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The Massive #1 (Dark Horse Comics) Review

By
Posted on May 21, 2012 AT 09:22pm

Brian Wood’s The Massive has been a heavily talked about comic within the comic book community for quite awhile. With a digital one-shot having already hit the internet a short time ago, anticipation for the first full issue of the title was running high. With the release date still a few weeks away as of this posting, we at DigitalNoob have gotten an early copy of the first issue of the series.

The series follows ex-mercenary Callum Israel as he leads the Ninth Wave Conservationist Force. After a series of major, cataclysmic ecological events, the entire planet has been radically changed, for the worse. With millions wiped out, the ecosystem in disarray, and hope dimmed, Isreal and his his crew on the Kapital do their best to survive, all the while searching for their missing sister ship The Massive. Despite several faint blips of the radar that indicate that The Massive is nearby, each time it fades after only a moment, leaving the crew of the Kapital to wonder if it was just wishful thinking.

The main tagline for the series has been “What does it mean to be an environmentalist after the world has already ended?”, and that sentence encapsulates the struggle of Israel and his crew as they navigate the open water in a new world where the entire planet seems to have completely changed in less than a year.

Brian Wood put a lot into writing this series, and it definitely shows. The pacing is meticulously planned, and the dialog is very well done, with each individual character showing unique personalities and ideals. Callum Israel is a pacifist with a strict moral code, while his second-in-command/lover Mary is more of a survivalist, ready to get things done, no matter the personal cost. Former associate from Callum’s percenary days, Mag Nagendra is more similar to Mary than to Callum, but also shows his own personal beliefs in the short number of pages that have displayed the story so far.

The artwork by Kristian Donaldson and Dave Stewart is also well done, blending in with the way the story flows. Putting an emphasis on accentuating certain points of the landscape, especially the characters, adds a new dimension to the story and how it unfolds. The color work is a bit bland, but given the conditions and mood of the story, it’s not a major detriment. Though, choosing to color the bits of flashback plot in sepia is a bit questionable.

Really, the biggest downfall of this book is all the information put in after the fact, through the use of letter entries and case files. Once the plot ends, the back side of the book is full of tidbits that while interesting, are a bit boring out of the context of the main plot. They also don’t seem to have any important information that hadn’t been touched upon during the issue, so it seems a bit out of place.

Overall, however, The Massive hits the mark in terms of the hype built up for the title, delivering a great read. Even those who aren’t interested in ecological collapse or environmentalism can enjoy the book because of the stellar writing of Wood, coupled with the the beautiful and fitting art of Donaldson and Stewart.

Summary:

The Good: Well Done Dialog And Plot Flow | Conceptually Fitting Artwork

The Bad: Flashback Sequences In Sepia

The Ugly: Unnecessary Back-story Explanations After Main Plot Finishes

Score: 8

Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for DigitalNoob.com. He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.




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