Godzilla Rivals Vs Hedorah #1 is the first in a new quarterly series of comics pitting Godzilla against famous rivals from throughout his history. The issue is written by Paul Allor with art by E. J. Su, colors by Adam Guzowski, and design and letters by Nathan Widick. While Godzilla and Hedorah battle in Manhattan, one man is determined to save the one person he believes can truly save their city.
I can’t attest to much of a personal history with Godzilla, or kaiju generally. But Godzilla Rivals: Vs. Hedorah #1 is very good. It strikes just the right balance between showing off a mega battle between two giant monsters and the very real humans struggling to survive it. At first, I didn’t think much of the comic. It felt rote, with one character trying desperately to save somebody he believed was the last person left who could save the world. But then there’s a major twist and suddenly everything is put into a stark and personal perspective I wasn’t expecting at all. Coupled with the comic’s narrative style, where one of the characters narrates through a past-tense point of view, the whole issue delivers an emotional punch across a poetic kaiju brawl.
Artistically, I’m impressed by the serious 70s vibe the comic gives without looking like it was drawn in the 70s. It somehow has all of the characteristics, not just in the way the characters dress and the way the buildings look but in the way the illustration itself feels. Yet, the type of coloring feels more full and less pulpy than a comic that would have been made in actual 1971. This characteristic drew me into the setting even further, helping me latch onto the emotional beats of the story by helping me never question the setting for a moment.
The art and sequencing for the kaiju battle itself is excellent as well. The way that the comic begins by giving only a little bit of either combatant per panel before going just, all in on huge scenes of full-panel combat adds urgency to the underlying story while building excitement for the fight. The battle simply gets more and more exciting as it rages on and the way that both monsters are drawn emotionlessly even in their exhaustion helps emphasize the emotional narrative. It genuinely had me interested in watching the 1971 film Gozilla vs. Hedorah that introduced these two enemies in the first place.
The lettering in general is a standard fair, but a number of monstrous SFX impress. I wish there were a few more actually, particularly when Godzilla unleashes his atomic breath. SFX may have really enhanced those panels.
For a total Godzilla newby, I absolutely adored Godzilla Rivals Vs Hedorah #1. It was unexpectedly emotionally poignant as well as rich with great kaiju action. I’ll greatly anticipate the next addition as Godzilla takes on Mothra.
Godzilla Rivals: Vs. Hedorah #1 is available wherever comics are sold.
Godzilla Rivals: Vs. Hedorah #1
For a total Godzilla newby, I absolutely adored Godzilla Rivals: Vs. Hedorah #1. It was unexpectedly emotionally poignant as well as rich with great kaiju action. I’ll greatly anticipate the next addition as Godzilla takes on Mothra.