Godzilla Oblivion #1
Review by Paul Bowler
The King of the Monsters is back in IDW Publishing’s Godzilla Oblivion #1, a new five-part series from writer Joshua Hale Fialkov (Doctor Who, I Vampire) and artist Brian Churilla (Big Trouble in Little China). From an Earth where there are no monsters, a scientist builds a machine that opens a portal to another dimension, one to a world in ruins where monsters rule and Godzilla is the mightiest of them all. A team embarks on a voyage to explore this bizarre alternative reality, but when they discover what has happened here, their frantic attempt to return to their own Earth risks brining something very nasty back with them…
Joshua Hale Fialkov brings us a Godzilla story with something of a unique twist in Godzilla Oblivion #1, as we encounter a word where monsters don’t exist, where a scientist’s new experimental machine sends a team on a foolhardy mission to a strange parallel Earth where the monsters have taken over! As premises go, Godzilla Oblivion certainly delivers in terms of exciting plotting, and exhilarating action. While the characterization is a little threadbare as times, Joshua Hale Fialkov swiftly establishes the main characters in the story. Familiar Sci-Fi tropes are called into play, Nutron Flows and Polarities are tinkered with, and the scientist’s Stargate-like device is soon powered up and ready to send them on their mission.
However, what they find on the other side resembles a jagged wasteland of their own world, and it’s not long before they find out they have bitten off far more than they can chew. The uncanny What If?-like concept is well executed by Fialkov, as the team soon discover that the humans in this reality have actually struck up a pact with Godzilla, and I look forward to seeing how this revelation is explored in future issues of this series.
The artwork by Brian Churilla is a little variable at times. Although the page layouts are dynamically presented and the monster battles are also fairly well realized, it’s the finer details that often let the issue down, some characters lack detail, proportions are sometimes poorly defined, and it makes things feel a little rough around the edges. The colors by Jay Fotos enhances the atmosphere of many scenes, particularly those featuring ruined landscape of the alternative Earth, and Godzilla’s looming presence swathed in shadows. Where Brian Churilla really shines for the most part though is in his depiction of those aforementioned monsters and action sequences, Rodan is impressive, Kiryu also incidentally gets a great scene, Ghidorah gets a good share of the action, and Godzilla – although we don’t actually get to see him for much of the issue – looks really imposing and powerful.
Godzilla Oblivion #1 hurtles at a breath-taking pace towards an exciting climax as the team makes a desperate dash to get back to their own dimension, however, not everything goes to plan, and something else is looking to come along for the ride home… Minor niggles about the story and art aside, Godzilla #1, with its fabulous main cover by Churilla, gets this five-part series of to an exciting start, there’s actually a lot to enjoy here, and will certainly piqué your interest enough to make you want to find out what happens in the next issue.
Publisher: IDW Publishing / Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov / Art: Brian Churilla
Colors: Jay Fotos / Letters / Creative Consultant: Chris Mowry
Cover: Brian Churilla