GODZILLA Graphic Novel Review

     May 7, 2014


Legendary’s take on the iconic movie monster Godzilla is due out in a little over a week, but you can get your hands on the film’s prequel story with the new graphic novel, “Godzilla: Awakening.”  Co-written by Max and Greg Borenstein, with artwork from Eric Battle, Yvel Guichet, Alan Quah and Lee Loughridge, and cover art by Arthur Adams, the boldly illustrated novel tells the story of humanity’s first clash with the gigantic monsters dubbed MUTOs in the wake of the Hiroshima bombing.  While it pays homage to the original creation of the title monster, “Godzilla: Awakening” also sets up the Gareth Edwards film by centering on Serizawa, a military scientist who deduces the secret of the MUTOs, and just so happens to be the father of Ken Watanabe’s character, Ichiro Serizawa.  Hit the jump for my review of the Godzilla graphic novel.

godzilla-awakening-graphic-novelLegendary has taken an interesting approach to building their extra-cinematic universes.  In an age when comic books are being optioned for multi-picture deals, the studio is almost reverse engineering the trend by publishing prequel stories in the form of graphic novels.  This is Legendary’s follow-up to their Pacific Rim effort, but unfortunately it seems as if no lessons have been learned from that go round.

While “Godzilla: Awakening” certainly does set up quite a bit of the silly science and language used, presumably, in the feature film, it’s also very dry and expository.  It was seemingly put together as an explanatory manual for just how these creatures can exist and persist, and a “How to” guide for their elimination or proliferation.  If this was done in a more self-aware, tongue-in-cheek sort of way, that would have been an interesting take on a prequel story.  Instead, the writing speeds from one discovery to the next , accompanied by frenzied flurries of panels in which it’s not immediately obvious just what exactly is going on.  It’s an unfortunate rush job that, while filling in the backstory of the film, does so without any emotional grounding or establishing of just what the stakes are.

All that being said, there are a few images and story moments that are memorable.  In particular, my favorite illustration is that of a hibernating Godzilla/Gojira curled up into a ball as illustrations representing the ages of the Earth encircle him, ending in a mushroom cloud that awakens the great beast.  I also appreciate the fact that Watanabe’s character now has an established backstory, even if it’s the equivalent of reading his resume.  I’m not sure how big a role he’ll play in the full film, but now his screentime is just that much richer.

For those of you looking for the next Alan Moore or Frank Miller collector’s item, this isn’t it.  But if you’re just interested in getting your hands on more from the new world of Godzilla, then this is certainly worth a pick-up if only for its informative layout.

Around The Web

Latest News

Our Favorite “AMERICAN” Movies

With “American” in the title, it can’t be bad.

BLACK PANTHER: Ava DuVernay Passes on Directing the Marvel Film

The 'Selma' filmmaker says she and Marvel had different ideas about what a 'Black Panther' movie should be.

High-Res Presentation Reel Reveals the JOHN CARTER that Could Have Been

This actually looks awesome.

BATMAN V SUPERMAN Scenes Include a Rainy Rooftop Battle and Solemn Chats with Alfred

Get ready for some more crash-bang destruction, now with twice the superheroes!

Skydance CEO & COO David Ellison and Dana Goldberg and Director Alan Taylor Talk TERMINATOR GENISYS

The director and producers talk first cut, deleted scenes, what they learned from friends and family screenings, Easter eggs, and more.

Disney’s 9 Most Wicked Animated Villains

Haleigh, Matt, and Dave single out their picks for best Disney Animated villains, ranging from Snow White's Evil Queen to Hercules' sassy ruler of the Underworld.

New ANT-MAN Trailer Disses the Iron Man Armor

Hank Pym believes that a suit designed to make someone shrink down to the size of an ant isn't “cute technology”.

Matt Bomer on MAGIC MIKE XXL, the WHITE COLLAR Ending, Shane Black, and More

The actor discusses his adoration for 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang's Gay Perry, working with Black on 'The Nice Guys', and how 'E.T.' made a strong impression on him as a child.

SELF/LESS: Four Clips & Behind-the-Scenes Footage Reveal the Side Effects of Death

The new 'Self/less' clips finally show off some of Tarsem's signature flair.

New PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES Images Prepare for Proper Slaying

Director Burr Steers says his spin on Austen’s novel won’t be winking at the camera.

Page 1 of 4,02712345...102030...Last »
echo ' '; ?>