Writer, Artist, Colorist, Letterer, & Cover Artist: James Stokoe
Color Assistant: Heather Breckel
Release Date: September 13, 2023
Lieutenant Ota Murakami had served the Japanese Self-Defense for nearly two years when he arrived in Tokyo in 1954. Instead of supplying disaster relief, he found a monster demolishing Japan’s capital city. What can he and his platoon do against a dinosaur that breathes energy beams at its attackers? Let’s leap into Godzilla by James Stokoe Deluxe Edition HC and find out!
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Godzilla: War for Humanity #1 Review.
Ota and his friend Kentaro watch Godzilla take out the rest of their platoon. The energy blast damaged their antenna. After “Old Ken” fixes it, they receive orders to assist with the civilian evacuation. Despite Ken’s reservations, Ota orders him to delay the monster any way they can. They rumble through the debris-filled streets in their banged-up Sherman tank, playing Mouse to Godzilla’s Cat.
In Godzilla by James Stokoe Deluxe Edition HC, Ota and Ken battle the monster as the decades pass. They serve under Colonel Schooler of the A. M. F. or the Anti-Megalosaurus Force. Their travels take them to Vietnam in 1967, Ghana in 1975, Bombay in 1987, and beyond. Despite the scientists’ ingenuity, Ken increasingly views Godzilla as a force of nature. No matter what weapons the A. M. F. deploys, Godzilla and his menacing companions fail to die.
Oops! Did I mention other monsters? Sadly, not all scientists prove as ethical as Ota and Ken. One invents a device that summons kaiju, which causes chaos wherever the A. M. F. goes. Monsters wake up or even arrive from other planets. Despite the increasing threat—or perhaps because of it–Ota and Ken forsake family, advancement, and financial security as they devote their lives to planetary defense. It’s Monster Versus Humans and Monster Versus Monsters in Godzilla by James Stokoe Deluxe Edition HC.
No artist packs more detail into pages than James Stokoe. Panels show a cast of thousands fleeing Godzilla on foot and in vehicles. The original kaiju reigns supreme, showing every tooth, claw, and scale as he demolishes buildings with little effort. Stokoe’s quirky characters are expressive, and the scientist’s inventions feature fun designs.
No colorist makes pages come alive like James Stokoe. Some panels ring with manifold color, while others glow with just a few. Although he’s not afraid to use gray, Stokoe’s images exhibit psychedelic appeal. He often provides good contrast, such as when Ota and Ken’s green tank races through lavender streets, hoping to escape the storm of yellow and red chasing them. Others work less well, such as when Colonel Schooler tries to evade falling debris bathed in red.
No letterer creates white dialogue balloons and colored narrative boxes like James Stokoe. Although he places letters and rows close together, his uppercase black letters are easy on the eyes. Sound effects explode across panels to enhance the action, as over-the-top as the Godzilla film franchise. Chapter titles reveal ingenuity, and the giant block letters for the silent story “Godzilla In Hell” would make cinema-goers cheer. The Godzilla by James Stokoe Deluxe Edition HC includes covers for each issue and examples of his penciled and inked art.
While delivering the city-destroying action movie fans expect, Godzilla by James Stokoe Deluxe Edition HC honors the original film’s symbolism by framing a half-century of kaiju devastation through the eyes of Humanity’s staunchest defenders.