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‘Godzilla: Skate or Die #1’ – Comic Book Review

Even in a time when genre mashing and wild takes on existing property are the norm, a title like Godzilla: Skate or Die sticks out.

The radioactive reptile is no stranger to crossovers and weird takes, but “Godzilla vs. Tony Hawk” this is not.

Our story begins with Egg, who wakes up after a night of weird dreams to a text message from one of his friends about an earthquake that happened while he was sleeping. As Egg collects his friends – Sushi, Jules, and Rolly – for their day at school, a kaiju (Varan) begins a trek of destruction in West Australia. The four friends become concerned when their skate park, the Coin Toss, is in its path. They grow more concerned when there are reports of Godzilla coming in from the East and decide to go save their skate park.

Louie Joyce’s writing of the four friends is great and fun in execution. Joyce changes the location from Japan to Australia while making our protagonists extreme sports fans who risk their lives to save their skate sanctuary. The art is cartoony but fits Joyce’s vision, especially in one particular panel showing Egg’s looming bully; this monster may be more trouble for our heroes than the ones destroying their home. Rus Wooton’s lettering does a great job of giving this book the personality it needs to pull this venture off. From little snippets from the Coin Toss Zine as caption boxes to his manic use of onomatopoeia while the kids navigate their day, this book is made for a generation who may not be interested in black-and-white movies or the sometimes-bloated punch fests of the Monsterverse.

Stories where kids get in over their heads and grow up after a big, profound thing happens to them are a dime a dozen, but Godzilla: Skate or Die truly breaks the mold. Skate parks can be rebuilt, but it’s hard to put yours back together if it’s crushed in the middle of a kaiju battle. Using a three-hundred-foot literary device to show the bravery of youth might be one of my favorite things in Godzilla’s almost seventy year history.

Creative Team: Louie Joyce (writer/artist), Rus Wooton (letterer)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Click here to purchase.

Forrest Gaddis, Fanbase Press Guest Contributor



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