Sunday, May 10, 2015

MISC. MANGA, *World War Kaiju

Just after the 2014 Godzilla remake came out, 01 Publishing released this first of a reportedly ongoing series. World War Kaiju is an American graphic novel taking place in an alternate history where Kaiju monsters are all over the place. This was written by cyberpunk author Josh Finney, and drawn by fantasy/horror illustrator Patrick McEvoy done with photo-realistic artwork in the style of Alex Ross.

The majority of the story involves a former CIA agent Hampton pouring out his life story to an underground journalist named Keegan. In this alternate timeline, America won WWII against Japan by instead of using atomic bombs, they used their own homegrown fire-breathing giant reptile Fat Man. American scientist had somehow sprung life from crystals found under the Earth into colossal monsters referred to as Kaiju. After WWII, there begins a cold war between the world's superpowers as other nations begin to create their own kaiju. While America maintained superiority with Fat Man and other kaiju reserves, there were other incidents involving self-proclaimed Martians, and alien pixies acting as ambassadors for a giant flying insect imposing itself as the "guardian of the Earth". This and other monsters like titanic carnivorous rabbits start popping up as a result of this new instant kaiju mineral. So the U.S. government set up the Kaiju Science Taskforce which keeps track of all the kaiju outbreaks, but President Eisenhower doesn't totally trust them, so he sends in Agent Hampton to keep tabs on them and sabotage them if the need arises. Hampton tells all this to Keegan, and refers to an incredibly enigmatic Carl Sagan for more insight. At some point in this history, giant robots are deployed to confront the kaiju, but this is to be handled in a future volume.

World War Kaiju acts a good X-Files scenario with a Destroy All Monsters backdrop. The artwork is really good, and varies depending on the period of history it takes place in. The only real weird thing is there are several parts where Hampton and Keegan's dialogue is shown as a script. There's also a list of the different kinds of Kaiju and their origins in the back of the first volume. Fans of Pacific Rim and classic Gamera will get a kick out of it!

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