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World War Kaiju: Book One

by Janey La Royale

“What if Doctor Strangelove created Godzilla?” is what the Kickstarter for World War Kaiju, back in 2013, questions their potential audience. I can honestly say this was rather an interesting read. If you like conspiracy theories and Godzilla, this might be the Graphic Novel for you.

Now let me elaborate. When you start reading, it reads like an actual novel you had in literature class back in your freshman year of high school about WWII, until you realize it’s really a dialogue. Ex-CIA agent Hampton, confronts a reporter, Keegan, to let him in on a little government secret. Now where does this Godzilla nonsense come into play? Let’s just say that’s the secret. These Kaiju monsters look and feel oddly familiar, but there is a whole different twist on them. Instead of the atom bomb in 1945, it was a Kaiju monster that wreaked havoc on Japan.

As far as the storyline goes, the first book is rather a long dialogue. The way the government agent, Hampton, talks to Keegan reads as a hard core war hero. You seem to actually start feeling for Keegan’s irritation who seems bewildered by Hampton’s statements. What’s even better is the appearance of the beloved Carl Sagan from the original Cosmos series to reflect on the origin of the Kaiju monsters. Trust me, when I say you will develop your own voices for these two characters, Hampton and the reporter, Keegan as the story progresses. As far as character development, World War Kaiju is not as strong as what we would want in the front end, but you have to remember that Hampton is a CIA spook.

If you are one of those people who buy things for the artwork, this is a graphic novel you want in your library. There is a lack of hard lines from the main artist, but when it comes to detail, the multiple colors used in a single section is so incredible you can see even the slightest curve of a person’s face. The thought and care taken to draw every highlight and shade is executed beautifully. Even the disturbance in the water by a Kaiju monster is in incredible detail. My favorite is the close up on people’s faces and even their fingers. The artist truly understands different ethnic groups and their facial structures along with being able to draw out the fine details in a finger. Yet, you do get a random change in the artwork every now and then that is drastically different from what you are used to. It’s a nice change when reading this from cover to cover, keeping the reader engaged. You get a little bit of an old school comic book feel, and when you Sagan appears, you get the hard lines and block colors.

With great artwork and being able to incorporate different styles into a single graphic novel that makes sense is hard work, they were able to do this seamlessly with no problem. The story is engaging and interesting. The story pulls from the Godzilla films while alluding to other sci fi and science references into a well thought out theory. There is a slight downfall in their execution. Some parts of the dialogue gets rather long and I feel like I’m reading a textbook than a graphic novel. Even though they tried to board the text with images, it just didn’t feel the same. Yet, it didn’t bother me much at first until I got further into the book and found myself needing to take a break. Considering this is book one and it needed to cover a lot of information, it wasn’t too lengthy. Yet, replacing the atom bomb with Godzilla was a pretty genius idea with the end of WWII and the first Godzilla movie being only 10 years apart. It’s a really good combination. I recommend this for history fans, Godzilla fans, and especially conspiracy theorists.

 

Overall a 4.5 out of 5.

About Armand (1270 Articles)
Armand is a husband, father, and life long comics fan. A devoted fan of Batman and the Valiant Universe he loves writing for PCU, when he's not running his mouth on the PCU podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @armandmhill
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