Category Archives: Godzilla

Godzilla in Hell: Review and Analysis

There are few things in life that equal the ridiculous concept of Godzilla in Hell. Yet, this concept is the foundation of a wonderful comic miniseries that tells the story of Godzilla as he traverses through the different circles of Hell. When I first heard about this series I immediately was intrigued and wanted to learn everything I could about this comic book series.   When Christmas came, I finally got the chance to get the complete volume as published by IDW. And the result? I love it. It wasn’t what I expected and that’s what makes it good. Godzilla in Hell’s risky departure from the normal, Monster-of-the-Week formula, makes this series a must read for fans of the Big G.

Image from issue 1. Art done by James Stokoe.

Unfortunately, those looking for a straight-forward narration similar to Godzilla and the Fifty Year War (done by James Stokoe who also penned the first issue in Godzilla in Hell) will be disappointed as narration is kept to a minimum, if at all, and some issues have many pages completely devoid of dialogue. As such, the reader shoulders a great deal of interpretation that would otherwise be spoon fed to him. This lack of exposition makes the series strong as I feel a word-by-word explanation of Hell would only detract from the experience and not enhance the other worldly feel of this abysmal world.

Each issue is also done by a different artist and as such we see radical shifts in styles throughout the series.   The aforementioned lack of dialogue means the artists are given almost free reign over the pages without worrying too much about spacing problems. Whole pages are dedicated to scenery and battles and it’s amazing. Stokoe’s Godzilla still looks good as usual but I have to give a hand to Eggleton’s Godzilla as his issue is entirely painted and he makes a damn fine looking Godzilla.

Image from Issue 2. Art done by Bob Eggleton.

The multitude of artists leads to the most interesting thing about Godzilla in Hell and that’s the self-contained stories in each issue. Rather than one continuous arc, the miniseries is comprised of many tales that you could easily interpret as stand alone rather than interlocking. It strikes me as the old epics in literature like the Odyssey; here is another tale of Godzilla and his never-ending journey through Hell. This further lends fuel to the reader’s interpretation fire and allows us to enjoy Godzilla in Hell in a variety of ways.

With only five issues, I can’t help but analyze each of them and try to understand what the artist was trying to convey to the reader and what it means overall. In issue one, we are given a snapshot of Godzilla’s initial fall to Hell. The silence of the fall and the impact lends to the eeriness of the setting. Philip Glass’ opus Koyanassqui plays in the background in my head as I watch the King of Monsters recover and set forth. After Godzilla blows up Hell’s famous entrance sign, he encounters an avalanche of naked people who swarm him like an immense tidal wave. Are these the souls of the damned? Or souls whom Godzilla has killed in the living world? I think it’s the latter as they form a splitting image of Godzilla himself before transforming into a demonic-being that is a cross between Godzilla and Biollante. In a way, this weird monster reminds me of Shin Godzilla and how the collective power of Humanity was able to stop him and not some giant monster. Unfortunately, for this monster, Godzilla destroyed it with one mighty blast and moved forward on his journey.

The return of Rodan, Ghidorah, Anguirus, and Varan highlights the painted issue two. Demons now posses Rodan and Anguirus who now reside in Hell for eternity. Eggleton cleverly references their origin stories as Rodan first appearance was from a volcano while Anguirus’ was trapped in ice. Since Godzilla did not kill either of them (or Varan) I would wager he recognized them and did not want to kills their incarnations

image provided by snappow.com

image provided by snappow.com.  From Issue 3, art done by Buster Moody.

Issue three reveals how Godzilla fell to Hell in the first place and it’s probably the most fascinating chapter of the five although the other chapters give it a run for its money. I had to read the chapter twice before I realized that Godzilla actually went to Heaven first before he rejected it and was sent to Hell in response. In fact, it took me awhile to realize that the angel’s wings were similar to Mothra’s! In Godzilla lore, this makes a lot of sense considering Mothra is basically the Earth’s Guardian.

There’s a quote from the epic poem “Paradise Lost” that I’m sure issue three parodies which goes “Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.” Unlike virtually all mortal beings, Godzilla has the power to reject Heaven and in response, Heaven sends Godzilla down to Hell. Yet after he defeats Space Godzilla, he rejects ruling Hell as well. As such, Godzilla takes a third, unscripted option that stuns the denizens of both worlds. Better to live on Earth.

I just love these issues as they are all so different in style and tone. Wonderful as they are, issue four stands above the rest as Godzilla finally meets his match through his arch nemeses King Ghidorah and Destroyah in a Hellish version of Tokyo. As much as I love the previous issue, Godzilla never faced a total sense of doom, depression, hopelessness and torment. Sure, he may have had problems with the Lust monster or Space Godzilla, but he prevailed nonetheless in relatively short battles. Issue four changes that and gives us scenes of constant battle. Scenes of Godzilla fighting and killing Ghidorah and Destroyah again and again. Scenes of Godzilla killed again and again. And scenes of Godzilla trying to break through the wall in vain again and again. We have seen Godzilla in Hell but never Godzilla in his own Hell.

Godzilla is truly a force to be reckon with but to finally find something that stops him is unbelievable. I would argue that this issue, and not issue five, truly tests Godzilla’s spirit. With no narration, we are unsure how long Godzilla has suffered. Months? Years? Godzilla’s eternal damnation may be similar to Dante’s version of Hell where the passing of time is inconsequential; it’s happening for now and forever. As such, I can’t help but applaud Godzilla’s escape; he broke through eternity. And as Godzilla leaves his Hell, Destroyah and Ghidorah, mere tools of his damnation, slowly disappear along with the faux-city of Tokyo.

Image from Issue 5.  Art by Dave Wachter

Image from Issue 5. Art by Dave Wachter

In the final issue, Godzilla has to climb an incomprehensibly steep and tall mountain where he can finally escape Hell. Out of all the issues, this one is the hardest to interpret. Why does Godzilla’s atomic breath fail? What is the giant monster on top of the gate? Why do the winged demons reform into Godzilla after eating him (and why do they all now have eyeballs) and why can they now release a full atomic blast? Although I can’t answer all of these questions, what I can suggest is that Godzilla’s indomitable spirit and will to succeed has brought him back from the dead and made him stronger.

Questions aside, this is a gorgeous looking issue. I love the lighting effects and the predominance of black and red. I feel like issue five’s Hell is like an abyss, devoid of light but not devoid of action. The lightning in the clouds was done rather well and the formidable mountain looked foreboding. This contrasts amazingly well with the last panel of Godzilla escaping Hell and he’s released onto the surface of the Earth, breaking through the ocean and taking his first breath of freedom. Godzilla never looked so content.

Overall, Godzilla in Hell is a great comic and I recommend all Godzilla fans to read it. It’s a different take for the King of All Monsters and it works well. Check it out.

Advertisements

Would You Like to Know More? 1.01-Godzilla

 

First episode of Would You Like to Know More?  where my guests and I talk about Godzilla!

In this episode we will discuss how we got into Godzilla, our favorite monsters, our favorite fights, and more!  We will also talk about the most recent Godzilla movie (2014) and whether or not it is a true Godzilla film.  Finally, we will recommend three Godzilla films for fans who are interested in getting into Godzilla.

This weeks guests are Hannah Holloway (http://heholloway.com/ and https://twitter.com/HannahCarbons ), Alex Alcanter (http://virus-91.deviantart.com/), and Samuel Lamb.

SPOILERS: for Godzilla (2014) and other Godzilla films mainly Godzilla (1954), Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, and Godzilla 2000.

Some swearing used in this week’s episode.

Thoughts and Review of Godzilla 2014 by a Godzilla Fanatic (Spoilers)

This movie has garnered negative and positive reviews from both fans and critics alike and I can certainly understand why there is a clear divide.  I want to address some of the fans criticisms but first here are my basic thoughts.

I like this movie, I really do.  It’s not a great movie and it’s not the best Godzilla movie either but it’s still pretty good.  Monsters fight, buildings crumble and people fled in terror, that was all I was looking for and by Godzilla I got it!  Everything in between was not that good but the stuff that worked, REALLY worked!

The two MUTOs were cool and atypical in appearance compared to your average Godzilla villain.  I liked the concept of having a small, flying male and a large, earth-stomping female.  It’s not often that Godzilla fights two villains at once and as such, this was a real treat to watch.  Also, the MUTOs’, and by extension Godzilla’s, backstory I thought was perfect.  All Godzilla films have these crazy scientific theories that have NO basis in logic whatsoever and this was no exception.  Large monsters used to live on the surface and then burrowed underground to feed on the radiation there.  Perfect!  That’s all I need!  An explanation where the monsters come from and why they are appearing now, love it.

