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Subj: Godzilla:Cataclysm #1 - The Power of Myth.
Posted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 02:55:32 pm EDT (Viewed 162 times)
Mythology is born of those things man cannot comprehend.'
Marking the Six decades since Godzilla debuted onto Japanese big-screens publisher IDW's latest offering of the 'King of the Monsters' is brought to you by an impressively economical creative team - opening the first issue of Godzilla:Cataclysm the introductory page contains but four names, of which Cullen Bunn is the Writer and Dave Wachter supplies the visuals.... this introductory page then is quite unlike any you will see form the main two publishers of Marvel & DC comics. And the differences in production don't end there.
A writer who has been gaining a slow but gradual amount of recognition for his work Cullen Bunn's structuring for this mini-series is a deliberate and accessible introductory into the world left in runs by the violence and whims of unfathomable giant monsters.
To the ordinary man the arrival of dozens of such bizarre and terrifying creatures might seem as an advent to the Apocalypse, impossible, the wrath of the gods. And this train of thought is one by which Bunn utilises as the framework by which to ease the reader into a shattered world living in the aftermath of an abrupt age of monsters. For if Godzilla and his world were to have any grounding into reality it would have to be through the perceptions and conclusions of the ordinary people who live through, and past, his existence. And when Godzilla is gone? Would not successive generations of survivors be left in muddled fugue, gradually questioning if such a creature was ever real, or some fabrication generated by myth and consensus...?
For all of Cullen Bunn's talent in easing the reader into this world of mythical beasts and a world regressed to something close to the Stone-age in terms of utilities and available resources the true star of this first issue is without a doubt the highly capable storytelling of Dave Watcher. The first half of this tale opens in the shattered outskirts of a ruined and long abandoned major city, this is almost twenty years after the age of monsters and as a new generation grows up life in the camps and shanties naturally shifts from those who lived through the days of destruction and fall of man to those who know nothing of monsters but instead only the crushing poverty and desperation of their own surroundings. This clash in generations and their outlook forms a art of the backbone of the story this issue, and yet despite the bleakness of the situation, and indeed the setting, Cullen Bunn still presents the more positive aspects of society and human nature - even as Dave Wachter's establishing shots of the central characters ramshackle shanty town silently fill us in with a surfeit of rich detail and incident we can see that despite (or perhaps because of) the conditions people still maintain a sense of decency and loyalty to each other.
Bunn and Watcher are careful not to name a specific location for this story's setting, and indeed even the ethnicity of those we follow is resented with studied vagueness. One shot of the city's crumbling landscape seems to suggest Paris, on the other hand the facial features of the cast are vaguely oriental. Not that location is relevant to Bunn's tale however as Godzilla:Cataclysm is using a clever technique in being about the survivors of Godzilla's world, but also about what Godzilla himself actually represents to these survivors, which looks to be a surprisingly varied and philosophical set of personal views... is this creature really to be considered evil, or beyond such a classification?
Whatever the conclusion Bunn is heading for this debut chapter was an engaging success as a read. Well constructed and with a suitably gifted artistic contribution of a calibre the Independents excel in finding.
The immediate scene is of an eclectic and ramshackle shanty town, we see a glimpse of daily life for the adults, followed by the carefree lay of the yougsters oblivious to their own circumstances or the worries of their elders. Catching rats is an obvious part of life, and no doubt the dinner table. But as hard as the world is the people still manage a sense of community and togetherness, the world may have regressed to near stone-age conditions but the belief in a sense of society remains broadly intact - and therefore the more positive aspects of Human Nature survives in rude health.
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