Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Comic Book Review: Godzilla The Half-Century War Complete Series

The Plot:
This comic series follows two members of a Japanese tank battalion turned Godzilla specialist named Ota Murakami and Kentaro Yoshihara. The book tells the history of Godzilla from Ota's perspective across a 50 year time span. The book starts off in 1954 with Ota and Kentaro being called into Tokyo with the army they are unsure of what is going on they were just told there has been a natural disaster they are patrolling the streets when building is hit with a fire blast and explodes they are unsure of what just happened and proceed with caution then a giant foot steps out from behind a building it is Godzilla. Ota and Kentaro's whole tank battalion gets wiped out by Godzilla and only their tank remains Godzilla then begins moving towards the evacuation point where all the unarmed civilians are located. Knowing that they have the last tank available Ota and Kentaro begin firing on Godzilla with their tank to get his attention Godzilla then begins to pursuit them through the city as Kentaro races the tank through the city Ota guides him through the city, once the civilians are safely evacuated artillery support is sent in and the two manage to escape Godzilla and the artillery blast. The two were then brought two the hospital for treatment to minor wounds and managed to get out in time to watch the Navy track down Godzilla and defeat him in the bay with a new secret weapon.
A few months later Ota and Kentaro are approached by Colonel Schooler who informs them that another Godzilla has appeared and he needs their help because the man who knew how to hurt them  is dead and he burnt the blueprints for his weapon. Schooler then ask Ota and Kentaro to join his special force called the A.M.F The Anti Megalosaurus Force, the two accept and join up.

Jump forward to 1967 in Vietnam Ota and Kentaro are in pursuit of Godzilla who seems to be unfazed by attacks from them he is dead set on a course through Vietnam. The Vietnam war is going on and the AMF are working with the American soldiers stationed their to battle Godzilla but they can't seem to get their his attention. At the camp we meet Doc Randall a scientist who has invented a new weapon called a Maser that  he claims has the ability to shoot through half a mile through the earth. As Godzilla make his way towards the American camp he unleashes his radioactive breath and destroys all but one maser. Doc Randall manages to fire off the remaining Maser and it seems to harm Godzilla enough to annoy him but just as the fight is turning around for them, Viet Cong soldiers burst out of underground tunnels in the American camp the Americans think the Viet Cong are attacking but they don't they just runaway. Shortly after giant spikes start to rise out of the ground. Anguirus rises and Ota and Kentaro are the first to see this new Kaiju. Godzilla and Anguirus begin to fight but soon a massive bombing strike is called in on them Anguirus retreats back underground and Godzilla still stands. Up ahead on the path Godzilla was traveling Schooler discovers some sort of device that was sending out signals attracting the Kaiju.

Jump forward to 1975 in Ghana Ota, Kentaro and the other remaining members of the A.M.F. are held up in a destroyed building. Ghana is a massive waste land we learn that more Kaiju appeared over the past decade Battra, Mothra, Rodan, Ebirah, Megalon, and Hedorah all have their own special AMF team assigned to them. We learn of Dr. Deverich a scientist who was recruited by the A.M.F. to build a Psionic Transmitter to keep Godzilla away but his project was never successful and he was shut down. We learn Deverich was angry his project was shut down so as revenge he created a Psionic Transmitter that would attract Godzilla which was the one discovered in Vietnam with more monsters appearing it was clear that Deverich was still creating these transmitters and he was now the worlds most wanted man. The remaining A.M.F. forces in Ghana decide to team up and track down the transmitter in Ghana. The A.M.F. spots a power plant on the other side of the city and see that it is the only place in the destroyed city still with power. The A.M.F. pile into a van and drive through the Kaiju infested city. The A.M.F. enter the power plant and find Deverich broadcasting an auction selling his transmitter the A.M.F. burst in and Deverich turns the transmitter on drawing the attention of all the Kaiju towards the power plant. Deverich escapes and when the  building is attacked the ceiling collapses and Schooler is killed. 