BTW, I thought it was cute that the male and female MUTOs did a little nuzzling when they first met each other.

The fights were good but I wish I could have seen more of them especially the first one.  Seeing the first fight should have been a priority since we are seeing Godzila in action for the very first time.  Even though it would have been just a smackdown, I would have still loved to have witnessed it.  That said, the final fight was amazing with a series of battles that build upon each other to a climatic finish.

I remember distinctly near the end of the movie that this Godzilla hadn’t done his atomic breath yet and I was worried that wasn’t going to happen.  But wait!  His tail spines were glowing!  I leaned forward in anticipation, making excited noises much to the chagrin of my fellow movie watchers.  And then…BLLLLLLAAARRGGGH!  The atomic breath came and I was like “Yeah! Alright!”  I was thrilled when that happened and right there I knew that this was Godzilla, no doubt.

But the best part had yet to come, when Godzilla fought the female MUTO for the last time. The two titans struggled and I was giddy with excitement.  I asked myself how were they going to end this fight.  And then, Godzilla grabbed MUTO’s jaws with both of his hands and I was like:

Reaction

I gave a grunt of excitement and thought Godzilla was going to rip MUTO’s jaws in half similar to what he did to Anguirus or what King Kong did to the T-Rex.  But something even better happened.  His dorsal spines glowed with power and he released a might atomic breath into the monster’s throat.  I was then like:

Super Saiyan reaction

I screamed with excitement and I was the only member in the rather stiff audience that was whooping and hollering.  I wanted him to take the now disembodied head and throw it to the ground like an adrenaline-filled football player throwing his pigskin to the ground after a fantastic touchdown.

Godzilla was also great, he definitely reminded me of Godzilla 2000’s Godzilla.  He was a neutral force that did whatever he wanted.  That is definitely my favorite rendition of Godzilla and I’m very happy the film went for this choice.  He’s fighting cause he wants to fight and if people or buildings get in his way then so be it!  He also had personality and I really felt for the guy when things got tough for him.  Also, for those who’s saying this Godzilla is fat..um…he’s always been fat, look at his thighs and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Now, let me focus on the criticisms that many people had for this movie.  Mainly: the characters were flat, we don’t see much of Godzilla, and for the few critical die-hard fans, this was not Godzilla.

Characters were flat: For over a year, I have been watching Godzilla films that I have never seen before or haven’t seen for a long time.  As such, I have a pretty good understanding of some of the most popular tropes in these films.  One of the most used tropes is flat characters.  This is pretty standard in a Godzilla film.  Godzilla 2000, Godzilla: Final Wars, and Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah are some of the rare exceptions to this.  Those characters were fun and memorable.  Everywhere else though I’m like, eh, whatever, don’t care.

This wouldn’t be a problem for the film except that we got Bryan Fucking Cranston in it.  He plays his role so damn well that I forgot he was Walter White and an actual character in a Godzilla film.  I felt for him, I moved for him, I wanted him to succeed….and then he died!  I was shocked that he died and was sure for a minute or so he would revive due to some radiation pulse or whatever.  But nope!  He straight up died!  The rug was really pulled underneath me when that happened.  Which meant we were stuck with his son, Sargent Boring.  Now this was a character I did not care about!  He nor his family!  But he had a purpose and he served his purpose well.  I was hoping he would die but alas, that was not the case.  The good news is that hopefully, if we’re following traditional Godzilla films, he won’t be in the sequel.  Fingers crossed!

Though I did like the Asian scientist Dr. Slackjaw (his expression throughout the whole film) and his assistant Dr. Concern.  I wanted to know more about them, what’s their story??  I hope they make a return as they can keep on spewing the crazy scientific theory stuff that makes Godzilla films great.

Godzilla does not appear often: This I sort of agreed with but at the same time, many of the films in the franchise also follow this formula.  Less is more.  At the same time though, I did wish we could have seen more of the big guy, particularly wider shots of him instead of close ups.  Godzilla 2000, also a reboot, saw Godzilla a lot, hell, we even saw him near the beginning and I’m not talking just his spines or whatever, the whole thing.  This could have been changed if we had at least saw more of the first fight.

