Godzilla: The Half-Century War #4
 James Stokoe
Pencils: James Stokoe Inks: James Stokoe
Language: English Release: 2013
Publisher: IDW Publishing Pages: 32
Colors: Heather Breckel Cover: James Stokoe
Monster Appearances: Aliens, SDF, & Misc Appearances:
Godzilla, SpaceGodzilla, Mechagodzilla, King Ghidorah, Gigan N/A
Anthony Romero

Chapter four of James Stokoe's Godzilla: The Half-Century War, where the writer/artist ups the anti by having the powerhouses SpaceGodzilla and Mechagodzilla arrive to do battle with Godzilla in India. While the issue is a step below the first three, fans looking for a longer monster battle featured in IDW's run will have their prayers answered in this issue.

The story begins in Bombay (aka Mumbai) in 1987, with the city under attack by Godzilla. Lieutenant Ota Murakami and Kentaro Yoshihara, part of the Anti Megalosaurus Forces (AMF), are there observing the destruction with Ota slowly being resigned to the fact that chasing Godzilla has become his life's work, and that the best he has been able to achieve is warning nations before the creature attacks. Much to his surprise, as AMF has become more secretive in its weapons developments, the AMF deploys the secretive Mechagodzilla project. The mech begins to easily overpower Godzilla, until their conflict is interrupted by the arrival of SpaceGodzilla, thanks to ex-AMF member Doctor Deverich using his beacon device...

Plot wise, the comic is pretty much a giant fight between Godzilla, SpaceGodzilla and Mechagodzilla. Compared with the first three comics, the plot is lighter and doesn't feel like the milestones the first three were. We get some resolution to the Doctor Deverich plot, but he is pushed to the sidelines once SpaceGodzilla arrives. There is some nice character interactions between Ota and Kentaro at the start, as well as reflection on Mechagodzilla that ties into earlier issues and the AMF. Still, even if the plot doesn't measure up to the first three, the conflict itself is satisfying. SpaceGodzilla proves early on to be the monster to beat in the story, beating back both Godzilla and Mechagodzilla as James Stokoe uses a lot of his powers, including blocking rays, lifting and throwing Godzilla with telekineses, and launching crystals that stab into his foes. It's nice to see the swiss army number of powers depicted here, although sadly the conflict itself feels like it's too cleanly and quickly resolved in the final three pages.

For the art duties, Stokoe's normal level of exceptional detail is present in the comic. Godzilla isn't always depicted as great as earlier issues in a few panels, but Stokoe really knocks it out of the park with both Mechagodzilla and especially SpaceGodzilla. In particular the introduction of Mechagodzilla, dropped in by plane and released via what looks like an MGC-1 Cell (unused concept art from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II). It's a very impressive sequence, and a highlight to the issue.

In terms of covers, the main one by James Stokoe is solid, giving a foreboding sense to Godzilla fans aware of who the mammoth crystal structure represents. However, the alternate cover with Mechagodzilla, by John Kantz, is the the more compelling of the two this go around, thanks to an excellent use of colors and highlighting that make the otherwise silver body of Super Mechagodzilla really stand out.

Overall, while not as spectacular as the earlier issues, Stokoe produces another good comic about Godzilla. That means the series is now four for four, and one comic away from being what I would claim the greatest comic run on the character to date. Assuming Stokoe can keep the quality up, this will have been a must read series for Godzilla fans and this issue works to satisfy the more "blockbuster-like"
appetites of Godzilla fans with a nice, long monster battle.

Variant Covers