Traveler, writer, reviewer, all-round observer. I like anything cool & fast, but occasionally sit at a cafe watching the world go by.
When I first glanced at this graphic novel, I was as excited as when I bought the first issue of Grendel when it came out. The art work, and brand-spanking new storyline are what attracted me to it.
Kristian Donaldson, Garry Brown, and Dave Stewart did a great job page after page in The Massive. The details in each image are incredible. The layout of the vessel’s bridge, not to mention the wires, antennas, curves, masts, and other minute details of the ships, oil-platforms, ports, city-landscapes, show their attention to accuracy as well as seriousness in their art. Despite being in the industry for only a few years, having big names under their belts such as Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and awards such as the Eisner Award for coloring (Dave Stewart: 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011), no doubt these three artists will continue on to become icons.
To no surprise, I was impressed with the creativity of the storyline by Brian Wood. After all, he did some Conan the Barbarian, X-men, Star Wars, and Vampirella issues. He is also the originator of Demo, DMZ, Northlanders, plus he was nominated for the Eisner, Eagle, and Harvey Awards for Best Writer, Talent, Best Single Issue, Best Cover Artist, and several more categories.
Now here’s where the “but” comes in…
Despite the artwork, action-sequences, and well placed back-stories, I still felt disappointed. I cant shake the feeling that this is more of a promotion, a commercial if you will, for a combination of global-warming, climate-change, Green Peace, Whale Wars, and whatever else pro-environment groups there are. There is also a slight hint of anti-Americanism. Please dont get me wrong…I’m all for the environment, keep our planet clean, respecting nature, etc… After all, we live on this planet -why destroy it. I just personally don’t like it in Comic-Book format.
In The Massive, human civilization is gripped with facing a possible ‘end of the world’ scenario after an unknown occurrence called ‘The Crash’ ravaged the planet. Earth as we know it, has been, and still is being ravaged by nature -tsunamis and storms of unprecedented size; blizzards and deep freeze with no end in sight; the list goes on (reminding me of the movie ‘The Day After Tomorrow’). The peace-keeping environmental group called Ninth Wave continue on their original mission with the hope that things will change for the better. Instead of just trying to survive, their goal is to make things better for the environment, the animals, the people, the world.
During an earlier mission, the larger of their two vessels, The Massive, went missing in a storm. Onboard the Kapital, Captain Callum Israel and his crew search the oceans for The Massive whilst continuing on their peace-keeping mission in a world ravaged by the nature.
Although I’m not into “lesson” type comics, I did enjoy this one. Would I go out and actually buy it for myself, probably not. This does not mean you shouldn’t though -to each his/her own. What I liked, besides the artwork, was the action-sequences, the back-stories, the realism of what would happen (with people and society trying to make do with their current situation, instead of chaos and panic).
The one lesson I will take with me after reading this is that one’s true character becomes more enhanced when faced with extreme conditions.