Chas Worthington III, a modern-day Sam Houston, has begun to explore his new garbage island and, beyond his measurements of depth and density he’s come across the last thing he expected to find on the Great Pacific Gyre: People. Read on in this Major Spoilers review.
Previously in Great Pacific: Chas faked his death to escape the rueful eye of his father’s company. He has an idea about solving the world’s pollution problem and the Great Pacific Gyre is part of that solution.
WINNER: MOST IMPROVED AWARD
Last month I reviewed the debut issue of “Great Pacific” and loathed it for a variety of extremely valid reasons. I felt guilty, though, and thought about instances where I’ve done something poorly and knew it wasn’t representative of my best work. So I decided to give “Great Pacific” another try and see if its dim inaugural showing was just a one-off or indicative of a pattern.
It was a positive experience.
Freed from the weight of establishing its universe and putting all the players in place, this issue’s plot is tighter and flows smoothly from page to page. Post mortem, Chas and Alex have set up housekeeping on the Gyre, now dubbed “New Texas,” and Young Master Worthington goes off to explore while his compatriot supervises the colony’s set up. While exploring Chas begins to understand that the Gyre isn’t the abandoned and forsaken land he thought it was when he has a true Robinson Crusoe moment and finds a band of tribesmen setting foot on New Texas. And then there’s a sea monster. It’s pretty great.
Perhaps I was simply seduced by a young Lone-Star jingoist’s battle against the Kraken, but I enjoyed this issue. The writing just clicked where last issue’s clacked and fell flat. “Great Pacific” still has a bit of a journey to reach perfection, but this issue shows that a lot of the story’s bumps are getting ironed out. I do wish, however, that Joe Harris would clarify whether or not Chas is just 14 years old; that’s what we were led to believe last issue, but it doesn’t feel correct when you read through the story.
MELTY FACES IN TRASHY PLACES
On the whole, Martin Morazzo’s art is excellent. I lauded the first issue’s art and there’s not much in the way of a quality dip this time around, though some of the faces throughout the book are kind of … melty. The Gyre continues to look fantastic and Morazzo manages to give it a fully continental feel despite it being a huge amalgamation of trash; drawn from a distance the coastline even manages to look like a real beach as the tribesmen chase Chas into the waiting arms of a surprisingly well-done monster.
BOTTOM LINE: RESTORED MY FAITH IN QUALITY CONTROL
“Great Pacific” will never be my favorite book, but if future installments can maintain the pace of issue No. 2 with a cool twist or sea monster here and there, then I’ll definitely add it to my informal list of occasional reads. This was a good issue that told an interesting story, and I would encourage anyone disaffected by the first issue to check out this one. Openings sometimes suffer by the sheer weight of what they’re trying to accomplish–invent a world, introduce and establish the characters, provide an interesting situation or predicament–but it’s nice to see a book recover from that initial stumble and settle into what looks to be a nice trot. 3.5 stars.
DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!