**SPOILER WARNING!! Do not read any further if you want to avoid spoilers!**
IDW’s Godzilla History’s Greatest Monster is a collection covering 13 issues. My son has always been a huge Godzilla fan and I decided to give this a read recently after having owned it for about a year.
The cover of Godzilla History’s Greatest Monster by Bob Eggleton is colorful and beautiful. It looks like a serious work of art. The writer is Duane Swierczynski and the artist is Simon Gane.
The story begins with Urv losing his husband at their wedding when they are randomly attacked by Kumonga in Mexico. Boxer, the main character of the story, is working as a bodyguard for a teenage girl who dies after being shot by a gun toting anti-government group of men while they attempt to shoot up Godzilla.
Boxer blames Godzilla for the teenager’s death. Godzilla seems to follow Boxer around leaving the death of Boxer’s daughter and other children in the large creature’s wake. Boxer wants blood from the big lizard and calls on Urv, Claire, and Harrison to form a group to take on all the kaiju which have randomly popped up all around the world. No one seems to know the reason.
Urv is the expert in explosives. Claire is a military scientist and built a kaiju blasting headache gun. Harrison is Boxer’s mute race car driving son. Boxer is ex-British Special Forces with a knack of surviving everything kaiju can throw on top of him. After taking out Anguirus in Scotland, the group gains quite a bit of media attention and Boxer demands $7 billion for each monster they bag. The team becomes known as the Monster Kill Crew by the public.
If you’ve come to this piece as a serious story, you are out of luck. Godzilla History’s Greatest Monster portrays its self as an action story right away. The story feels like the movie The Expendables and The Fast and the Furious fell into a giant monster flick. The main character, Boxer, so painfully resembles Jason Statham, I could only see Statham in my mind rather than Boxer as his own new original character. Nothing against Jason Statham, but I do enjoy new characters in a story. After initially getting over this, it was rather enjoyable. The similarities to well-known action movies are humorous and fun. It seems to lighten the mood.
I am guilty of enjoying fascinating characters that drive the story, but Godzilla History’s Greatest Monster never really achieves this for me. There is never a sense that these characters are ever really known well. Harrison narrates most of the story and we learn the reason he’s mute but it relates to building Boxer’s character. Clarie is Boxer’s ex and a scientist. We don’t really get to know more about her even though she is obviously tough and smart. We do learn some things about Urv’s character in the beginning of the story, but not much grows out of it, though we do learn at what lengths he’s willing to go to save people before his death. Most of the characters in the story are there solely to build Boxer’s character. Boxer has character alright, but it isn’t anything deep or complex.
Monster Island in a classified location in the South Pacific Ocean is where all the monsters are gathered and being used to test weapons on. Later the team figures out they are actually fighting on the wrong side as space kaiju fall to the earth. The monsters on earth aren’t randomly showing up for wanton destruction. The monsters are showing up to protect the planet. While this isn’t necessarily surprising, it did help set up some intrigue into the story, avoiding a completely linear tale. The story isn’t really too complex even with this addition, but I still enjoyed watching the characters work with the large earth kaiju against the space kaiju invasion.
Godzilla History’s Greatest Monster excels at the gigantic monsters. This is what the Godzilla franchise is supposed to be about and the story and art spectacularly place the creatures on display. I love the fact this story is filled with kaiju galore! It’s not just about Godzilla. Mothra makes a spectacular appearance as well and speaks through two priestesses. Along with Mothra, many other well-known kaiju make an appearance in the story.
The book is filled with gigantic monsters! I mean who wouldn’t want that? It’s very obvious to me why my son owns and enjoys Godzilla History’s Greatest Monster. It’s about the monsters, DUH!
The artwork in this comic feels reminiscent of an older style. It’s different from the smooth bold lines you see in most of the comics now. It looks almost grainy. The art does little for the human characters in the story, other than Boxers unshaven face, but the style is interesting when it comes to the giant creatures. It reminds me of older Godzilla movie posters. It’s a nice surprise.
IDW’s Godzilla History’s Greatest Monster isn’t the most memorable story I’ve ever seen, but it’s a fun action filled comic. It’s not a deeply complex piece, but the kaiju are plentiful! More could have been done in this comic to make it great, but it’s mediocre overall. Godzilla History’s Greatest Monster is more for the Godzilla fan who must own everything pertaining to the Big G.