Godzilla 2014 was not made by Toho and is not portrayed in a giant rubber suit: This is probably the most stupid complaint to me.  Just because Godzilla is not portrayed in costume or his film was not made by Toho doesn’t mean he is not Godzilla.  He’s big, he’s reptilian, and he has an atomic breath, boom, that’s Godzilla.  Take Batman for example, he has had many incarnations during the 75 years he has been on Earth; some were campy, some were serious, some were down-to-earth, some were not, but all shared the basic understanding of who Batman was.  Godzilla is the same way, he has had many forms in the Toho films, he has been represented in comics, video games, tv series, and so forth.  They were all Godzilla.  And Godzilla 2014 is without a doubt Godzilla and a good one at that too.

 

Well, this review has gone on long enough so I’m going to wrap it up.

Pros: Godzilla, the MUTOS, the 3rd fight, Bryan Cranston
Cons: Sargent Boring and his family, only glimpses of the first fight, Godzilla theme was not in this movie
Final Godzilla Rating: 4/5.  Go see this movie in theaters while you still can even if you’re not a Godzilla fan, it’s well worth your time.   The bland characters bring the film down a few notches but this is made up with everything else the film has to offer.  Here’s hoping King Ghidorah will be in the next film!!

Also, in the future, I’ll write an article comparing all the Godzilla reboots together (i.e. Godzilla 1985, Godzilla 2000, and Godzilla 2014).  What they got right and wrong and how they affected the franchise.

Godzilla Week: Destroy All Monsters Melee

Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee was released in 2002 and can be played on the Gamecube and Xbox.  You can play as Godzilla along with a host of other Toho monsters.  This is an alright game that would be great if it didn’t suffer from a few key issues.

The roster is disappointingly small with only 11 playable characters with most of these being locked at the beginning of the game including Rodan.  Really?  Rodan???  One of the original monsters is a locked character?  That aside, though the roster is small, at least they hit all the important monsters including Ghidorah, Anguirus, and Gigan.  I would have liked to see Titanosaurus, Spacegodzilla, and King Caesar included in the roster as well.  That would really make this game more dynamic.  Other one-off monsters such as Orga, Destroyah, and Megalon were included so there’s no good excuse why these monsters weren’t included as well.

roster

To the game’s credit though, the characters are diverse and really play to the uniqueness of that monster.  Gigan’s stomach buzzsaw, Godzilla’s atomic breath, and Mechagodzilla and Mechaghidorah’s weapons all give the monster their own style of fighting.  Megalon, however, is a cheap character as you can dig underground and avoid being attacked from the opponent; then you could then pop out, grab the opponent, throw him, and repeat the process.

Unlocking these characters is a drag, especially if you are new to fighting games.  You have to do it via Adventure Mode where you fight a series of monsters and then battle Mechagodzilla as the final boss.  The infuriating thing about this is that battling the monsters is easy but once you get to MechaG then the difficulty is ramped up.  Tanks and airplanes are firing at you constantly and MechaG attacks relentlessly.  I have to throw buildings at him and fire from a distance if I have a shred of hope in defeating him.

A big issue for this game is the camera angle.  Being a 3D fighting game, the camera has to swivel constantly in order to compensate the monsters’ movement.  As such, if I’m trying to get to a power-up, the camera angle can change and I’ll have no clue where it is and I inadvertently miss it while my opponent snatches it up.  This has happened many times and is quite frustrating.

The controls are responsive and the combos are easy to do but the game’s pacing is sluggish.  Attacks take their time and the monsters lumber along at a slow pace.  If this game was maybe 30% faster, it would be a fun and intense brawler.

megalon

Two big pluses are the cities and the team battles.  You can throw buildings, kick cars, crumble skyscrapers and just annihilate cities.  As such, stages like Monster Island aren’t that fun but others like North Seattle are a blast.  It really hammers in the point that this is a Godzilla game and that you’re supposed to destroy shit and have fun.  The team battles are great as you can do classic line ups like Godzilla and Anguirus vs. Gigan and Ghidorah.

I haven’t played the other Godzilla games, but from what I heard, those were baaaaaad.  I might give them a shot one day but I’m not in any rush.  This game can satisfy any Godzilla needs I have though only just.  Only to Godzilla fans could I recommend this game and even then that may be pushing it.

Godzilla Week: Minireviews-Biollante, 2000, and Mechagodzilla 1

For the past year, I have been watching Godzilla films that I haven’t seen for over 10 years or for the first time.  Here are three of them that I haven’t seen for awhile and my rating of them based on a Godzilla Scale.

 Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

I have not seen this film for more than 10 years. I wish I could say it was as good now as it was then but unfortunately, it has not hold up well for my adult mind.

I have to wonder how my ADHD infected kid brain was able to sit through most of the film though I now believe I just fast forward through most of it just so I could watch the fight scenes. Most of the story is pretty dull and slow. Some of the scenes could have been flatly cut out.

King Caesar, though he has a great theme, was so hyped up throughout most of the film that it was such a downer when his ass was handed to him by MechaG. However, for a man in a monster suit, he was certainly nimble compared to the average kaiju.

MechaG is always a good foil for Godzilla and he served a good match for him. Having his head ripped off by the Big G was great.

The score is so 70’s cheesy that the film suffers when you have the actual Godzilla theme played with the score.

Pros: MechaG, King Caeasar’s Song, the final fight. SPACETITANIUM?!?
Cons: Slooooooooooooooooooooooow and borrrrrring plot. King Caesar was a let down. Anguirus was nothing more than a punching bag and that made me sad.

Final Rating: 2/5. An okay Godzilla film, though the second Godzilla vs. MechaG I think is a better film. Great songs though.

 godzilla_vs_biollante_poster

Godzilla vs. Biollante

Godzilla vs. Biollante is perhaps one of the more untraditional Godzilla films, particularly for the Hessai Era. For one thing, we see a rather unique monster that was never seen before nor ever seen again in the film franchise. For another, the film harks back to the original idea of Godzilla, mainly, human’s tampering of science can be catastrophic (surprisingly this concept is rarely done in the Godzilla films). Finally, the film’s pacing is also rather unique.

Even so, the film introduced two main concepts that has been repeated many times in the following films. One-a monster who’s DNA was partially made or originated from Godzilla and Two: humans with ESP.

But the film itself has its ups and downs. The special effects of this film are GREAT. This is very typical for films of this era but this movie definitely excels at it. Godzilla’s face has expression and can blink, snarl, look, and etc. which gives him life. The models and explosions for this film are also top notch, great attention to detail gives this film, like Godzilla’s face, life and believability.

However, the movie is slow, and the monster fights are rare, not very long and are somewhat one-sided. My guess for why there are few fights is that their budget was rather limited so they couldn’t spend a whole lot on the fights which is a shame. The moral at the end of the story treats us like we’re idiots and not as intelligent beings. I also don’t care for the characters (except the Corporal) and especially for the scientist who created Biollante. The scientist shows no remorse when creating Biollante and he even seemed thrilled in the idea of this monster. This would actually be a plus for the character if he wasn’t so one-dimensional.

The monster itself, Biollante, is like the film in that it has ups and downs. On the one hand, it’s great they came up with an original idea for a monster, but on the other hand, really? A plant? Plant complaints aside, the monster is very well done. In this modern era, Biollante would have DEFINITELY been in CG but not here. Here, she has so many different parts moving and interacting with its environment. She’s alive and menacing and not stiff or nonthreatening. A big departure from an obvious guy in a monster suit.

Pros: Rad 80s Godzilla theme (and the music in general), special effects, original plot, Erica’s face suddenly appearing as Biollante dies, Biollante.
Cons: Fights are few and far between and are boring, the unsympathetic characters, the moral, Biollante.

Final Rating: 3/5. Go see it for a different Godzilla film and for great effects but only if you feel like it, there are other Godzilla films of the same era that are much better.

g20001

Godzilla Review: Godzilla 2000

The last time I saw Godzilla 2000 was in theatres where it was released internationally in (not surprisingly) 2000. Seeing it when I was ten years old left an impact on me because seeing the big guy on the screen was pretty cool to say the least.

Now, seeing it again almost 14 years later, I have to say that the film stands pretty tall. If you are looking for a good, modern, typical Godzilla film, this is it. It does the job well and it leaves you satisfied.
There are several things in this film that, when combined together, leaves a satisfying Godzilla experience.

For one thing, I liked the humans in this film! They were original, had different personalities, and I genuinely cared for them. I liked the interactions between the two scientists as they were like a couple of kids playing with their new toys. Granted, they didn’t do much to affect the plot of this film but that can be overlooked.

The dubbing in this film works to its advantage. Being deliberately corny gave the film a needed tongue-in-cheek manner. As such, the moral of the film seems in place rather than awkwardly inserted as in Godzilla vs. Biollante.

