There are three separate stories where monsters and humans collide in Godzilla: World of Monsters. The first story, “Gangsters & Goliaths,” written by John Leyman, follows a detective chased by the Yakuza. He was framed for killing his partner and fled to Monster Island. There he seeks the assistance of Mothra. This story is my least favorite of the bunch. I found the Detective’s motives and actions perplexing. Most of the human characters, no matter what their age, have wrinkly skin. The scenes on Monster Island are vibrant, featuring greens and orange colors. However, the sequences back in the city are in grays and browns, conveying that it’s under siege by gangsters and monsters.

I felt the complete opposite about the next story, “Cataclysm,” by Cullen Bunn. It opens up in red as if this is a city on fire and signifying the monster’s fury. This world is where the monsters have come and destroyed the world. The surviving humans believe that this is due to human sin and the monsters are punishment for it. They believe the only way to atone for their actions is to offer a human sacrifice. The human world is shown in yellow with scenes of destruction and decay. What I liked was the character development surrounding the grandfather character. He is given a back story, and we learn what “sin” the humans committed to bring about this cataclysm. The grandfather is bald on top with wisps of gray hair. In his eyes, you can see a person who wears the weariness and pain of the world on his face. This story has a satisfying ending and characters you care about. This story made the collection worth reading.

The final story, “Oblivion,” by Joshua Fialkov, tells the tale of time travelers from a parallel world who accidentally bring a monster back with them. They decide the only way to save their world is to find another monster to battle it and they may end up regretting that decision as the two monsters destroy everything in sight. The human characters wear colors like black or white, while the monsters are featured in colorful yellows and reds. The human characters aren’t drawn very realistically and look more cartoonish. There is more emphasis on the military and scientists than on everyday people. This story is very close to being one of my least favorites, as I didn’t find any of the human characters compelling. The one redeeming quality this story has is its ending, which will leave you feeling haunted about the decisions made to save humanity.

One thing across all three stories that I appreciated was the artwork and design of the monsters. As a Kaiju fan, I think they captured these creatures’ epicness, size, and scale. Their color hues make them stand out, and you can see the little details like their scales and spikes. Despite the monster artwork, the stories contained within the graphic novel are not as compelling. The stories assume that you are familiar with the monster verse and rarely name some of the classic monsters from the series. All of them make an appearance in these stories, and unless you have seen the 20 plus Godzilla films out there, you won’t know who’s who in this universe’s rogues gallery. Adults who grew up on the movies will enjoy this title. Those unfamiliar will find this a challenging read.

 


Godzilla: World of Monsters
By John Layman, Cullen Bunn, Joshua Fialkov
Art by Alberto Ponticelli, Dave Wachter, Brian Churilla
IDW, 2021
ISBN: 9781684058303
Publisher Age Rating: T

NFNT Age Recommendation: Teen (13-16)

  • Tanya

    | She/Her

    Tanya work as a librarian at a maximum security prison in Northern California. She runs a weekly book club which changes themes and genres on a quarterly basis. Her favorite book club moment was watching her book club members perform a play in front of an audience and getting a warm ovation. Tanya is a long-time lover of Manga and animes. Her favorites include anything by Clamp, Fullmetal Alchemist, Wolf Children, Pandora Hearts and Dawn of the Arcana. In her spare time enjoys trying out new recipes from Pinterest.

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