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The Massive #12 [Dark Horse Comics] Review

Posted on May 16, 2013 AT 10:10pm

With the Nunatak arc ending with this issue, it looks as though The Massive may be getting back to a normal schedule, as there have been new art teams on each of the last three issues. With the good ship Kapital still chasing the signal of its sister ship, Callum Israel and crew are in some dangerous territory as they chase the ghostly whispers of their Ninth Wave partner into the treacherous sea of the Arctic.

In this issue we see a lot of terrific development for the leading character, Cal Israel. As he continues to chase his partner ship to no avail, all of the combined efforts of his past and present are beginning to wear on the Massive’s captain. This issue is a very introspective one, adding onto it the danger of their travels to the frigid Arctic. The other remaining crew members also have their own issues to deal with, with relationships blossoming and wilting, doubts being cast and many of the crew members coming to terms with the fact they may not make it out of the Arctic alive.

Brian Wood is killing it with this book, not to mention that the series is hitting it’s one year anniversary with this issue. In that year, the crew of The Massive has gone through hell and back, getting nearly killed time and time again. Cal has cancer, The Massive has yet to be found, and while things on that front are looking up, everything else Post-Crash seems to be completely deteriorating around them. With the “Americana” arc on the way it seems as though the crew makes it out of the Arctic, but the cost is the issue that may be the most damning.

Danijel Zezelj joins the creative team on this issue, putting his artistic talents to use along with Wood and colorist Jordie Bellaire. Bellaire has been on the book for the last few issues, and her reputation for being one of the top colorists in the industry stands firm with this issue. Zezelj is a bit of an unknown here, with his art style looking very unique for the title. While not usually the most detailed, Zezelj’s stye does that one better, using heavy inks and angular shapes to create the world for this issue. This causes a look at makes it difficult to view, with the angular forms causing the characters to look as though they were chiseled from stone. The heavy inks combine with that penciling style to make characters nearly impossible to make out clearly, taking the reader out of the story a little bit by not being able to figure out facial expressions. Characters are hard to distinguish (Cal and Lars, especially) and Mag looks completely different, taking a bit away out of characters that have been built up for a year.

Summary: Happy one year anniversary to to this book, which should be able to celebrate an amazing run thus far. With the end of this arc comes a sad ending and a look of complete desperation coming from the crew. The art team on this book was a bit different from usual, and in this case, misses the mark a bit. With a new artist likely coming once again next month, it will be interesting to see how the book recovers from a down month, in terms of art. The writing is still great, however, and the Post-Crash world is still unfolding in front of us, looking as though this series has no thoughts of stopping anytime soon.

Pros: Great writing, engaging story

Cons: Artwork looks muddy, inks are too heavy.

Grade: B

Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for 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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