Brian Wood’s The Massive #1 is set to arrive in June that looks at society after “The Crash.” Major Spoilers has its first review of the series, that takes a look at the end of the world from the perspective of the survivors. Survivors who just happen to be pacifists.
WARNING: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW!
The interesting thing about this review is that Dark Horse has asked us not to give away too many spoilers in the review, which is difficult when the book talks about The Crash – a series of events that triggered a global catastrophe. When the “end of the world” arrives, what form will it take? If you are thinking, earthquakes, tsunamis, weather change, and global warming, leading to the ice caps melting, and cities winding up under water, then you have some idea of what Wood has in store for readers. After a number movies and books devoted to the end of the world, one can’t help but spoil this portion of the book.
While the first issue gives us a glimpse of life after The Crash, I find the portions of the issue focusing on the various global disasters to be much more interesting. Not interesting from the “look at all the people that got killed,” but rather that the flashback moments appear to be from the perspective of a conservationist. Instead of seeing people dropping left and right, the focus of the The Crash is truly from a global perspective – what is the world going through, and what are the global disruptions? And more importantly, how is the environment going to recover? These flashbacks are told from the writer’s perspective, so in a sense, we get a better look at what makes Wood tick as he plays out doomsday on the page.
There are portions of this first issue that are pure text pieces; information on the ships involved in the story, reports from Homeland Security, and from the diary of Callum Israel, the leader of the The Ninth Wave, an organization not unlike Green Peace, or those Whale Wars folk seen on the TeeVee. In these excerpts, the reader is directed back into the fictional world, and Wood speaks through Isreal. It’s a fascinating discussion on what could be, and while some might quickly write this book off as nothing more than Wood getting on his soap box, I rather liked this approach to storytelling.
It’s harder to talk about the portions of the story that take place in the present. We are only given a glimpse of what Isreal and his crew are facing, and their desperate search for The Massive, another ship in the Ninth Wave fleet. There’s just not enough space to develop the characters with everything else going on. While the reader has a good idea of where the three main characters stand, there are other issues and personal objectives that have yet to be revealed.
END OF THE WORLD ART
The art by Kristian Donaldson is very well done. Donaldson is able to keep the characters proportions and features consistent from panel to panel,and has a great grasp of the mechanical aspects of the issue. I wonder if the artist didn’t have a bunch of model ships on the art table to reference throughout the work, as the detail is exceptional.
Dave Stewart’s colors shines, and I especially like the sepia-tone treatment applied to those portions of the story that give us a look at The Crash. The setting in the Bering Sea is rather bleak and cold, and Stewart brings that feeling forward in the flat colors.
BOTTOM LINE: GONNA WATCH THIS ONE
I had thought I would start to spin down my physical comic book buying, switching to digital for all but a few titles. Now it looks like I have one more physical series to add to my massive collection of comics. I’ve not read much of Brian Wood’s other work, but there is something that tells me this is a series to watch going forward. The mystery of how the characters are going to balance their philosophical and political views in a world radically changed is going to be interesting to watch play out in the series. The art is highly detailed, and though the subject may sound dry, this is actually a very good first issue. The Massive #1 arrives in June, and I recommend picking it up. If it does nothing else but make you reflect on what might be, then I think it has done its job, and I’m giving The Massive #1 4.5 out of 5 Stars.