In Review: Godzilla: Cataclysm #5

For classic monster smashing and fighting, this is fantastic.

The covers: A pair to pick between for this final issue. The Regular cover is by Dave Wachter and features Godzilla standing in the wreckage of mankind’s long lost cities being stared down by Destoroyah. This is a slick shot of the antagonist surrounded by smoke. The coloring is fantastic, with most everything orange or red, but Godzilla in his traditional green, pulling focus to him. Excellent! The Subscription cover is by Bob Eggleton. This painting has an absolutely ginormous Destoroyah head dwarfing Godzilla. I wanted to see at least a bust shot of the villain and have the character be more equal in size to the hero. This is not working. Overall grades: Regular A+ and Subscription C+

The story: Destoroyah is on the move, making his way through the desolate wastelands the Earth has become. Hiroshi with Arata and Shiori run for cover carrying the fragment of Biollante. The old man doesn’t think they can run fast enough or far enough, still blaming himself for the cataclysm of monsters that have destroyed the world. As if the gigantic creature wasn’t bad enough, it creates an army of juveniles that begin to race after the fleeing humans. This is the last issue of this mini-series written by Cullen Bunn and I should have read all of them. The drama is heavy with Hiroshi’s regrets hounding him with every step. I know I would have felt more of his pain had I been with this series from the start, but his anguish is palpable even to a latecomer like me. There is the expected showdown between Godzilla and Destoroyah and it’s epic. All their abilities are employed as each tries to take the other out. Two other monsters surprisingly enter the fray with each having different results. The death on Page 15 was initially shocking until I saw the second panel. Page 16 was a spectacular twist with a sensational ending. The narration on the final four pages is the perfect coda. Overall grade: A-

The art: Dave Wachter is handing both the art and the coloring wonderfully. I want my Toho terrors to look just like their film counterparts and Wachter excels at this. The opening page establishing the villain and his size to humans is great! The juvenile monsters revealed on Page 4 are photorealistic. When one uses its ability at the bottom of the page it looks awesome. I loved the head turn at the end of 7 which leads to a gorgeous full page splash of Godzilla on 8. If this were a poster it would sell like crazy. When the monsters fight it’s as epic as it should be. I love the wake behind Destoroyah when he takes flight on 10. Godzilla’s atomic breath is terrific! My favorite page of the book is 16 where the visuals establish some sensational motion and the colors radiate power, especially in the fourth and fifth panel. The sound effects are colored in spectacular style, with each creature getting its own unique color for its roars. Wachter is an exceptional artist. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Godzilla guru Chris Mowry is this issue’s letterer and he’s giving his all: dialogue and narration (the same font), sounds, screams, and fantastic monster roars. My favorite has got to be the build up in the fourth panel on Page 16–Flippin’ fantastic! Overall grade: A+

The final line: This misses a perfect score because I didn’t read the previous issues and am lacking the backstory on the human drama. For classic monster smashing and fighting, this is fantastic. Overall grade: A

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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