Along the lines of the other Godzilla mini-series that do not take place in IDW’s main Godzilla universe (Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters, Godzilla, and Godzilla: Rulers of Earth), Godzilla: Cataclysm explores uncharted territory for the Godzilla franchise. Instead of entering a world with the monsters on the rise, we are now in a world where they are a primordial myth for a post-apocalyptic Earth. Humans cower in the shadows of destroyed metropolises and pray that their “gods” never return.
The focus of the story is the human element as an old man named Hiroshi deals with living in ruins and whose internal monologue on scientific progress and natural order make for an interesting read. The human acts of the story are mostly in the classic veins of a man confronting the sins of his past while at the same time questioning if human beings have a right to control powers beyond their knowledge. Most of all, it also questions if we can ever be forgiven due to the horrors that can be unleashed onto the world by that very knowledge.
Godzilla: Cataclysm features an all-star Toho Monster cast that features familiar classics like Godzilla and Mothra duking out with fan favorites like Biollante (a half Godzilla, half plant hybrid) and Destroyah (a monster born from the very thing that killed the first Godzilla and all around badass crustacean dragon).
I really enjoyed the “ecosystem” in this world such as the Kamacuras swarms (giant mantis creatures) and what the Megagurius and her swarm of giant killer dragonflies bring to the survival of the human race. What I enjoy the most is that many of these monsters are presented in their Shinsei (millenium era) appearances, which gives the monsters a much more menacing and quasi-realistic appearance to match this apocalyptic tale. The appearance of Destroyah was something exciting but I feel that due his introduction into he book he doesn’t really lead to as big as an impact aside from a very cool four way monster battle that he is involved in.
Godzilla: Cataclysm ends on a hopeful note that life will always prevail in the darkest and bleakest of existences. This graphic novel is a great story that explores a world of modern mythology and primal fury and a must have for IDW fans or giant monsters enthusiasts.