It has become a standard in the comic book industry that with every major Hollywood film release there is a comic book adaptation, sequel or prequel to the film to enhance audience’s experience beyond that of the film. Godzilla: Awakening is one of these original graphic novels that are a prequel to the Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros. film.
Written by Max Borenstein and Greg Borenstein with pencilers Eric Vattle, Yvel Guichet, and Alan Quah this story takes place years before the events depicted in the film so you don’t have to have seen the film in order to enjoy this story. This is the beginning of the story as we start back in 1980 Japan when Serizawa begins a story to his son Ishiro that will forever change everyone. Serizawa was there in ’45 when the bomb struck Hiroshima releasing monsters into the world for the very first time. These monsters would continue to follow and haunt Serizawa throughout his life even as his son grows up to see how obsessed his father has become.
The story follows Serizawa through several key incidents that will eventually lead him to discover the existence of Godzilla and the Mutos (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms) which will determine the course of the rest of his life. The older Serizawa who started the story is trying to tell Ishiro how he became who he is by telling him how his life was ultimately changed by giant monsters, which will then effect the course of his son’s life as well.
This book works as the origin to the film’s Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (played by Ken Wantanabe) who is the grown up son of the Serizawa in this graphic novel. If you’ve seen the film then you know that the watch that Ishiro carries around with him is the one depicted in this story and that it plays a huge part in how this character has developed since discovering the existence of Godzilla and the Mutos.
Despite being a prequel to the film there is enough Godzilla action to keep the Godzilla fans happy. Interesting, that this story has nothing to do with the various Godzilla series from IDW Publishing which continue to keep the character relevant despite the lack of any new films until now. This story is not as action packed and monster filled as the IDW series’ but it does still give it a run for the money and that’s what will ultimately appeal to Godzilla film and comic book fans.