Godzilla Cataclysm #4: A Review

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Godzilla_Cataclysm_Issue_4_CVR_AThis story is so well written.  The characters are so human, so multi-dimensional that I, as a reader, can’t help but be drawn into the drama of their lives.  I can’t help but empathize with the uncertainty, the guilt—oh lord—the guilt of the main character.  Seeing the loss and horror through this man’s eyes is gripping.  This man is not a hero; he just wanted to be one.  Who doesn’t want to be a hero?  But it goes so horribly wrong.  And maybe he will be a hero again, or maybe not.  This comic explores moral ambiguity in a setting where the stakes are as high as they have ever been.

I don’t want this to be broken up into comic book issue sized chunks.  I really don’t.  I don’t want to be done reading when the comic book ends.  This story should be a novel; shoot it should be a full feature length movie—both!  I want both.  I want to read this story as a novel so brilliantly written by Cullen Bunn and then I want to see the movie and I want Bunn to write the script, and I want Dave Watcher to be the art director.

The art is spectacular.  We all know I’m a huge Bob Eggleton fan and his alternate cover featuring Mothra (my personal favorite monster) is breathtaking but there were several panels in this issue where I just stopped to look at the art.  There is a face on view of Manda (under-rated and under used in Godzilla movies IMHO) that stopped me in my greedily reading tracks.  It’s at the bottom of page three and to be honest the entire sequence with Manda is spectacular but this one picture captures so much about the subject as well as the story that I had to pause and just let it soak in.

I know I sound like a squeeing fangirl but I can’t help it.  Frankly, I went into this with a certain amount of interest but no high expectations.  Comic books are fun and I love them but they’re generally not considered highbrow reading.  Many comic books are pure escapism and there is nothing wrong with that.  I would actually suggest that a certain amount of escapism is healthy.   At their best though, comic books, like any art form, will ask tough questions about our society, our morals and our actions, they will explore ideas and give the reader someone or something to identify with.

For all of that, to a large portion of our culture, comic books are not considered literature. Nor are they considered real art for that matter.  Which is a shame because the quality of writing in Godzilla Cataclysm is better than in some novels I could mention and the art is—well, it’s full on art!

IDW has really outdone itself with Godzilla Cataclysm.  The team of Bunn and Watcher is synergistic.  What they produce together just adds to and multiplies the story line to elevate it above what you might expect from a comic book.  So don’t expect, just read and let the story draw you in, because it will

Godzilla Cataclysm #4 is available from IDW Wednesday November 19, 2014.

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