We once again jump forward to 1987 in Bombay the A.M.F. is no more those who remain Ota and Kentaro are no longer tasked with fighting Godzilla, now they are just surveillance. Ota says that new departments have taken over the task with fighting Godzilla. While Godzilla is destroying Bombay air planes fly in with a massive metal box the size of a city building and drop it near Godzilla. The box opens up and reveals a Mechagodzilla. Ota steps out of the surveillance fan to get a better look at the fight when he sees Dr. Deverich run by him filled with anger and the need for revenge of Colonel Schooler's death Ota follows him tells Kentaro to alert the authorities. Ota sees Deverich talking to two men in suits that then leave the warehouse where Deverich is, the two men say nothing to Deverich and leave. Ota then enters the warehouse and attacks Deverich, Ota discovers that Deverich has finally perfected his transmitter to transmit the strongest it can. The authorities arrive and arrest Deverich but before anyone can turn off the transmitter massive crystals begin falling from the sky. Space Godzilla has arrived the transmitter is so strong that it is drawing Kaiju from across the space now to Earth. Mechagodzilla is knocked down and crashes after Space Godzilla attacks it. Godzilla and Space Godzilla begin fighting but Space Godzilla is to strong for him a pilot stumbles out of Mechagodzilla, Ota and Kentaro run to aid him. Ota gets in the Mechagodzilla and manages to get it started again. Ota notices that the crystals are giving Space Godzilla it's strength so Ota targets all the crystals and begins destroying them. Space Godzilla then impalas the Mechagodzilla this time officially rendering the machine useless, but before the crystal finished the Mechagodzilla Ota fired off one more shot that destroyed the main crystal giving Space Godzilla energy and Godzilla then finished off Space Godzilla. Ota sided with Godzilla because he did not want a monster on the planet that could be even worse than Godzilla.

Jump forward to the final decade of this story 2002 in Antarctica. Since the battle with Space Godzilla two more even worse Kaiju from space arrived to terrorize earth Gigan and King Ghidorah. Earths last defense is a new Mechagodzilla and a Dimension Tide cannon that has the ability to create a miniature black hole. Ota and Kentaro are now very old men and they just stay on base as consultants for the military. The military comes up with a plan to draw all the monsters to Antarctica and hit them with the Dimension Tide cannon and send them away from earth. Ota does not want the monsters end to come by anyone but him he says he has been with Godzilla from the beginning and no one else will end him but Ota. So Ota and Kentaro knock out the Mechagodzilla pilot and Ota high jacks the new Mechagodzilla to go fight the three monsters. At first Ota is aiding Godzilla and the two fight Gigan and King Ghidorah together until the Dimension Tide cannon fires on them and devourers Gigan and King Ghidorah. The old Ota sees Godzilla walking away from battle and decides that Godzilla is not getting away this time he begins attacking him with the new Mechagodzilla but Godzilla rips Mechagodzilla open and Ota is exposed. Ota takes off his helmet stands up and begins yelling at Godzilla demanding that the monster finally notice him after all his years of following him. Godzilla looks at him and roars Ota then thanks him for seeing him off and sets off the self-destruct on Mechagodzilla and the two are engulfed in a massive explosion smoke clears and all that is left is a crater. Everyone on the military base is celebrating and Kentaro looks at Ota's journal in his hands as a memorial to him. The final thing we see is the spines of Godzilla rise from the water it looks like the explosion did not finish him.

My Thoughts:
The story and concept of this novel is incredible and I think I would translate well into a movie. The art in this book is also wonderful, in my opinion I like the art in the new Godzilla Rulers of Earth series a little more, but this is still a great series. I really think this story is incredible though and really wish they would make a movie out of this the characters are very enjoyable and well written. I absolutely recommend getting this series it is sold as a whole now in a single book and it usually goes for about $14.95 which is a very reasonable price for this 117 page story there are also a few more pages with art on it as well so I will say it is about 120 pages. Definitely pick this one up and enjoy it. More comic reviews to come as I get them!

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