Review: Godzilla: Cataclysm #3

I was pleasantly inspired by last issue’s philosophic twist involving humanity’s worship of the kaiju as deities.  I hoped and that issue three advanced this idea.  It did that and more. Arata and Shiori convene with the other villagers.  The elders suggest a human sacrifice would appease the kaiju ‘gods’ and send them back to their sleep.  In defiance, the two boys explain that the monsters do not seek such pittance from humanity; instead, the creatures want to feast on the Biollante vines.

GODZILLA_CATACL_03_CVR_AWhen they show their grandfather the new regrowth of Biollante that they hide in their room, Arate and Shiori realize they may have brought great trouble down on their village.  More flashbacks reveal Arata’s grandfather piloted some mech against Godzilla in the previous attack.  The old man feels guilty for inciting the ‘god’s’ rage.

Megaguirus and its brood arrive to consume the vines, but Mothra and Godzilla soon follow.  The monsters resume their fight amidst the rubble of humanity.

Not only does the surviving band of humans see the monsters as creatures to be worshipped, the theme of the diving comes through brilliantly with the insulation of Biollante as a Gaia/earth mother figure.  Such a cleverly conceived theme actually makes me tolerate Mothra in this series.  The giant moth serves the theme of divinity in this context, and so it also has a more subdued role as a divine figure connected to the Earth.

Using Biollante as a means of resetting Earth to its green, natural state succeeds as an expertly devised metaphor for the kaiju.  Setting this series in the rubble of a battered, lifeless Earth further shows that this creative team strives to make this version of Godzilla as deeply symbolic as the King of the Monster’s first appearance (and subsequent interpretation as representation of the atomic bomb).

I’m sorry to have doted over the plot so much.  Dave Wachter’s detailed penciling delivers a smudged, broken dystopia plagued by monster battles reveals expert craftsmanship.  Particularly haunting is the panel with Godzilla infused with a red tone that insinuates the kaiju as Satan or any theological icon of destruction.

Although the first issue did not express these ideas well, the last two issues have made this series stand out as cerebral, intense, and groundbreaking.

Score: 5/5

Writer: Cullen Bunn Artist: Dave Wachter Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/22/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital