The King of Monsters returns with a brand new comic series! How is this Oblivion? Let’s take a look.
Here’s the official description from IDW:
A scientist has created a portal to another dimension-one where monsters rule supreme! A terrifying expedition begins into a world where hope has died and Godzilla is the unrivaled King of the Monsters. But what happens when a baby kaiju hitches a ride back to the original, monster-less dimension?
It’s been quite a while since the final issue of Rulers of Earth. Part of me was worried that IDW would put Godzilla on a comic hiatus until the build up for the next American film. Thankfully, Oblivion was announced. Shockingly, marketing has been rather poor. Hopefully with the release of Issue One the company will start really throwing it out there. Now, just how is this unique concept for a G story executed? It’s definitely an intriguing read. It’s not the best G comic you’ll find, but the concept is done well enough for a return to Issue 2.
Joshua Hale Fialkov is no stranger to the horror and science fiction genre, having written I, Vampire & Dr. Who. He starts out the issue as a story like this is expected to begin: a scientist creating a dimensional portal. We have the cautious guy who made it and the boss whom doesn’t really care about the consequences on the onset. Before we talk about characters, the actual concept is important to discuss. It was an interesting idea to have this set at first in a world where no monsters have existed. Then we’re thrown into this what-if alternate Earth where Godzilla reigns supreme and humanity seems to be in shambles. The idea of the remaining people sort of making a deal with Godzilla is interesting, and hopefully this alternate Earth will be deepened in the coming issues.
The characters aren’t bad, but no one really stands out yet. Yamada is a stereotypical business boss whom cares about profits over dangers. The main character seems to be Talbert, whom again isn’t bad but doesn’t have enough characterization for the reader to care about yet. The actual story progression is solid and keeps the reader invested. When the characters run into Rodan, things get strange, even for a longtime G fan. The art by Brian Churilla ranges from good to extremely mixed. Rodan has some great scenes (including one impressive head shot) but the artist can’t seem to agree on what the actual size of the monster is. (Some scenes he looks big, but others not.) There’s a lack of detail on the human characters to the point where sometimes background characters look like stick figures. Kiryu’s brief scene lacked sufficient detail. Godzilla himself actually doesn’t appear too much, but he looks pretty good in his few panels. Ghidorah doesn’t look terrible, but the funny thing is that the cliffhanger on the next page teases the cover to the next issue, where the Three-Headed Monster is drawn with so much more detail the reader has to ask, “Why aren’t we getting art like that?”
The main cover by Churilla is a great piece. I would say it’s one of the most unique and incredible pieces from any Godzilla comic yet. Rodan perfectly complements the overall picture. This would make for a great poster. James Stokoe of Half Century War fame returns to do the subscription variant. The scene of Godzilla next to Mothra Larvae isn’t anything special, but the detail is very nice. The RI by Agustín Graham Nakamura features a Godzilla headshot in Tokyo. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, but the perspective is great and the actual artwork is expertly detailed.
Overall, GODZILLA: OBLIVION starts out with an interesting first issue. It’s not the greatest G comic and that’s due to average characters and the artwork being more on the mixed side. Still, the concept is executed nicely, makings sure it’s interesting enough to bring back the reader. Whether or not this will be as good as any of the prior mini-series remains to be seen.