Note: This review covers an issue that has not yet been released, and as such may include minor spoilers. The Massive #1 will hit shelves on June 13th.
It was the end of the world as we knew it.
And nothing is fine.
That’s the world of Brian Wood and Kristian Donaldson’s latest series The Massive, from Dark Horse Comics. The story of The Massive begins a year after a series of natural and economic disasters, collectively referred to as “the Crash,” have crippled the world, killing hundreds of millions, if not billions of people.
Well doesn’t that sound depressing?
Actually, The Massive is a riveting story about people trying to stay true to themselves, their friends and their mission. Dark Horse is certainly hoping to see Wood recreate his success with his previous long running series DMZ (with DC/Vertigo) which followed similar themes of grasping for a normal life in a world turned upside down.
The Massive is a ship in the Ninth Wave, a marine conservationist group, (akin to Greenpeace). The Massive has gone missing after being separated from its sister ship, the Kapital. This is where our story begins, as the Kapital searches the Bering Sea, off the coast of Kamchatka, Russia, in seas filled with ice and pirates.
Led by former corporate mercenary, Callum Israel, the crew of the Kapital are trying to find their lost friends, and stay alive, while staying true to their mission to protect life and the oceans, but can they really think about protecting the very oceans that took the lives of so many, including maybe their lost friends on the Massive? How does the crew of the Kapital go on, knowing that everyone they have every cared for is either dead, or worse: trying to survive in a world that is quickly going to hell?
“What does it mean to be an environmentalist after the world’s already ended?”
Spinning out of a three-part story that began in Dark Horse Presents #8-10, Wood and Kristian Donaldson have created an apocalypse story that starts after the apocalypse has already happened. Here we are given snapshots of how the world got to where it is. Donaldson combines fine line work with photo collage, which is then supplemented by Dave Stewart’s muted color work. The art is dark, like the world of The Massive. But unlike that world, the art of The Massive is well defined.
Unlike the glut of Hollywood end of the world movies, which are driven by the spectacle of the disaster, The Massive is about the what happens after the credits of those spectacles end, and life has to go on, even in an inhospitable world.
The story is supplemented with Captain’s Logs, maps, charts, and government reports which all add to the world of The Massive, giving the story an added depth, like bonus material on a DVD.
The Massive #1
from Dark Horse Comics
A $3.50 Comic, 32 Pages
Written by Brian Wood
Art by Kristian Donaldson
Color by Dave Stewart
Cover by Brian Wood, Kristian Donaldson