What’s also different about this film compared to other films is that Godzilla is treated as a natural disaster that strikes every now and then. The people of Japan by now are used to him but not tolerate him. I thought that was interesting especially since this was a reboot for the Godzilla series.

I also liked this film’s Godzilla. He wasn’t good, evil, anti-good, or anti-villain. He was plane neutral with some personality quirks. If you got in his way, he’ll blow you up! Simple as that. This can be seen in his battle against the antagonist as you can see him think through the battle. And when that doesn’t work he’ll just jump right in it without thinking and see what happens (literally)!  Also, is design is very well done, one of the best in the series IMO.  The only Godzilla model I have is based off of the 2000 version.

Finally, the music is top notch, best in the series so far. The best scene in the movie is Godzilla walking slowly through the city, ready to take down the big bad, all the while the music slowly builds to a climax. It’s the same Godzilla theme that we all know and love, but the slight tweaks to it makes it perfect and thoroughly enjoyable. Cut to minute 1:07 at the link and you’ll know what I’m talking about. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXq6kIqODuU

Pros: Overall good, typical, Godzilla film that hits all the right notes.  Best ending quote ever in a Godzilla film.
Cons: Nothing extraordinary pushes it to a great Godzilla film.
Final Rating: 4.5/5

“But then why? Why does [Godzilla] keep protecting us?”
“Maybe because…Godzilla is inside each one of us.”

Godzilla Week: The Half-Century War by James Stokoe

Godzilla: The Half-Century War by James Stokoe is a short but stellar comic book series that does the big G justice.  The plot focuses on soldier-turned-“glorified weather watcher” Ota Murakami who documents his run ins with Godzilla since his first attack on Japan in 1954.  As his Godzilla obsession takes control of his life, Ota tries desperately to stop the King while simultaneously thwart Dr. Deverich from destroying mankind with his monster attraction device.

Great read; here are some of my favorite points (warning, some spoilers)

The art is appealing to look at.  James Stokoe enthralls you with his art which is both clean and sharp.  The setting is bathed in an eternal sunset of colors which compliments the dour nature of the comic.  The only bright moments seem to come from Godzilla’s radioactive breath and his glowing dorsal spines.  Also, Godzilla and his monsters look good which is always a bonus.

half century

The nods to the films are appreciated.  Stokoe respects the franchise and references many different things from them without having them seem out of place.  The weapons are one of them; from masers to black hole guns, whatever the Anti-Megalosaurus Force technology division came up with, it more than likely appeared in the films.  These references give the story familiarity without it losing originality.

Mechagodzilla’s design change as the series progressed.  This is one of my favorites.  Mechagodzilla first appeared in Ota’s story in the 1980s and was based off of the MechaGodzilla from the Heisei Era of films.  It then appeared again in 2002 (the same year that Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla came out) and it received an upgrade that was based off of the Millennium Series.  The characters even talk about how bits of the original Godzilla were in the new Mechagodzilla, something that GAM also did.

Japan does not get a royal beating.  Japan gets attacked in the first issue but after that, Ota and Godzilla go global by “visiting” places like Vietnam, India, Ghana, and even Antarctica.  I like, it really drives the point that this is a global catastrophe.  Japan shouldn’t be a magnet of monster attacks, all the other nations should get a beating as well.

amf force

The specialized A.M.F. forces are amusing.  This is also one of my favorites.  When other monsters start popping up, the A.M.F. responded by making specialized forces for each of the monsters.  We only get to see these forces in one issue but they speak volumes.  I like it how the Mothra force are hippies who drive a van that has a psychedelic Mothra painted on it.  I also laughed at the Hedorah forces.  Poor guys, they look like they seen hell.  One of them wears a protective suit while the other one looks like he’s five minutes from meeting his grave.  I want to see adventures with these guys!

Godzilla’s bemused reaction.  I didn’t know it was possible to give Godzilla a facial expression but by God did Stokoe do it.    The look on Godzilla’s face when he realized his atomic breath didn’t work was funny without it being silly.  I like it.

In this end, this is a great series for you to read even if you’re not a Godzilla fan.  There are only five issues so you can easily get through it in a lunch break.  I haven’t read any other Godzilla comics but I doubt they can meet my expectations on a good Godzilla comic after Stokoe had set it so high.  Give it a shot.

