Review – Godzilla: Oblivion #1 (IDW Publishing)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Joshua Fialkov
Artwork: Jay Fotos
Release Date: March 30th, 2016

Godzilla movies have never required a much plot or character development. More often than not, both have been practically irrelevant throughout the franchise’s 62-year history. As long as there has been some monster mayhem, complete with with epic battles as men in rubber suits crush miniature model cities – but appearing as gargantuan beasts destroying scenery – us fans have gotten everything we could possibly want from our favourite kaiju.

That being said, comics are a different medium altogether, and without strong characters or an intricate story to invest in, it’s difficult to motivate yourself to stick with a series. The most recent installment of Pacific Rim typified the failure to translate the fun of giant monster movies to comic book storytelling, which was a gut punch for those of us who went in with foolishly high hopes. Thankfully, Godzilla: Oblivion – while not being perfect – suggests that enough characterisation, story and monster mayhem is in store for this one to warrant some serious attention.

The concept is similar to Pacific Rim, where monsters enter the human world through a portal. However, here the portal has been opened by a deranged scientist whose expedition into an alternate reality leaves the veil open for kaiju to slip through at the other end. Overall, it does a good job at setting up the premise.

However, for a first issue, it does suffer from a bit of clutter and scrappy exposition. Not so much that you won’t be able to follow it, but n overabundance of characters – some of whom have no evident purpose – does cause a few mild road bumps. However, that’s just a niggling complaint, and credit must be given to the instantly engaging nature of the characters and how fascinating they are; while they aren’t the most layered (at least not yet), they exude enough interesting qualities to suggest they aren’t merely one dimensional caricatures.

Another niggling issue is the artwork by Jay Fotos. Aside from a couple of panels of brilliant monster depictions, it’s far from spectacular – but it is clear, tidy and presentable and doesn’t pose detriment to the overall issue, even if a different approach could have most likely enhanced it. Again, it’s a niggling complaint that isn’t particularly bothersome. It’s just a little bit bland to look at for the most part.

All in all, Godzilla: Oblivion is off to a promising start. By no means does it suggest great things as of yet, but there’s enough good stuff to be found here to hopefully make you want to pick up the next issue. Joshua Fialkov could be on to something with this story that has the potential to do something interesting with Godzilla lore.

Rating: 3/5.

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The writer of this piece was: Kieran Fisher
Kieran Tweets from @HairEverywhere_.

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