'It's been nearly fifty years now and I can still remember, clear as day, the first time I saw him. Memories fade, details fog. Dates and people, sounds and smells blur together. But not that day in the harbor....Back then I was a young man, barely out of my teens. Lieutenant Ota Murakami, 23 months into an enlistment with the Japanese Self Defense and looking for a bit of adventure. I figured I could find some riding on top of a tank....That moment I was brought back to what an American GI returning from a stint in Korea said to me after I heedlessly asked what the action was like. "Watch out kid. You'll always remember your first taste."'
— Ota Murakami
In 2010, IDW Publishing acquired the rights to make a Godzilla
comic, this time featuring a good chunk of Godzilla's classic adversaries. There have been three ongoing series along with several miniseries. One of the miniseries is The Half Century War
, written and drawn by James Stokoe in 2012.
Lieutenant Ota Murakami is deployed with Kentaro Yoshihara to patrol Tokyo in 1954, only to run afoul of the newly arrived Godzilla. Barely surviving the encounter, the two of them are recruited into the newly formed Anti Megalosaur Force by American Colonel Schooler. Over the next fifty years they are involved in combat with many different monsters, but Godzilla, more than any other, remains Ota's Great White Whale.
This comic mini-series has examples of:
- Animal Nemesis: Godzilla to Ota.
- Badass: Aside from Godzilla and the various monsters we have Kentaro, Ota, and Colonel Schooler.
- Badass Normal: Kentaro, Ota, Schooler.
- Beam Spam: Expected with issue 4, Heishi Mechagodzilla and Space Godzilla are the guest monsters.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Mothra, Battra, Kumonga, and Megalon.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Dr. Deverich, disgruntled AMF member turned terrorist-for-hire.
- Colonel Badass: Colonel Schooler.
- Cool Old Guy: By the end of the series Ota has even more levels over Kentaro, surviving Godzilla rampage with only an old Sherman tank is enough. Ota has also piloted two Mechagodzillas and helps rid the world of Godzilla, Ghidorah and Gigan.
- Cyborg: Gigan
- Enemy Mine: Once space monsters start showing up Ota would rather team up with Godzilla than fight him, allying first against SpaceGodzilla, and then Gigan and Ghidorah.
- Evil Twin: SpaceGodzilla to the real (Chaotic Neutral) Godzilla. Mechagodzilla is a Good Twin.
- Final Boss: Gigan and King Ghidorah serve as the final monsters that Godzilla and Mechagodzilla face down.
- From Bad to Worse: Godzilla was bad enough, then more monsters show up, then a rogue scientist finds a way to call or repel monsters. Then that signal starts calling in space monsters.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Ota makes sure Godzilla is pulled into the black hole with his life... Although it turns out Godzilla managed to escape.
- Humongous Mecha: MOGUERA, Heisei MechaGodzilla, and Millennium MechaGodzilla (Kiryu) all put in an appearance.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Ghidorah has his classic characterization as a spaceborne Cosmic Horror in the shape of a three-headed golden dragon.
- Mad Scientist: Dr. Deverich who sells his monster attracting device to various terrorist cells.
- Mêlée à Trois: Issue four has a three way "Godzilla" battle between the real Godzilla, Heisei MechaGodzilla, and SpaceGodzilla.
- Mythology Gag: The original concept for Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla was a battle between these three.
- The Mothra team's van sports a license plate that reads "Elias".
- King Ghidorah and Gigan's team up is an homage to their teamup in Godzilla vs. Gigan.
- The building that Godzilla smashes down in the first issue bears a squid similar in appearance to Gezora.
- Muck Monster: Hedorah puts in an appearance.
- Psycho for Hire: Deverich is for hire, and clearly enjoys the devastation his psionic summoning device can cause.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Ota, Kentaro, and most of the other long term veterans.
- Smug Snake: Dr. Deverich, so very much.
- Take That: The villain, Dr. Deverich, gets his name from a combination of Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Ota with Godzilla.
- This Is a Drill: Doctor Randall loves attaching drills to his creations and wishes his masers had drills.
- War Is Hell: Especially seen in the second issue since Vietnam is the setting but the trope is at full force in the third issue too since it is war with monsters.