It’s a classic comic story: The tale of an heir to a multi-billion dollar fortune trying to save a world his family endangered. Throw in a floating island of trash the size of Texas and you’ve just aptly described the new series from Joe Harris and Martin Morazzo for Image comics, ‘Great Pacific’.
When we were first teased with glimpses of the series earlier in the year ‘Great Pacific’ was presented as an adventure comic with environmental and sci-fi overtones, and indeed this much is true. In its self the concept, centred on the great pacific garbage patch, is truly original and has enough grounding in reality to be edgy and poignant. Unfortunately issue one is so poorly executed that it makes what should be exciting seem mundane.
Issue one introduces us to Chas Worthington, heir to the Worthington oil fortune, trying desperately to carve a legacy for himself. Despite all his attempts at philanthropy Chas just can’t shake the feeling that he’s simply piggy-packing of his family’s fortune instead of making his own way in the world. It’s all terribly cliché and Harris’ dialogue and writing in no way amends this. If anything he’s attempts at psychological depth and forced humour begins to deny the comic of any fleeting chance of authenticity.
The dialogue all feels bland and conversations between Chas and the supporting cast lack direction. There’s a whole lot of dialogue but it doesn’t seem to achieve all that much. On the most part it is used to bombard the reader with masses of information, most of which go over the reader’s head at this early stage of the book. The storytelling here is all very linear and it’s sad that a comic claiming to be so forward thinking and innovative would choose the such an uninspired way to tell a story.
In short this comic falls tragically short of the hype.
Morazzo’s art doesn’t really hit the mark either. Although the pages look good at a glance, on closer inspection it becomes apparent Morazzo’s technique is lacking. Faces don’t carry the emotion they should, scenes lack detail and backgrounds are often just gradients and blocks of colour. It all feels very rushed and half done.
Fortunately, underneath all this poor execution is a spark of originality and an appeal that is truly undeniable. This idea of the great pacific garbage patch being the new final frontier is very much present in this issue and is it’s only redeeming quality. Hopefully now this introductory issue is out-of-the-way the book can focus more on the adventure and science fiction aspects of the story which are seeping with untapped potential.
If the teaser art is anything to go by Harris and Morazzo have a lot of cool things in store for this book and I have a strong feeling that it will pick up in future issues. That said it still doesn’t make issue one any easier to read.