- Paperback: 324 pages
- Publisher: IDW Publishing (1 May 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1613779488
- ISBN-13: 978-1613779484
- Product Dimensions: 2 x 16.8 x 25.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 792,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Godzilla: History's Greatest Monster Paperback – 1 May 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
I never realised just how much fun big giant monster comics were until I discovered this Godzilla series in my local library. Two volumes in two days and I am hooked! This particular volume reads like one of those modern action-hero films - but with better characters and dialogue, so if you are a fan of those films, or big giant monster stories, or the Garth Ennis style of violent adventure comic books, then this Godzilla is for you.
The opening section of the story (Godzilla Volume 1 (Swierczynski)) is fairly simple: big giant monsters are stirring all over the world (I don't know if there is implied continuity with previous Godzilla stories/films/comics) and a small bunch of action-hero type characters, who all have suffered loss at the hands/paws/claws/wings/etc. of the beasties are brought together to use their particular skills to defeat and kill or capture the monsters (for a suitably ginormous amount of money). We have the explosives expert, the big guy with the big guns, the driver, and the female scientist who has invented the only moderately annoying weapons that work on the big giant monsters.
I am not actually convinced that some of their explosions would really work on these imaginary monsters, but I was willing to suspend my disbelief because the fast-pace of the story was sweeping me along.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
First of all, the characters are largely uninteresting. We follow a group of bounty hunters as they attempt to take down Godzilla's massive friends and foes for billions of dollars. Illegally, I might add. This sounds like a fun idea on paper, but let's get down to the actual people themselves: The protagonist is a man named Boxer, who loses two young children to Godzilla and wants revenge and has a ex-wife as part of his team. That's it. You don't get any further development for this character's motivations or backstory. He's just there to give the readers a human character to follow while remaining close to the monster action. His ex is simply a tough female character and there's also an explosives expert who has a somewhat interesting backstory and demise, but lacks an real personality. For the most part, the story is narrated by a mute character that's also part of the bounty hunting team. Again, this idea had a lot of potential for a cool narrative device, but the comic fails to do anything clever or engaging with it.
I also find the art style unappealing. I know it's supposed to be some sort of style, with the somewhat cartoony character designs, jagged corners, and minimalistic details, but I don't think it works for a Godzilla comic. In my opinion, a Godzilla comic should have art that truly conveys the sense of scale and weight to the monsters. It doesn't even compliment the tone of the story. At times, I can't tell if it wants to be an adult take on Godzilla or a simple cartoon. There's use of occasional swearing censored by the typical "#$%*!" and there are moments of minor bloodshed, including a panel where a man violently pulls out his own tooth. On the other hand, when you see the goofy eyes of Anguirus or Hedorah, it reminds you that you're still in the middle of a Godzilla story and it takes you out of the gritty and serious world that it takes place in.
Does this book have any positives? A few, actually. The story actually gets pretty good once the alien monsters land on Earth and lay havoc on major cities. At this point in the comic, it doesn't try to shove failed character development down the readers' throats. It's just simple, exhilarating, apocalyptic Godzilla fun with the monsters taking the front stage. The monster selection is also pretty decent. In addition to Godzilla; Rodan, Mothra, Kumonga, Titanosaurus, Anguirus, Battar, Kiryu, Gigan, Spacegodzilla, Hedorah, and (in my opinion, the underrated) Monster X get a lot of love here. No monster is wasted on a glorified cameo or anything. Textless versions of the original comic book covers are also included, some of which are downright phenomenal.
Overall, this comic book leaves a lot to be desired. If you ask me, the main flaw with this comic is that it overshoots the mark by focusing human characters in a realistic world. This sounds like a good idea, but a lack of character development and a confused tone keep it from being a decent Godzilla story. If you're looking for better Godzilla comics from IDW, look no further than the mini-series (Half Century War being the best) and the currently ongoing Godzilla: Rulers of Earth series.
Godzilla Volume 1 (Swierczynski)
Godzilla Volume 2
Godzilla Volume 3
Lots of destruction, a fair amount of monsters, and a crazy special forces guy on a vendetta to kill Godzilla whatever means necessary. What's not to like?
Okay, so it’s not really Jason Statham, but it might as well be. Boxer/Statham is an ex-special forces tough guy with a grudge against Godzilla. Along with his team of ultimate badasses (which are a more unique bunch than you’d expect), Boxer travels the globe taking down kaiju for cash, but Godzilla is the one beast he just cannot defeat. When malevolent alien kaiju invade the earth, Boxer realizes that maybe he’s been fighting on the wrong side all along.
'History’s Greatest Monster' is a collection of IDW’s ongoing Godzilla line (when it was originally published issue by issue, I believe the title was simply 'Godzilla'). 'History’s Greatest Monster' follows the first chapter of the ongoing series 'Kingdom of Monsters' (though I don’t think you need to read that one to follow this) and precedes the (final?) part of the ongoing Godzilla series, 'Rulers of Earth.' All the chapters of the ongoing series have their own specific tone thanks to different writers and authors. I never liked 'Kingdom of Monsters'. 'History’s Greatest Monster' is a big step up, giving us strong central characters, lots of action, and a big storyline that flows really well from issue to issue.
The art by Simon Gane is interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever read a comic with art that I could compare to Gane’s. I wasn’t immediately a fan, but I grew to like the art very much. There’s one issue in the collection where we get art from Dave Wachter instead. You could say that Wachter’s art is ‘cleaner’ but by having that one issue with a different style it kind of messes with the visual look of the collection. All in all, though, the comic’s visual presentation is really interesting.
I had a lot of fun with this one. Actually I think it ranks much better than its reputation suggests. 'History’s Greatest Monster' succeeds because it manages to feel like a epic Godzilla film in comic book form. For a fan, there’s a lot to like.