Godzilla Week: Kid Memories

Of childhood icons that inspire both fear and awe, none can do it best than Godzilla.

He is the embodiment of destruction, the personification of nuclear warfare, the paragon of antiheros, the King of the Monsters.  He is one of my favorite icons ever and this week, I’ll be celebrating the King with five articles covering him from movies to comics.  I hope you’ll enjoy them as they were fun to write.

————-

As a child, my love for Godzilla knew no bounds.  I religiously watched his movies, I pretended I was him, and I worshiped him.

My first memory of him came when I was four, when I was at a friend’s house and was playing with his Godzilla toys.  They roared when you pressed the button on their bellies.  At the time, I didn’t know what these monsters were, but at such a young age, I found them frightful.

Unfortunately, I can’t remember what the first Godzilla film I watched was.  The first memory I recall was when I borrowed Godzilla’s Revenge (debated to be one of the worst Godzilla films) from a friend’s house and watched it again and again.  However, by then I was well into being a Godzilla fan and I loved watching his films.

Oh God why

Oh God why

The best part about being a kid was that you didn’t care about plot continuity in the films even if it mattered (which was rare).  Ghidora may be dead in the end of one film but then he’s back in the other and I wouldn’t question it at all.

TNT showed a lot of Godzilla films.  I remember staying up late and hiding in the basement with the blanket over the TV to prevent it from disturbing my family members.  I would sit two feet away from the pulsing screen and watch the Godzilla films intensely.  They would usually show the classics from the 1960s.  AMC also showed a lot of Godzilla films during October but that gradually died off as the channel moved away from their classic movie lineup and more into modern shows.

Mystery Science Theatre 3000 also did Godzilla vs. Megalon and I remember watching that one a lot as well for it was a winning combination of MST3K AND Godzilla.  You can’t go wrong there. “He’s got a tree! That’s not the Godzilla we know!”

kingkongvsgodzillatree1962

BLARAAAAAGAAGGHH

Unlike nowadays, the Godzilla franchise was surprisingly good at releasing Godzilla films on VHS to the U.S.  And being a kid that grew up in the 90’s, I got to see the just released films that were all the rage in Japan.  The Heisei Era of Godzilla films was definitely a great time to be a Godzilla fan, ESPECIALLY a Godzilla kid fan.  Return of Godzilla, Biollante, King Ghidorah, Mothra, MechaGodzilla, SpaceGodzilla, and Destoryah.  Most of these films can be considered some of the best of in the entire series.  The two that stood out to me the most though were definitely Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah and Godzilla vs. Destoryah (more on those films and my reaction to them later).

Some films though were just out of my reach for viewing, my town once did a special Godzilla exhibit to celebrate a Godzilla Anniversary.  In it, I saw the pictures from the fabled Destroy All Monsters film, a film that I had never heard before but instantly I wanted to see it and its glorious monster rumble.  This was a time when the internet was still young so I didn’t know what other Godzilla films were out there.  Alas, many of these films I never got to see until I was an adult.

I remember when I was six or seven I had a Godzilla kid’s book that I would read abundantly.  It was about Godzilla and his pals on Monster Island where they found an egg that later hatched into Mothra.  Good stuff.

Taken from "Who's Afraid of Godzilla?"

Taken from “Who’s Afraid of Godzilla?” originally scanned by http://rippledragon.tumblr.com/

My friends were also Godzilla fans as well.  When we saw Godzilla vs. King Kong, there was a heated debate on who won the fight.   I, rightly so, declared that Godzilla won it, my friend, however, declared King Kong was the actual winner.  Either way, watching Godzilla films with your friends definitely enhances the experience.

Speaking of which, I only went to two Godzilla films in theaters when I was young, both of which were with my friend.  The first was Godzilla 2000, and let me tell you something, that was amazing.  Seeing the big guy on the screen really was a special treat.  The second film was special though.  My local theater did a Godzilla Anniversary and showed the first Godzilla film in its original dub.  I had reached the right age, about nine or so, to appreciate that film.  It was intense, moving, and special.  You can debate which Godzilla films are the best in the franchise but the best, hands down, was the first one.   A film that’s not only a good Godzilla film but a great cinematic film in general.   It was so potent that it spawned not only its own franchise but the kaiju genre as well.  And man, I was glad to see it on the big screen.

Stay tuned for more Godzilla articles!