Posted on March 23, 2013 AT 08:59pm
The newest arc of Brian Wood’s The Massive has begun, and with it comes a few new members to the franchises family. Garry Brown and Dave Stewart have parted ways with the book (at least for now), and in their place comes artist Gary Erskine and rising star colorist Jordie Bellaire as the first art team of a three issue series of Wood working with different artists. The new look Massive kicks the “Polaris” arc with a bang, delivering on a lot of long-building plots that come to a head in major ways, leaving the impression that this arc will be a major one for the franchise.
After the consistent struggles that have plagued the crew of The Kapital throughout this book on their search for the sister ship The Massive, many of the crew are becoming distant and on the verge of mutiny, the bombshell Cal dropped during the arc on Moksha Station is slowly becoming an obvious problem for the Ninth Wave leader, and their sister ship is back as the top priority, though finding it is much more difficult that it should be. These problems and many other litter the book, making it an incredibly interesting ride in a world where nearly everything is falling apart.
Brian Wood is doing an excellent job with this title, one of his own creation. The characters and the plot development are far above standards, and the universe these stories unfold in is both heartbreaking and breathtaking. The Post-Crash world is one full of hardship and struggle, and watching Callum Israel and his crew fighting against the chaos of the world and fighting in the name of peace is touching. If the plot gets any better, the heads of some of the readers may explode from the collected awesome.
The new art team took an interesting approach to this franchise, creating a similar but obviously different product than the teams of the past have added to the canon of The Massive. Gary Erskine took some odd approaches to some of the characters in the series, making obvious changes to the overall look of a few major characters. Cal looks like a new man, his cheeks more defined, his hair less scruffy and the shadowing obviously different. Mary’s hair is much longer than remembered, in much longer and more noticeable, as well as in other, more minor characters. Bellaire also takes a unique perspective to the series, using quite a lot of blue in this issue. Most of the issue is kept in what seemed like a blue filter, with the coloring stellar other than what feels like an overuse of the color. There seems to be a habit in this book (with blue and yellow especially) of having an over-saturation of one color throughout a single page, something that is a bit odd to look at during the course of the issue, but it may have just been a choice for that issue itself. With a new team coming next month, it’ll be interesting to see how it all works out from month to month.
Summary: With a new story arc, a new art team and a lot of turmoil, The Massive has taken an interesting turn. Cal and his crew have a lot of work to do and a lot to work on, with health struggles, crew discomfort and a missing ship that has yet to be found. Cal makes some major decisions in this issue, and it’s one readers of the series should not miss out on.
Pros: Stellar story and plot development, terrific character definition.
Cons: Over-saturated color schemes.
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