The new Godzilla mini-series begins! Does Cataclysm start out impressively? Let’s find out.
Here’s the official description from IDW:
Years have passed since the monster apocalypse nearly destroyed mankind. Now it is merely a distant, nightmarish memory for Hiroshi, an elder in one of the few remaining tribes of humans. Little does Hiroshi know that the apocalypse is not over, and that his memories of the past may yet save the future!
It’s been quite awhile since the previous Godzilla mini-series, the fantastic Half Century War. All of the minis have great reputations. Gangsters and Goliaths, Legends, and HCW are all very good reads. Cataclysm has a somewhat generic concept. In summary: the world 20 years ago was ravaged by kaiju, and there are pockets of humanity left. From the start of the issue you kinda know what the cliffhanger page will be. While not breaking new ground, the first issue is a solid read.
I followed all of Cullen Bunn’s work on Venom, so I was looking forward to his take on Godzilla. He crafts a world ravaged by monsters from years past very well. The narration is compelling and helps make the desolate setting a reality to the reader. The characters introduced are not bad. Not much backstory is given, but that’s okay with this type of setting. In a “cataclysm” the reader wants to see the world around the characters, not that much about their personal backstory. Kamacuras (its first comic appearance) is put to fantastic use. Bunn makes the insect pretty horrific in its brief page time.
Dave Wachter’s art has its pros and cons. It does make the world in which the characters live in look bleak. At the same time, everything just looks a bit bland! The lack of color makes the setting look a bit on the dull side. Nonetheless, the monsters are drawn very nicely. The opening to when the “Age of monsters” happened was quite epic and I look forward to seeing Wachter draw extended battles. He draws the Millennium Godzilla (more technically the 2002/2003 one) with some unexpected character. The main cover by Wachter is a perfect rendition of what’s inside the issue, very nice detail and the bland coloring actually works for it. The subscription variant is an excellent piece by the always amazing Bob Eggleton. The RI by Mehdi Cheggour is definitely the most unique of the bunch; in fact it’s one of the most unique Godzilla comic covers yet. For the first time in awhile an outside comic company did a variant, Hastings. Sadly it’s the most boring of them.
Overall, Cataclysm has a solid start. Not many surprising things happen; it unfolds just as you would expect it to. The concept is quite engaging, it’s just that it has been played with a lot in the past. The characters aren’t bad, and the monsters are pretty exciting to watch. The art is a little bland, or rather the choice of coloring. Still, Cataclysm is a good comic for both old and longtime fans.