Cataclysm comes to a close! Does it end the rather intriguing story well? Let’s take a look.
Here’s the official description from IDW:
As one of Godzilla’s most devastating foes emerges, Hiroshi must come to terms with his role in the Cataclysm. Will his actions be enough to rectify the mistakes of the past?
After putting down this comic, I realized something: the series would have benefited from being a 12 issue story instead of just 5. Unlike Gangsters and Goliaths and Half Century War, Cataclysm offers an expansive mythology and backstory. The problem is that there’s so much exposition that most of everything else leaves much to be desired. The characters Arata and Shiori are given nothing to do and Hiroshi ends up being a melodramatic old man. The monster roles are also a bit confusing. Godzilla who was beating the life out of Mothra last time battles Destoroyah (the latter whose role isn’t quite defined) and then she decides to help G, then Biollante helps him too. In essence, it’s a bit of a confusing mess the narration tries to make sense of. Still, the battle is quite exciting and warrants a purchase.
Cullen Bunn provides a satisfying final fight: the battle between Godzilla and Destoroyah is exciting and climatic. Unfortunately, the characters suffer greatly. Hiroshi is the only one who has gotten development these past issues, but sadly here his constant depressing narration quickly becomes jarring. To be fair, some of it is engaging and poetic. If this had been Issue 12 with a lot of development for him and the other two characters beforehand, it would have worked. Arata and Shiori bring nothing to the table here. Throughout the five comics they’ve been quite un-engaging and this issue didn’t help matters.
Dave Wachter’s art is very good throughout. Destoroyah is drawn nicely and the battle between him and G is choreographed well. The main cover by Wachter depicts Godzilla back-turned about to face an appropriately demonic-looking Destoroyah, quite an excellent piece. The RI by Bob Eggleton is also a fantastic one, showcasing an incredibly drawn face-shot of Destoroyah and one of the greatest depictions of the 2002 Godzilla design.
Overall, Cataclysm ends with an exciting final battle, but the story itself is left unsatisfied. By the end, the reader is wondering…”So what now?” There’s too much exposition crammed into this issue trying to make sense of everything that is happening. The characters are forgetful and besides Hiroshi, none play a vital role here. While Cataclysm is not the best Godzilla mini-series, it’s still definitely worth a read.