The five issue limited series by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Brian Churilla launches in March and focuses on a world where Godzilla’s initial appearance scared the populace into treating him as a ruling deity. That reality minds its own business until a scientist in a world like ours builds a portal and goes for a visit. Unfortunately for the monster-free Earth, the explorers return with a stowaway baby kaiju.
Godzilla debuted way back in 1954 with edited-in scenes featuring Raymond Burr for American audiences. Since then, the gigantic, radiation-fueled metaphor for man’s relationship with nature and science has raged against, stomped and even defended humanity. The kaiju legend will return to the big screen in his native Japan on July 29, 2016 in “Godzilla Resurgence.”
CBR News talked with Fialkov about his late night discovery of Godzilla, the monster’s role in his new series and how some friendly writing competition with his wife lead to this book.
CBR News: Last September, you took to Twitter to say you were focusing “on working with, for, and on people and projects I love.” How does Godzilla: Oblivion fit into that new mindset?
Joshua Hale Fialkov: First and foremost, my daughter and I have a weekly date for a Godzilla movie. We have pretty much everything on either Blu-Ray or DVD, and we curl up on the couch in my studio and watch one, every Saturday. It’s something that’s not just incredibly important for me, but for her.
Getting to write stories starring the Big G doesn’t just mean a lot to me, it means a ton to her. And besides, her mom (Christina Rice) gets to write “My Little Pony” for Bobby and IDW and get all the love from her. I’ll be damned if I don’t fight back.
You’re clearly a Godzilla fan who has spread that love to the next generation. Do you remember how that started?
As a kid, I had a healthy appetite for oddball late night TV. I’ve never been a particularly good sleeper, so even then I’d find myself flipping through the channels looking for something. The two things I found back then were “Doctor Who” and Godzilla movies. Watching them, I realized how much of what I loved about American sci-fi movies, as well as horror and action movies, owed to Godzilla. But again, the passion and love really had lot to do with my daughter. The first time she saw a Godzilla toy, the look in her eyes was just… electric.
The Godzilla films have been all over the place since they debuted in the ’50s. What specific elements were you looking to preserve in “Oblivion?”
I think everyone who’s a fan of the movies have their own version of what Godzilla is. That’s part of what has given the character legs for so long. For me, looking at the movies objectively, the “Final Wars” is sort of a sweet spot — a little bit serious, a little bit silly, a little bit fan service, and, most importantly, the human story really, really sings in a way that’s rare in a Godzilla flick.
Sometimes Godzilla is portrayed as a pure force of nature, and other times he’s a hero. Who is the character to you?
What I love about him is that I’d argue he’s always both. He’s a reactive force, doing whatever the world needs him to be, but, as is our want, we frequently forget that, which is where the trouble begins. In “Oblivion,” he’s become a sort of God Emperor to another Earth, but part of the reason why is that he’s needed to protect what is left of humanity. He serves as a balance, which our Earth is about to find out.
In “Oblivion,” you’re dealing with a reality where Godzilla has conquered all. What does that look like to the extra-dimensional visitors?
I’m obviously a fan of apocalyptic fiction, between “The Bunker” and “The Life After” at Oni, “King” at Jet City, and, of course, “Pacific Rim” for Legendary. I like the idea of finding what makes each of those end time worlds into something completely different. With “Oblivion,” the point is to show a world where an angry god has presented itself and demanded tribute. What we have is a world that, while at it’s core is our own, has bent and shaped its day to day life into serving Godzilla. Much like how our society has changed over time into something very different due to terrorism. It’s not the grandiose changes that matter — it’s the tiny specific ones.
How does the baby kaiju returning with the visitors kick the story off?
Well, that’s the rub. A world without a Godzilla facing off against another Kaiju? Things will not go well for us.
What does Brian bring to the table as an artist? Did you start rethinking any story elements when you found out he was the artist?
What doesn’t he? Brian has been one of the best artists in comics for a long time now. I remember reading his “Engineer” series for Archaia years ago and thinking, “This guy is beyond brilliant.” We’ve been friends for a while now, so getting to finally get to work together is an absolute dream come true. I’ve been really lucky in my career, working with artists who are far better at this than I am. From Joe Infurnari to Gabo, Andrea Sorrentino, Noel Tuazon, Bernard Chang, on and on. And now, Brian Churilla. I’ve been about as lucky as a writer can be.
“Godzilla: Oblivion” #1 stomps its way into comic shops in March thanks to Joshua Hale Fialkov, Brian Churilla and IDW.