is clear and concise, detailed without being cluttered except in the instances when rampant destruction calls for a bit of clutter. Watcher’s art transports the reader to this city, this place where the characters are.
Writer Cullen Bunn is responsible for the story, wow, where do I start? I’ve read other Godzilla comic books. I’ve even read other IDW Godzilla comic books and enjoyed them, but not a single one impacted me like this one. I want to get my hands on the whole run and binge read it. Then I want to binge read it again.
Bunn has cleverly tapped into the mythos of Godzilla in a way that was all too briefly mentioned in only one or two of the movies. Bunn brought this idea to the forefront and is exploring it. Reading this I can only think: Why has this not been done before? It’s so brilliant and so obvious once you see it. It’s like when you get to the end of one of H.P. Lovecraft’s stories and you’re surprised and not at the same time because the set up was so deftly done that it makes sense, but so clever that you didn’t quite figure it out before.
What Bunn has done is seize upon the idea of superstitions and used Godzilla as a vehicle to explore them. Because of course a new religion would form around Godzilla if he were to actually appear. This creates a social tension beyond the terror of living in a world where giant monsters destroy your village on a fairly regular basis. I’m so there. I’m there with these people and their attempts to have some kind of an impact on a force of nature. I’m there as they try to somehow, in some desperate way, influence the monsters.
Bunn has managed to make his characters, no matter how peripheral, real and empathetic. That’s what draws me into a story. That’s what gets past my internal logic sensors and engages my willing suspension of disbelief. These people are scared and grasping at straws and in that situation, who wouldn’t be?
There have been moments of brilliance in other comics that I’ve read. Shoot, there have been comics that were so well done that they actually outraged me due to how they wrapped up a story line (Uncanny X-Men I’m looking at you) but, I don’t actually recall a comic that has drawn me in as well as a well written novel and Bunn has done that. The creative ideas are there to keep it interesting and the people are behaving in a way that rings true. I really want to get my hands on the next issue. I don’t remember the last time I was impatient for the next issue of a comic to come out. Ok, I do. It was the last IDW Godzilla run. Fine, you got me on that one.
I would say that if you are looking for a Kaiju comic written with great monster battles and great human reactions this is a good one to pick up.
Godzilla Cataclysm #3 is available from IDW on October 22, 2014.